Summary of Transfer Credit Policy

Hiram College follows an established policy in the awarding of transfer credit to ensure degree integrity. At the discretion of the Registrar’s Office, transfer credits are initially accepted to fulfill core curriculum credit or elective credit. Applicability of any accepted transfer credits to a major or a departmental requirement is expressly approved by the individual major departments. A student may transfer in unlimited hours of transfer credit; however, in order to receive a Hiram College degree, the student must complete a minimum of 45 semester hours at Hiram College. Therefore, students transferring to Hiram should expect to spend at least three semesters to receive their degree. The work of the senior year (the final 30 hours) must be completed at Hiram College or in a Hiram College approved program. Any exception requires approval of the Associate Academic Dean of the College.

Credit hour values transfer; grades do not. The credit hours from the awarding institution are applied to the student's degree, not the credit hours of the Hiram College equivalent course, if applicable. Hiram College operates on a semester hour system. Generally, semester hours transfer in equally as awarded by the issuing institution. Please see additional credit hour criteria below for more information. In the case of quarter hours, a quarter hour to semester equation is applied. Quarter hours are divided by 1.5 to provide the equivalent semester hours. For example, a course worth 4 quarter hours converts to 2.66 semester hours. If fractions remain in the total number of hours transferred in, that number is rounded down to the next whole number. For example, if a student transfers in 52 quarter credit hours, 34.66 semester hours remain after the conversion process. The 34 semester hours would be applied to the student’s academic record, and the student must successfully earn 86 semester hours in order to graduate.

Progressing towards graduation, transfer students may take a maximum of one-sixth of their Hiram course work under the Pass/No Credit option. For additional Pass/No Credit information, please refer to the "Pass/No Credit Regulations" and the "Graduation with Honors" sections of the catalog.

Statement of Criteria Established by Hiram College Regarding Transfer of Credit Earned at Another Institution

When determining transferability of credits, Hiram College follows the guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the American Council on Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s, Inter-Institutional Transfer and Award of Credit guidelines. Therefore, the following three criteria are employed when evaluating transfer courses:

  1. The educational quality of the learning experience being evaluated for transfer;
  2. The comparability of the level, nature, and content of the learning experience to that offered by the receiving institution;
    • Transfer institution must be fully accredited by a Hiram-approved regional, national, international, or professional accrediting body.
    • Transfer courses must reflect a similar level of rigor to courses listed in the Hiram College catalog.
    • Transfer courses with no corresponding Hiram College course are evaluated based on the general standard of academic content.
  3. The appropriateness and applicability of the learning experience to the programs offered by Hiram College, in light of the student’s educational goals;
    • Hiram College reserves the right to deny or award partial transfer credit for courses that do not meet these standards.
    • Only applicable courses, in which the student received a grade of "C" or better, are considered for transfer. This demonstrates that the coursework was completed at a satisfactory level.
    • Courses graded as "P" (Pass) or "S" (Satisfactory) are not accepted unless officially designated as equivalent to a grade of "C" or better by the institution which issued the grade.
    • A maximum of 75 hours of transfer credit may be applied toward the minimum 120 hours that are required to earn a Hiram College degree.
    • Certain programs with outside accrediting agencies or other departmental restrictions may not accept transfer courses older than 7 years.
    • Previously transcripted experience credits by a regionally accredited institution will be accepted by Hiram College; those students bringing experience directly to the College for consideration of credit must be reviewed and approved by individual academic departments and will be limited to 30 credit hours. For further information, please see Additional Methods of Gaining Transfer Credit.
    • An official transfer credit evaluation requires that an official transcript be received in a sealed envelope (unopened by the student) by the College Registrar’s Office, Admissions Office, or Professional and Graduate Studies. For information regarding international transcripts, please see the Origination of Coursework section below.
    • Upon receipt of an official transfer credit evaluation, students who wish to appeal a decision may request that the Registrar’s Office complete a re-evaluation. If, upon completion of the re-evaluation, the student has further concerns, the Dean of the College or the Associate Dean of the College may be asked to make the final determination.

