2023-2024 Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog

Transfer Credit and Off-Campus Programs

Transfer Credit Policies

The determination of transfer credit is made by the Registrar according to a standard conversion formula and, if appropriate, in consultation with department chairs. Although each request will be considered on its merits, the following rules apply to all requests:

  1. All courses must be taken at accredited institutions in a context and environment that provides direct contact with regular faculty and degree-seeking college students. At a minimum, the courses must be applicable toward the regular college degree granted by the institution attended.
  2. One CMC course is the equivalent of 4 semester units or 6 quarter units. Transfer credit will be converted to CMC credit according to this standard conversion formula, approved by the CMC faculty.
  3. Courses in which students earn grades below C (including C-) are not acceptable for transfer credit. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation that they earned grades of C or better for courses taken on a credit-no credit basis at academic institutions outside Claremont, if appropriate.
  4. Grades earned will not be calculated into the CMC grade point average, except for a limited number of undergraduate courses offered in Claremont during the summer at The Claremont Colleges.
  5. Courses taken off-campus will not meet major or general education requirements unless the appropriate department chairs have given written approval in advance. A course must be the equivalent of at least 3 semester units or 4 quarter units to meet a general education or major requirement.
  6. To be considered for transfer credit, courses must be comparable to courses offered by The Claremont Colleges during the regular academic year.
  7. In order to receive transfer credit, students must attend regular in-person classes with degree-seeking college students and taught by college faculty on a college campus. Correspondence courses, “college without walls,” distance learning programs, interactive television, and other programs where students do not directly interact with college faculty and college students are not eligible for transfer credit. CMC will consider up to two units of transfer credit for summer session courses taught via distance learning (e.g., online, hybrid, or remote instruction) only if courses are offered in a fully synchronous format, where students maintain real-time interaction with college faculty and other degree-seeking college students, and if such courses are approved for transfer in advance by both the appropriate department chairperson or program chair and the CMC Registrar’s Office. No credit will be given for college courses taught at high schools, for high school students, or for open-door college courses at community centers. Students who have participated in dual-enrollment programs while in high school should contact the Registrar for more information.
  8. See Summer Study Abroad for information on transferring credit from summer study abroad programs.

Information on the College’s policies and requirements for CMC study abroad and other official off campus programs may be found in Center for Global Education  and publications from the Center for Global Education.

Course Descriptions

Students must provide written descriptions and, if appropriate, official English translations, of all off-campus courses they may wish to take when they request approval for transfer credit, including the number of units (credit hours). Course syllabi may be required to evaluate course content.

Transcripts for Transfer Credit

Transfer credit will only be granted upon receipt of original official transcripts (not grade reports). It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that official transcripts are sent directly to the CMC Registrar’s Office by the issuing institutions for transfer credit.

Transfer Credit for CMC Students

CMC students who wish to receive credit for academic courses taken at other academic institutions during the summer or the academic year must discuss this with the Registrar prior to their enrollment.

Transfer Credit and First Year Students

Students entering CMC as first year, first-time degree seeking candidates may request transfer credit for a maximum of 4 CMC courses (16 semester units) for college work completed prior to their entrance at CMC. Such college credit may be granted in addition to a maximum of 4 credits for Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.

Students who completed college work while attending high school are required to provide written documentation from their high school stating that the courses were not required to meet a requirement for high school graduation, and from the transferring college or university that the courses comply with CMC’s transfer credit policies.

Those entering CMC as first year students may not complete more than 4 general education requirements off-campus (in summer school, through Advanced Placement, study abroad, etc.).

Transfer Credit and Home-Schooled Students

Courses that home-schooled students have completed at colleges are not applicable for transfer credit if those courses are applicable to a student’s high school coursework. Home-schooled students who believe they may be eligible for some transfer credit must meet with the Registrar to discuss whether and/or how college courses might transfer.

Transfer Credit and Transfer Students

There is no limit to the number of courses transfer students may take prior to their enrollment at CMC, but only the equivalent of 16 CMC courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, will be accepted toward graduation from CMC. No transfer credit will be given for courses challenged by examination at another academic institution or for placement credit at other academic institutions, even though that institution has given credit.

