Policy on Awarding Academic Credit, Transfers and Substitutions

UNIVERSITY DECISION

The University will accept transfer coursework from regionally accredited institutions; however, students may request a review of all transfer work regardless of regional accreditation status. Other transfer coursework such as life experience, extra-institutional learning, ACT test scores, CLEP test scores, GED test scores, technical training, vocational training and military schools may be evaluated on a case by case basis, however under customary circumstances credit will not be awarded.

PERTINENT INFORMATION

The intention of this policy is to maintain best practices in applying transfer credits and to ensure the academic integrity of Health Science Center academic programs.

Senate Bill 111 from the 79th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature (TEC 51.968) requires all Texas public colleges and universities adopt a policy regarding the awarding of academic credit to entering students who have completed a “post secondary level program” while still in high school. Those programs include Advanced Placement (AP) courses, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD). House Bills 133 and 1170 (TEC 51.3041) require all institutions of higher education to award course credit toward a degree for students’ completion of certain military training.

In the “Principles and Philosophy of Accreditation,” under the Standards for All Educational Programs, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) requires that the institution has a defined and published policy for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, advanced placement, and professional certificates. . .”

The SACSCOC standards also include a requirement that “the institution awards academic credit for course work taken on a noncredit basis only when there is documentation that the noncredit course work is attested to a designated credit experience.” This SACSCOC standard is addressed in the “Credit Award for Non-Traditional Assessments and Training” section of the accreditation guidelines.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Residence for Academic Credit

Before earning credit without sitting for courses at the Health Science Center, students must establish residency for academic credit. Establishment of academic residency for credit is done by registering for and completing 25% of all baccalaureate coursework or 33% of all graduate or post-baccalaureate professional coursework at the institution that will award the certificate or degree. Credits previously taken under another program at the Health Science Center may be applied to the academic residency requirement.

Substitutions

Students may request to substitute course requirements with another credit course that is equivalent in content and semester credit units/hours. A substituted course must be another credit course at the Health Science Center, or it can be transferred in from another regionally accredited academic institution.

Transfer Credit

Students may request transfer in credit from another institution regardless of its regional accreditation status. Such requests are submitted in writing for evaluation by the Office of the University Registrar. Students should be prepared to obtain and provide supporting documentation for previous coursework, including course descriptions and syllabi. Students should further note that there are limits to the number of semester credit hours that may be transferred in according to academic residence requirements set forth by SACSCOC.

Waivers

Students who possess a license or credential in a particular subject area or professional field may request to have a professional certificate course requirement waived. When a course is waived, the semester units/hours of the waived course must be made up by taking another credit course equivalent to the same number of credit hours waived. When requesting a course waiver, students must provide the department with all requested documentation from their relevant credential(s) or license.

UNIVERSITY PROCEDURE

In addition to sitting for official classes, regardless of method of instruction, students may earn academic credit through the following:

  • Transfer of credit
  • Course substitutions
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) subject exams
  • Advanced Placement (AP) exams
  • Credit for military training
  • International Baccalaureate Degree
  • Experiential learning

For all degrees awarded, and in accordance with accreditation guidelines under the Southern Association of College and Schools (SACSCOC), a minimum of 25% of the baccalaureate coursework and a minimum of 33% of graduate coursework must be taken  at the Health Science Center to receive a degree from the institution. The minimum applies to all baccalaureate coursework including courses taken the first two years of college. For example, a degree that requires a total of 120 semester credit hours calls for 30 semester credit hours to be earned via official coursework at the Health Science Center, versus alternate methods of earning credit at the Health Science Center including those listed above.

GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

  1. Official transcripts will be evaluated only after all necessary evaluation documents are on file at the Office of the University Registrar.

  2. All official documents submitted to the Office of the University Registrar become property of the University and will not be returned or copied for the applicant.

  3. Any accepted applicant seeking credit at the University through any means must have met all admissions requirements including, but not limited to, assessment scores, minimum GPAs, submission of previous transcripts, pre-requisites, and the Texas Core curriculum.

  4. The total number of semester credit hours awarded for credit may vary depending upon the student’s program of study; however, the total credit awarded (including transfer credits) cannot exceed 75% of the total credits required for the student’s declared program of study for a baccalaureate degree. At least 25% of the total credits in a student’s degree plan must be earned through regular semester credit hour instruction at  Health Science Center. This applies to the graduate or post-baccalaureate professional degrees as well, transfer credit cannot exceed 67% of the total credits for the declared program of study. 

