Transfer Credit FAQ


Q: When should I apply for admission?

Plan to apply early so you have enough time to provide all records and information necessary for an admission decision. Application and transcripts must be on file in the UNI Office of Admission at least 10 days prior to the beginning of orientation for the session for which you are applying. New students are accepted for fall, spring and summer terms.

Q: What credentials must I submit?

Request that an official transcript be sent directly to the UNI Admissions Office by each college or university previously attended. Transcripts which have not been sent directly from other colleges or universities or those which have been in your possession will not be considered official documents by Northern Iowa.

Transcripts must be sent from each previous institution even though all previous records may be summarized on one transcript. UNI will accept credit only when submitted by the institution granting the credit.

You may also be required to have an official transcript of your high school record, as well as additional records, letters and supporting documents, submitted directly to the Office of Admissions. You will be notified when such information is needed.

Q: Is an interview necessary?

An interview is not required; however, we invite you to visit the University of Northern Iowa to tour the campus, meet with a faculty member and talk with an admissions counselor. Arrangements for your visit may be made by calling the Office of Admissions at 319-273-2281 or sending an email to

Q: When will my transfer credentials be evaluated?

Normally you will receive a tentative evaluation of your transfer work and an advisement report after you are admitted to the university and before you register for classes. The length of time to prepare a transfer evaluation varies. It may take longer if your transfer work is not recent or you have attended multiple colleges or universities.

Q: What credit is transferable?
Credit earned at regionally accredited colleges and universities is generally acceptable for transfer. Credit in courses determined by Northern Iowa to be of a remedial, vocational, or technical nature, or credit in courses or programs in which the institution granting the credit is not directly involved, may not be accepted, or may be accepted to a limited extent. For schools not regionally accredited, the current issue of Transfer Credit Practices of Selected Educational Institutions, published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) is an example of references used by the University in determining transfer credit. The acceptance and use of transfer credit is subject to limitations in accordance with the educational policies of the University.
Q: Do I have the option of what credit transfers?

A college record is considered to be a continuing one. As a transfer student, you do not have the option of disregarding a poor record and starting over. Acknowledgement of attendance at previous colleges or universities is mandatory. Failure to list on the application each college attended will be considered reason for cancellation of admission or dismissal from the University.

All college work previously attempted is considered for acceptance, including work for which a grade of "D" is earned. Failing grades remain a part of the student record and transfer grade point average. Grades such as NC or N that indicated graded unsatisfactory achievement are translated into "F's" and calculated in the cumulative grade point average.

If you repeat a course, only the last grade earned affects your cumulative average; the grade point value of the first grade is no longer included in calculating the cumulative average.

Q: What is the unit of credit at UNI?
UNI uses a semester hour system. Credit on transfer courses will be converted to semester hours. For example, a quarter hour is equal to two-thirds of a semester hour. A three quarter-hour course is equal in credit value to a two semester-hour course
Q: How many hours may I transfer?

A maximum of 65 semester hours of transfer credit will be accepted from a two-year college. Credit earned in excess of 65 semester hours cannot be applied toward the minimum total hours required for a degree. However, this work is entered on your record and may be used to meet specific course requirements.

Credit from four-year colleges and universities is not limited. However, students must earn at least 32 hours of credit in residence at this University to complete baccalaureate degree requirements.

UNI will accept, in transfer, a maximum of two semester hours of credit per semester in music organizations and ensembles. Music organizations and ensembles may be repeated for credit in succeeding semesters.

Q: Will my grade point average transfer with me?

Your cumulative transfer grade point average is used for purposes of admission to the University and advisement for your first term enrollment at UNI. Your UNI transcript will record your cumulative transfer GPA, your UNI GPA, and your cumulative GPA of all work attempted at this university and elsewhere.

Q: How does my transfer work apply to UNI requirements?

The evaluation of your work from another college is based on our curriculum requirements (Liberal Arts Core, major and electives). Insofar as possible, courses covering similar areas are accepted in lieu of required courses. A transfer course need not have an identical credit value.

Evaluation of the college work you present is reported to you in UNI equivalents, when they exist. Credit earned in courses for which we have no equivalent is simply reported as credit accepted.

Transfer students will be provided with a Degree Audit and Advising Report. This report outlines completed and remaining course requirements for the academic program you have selected. Credit determined to be applicable toward one major may not necessarily apply toward another major.

Q: How will my Associate of Arts degree be applied to my transfer?

Students with an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree from a college participating in the Iowa Community College/Regents Articulation Agreement must meet all conditions of the agreement, including earning at least 60 semester hours of credit acceptable for transfer, and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 ("C") on all credit accepted for transfer. To determine how courses from selected community colleges transfer to UNI, see Transfer Plan-It online service or Transfer Equivalency Lists.