Transfer applicants must send transcripts and descriptions of their courses to the Admission Office as part of their application. Upon acceptance, transfer students must provide the Office of the Registrar with official final transcripts of all previously attended academic institutions. Transfer students with missing college transcripts will not be able to participate in pre-registration for the next semester.

Some transfer students may be able to take up to 4 additional GE courses as transfer credit, with the approval of the Registrar and the appropriate department chair. CMC has adopted a sliding scale of how many additional transfer GEs transfer students may take after enrolling at CMC.

# of units transferred to CMC # of additional GEs as transfer
15-16 0
11-14 1
7-10 2
4-6 3
0-3 4

Exceptions to this sliding scale can be arranged if the Registrar, the Dean of Faculty, and the appropriate department chair deem it appropriate. Any transfer student who wishes to take additional transfer credit for GEs after entering CMC must consult carefully with the Registrar and the appropriate department chairperson.

Transfer Credit and Veterans

In compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations, CFR §21.4253, CMC requires veterans and other eligible persons to submit transcripts and a DD-214, together with other appropriate documents, to the Registrar for evaluation and, as appropriate, granting of credit for prior training upon commitment to the College. If such documents are not received within two semesters, the students will not be certified for further benefits.

Upon receipt of official documentation of honorable separation from the U.S. Armed Forces, CMC will grant one course credit for enlisted service of at least two years and three credits for officer status. These credits are not granted in addition to credit for courses in military science.

Summer School

Students wishing to take coursework during the summer must obtain prior approval through the Registrar’s Office to assure that such work can be granted credit toward graduation. At the time of approval, the Registrar will inform the students of the amount of transfer credit they may be eligible for. Students should obtain all required approvals before the end of the academic year, because faculty are frequently not on campus during the summer. Forms are available at the CMC Registrar’s Office. Summer school courses must be taken for a letter grade with grade points.

Summer Courses Offered by the Undergraduate Claremont Colleges

CMC will factor grades and credit from summer session courses offered by the other undergraduate colleges in Claremont into the CMC GPA, unless the student requests to have the coursework recorded as transfer credit in advance. Coursework taken at the other Claremont colleges during a summer session will not apply toward the CMC residency requirement. Students who take summer courses at the other undergraduate colleges in Claremont must follow the standard transfer credit pre-approval process. Only courses which are similar to those offered during the regular academic year will qualify toward the CMC degree. Any courses taken during a summer session at Claremont Graduate University or Keck Graduate Institute will be treated as transfer credit and will not factor into the CMC GPA.

Summer Independent Study

CMC students may register for a summer independent study with a CMC faculty member. Petitions for summer independent study are subject to the College’s requirements for independent study and must be submitted to the Registrar by June 1. Petitions by students who do not meet the requirements for independent study must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty who may waive restrictions or limitations for compelling academic reasons.

The charges for summer independent study are identical to the charges for a full-unit (1.0) course, or a half-unit (0.5) course during the previous academic year at Claremont McKenna College.

Grades for summer independent studies are due in the Registrar’s Office on the first day of classes of the fall semester. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that they give all assignments to their faculty reader in a timely manner. Grades earned in summer independent studies with CMC faculty members are included in the CMC grade point average.

Study Abroad

All students who wish to study abroad or participate in a CMC off-campus program for a semester or a year, and who wish to receive CMC course credit, should discuss their plans with the Director of Global Education at least a year prior to their first semester of expected participation. CMC will only grant credit for off-campus study programs during the academic year when students participate through CMC’s Center for Global Education.

Summer Study Abroad

Summer offers a rewarding opportunity to get a taste of living abroad while learning about a new culture or enhancing foreign language skills. Administrators in the Center for Global Education guide students towards well-established programs which help meet students’ goals.  Students are encouraged to research the programs with regard to academic quality, reputation, availability of student feedback, as well as dates, number of students in the program, and safety measures in case of an accident or emergency.  Students should complete both the program application and the CMC Summer Abroad Form.