  5. While credit may be awarded by the Health Science Center for external exams and training, this credit may not satisfy requirements for a specific program of study. Students should check with their department to determine if accepted credit will meet program requirements.

  6. Credit granted will be reflected on the student’s official transcript either in bulk or associated with a specific course number from the Health Science Center.

  7. A grade of CR (credit) will be assigned for any course in which Credit is received. This grade is not computed in the grade point average, and the credit does not count toward calculation of student statistics for that term, including GPA.

  8. The student is responsible for obtaining documentation of external exam scores and/or other training and submitting it to the Department or the Office of the University Registrar at Health Science Center. Scores for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, as well as other transfer, substitution and waiver documentation, should be received prior to enrollment.

  9. Students must complete the Course Substitution Request Form for Health Science Center courses with appropriate documentation to initiate the consideration of their request at the department level. This form must be signed by the appropriate Associate Dean. Credit based on exam or test scores require the Credit by Exam form with no additional approval other than the Department and the Registrar certifying that the score reports have been received and validated. The Transfer Credit Form will need to be completed for credit awarded from an external institution or internal transfer credit.

  10. Students are notified in a timely manner by their academic department and/or dean’s office of the disposition of their requests for course waiver/substitutions.

  11. Students who are denied Credit may appeal to the appropriate university administrator through the university’s published appeal process. Also see the section below on “Transfer of Credit” for more information on the resolution of transfer credit disputes for lower-division courses.

  12. Credit by local examination satisfies degree requirements in the same way as credit earned by passing a course. Credit earned by examination does not jeopardize eligibility for scholarships that require a certain class standing (e.g. Junior class).

TRANSFER OF CREDIT

Transfer students must submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions, regardless of whether or not transfer credit is assigned or desired as a condition of admission;

  1. The student's transfer course work is identified as a bona fide college-level course and must have been earned at an institution that can ascertain the course content and learning outcomes, correspond with current Health Science Center courses required in the student's program of study, and have been assigned a grade of "C" or better from the originating institution. In accordance with SACSCOC accreditation requirements, no more than seventy-five percent of the total credit hours of the required course work may be applied from transfer credit.
  2. Transfer of Courses from Texas Institutions: When possible, the Office of the University Registrar will use the Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) to perform transfer of credit for courses offered by regionally accredited state institutions.
  3. Transfer of Courses from Non-Texas Institutions: Degree or Certificate-seeking students will request transfer of credit from any out-of-state regionally accredited institutions by providing their department official transcript(s) containing the courses to be evaluated.
    1. Transfer credit will be awarded on a semester credit hour scale in all instances, including courses transferred in on quarter-hour scales. Credit transferred in on quarter-hour scales will be converted to semester credit hours proportionately.
    2. Adequate documentation must be provided for consideration of the request. This may include syllabi, catalog course descriptions, or any other documentation deemed appropriate by the department and/or Registrar.
    3. Transfer and/or substitution course work is reviewed and submitted for processing before the end of the student's first term of enrollment (or the first semester after an eligible transfer course has been completed).
    4. Although no specific limit is placed upon the number of transfer/substitution credits that may be accepted, all transfer students must complete the required minimum of 25% of all baccalaureate coursework or 33% of all graduate or post-baccalaureate professional coursework. The transfer process must be completed before students may receive substitution credit for course work completed at another institution.
    5. Academic courses may substitute only for academic courses.
  4. All transferred courses will be posted on the student's official transcript with grades of “TR” but will not be calculated in the student's grade point average.
  5. Disputes over transfer credit for lower-division courses are handled according to 19 Texas Administrative Code § 4.27(a) and Texas Education Code Section 61.826.
    1. If an institution of higher education does not accept course credit earned by a student at another institution of higher education, the receiving institution shall give written notice to the student and to the sending institution that transfer of the course credit is denied, and shall include in that notice the reasons for denying the credit. Attached to the written notice shall be the procedures for resolution of transfer disputes for lower-division courses as outlined in this section, accompanied by clear instructions outlining the procedure for appealing the decision to the Commissioner of Higher Education.
    2. A student who receives notice as specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection may dispute the denial of credit by contacting a designated official at either the sending or the receiving institution.
    3. The two institutions and the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with Board rules and guidelines.
    4. If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the sending institution within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of denial, the sending institution may notify the Commissioner in writing of the request for transfer dispute resolution, and the institution that denies the course credit for transfer shall notify the Commissioner in writing of its denial and the reasons for the denial.