If you meet all the requirements, you will have met UNI's Liberal Arts Core requirements, except:

  • A course in non-Western cultures that must be completed at either the community college or at UNI; and
  • UNI's Liberal Arts Core Capstone course that must be completed after transferring to UNI.
Q: What about AA degrees from other states, or other associate degrees?

UNI does not have articulation (transfer) agreements from out-of-state community colleges (with the exception of Black Hawk College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, Northwest Vista College and St. Philips College); therefore, an out-of-state AA Degree will not automatically satisfy all UNI Liberal Arts Core requirements. AA coursework will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis and will meet the UNI degree requirements where applicable.

The Associate of Science (AS) degree will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis and applied to UNI degree requirements as appropriate. No articulation agreements exist for this degree.

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and the Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) degrees, due to their career and technical course content, will not fulfill UNI Liberal Arts Core requirements. Transcripts will be evaluated and courses will meet specific requirements where possible. UNI limits the transfer of career and technical credit from a community college to 16 hours. A number of program-specific articulation agreements exist for AAS programs. More details may be obtained by contacting the UNI Office of Admissions.

Q: Already have a bachelor's degree?

A Second BA student at UNI is one who has already earned a baccalaureate degree from another institution and now wants to earn a second one from UNI. Like Second BA students, Teacher Certification students have already earned a baccalaureate degree, and now wish to complete the coursework necessary for teacher certification. Both of these students must complete the application for admission.

Q: Seeking a bachelor's degree at another institution?

A transient student at UNI is one who does not intend to earn a degree from UNI, but simply wishes to take coursework to transfer back to their home institution. A transient student must complete the application for admission and the Transient Student form.

If you currently attend UNI and you wish to transfer your credits to another college or university, you must contact that institution to determine how your credits will transfer.

Q: May I earn credit by exam?

In addition to the CLEP and AP credit options departmental examinations are possible for most UNI courses. You should discuss the course requirements with the head of the appropriate UNI academic department before applying to take a departmental examination.

The Iowa Regents' Universities/Community College Credit by Examination Agreement sets the standards for awarding and transferring credit by examination between institutions.

A maximum of 32 semester hours of credit by examination may apply toward degree requirements at UNI. For more information, contact the UNI Office of Admissions.

Q: Does UNI accept military credit?

Credit earned through educational experiences in the armed forces can be validated and accepted by the University. An American Council on Education (ACE) publication, Guide to the Evaluations of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, is generally used in making these determinations. Credit earned in this way may be applied to a corresponding major, minor or elective requirement.

Credit is awarded only for significant learning experiences that have non-military applications. Basic military training is not eligible for credit, nor will credit be awarded based on the Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). Only original source documents will be used to determine the possibility of advanced standing.

Credit may be awarded for coursework completed via correspondence, classroom study and/or examination through the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI). Credit may also be granted on the basis of scores earned on the Subject Standardized Test (SST) of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES). Copies of transcripts showing such work will be evaluated by the Office of Admissions.

Non collegiate sponsored instruction or training programs may be considered for advanced standing on an individual basis. Recommendations in publications such as the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs (American Council on Education) and College Credit Recommendations (The University of the State of New York) are used in making decisions related to degree requirements at Northern Iowa.

Q: How is credit from foreign institutions treated?

There are several different avenues to foreign study. Many American colleges and universities sponsor study abroad programs. Credit is usually reported in terms of the sponsoring institution's course numbers, titles and descriptions and credit. This credit is normally recognized for transfer in the same manner as credit taken in-residence at the sponsoring institution.

Some students attend a foreign institution on their own, that is, not sponsored by an American institution. In these instances, the student should be prepared to provide original transcripts (as well as a version translated into English). The student should also provide course descriptions, syllabi, and/or a catalog that will assist in determining whether credit will be awarded.

It is important to note that not all credit earned at a foreign institution may be accepted in transfer. In some cases, students pursue either a formal or informal course of study not sponsored by an American or foreign college-level institution. Credit attempted in this manner is difficult to establish.

Q: What is Reverse Transfer?

Reverse Credit Transfer is a partnership between Iowa's public universities and Iowa's community colleges to facilitate the transfer of university credits back to one of Iowa's community colleges for the purpose of completing a degree, diploma or certificate. Transfer students applying to UNI need to have earned 30 or more credit hours from the Iowa community college they most recently attended prior to enrolling at UNI.

By answering the Reverse Credit Transfer questions on your application to the University of Northern Iowa, you are permitting UNI to send your transcript (at no cost to the student) to the community college. 

It is the students' responsibility to have the final community college transcript, with the notation of the degree, diploma, or certificate awarded, sent to the UNI Office of Admissions.