Carnegie Mellon University

Transfer Credit Policy

The following applies only to students whose home department is in the Mellon College of Science. Other colleges may have different rules regarding transfer credit.

If you're in MCS and want to take courses at other schools over the summer or during a leave of absence, you can often be awarded transfer credit at Carnegie Mellon. This credit can satisfy requirements here and count toward your graduation. It's a good idea to determine how your credit will count before you spend time and money on the course. By following the steps below, you'll get a confirmation of whether your credit will transfer and how it will look on your Carnegie Mellon transcript.

Steps to Take

  1. Gather the information for the classes you wish to take elsewhere:
    • Name of the college or university you'll attend.
    • The school's course number and title for the class(es) that you are considering.
    • The course description for each class — a paragraph from their course catalog or website is fine.
    • A recent syllabus for courses in the STEM fields (not more than one year old).  Mail to Tara Primiero.  Courses will not be reviewed without this information.
    • The name and number of the Carnegie Mellon course you'd like this to substitute.
  2. Fill out the Request for Transfer Credit form.
    • If the course you are substituting is in your major department, have your departmental advisor approve the course first.
    • Dr. Braun will be the final approver of the request.  Her office will email you to relay her decision.
  3. If approved, take the course(s). If you attend a community college, you'll need to get a grade of A or B in order to be granted transfer credit. At other colleges/universities, you'll need to get a grade of C or better.  Pass/Fail courses cannot transfer.
  4. When you've completed the course(s), have the school email an official transcript directly to or mail to:

    Carnegie Mellon University
    University Registrar's Office
    5000 Forbes Ave, Warner Hall A19
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

  5. If your grades meet the criteria above, the Office of Undergraduate Affairs will post transfer credit to your Carnegie Mellon transcript. You'll receive confirmation by e-mail of the credit awarded.


  • We cannot accept copies or unofficial transcripts.  If the transcript is sent electronically, it must be sent directly to CMU.  If sent as paper, it must arrive in an envelope sealed by the host university's registrar.
  • Although the units will transfer for the courses you take, the grades will not be factored into your Carnegie Mellon QPA.
  • Transfer credit from community colleges will only transfer with "B" grades as a minimum.  In some cases "A" grades are required.
  • Online courses are not currently accepted for transfer credit.
  • Transfer credit petitions for courses taken outside of the United States must go through the Office of International Education.
  • If you are seeking credit for 03-121 Modern Biology, please review the guidelines.
  • See also Advanced Placement & International Baccalaureate Credit 
  • See also the university's Transfer Credit Evaluation and Assignment policy.

For students interested in the Health Professions:

Health Professions Schools may not consider transfer credit as the full equivalent of academic year courses at your undergraduate institution (Carnegie Mellon). In addition to a student's ability to succeed in a particular prerequisite course, medical admissions committees may wish to consider the academic rigor of courses as well as a student's ability to multi-task on multiple challenging courses at one time. For these reasons, a summer transfer course taken at a less rigorous institution may not be in your best interest. With these things in mind, here is a ranking of four options possible for a potential transfer course:

  1. (Best option) Take the course at CMU during the semester (this maximizes academic rigor and demonstrates ability to multi-task).
  2. Take the course at CMU during the summer (this maximizes academic rigor).
  3. Take a summer course that is recognized by CMU to transfer in as our course number (e.g. a physics course as 33-121 or 33-122; this action carries CMU's stamp of approval).
  4. (Least good, but acceptable) Take a course that meets med school requirements, even it it will not transfer into CMU.

Consult with the Health Professions Program or the Mellon College of Science advising staff if you have questions. Individual health professions school admissions policies do differ; details can typically found on school admissions websites.