Transfer Credit

All transfer courses require prior approval by the department offering similar courses at Occidental College, and by the student’s adviser. Transfer courses used for Core requirements also require prior approval by the Core Director. A “Transfer Credit & Course Substitution Form” is available in the Office of the Registrar and online. Occidental will only accept credits from a regionally accredited college or university.

Matriculating frosh cannot satisfy the First Stage Writing Proficiency through transfer. Transfer courses taken during the fall and spring semesters while a student is concurrently enrolled at Occidental cannot be courses that are offered at Occidental during that academic year, and cannot be used to satisfy a Core requirement. Online courses cannot be used to satisfy a Core requirement. Whether online courses may count toward major or minor credit is determined by the chair of the department or program offering that major or minor. 

Students desiring to take courses at another college while attending Oxy cannot exceed the maximum allowable units per semester (normally 18, or 20 if the student’s GPA is 3.0 or better) combined. Normally, no transfer courses will be allowed in the second semester of the student’s senior year. A minimum grade of “C-” or higher is required for transfer. The College will not accept transfer credit taken by examination from another institution. A maximum of 64 semester credits will be accepted as transfer to count toward the degree.

Transfer units from a semester system will be equal to the number of units taken at the institution where the courses were taken. Transfer units from a quarter system will be multiplied by .66 to convert to the semester system used at Occidental College. It is also possible through petition to the Registrar to have summer study elsewhere accepted without credit to fulfill prerequisites or general college requirements. 

Students who participate in off-campus study abroad programs independently during a leave of absence in the fall or spring semesters are ineligible for College financial aid or scholarships. No credit will be accepted for transfer toward the Occidental degree.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Exams 

Frosh may be granted credit at the time of entrance for subjects in which they have completed Advanced Placement (AP) examinations with scores of 4 or 5 or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores of 6 or 7 in Higher Level (HL) courses only. A student that has earned a qualify score will receive four units of credit toward the degree. These units will appear as transfer credit on the student's academic record.

These examinations may not be used to fulfill Core requirements. They may be used, however, to show proficiency in a language other than English and thus satisfy the foreign language requirement.

Credit earned either through Advanced Placement examinations, International Baccalaureate courses, or through college courses may make it possible for a student to enter advanced courses and also gain a wider opportunity for choice of electives in the undergraduate program. Not all Graduate and Professional programs accept AP credit in lieu of college courses. Therefore, students should consult with an adviser when creating a study plan.