WAIVERS/ SUBSTITUTION

  1. Student's requesting course waivers or course substitutions will submit a Course Waiver/Substitution Request Form to the appropriate department.
  2. After evaluating the Request for a Waiver or Course Substitution, the student's department will submit the completed Course Waiver/Substitution Request form to the Office of the University Registrar for processing.
  3. Upon receipt of the Course Waiver/Substitution Request Form from the department, The Office of the University Registrar determines that the student has an official transcript containing the respective substitution course(s) on file and enters the course(s) and grade(s) for credit of “CR” into the degree audit system and student’s official transcript.
  4. Waived courses and/or Course Substitutions will appear on the student's degree audit report. Course waivers and/or Course Substitutions are not counted in cumulative credits and are not used in the calculation of student's GPA.
  5. Waivers: Students who possess a license or credential in a particular subject area or professional field may request to have a professional certificate course requirement waived. When a course is waived, the semester units/hours of the waived course must be made up by taking another credit course. When requesting a course waiver, students must provide the program director with documentation of their relevant credential or license, and any other documentation deemed appropriate.
  6. Course Substitution: Students may request to substitute a course requirement in a program at the Health Science Center with another credit course that is equivalent in content and credit semester units/hours. A substituted course must be another credit course at the Health Science Center, or the outside course credit can be transferred in from another regionally accredited academic institution (see Transfer Credit below).

CLEP SUBJECT EXAMS

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a series of tests offered by The College Board. The tests cover a variety of subject areas including business, science and mathematics, history and social sciences, foreign languages, and composition and literature. CLEP exams are offered on most college and university campuses; however the Health Science Center does not offer it. The Health Science Center awards course credit for CLEP Subject Exams provided the minimum score has been obtained on the specific test and the department has approved it. CLEP Scores are valid for ten (10) years from the test date.

Students who wish to earn Health Science Center course credit for a CLEP Subject Examination must comply with the following requirements in addition to the policy under General Rules and Regulations for Credit Awards:

  1. Student must submit official CLEP test scores to The Office of the University Registrar prior to enrollment for use in academic advising and degree auditing, and no later than the last class day of the first term of enrollment at the Health Science Center. Official scores include scores sent directly by The College Board as well as official score reports received by the student.
  2. CLEP credit will not be awarded for courses previously attempted, regardless of score originally earned.
Prerequisite Course CLEP Examination Minimum Score Maximum Credit Granted
Accounting Principles of Accounting 50 3
Chemistry (Lecture) Chemistry 50 3
College Algebra, or Higher College Algebra 50 3
Calculus 50 3
Trigonometry 50 3
Pre-Calculus 50 3
Computer Literacy Information Systems and Computer Applications 50 3
Developmental Psychology Human Growth and Development 50 3
Economics Principles of Macroeconomics 50 3
Principles of Microeconomics 50 3
English English Literature 50 6
Freshman College Composition 50 3
American Literature 50 3
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 50 3
English Composition English Composition 50 3
General Biology (Lecture & Lab) Biology 50 5
Introduction to Business Administration Principles of Management 50 3
Introduction to Psychology Introductory Psychology 50 3
Introduction to Sociology Introductory Sociology 50 3
Marketing Principles of Marketing 50 3
United States Government American Government 50 3
United States History U.S. History I 50 3
U.S. History II 50 3

ADVANCED PLACEMENT

Advanced Placement (AP) exams are offered by the College Board to students who complete AP courses while enrolled in high school. The exams cover a variety of subject areas including business, science and mathematics, history and social sciences, foreign languages, and composition and literature. The Health Science Center awards course credit for AP Exams providing the minimum score has been obtained on the specific test and it has been approved by the program. AP scores are valid ten years from the test date.

