2023-2024 Catalog

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 work.

The College does not have a blanket policy to accept or deny transfer of online courses for credit. There are many areas of Occidental’s curriculum where in-person instruction is essential to our pedagogy and to student learning. Which online, hybrid, or in-person courses may be accepted in transfer are evaluated after review of the course description and/or syllabus by the department or program chair. Students should reference the department or program section within this catalog to see each department's policies regarding courses taken at other institutions. Chair approval for transfer, whether major, minor, or general elective, is required.

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. 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. 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. No transfer courses are calculated in the Occidental College GPA (study-abroad courses taken in the summer are considered transfer courses).

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, International Baccalaureate, and A-Level Exams 

Advanced Placement: Students may be granted credit for subjects in which they have completed Advanced Placement (AP) examinations with scores of 4 or 5.

International Baccalaureate (IB): Students may be granted credit for subjects in which they have completed IB examinations in Higher Level (HL) courses only with scores of 6 or 7.

A-Level: Students may be granted credit for the subjects listed below in which they have completed A-level with grades of A or B

  • Sociology
  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Theater

A student that has earned a qualifying 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, to substitute for an Occidental course, to place students into advanced courses, or to allow a wider opportunity for choice of electives in the undergraduate program. Students should reference the department/program section within this catalog to determine how these scores may apply to requirements or placement. Not all Graduate and Professional programs accept examination credit in lieu of college courses. Therefore, students should consult with an adviser when creating a study plan.