Accreditation Criteria

Determination of the institutional source and quality of coursework, as reflected by the accreditation held by the originating institution, is the overarching criterion used to assess the eligibility of a course for evaluation and the awarding of Hiram College transfer credit.

Accreditation affords reason for confidence in an institution’s or a program’s purposes, in the appropriateness of its resources and plans for carrying out these purposes, and in its effectiveness in accomplishing its goals, insofar as these things can be judged. Accreditation speaks to the probability, but does not guarantee, that students have met acceptable standards of educational accomplishment. While coursework from both collegiate and non-collegiate originating institutions may be considered in this process, each institution must be accredited by a regional, national, international, or professional accrediting body that is recognized by Hiram College. Coursework from institutions that do not have accredited status are not eligible for evaluation and awarding of Hiram College credit.

  1. University Level Institutions
    • Consistent with established educational practices, Hiram College evaluates and awards credit for courses at accredited post-secondary institutions (e.g., colleges, universities, community and junior colleges, technical colleges and institutes).
  2. Non-University Level Institutions
    • On a case-by-case basis, seminars, workshops, training programs and other formal learning experiences provided by non-collegiate agencies and organizations (e.g. Armed Forces, General Motors, licensure through national registries, recognition by foreign ministries of education, etc) may be eligible for consideration in the evaluation process. While some courses may be denied Hiram College credit, other courses may be deferred to the appropriate major department for further assessment and a Pass/No Credit determination. For further information, please see Additional Methods of Gaining Transfer Credit.
  3. Other Institutions
    • Credits earned at institutions such as proprietary business schools, vocational/technical schools, or other single purpose institutions are not transferable without individual assessment.

Origination of Coursework

Courses originating from accredited domestic, international, and inter-institutional affiliated institutions may be considered for transfer credit at Hiram College.

  1. Domestic Institutions
    • The evaluation and awarding of Hiram College transfer credit for coursework originating at U.S. institutions is based on official transcripts. To be eligible for evaluation, coursework must appear on an official transcript from the institution that offered the coursework and initially conferred the credit. Students may be asked to provide additional documentation such as course descriptions, syllabi, etc, for clear determination of applicability.
  2. International Institutions
    • The evaluation and awarding of Hiram College transfer credit for coursework originating at non-U.S. institutions is also based on official transcripts from the institution that offered the coursework and initially conferred the credit. Students may be asked to provide additional documentation such as course descriptions, syllabi, and certified true copies of translations if the original documents are not in English.
  3. Inter-institutional Affiliations
    • Coursework originating at a branch or regional campus of an institution will, for the purposes of evaluation and award of Hiram College transfer credit, be treated in a manner similar to coursework originating at the institution's main campus. This principle shall not apply unless the branch or regional campus is specifically and separately accredited.
    • Further, it is recognized that some free-standing institutions have established close contractual relationships that, in terms of interdependent course offerings and academic record keeping, resemble a main-regional campus configuration. In those cases where such a relationship can be documented, the coursework is evaluated based on the accreditation criteria in this policy. For example, a student, while enrolled at Home University, a domestic, regionally accredited institution, takes courses at an affiliated foreign institution. The coursework is recorded on the Home University transcript in a manner similar to courses taken on the main campus of said university. In this case, the coursework is evaluated in the same way as courses taken on the main campus of Home University.

Level and Nature of Coursework Criteria

The following levels of coursework are eligible for evaluation by Hiram College.

  1. Post-Secondary Level
    • Undergraduate and graduate level coursework is considered for the evaluation and awarding of transfer credit at Hiram College, regardless of whether the coursework is completed prior to or after high school graduation. Coursework that is clearly secondary is not awarded credit.
  2. Undergraduate Level
    • Lower division coursework typically taken during the first half of a degree, as well as upper division courses usually associated with the last half of a degree program, are determined to be undergraduate level coursework.
  3. Graduate Level
    • Hiram College grants up to six semester hours of applicable graduate level transfer credit, at the discretion of the Office of Graduate Studies.
  4. Non-University Level
    • Courses determined to be at a developmental level are not awarded Hiram College credit. This category includes but may not be limited to study skills, career skills, or employment focused courses.
    • Hiram College does not award credit for host-based orientation courses, music lessons, or most physical education courses.
    • Technical or skills-based courses are evaluated on an individual basis.