Students who wish to earn Health Science Center course credit for an Advanced Placement Examination must comply with the following requirement in addition to the General Rules and regulations for Credit Awards:

  1. Submit official AP test scores to the Office of the University Registrar, preferably prior to enrollment for use in academic advising and degree auditing.
Core Curriculum Course AP Test Name Minimum Score Maximum Credit Granted
ARTS 1303 Art, History of 3 3
ARTS 1303, 1304 Art, History of 4 6
BIOL1406 Biology 3 4
BIOL 1406, 1407 Biology 4 8
CHEM 1411 Chemistry 3 4
CHEM 1411, 1412 Chemistry 4 8
COSC 1301, ITSE 1302, 1307 Computer Science 3 3
ECON 2301 Macroeconomics 4 3
ECON 2302 Macroeconomics 4 3
ENGL 1301 English Language 3 3
ENGL 1301, 1302 English Language 4 6
ENGL 2321, or 2322 English Literature 3 3
ENGL 2322, 2322 English Literature 4 6
GOVT 2305 U.S. Government & Politics 3 3
HIST 1301 U.S. History 3 3
HIST 1301, 1302 History of U.S. 4 6
MUSI 1306 Music Theory 3 3
MATH 1342 Statistics 3 3
MATH 2312 Calculus AB 3 3
MATH 2413 Calculus AB 4 4
MATH 2414 Calculus BC 3 4
PSYS 1401, 1402 Physics B 3 8
PHYS 2425,2426 Physics C 3 8
PSYC 2301 Psychology 3 3
SPAN 1311 Spanish Language 3 3
SPAN 1311, 1312 Spanish Language 4 6
SPAN 1311, 1312, 2311, 2312 Spanish Language 5 12
SPAN 2323 Spanish Literature 4 3
SPAN 2323, 2324 Spanish Literature 5 6

CREDIT FOR MILITARY TRAINING

The Health Science Center employs the American Council on Education's Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services to assess potential transferability of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). Specific degree applicability is at the discretion of the Dean’s Office over the student’s program.

Transfer credit is not awarded for the following:

  •  Lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category ACE recommendations.
  •  Vocational certificate category ACE recommendations.
  • Basic military training. Some institutions recognize basic training, usually in fulfillment of physical education requirements, but the Health Science Center does not offer physical education.

Transfer credit is awarded for courses under the upper-division baccalaureate category in the ACE Guide.

Acceptable forms of documentation include the following:

  • AARTS Transcript (Army ACE Registry Transcript)
  • CCAF Transcript (Community College of the Air Force transcript)
  • SMART Transcript (Sailor/Marine ACE Registry Transcript)
  • Form DD-214 (Report of Separation)
  • Form DD-295 (Application for the Evaluation of Learning Experience During Military Service)

To be considered official, any of the credentials above (except form DD-214) must be sent to the Health Science Center directly from the issuing agency. Students/applicants may submit an original DD-214; a certified copy will be made for office use and the original returned.

Students should be advised that, unlike college or high school transcripts, submission of military credentials for potential transfer credit is optional and is neither required for undergraduate admission nor subject to admission deadlines. However, any credit awarded may be applied during the student’s first semester of coursework; therefore official documents should be provided as early as possible.

DANTES Minimum Score Requirements1,2

Core Curriculum Course DANTES Examination Minimum Score Maximum Credit Granted
Accounting / Principles of Accounting Principles of Financial Accounting 47 3
Business Law Business Law II 44 3
College Algebra, or higher Fundamentals of College Algebra 47 3
Communication Technical Writing 46 3
Computer Literacy Introduction to Computing 45 3
Management Information Systems 46 3
Developmental Psychology Lifespan Developmental Psychology 46 3
Electives3 Note: Many DANTES examinations may satisfy credits for electives. Varies
Humanities & Visual and Performing Arts Art of the Western World 48 3
Human/Cultural Geography 48 3
Ethics in America 46 3
Introduction to World Religions 48 3
Introduction to Business Administration Introduction to Business 46 3
Management Science Human Resource Management 46 3
Principles of Supervision 46 3
Mathematics (Algebra and Statistics) Fundamentals of College Algebra 47 3
Principles of Statistics 48 3
Natural Sciences Astronomy 48 3
Environment and Humanity: The Race to Save the Planet 46 3
Principles of Physical Science I 47 3
Physical Geology 46
Social and Behavioral Sciences Lifespan Developmental Psychology 46 3
General Anthropology 47 3
Organizational Behavior 48 3
Introduction to Law Enforcement 45 3
Criminal Justice 49 3
Fundamentals of Counseling 45 3
Speech Principles of Public Speaking 47 3
1

Minimum scores are based on American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations. 

2

Three semester credit hours per DANTES examination may be awarded. 

3

Many DANTES examinations may satisfy credits for electives. Each program that includes electives in program prerequisites will designate which DANTES examinations may or may not be used for elective credit and maximum number of semester credit hours that may be awarded. Minimum scores for awarding elective credit will be determined by the application of ACE recommendations. 

