Transfer of Credits After Matriculation

The policies below apply to transferring credit after matriculation, including for study abroad courses. Some of these policies do not apply to external transfer students seeking credit for coursework done at their previous institution.  To learn about the process and policies for external transfer students seeking credit for classes taken at their previous institution, please click here.

  • Students who entered Penn as freshmen may take up to four (4) course units (CUs)1 outside of the University toward their degree. This includes summer courses and courses taken prior to matriculation at Penn.2 Courses from Penn-approved study abroad programs do not contribute to this 4 CU limit.
  • Students who entered Penn as external transfers may not take any additional courses outside the University for transfer credit unless the credit is completed at a Penn-approved study abroad program.
  • Each course must be approved by the appropriate academic department for credit BEFORE the class is taken. Whether a course is deemed eligible for transfer credit is at the discretion of the respective academic department.
  • Any courses taken after matriculation must be taken during the summer unless the credit is completed at a Penn-approved study abroad program.
  • Business courses can only be taken at Wharton or at a Wharton-approved study abroad program.3
  • Courses counting toward the 1 CU minimum in each of the Humanities; Natural Sciences, Math, and Engineering; and Social Science General Education Distribution¬†categories may only be taken at Penn or at a Penn-approved study abroad program.
  • Students may not transfer courses from outside Penn that were taken pass/fail and must earn a grade of C or better to be considered for credit.
  • No transfer credits are accepted from any community college or two-year institutions.
  • No transfer credits are accepted for online courses.
  • Grades from courses taken at other institutions will not be calculated into a student’s Penn grade point average unless the credit is completed at a Penn-approved study abroad program.

To learn about the transfer-credit process for students who entered Penn as freshmen or for any student planning to study abroad, please click here.


1 While many colleges and universities list the weight of their courses in credits, Penn uses a course unit (CU) system. Most courses at Penn are worth 1 CU (with the exception of lab courses, which are typically worth 1.5 CUs, and mini-courses, which are worth 0.5 CU).

2 As of 2017, students cannot receive Penn transfer credit for college-level coursework undertaken while enrolled at the secondary level or in the summer prior to matriculation at Penn.

3 Note that business courses taken at Wharton-approved study abroad programs may only count toward the Business Breadth or Unrestricted Elective requirements.