Frequently Asked Questions - International Transfer Credit

Frequently Asked Questions

Successfully completed college-level coursework will be considered for transfer credit evaluation when the awarding institution is recognized as an Institution of Higher Education (IHE). A school is considered an IHE when it is recognized by the authoritative body within a nation’s government. Coursework is considered college-level when it is non-remedial and requires content and rigor beyond the high school level. Any coursework that is not college-level is ineligible to receive transfer credit.

Unless the institute is recognized as an IHE, this coursework will not be eligible for transfer credit. Students may be able to earn credit through Departmental Exam and should contact the appropriate academic department to learn about potential options for earning credit.

All transcripts from institutions based in the People’s Republic of China must be submitted with a verification report from the Center for Student Services and Development, Ministry of Education, P.R. China (CSSD) to be considered official.

  • The transcript was issued to the student and then the student sent it to Ohio State. Transcripts issued directly to the student are not accepted for transfer credit evaluation.

  • The transcript was sent by an outside credential service provider. Transcripts and evaluations from credential service providers like Educational Credentials Evaluators (ECE) or World Educations Services (WES) will not be accepted for transfer credit evaluation.

  • The transcript is sent from the incorrect office at the foreign institution. The transcript needs to be sent from the registrar’s office or equivalent student records office at the sending institution to be considered official.

  • For independent study abroad students, the transcript is sent from a third-party provider. When students study abroad independently of Ohio State, they often employ a third-party provider like IES or CEA to help organize their program. Transcripts issued by these third-party providers are ineligible for transfer credit evaluation. Students completing independent study abroad programs must send transcripts issued directly from the institution where they completed their coursework if they wish to receive transfer credit.

The majority of institutions in US territories hold accreditation from an American regional accrediting association. When an institution holds regional accreditation, all courses will be accepted for transfer credit when they are college-level (non-remedial) and completed with a C- or better. For institutions without regional accreditation, we will examine their accreditation and recognition by the territorial government when determining acceptability of credit.

When a student completes study abroad through OIA, they maintain their registration at Ohio State and earn graded Ohio State credit that factors into their GPA. When a student studies abroad independently, they do not maintain registration at Ohio State and they earn transfer credit that does not factor into their Ohio State GPA. Prior to their study, students completing independent study abroad programs should gain approval from the University Registrar that coursework completed at the foreign institution will be accepted for transfer credit at Ohio State. Students should also work with the relevant Transfer Credit Coordinators to see how their courses will transfer to Ohio State (direct equivalents or special credit).

English composition courses are accepted for transfer credit when English is a nation’s native language. English composition courses are accepted from the following countries/territories: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (not including French-speaking Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales.

International institutions often use course credit systems that differ from Ohio State and credit conversion is necessary. In general, Ohio State converts credit by comparing the number of credits completed during an academic year of work at the target institution to the typical 30 credit hour academic year at Ohio State. A target ratio is then developed and each course from the sending institution is applied this ratio.

Ohio State has established ratios for Chinese and European institutions:

  • European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) Units

    • 2 ECTS units = 1 Ohio State semester hour

  • United Kingdom

    • 4 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme units = 1 Ohio State semester hour

  • People’s Republic of China

    • All course hours are multiplied by .667 to convert to OSU semester hours

    • Example: a 4-credit course converts to 2.67 credit hours


  • A/AS Level and IB credit is awarded through the Ohio State's Testing Center. Please visit the Ohio State's Testing Center to learn more.

  • Transfer credit may be awarded for BTEC Higher Nationals (Diploma or Certificate) and the Abitur examination and credit will be calculated in semester hours.

Courses are assigned “general credit” when the Transfer Credit Center does not have a rule for how this course should transfer to Ohio State. Any course receiving general credit needs to be further evaluated by the appropriate academic department and their staff will determine if the transfer course can be awarded an equivalency or if it should receive “special credit.”

Learn more about the Departmental Evaluation Credit process for each department.