Additional Methods of Gaining Transfer Credit

Hiram College awards credit based on minimum score requirements for select college level examinations. Examples include, Advanced Placement Level (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate Examinations (IB), and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Guidelines for awarding these types of credit can be found on the Registrar’s Office website:

Hiram College also recognizes that students may have acquired knowledge through life and work experience. Such learning may have come from outside seminars through one’s employer, volunteer work, community service, travel, military service, or extensive reading. It must be emphasized, however, that the awarding of advanced credit cannot be allowed to detract from the College’s commitment to the highest standards of academic performance. Hiram College does not award credit for the actual experience, but rather for the learning that has resulted from the experience. For example, a student would not receive credit for having lived in a foreign country, but must demonstrate that he/she acquired and possesses college-level knowledge as a result of the experience in that country. The quantity and quality are the basis for awarding credit. It is important to keep this in mind when considering whether or not to apply for experiential learning or outside seminar credit. For further information on additional ways of gaining transfer credit, please contact the Registrar's Office or Professional and Graduate Studies.

Awarding of Credit to Fulfill Core, General Education, or Elective Requirements

Hiram College is committed to a rigorous, creative, and demanding intellectual environment that focuses on methods for acquiring knowledge and understanding about human beings and the world and to the development of socially responsible, ethical citizens.

The Registrar’s Office determines if transferred courses, after meeting the requirements within the above Statement of Criteria, align with the learning outcomes of our Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements respectively, and therefore, fulfill said requirements. Decisions are made based upon course descriptions, syllabi, and, when needed, student writing samples from the course. If the Registrar’s Office is unable to determine clear alignment, the Dean of the College or the Associate Dean of the College will be asked to make the final determination.

Courses that do not fulfill Core Curriculum or General Education Requirements but align with the learning outcomes of Hiram College courses will be transferred in as elective hours, and may be applied to the student’s major upon approval by the appropriate department. Courses that do not have a similar Core or General Education course to align with, will be reviewed for transfer as such based upon course descriptions, syllabi, and if needed, student writing samples, in order to determine a reasonable match with the appropriate goals of a Core Curriculum or General Education Requirement.

Awarding of Credit to Fulfill First-Year Colloquium Requirements

All Hiram College traditional students are required to complete both a First-Year Colloquium (FRCL) and a First-Year Seminar (FSEM). The Colloquia are a series of seminars on special topics across the liberal arts and sciences, designed to introduce students to college-level writing and oral communication. The First-Year Seminars continue the students’ introduction to the examination of substantial intellectual issues, while seeking to improve the students’ college-level writing and analytical abilities by emphasizing research across disciplines. Professional and Graduate Studies students are required to complete both Writing in the Liberal Arts and Foundations of the Liberal Arts (FDLA), which have similar learning outcome goals as the First-Year Colloquium and First-Year Seminar. For additional information on the goals of Core Curriculum, please see Hiram’s Core Curriculum section below.

The Registrar’s Office determines if transferred courses, after meeting the requirements within the above Statement of Criteria, align with the learning outcomes of our FRCL and WRLA, respectively, and therefore, fulfill such requirements. Decisions are made based upon course descriptions, syllabi, and, when needed, writing samples from the course. Those students, for whom the First Year Colloquium or Writing in the Liberal Arts is waived, are required to take FDLA, which is considered to be essential for a student's future success at Hiram College. In addition to honing research writing skills, the course strengthens oral communication, critical thinking and analytical skills. It is a top centered, discussion based course which provides a solid introduction to the liberal arts.