Students seeking transferable credit for a summer study abroad should contact CMC’s Office of the Registrar before finalizing plans. Students are eligible for credit for study abroad during the summer only if the program is approved by the Center for Global Education and the courses are approved in advanced by the CMC Registrar’s Office. Course approval by a department chair or faculty member does not guarantee credit for summer study abroad.

In some cases, the Registrar cannot guarantee transfer credit for summer study abroad programs in advance due to insufficient information and the vast number of summer study abroad programs available. In that case, the final determination may need to be made by the Academic Standards Committee upon review of materials provided by the student. No credit will be granted for programs reviewed but not approved by the Center for Global Education.


Students completing internships are encouraged, although not obliged, to register the internship with the College. Many may find that the best option is to enroll for a non-credit internship.  Students registered in non-credit internships do not complete the rigorous academic work that is required for academic credit. Registered non-credit internships are included on student transcripts and are available to everyone. Registered non-credit internships are particularly appropriate for experiences which don’t meet the duration, work hours, or academic expectations required for credit, and for students who have already reached the limit of allowable internship credit. Students participating in one of the CMC Sponsored Internship programs must at a minimum enroll in a non-credit internship, complete a brief reflection paper, and submit a supervisor’s evaluation, but they are not required to register for academic credit. They may register for academic credit if they are eligible.

Degree-seeking undergraduate students may receive a maximum of 1 unit of academic credit for summer or semester internships while enrolled at CMC, apart from the internships offered through the Washington DC Semester and Silicon Valley Semester programs. As such, a maximum of 3 units of internship credit may apply toward the undergraduate degree. All internship credit is purely elective and may not be applied to major or general education requirements. Summer internships may be recorded for 0, 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 unit of academic credit at CMC. Semester internships may be recorded for 0, 0.25, or 0.5 unit of academic credit. Credit value is determined based on the hours and duration worked at the internship site, in addition to the academic components required by the faculty reader. Internships may be in a variety of sectors including, but not limited to, industry, government, science, or the arts. Students may request academic credit whether or not they are paid for their internship work.

Credit is available for internship on the following sliding scale:

  Credit Value Minimum Duration Requirement Minimum
Work Hours Requirement
Writing Assignment Guidelines
  0.00 N/A N/A 2-5 Pages
  0.25 6 Weeks 150 Work Hours 8-10 Pages
  0.50 8 Weeks 200 Work Hours 15-20 Pages
  1.00 10 Weeks 400 Work Hours 30-40 Pages

Internships for academic credit require academic work of equivalent rigor to an independent study. Such academic work will be a substantial addition to other internship requirements. Students must select a faculty reader to supervise the academic portion of their work.  The student and the reader must agree on a list of required readings relevant to the internship and on a topic for a final paper or other assignments to be submitted to the faculty reader. Students must complete all academic assignments required by the reader and submit evidence of superior, conscientious internship performance, including a performance evaluation from the internship supervisor. Credit will be granted upon timely and satisfactory completion of academic assignments.

Internship registrations must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by June 30 for summer internships and by the end of the registration period for semester internships. Assignments are due to the faculty reader no later than the last day of classes for an internship during the regular semester, and no later than the 10th day of fall semester classes for summer internships. Credit recommendations are due by October 1 for summer internships and by the due date for grades for semester internships.

Internship credit is also available for qualifying graduate students who have committed to matriculate to CMC’s MA program. Students may receive course credit in the fall semester for internships completed in the preceding summer, as needed, according to the same sliding scale available to undergraduate students.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Placement and Credit

At CMC, the granting of credit and/or placement for AP and IB exams has been determined on a subject-by-subject basis by the appropriate departments. Some departments have decided to grant credit and placement for AP and IB exams; others will use test scores for placement but not grant credit. No credit or placement is granted for subject matters not offered at Claremont McKenna College. See Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Credit and Placement  for full details.

The maximum amount of credit students may receive for AP and/or IB exams is the equivalent of four CMC courses. Students cannot receive credit for more than one course or examination covering the same subject matter.

Official copies of transcripts and/or score reports must be received by the CMC Registrar no later than the first semester of the junior year to be considered for credit or waiver.