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM (IBD)

The International Baccalaureate Program is a rigorous pre-university course of study leading to examinations. It is designed for highly motivated secondary school students and incorporates the best elements of national systems without being based on any one alone. The IB exam has received extensive world-wide recognition for the quality and rigor of its programs. IB credits are evaluated a bit differently upon request and with considerations as described here. Only scores achieved for the Higher Level examinations are eligible for transfer credit. Students who achieve a 5, 6, or 7, on an IB exam will receive transfer credit. Scores of 5 or 6 receive 1.0 unit of transfer credit. A student may be awarded 2.0 units for a score of 7 at the discretion of the department. Students must check with the appropriate department as well as the Dean’s Office to determine whether 2.0 units is the appropriate evaluation for an IB score of 7. The maximum allowable amount of transfer credit is 3 hours.

Note: Scores will not appear on the transcript for International Baccalaureate credit. Only the department, course title, and units transferred are identified.

Course Equivalencies for the Various Exams

Exam Area Semester Hours Minimum Score UTHSCSA Course Equivalent
English 6 5 ENGL 0001 & 0002
History Americas 6 5 HIST 0001 & 0002
Economics 6 5 SSCI 0001
Psychology 6 5 SSCI 0001
Philosophy 3 5 HUMA 0001
Chemistry 8 5 NSCI 0001
Biology 8 5 NSCI 0002
Physics 8 5 NSCI 0003
Mathematics 4 5 MATH 0001
Visual Arts A 3 5 FINE 0001
Visual Arts B 3 5 FINE 0001
Music 3 5 FINE 0001

CREDIT BY EXAM/CHALLENGE EXAM

Health Science Center Challenge Exams are comprehensive examinations for courses in which proficiency may be determined by examination. These exams are designed and written by qualified faculty and authorized by the department and Dean’s Office. No GPA-weighted credit is awarded on the basis of successful performance on these, but, they allow a student two privileges:

  1. The opportunity to enroll in advanced level courses in the area of proficiency.
  2. The opportunity of satisfying various college or departmental “area” of or proficiency requirements without taking prescribed courses.

Proficiency or exemption examinations for many courses are available to any student currently enrolled in a degree program at the Health Science Center. A student may be eligible to earn credit for a course by passing the examination designated and administered by an academic department. Not all departments offer credit by examination, and departments set the passing scores. Students should consult with their Dean’s Office or academic department for more information.

Credit by examination is reported to the Office of the University Registrar by the academic department upon request from the student using the Credit by Exam Form. Credits earned by examination are not included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.

CREDIT FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Experiential learning allows students to receive college/university credit for equivalent educational experiences acquired through earlier schooling situations, work/on-the-job training or life experiences. Upon approval of the appropriate department chair and/or director, a student may develop a petition for a course or courses offered by the Health Science Center to gain college-level credit. Petitions are reviewed by the appropriate department chair and/or director and submitted to the Dean’s Office for approval. A petition for semester credit for experiential learning is a document that demonstrates learning and knowledge gained through work and life experiences. The petition must specifically state the skills and knowledge gained that is equivalent to those taught in the course(s). The petition can include knowledge and skills gained from a wide variety of sources including, but not limited to: Full or part-time jobs, independent reading and study, training program or in-service courses, volunteer work, cultural and artistic pursuits, military service and travel study.

The approval process for awarding semester credit for experiential learning will include the following steps in addition to the General Rules and Regulations for Credit Awards:

  1. The student submits the Credit by Exam Form along with a formal written petition for credit for experiential learning and supporting documentation to the department. Based on the documentation and evaluation of the credentials, experience and skills listed on the petition for semester credit for experiential learning, the department chair/director may:
    1. Recommend approval of equivalent semester credit hour course credit to the Dean’s Office or
    2. Close the request with no recommendation for approval.

      The department chair/director will notify the student promptly when the request for semester credit hour equivalent course credit is closed with no recommendation for approval. If approved, the department chair/director forwards the Credit by Exam Form and documentation to the Dean’s Office.
       
  2. The Dean’s Office may:
    1. Recommend approval of equivalent semester credit hour course credit to the Office of the University Registrar or
    2. Close the request with no recommendation for approval.

      The Dean’s Office will notify the student promptly when the request for semester credit hour equivalent course credit is closed with no recommendation for approval. If approved, the Credit Award form and supporting documentation is forwarded to the Office of the University Registrar.
       
  3. The Office of the University Registrar receives the recommendation form with related documentation for processing.