Transfer Credit Evaluation

Here are some commonly asked questions about transfer credit. Click on the questions to get the answers.

How does the transfer evaluation process work?

When you first apply to NMSU, you submit official transcripts from each of the institutions you have attended. These transcripts are logged in at the Admissions Office. Once you have enrolled at NMSU and your admission file is complete, your file will be forwarded to the Registrar's Office. An evaluations clerk will then translate each of your courses into an equivalent, if possible, at NMSU, and will send the evaluation form to the Dean's Office. The Dean's Office will review the evaluation for "reasonableness"-in other words, to make sure you got biology credit for a biology course and English credit for an English course. Then, the evaluation will be signed by the dean and returned to the Evaluations Office, where the credit will be recorded on your NMSU transcript.

When will the evaluation take place?

In many cases at least a tentative evaluation is done before you enroll. However, due to the large number of transfer applicants, the final evaluation may be completed any time during your first semester. If you have transfer credit from more than one school, the evaluation will not be done until transcripts from all schools have been received.

What courses will transfer?

One of the most common questions we hear from transfer students is "how many credits will I lose?" With very few exceptions, you will get to keep all the credits you have passed at your previous schools. We do not allow duplicate credit, so if you took and passed the same course twice, you will only receive the credit once. You might "lose" credit only in the sense that some of the courses you took may not fit into your degree plan at NMSU, and you may end up with more electives than you need.

How will the courses transfer?

We transfer in credit at the same level and number of credit hours as the course was taken, regardless of how we teach a similar course at NMSU. For example, if you are a government major and you took a course called Political Science 115, State and Local Government, for 4 credits at XYZ University, we would give you credit for GOVT 351, American State and Local Government, 4 credits (even though we teach it as a 3-credit course). You could use it to meet a requirement for the major, but it would count as lower division and not towards the minimum number of upper division credits for the major or in the total upper division credits you need to graduate. In other words, if the government department requires 36 credits in the major, 21 of which must be upper division, you could use this course as part of the 36 major credits, but not as part of the 21 upper division credits. The reverse is also true. If you took a course called Sociology 303, Social Problems, 2 credits, we would give you SOC 201G, Contemporary Social Problems, 2 credits, with a notation on your transcript that the course counts as upper division. (Note: Courses numbered 100-299 are lower division, or freshman/sophomore level, and courses numbered 300 or higher are upper division, or junior/senior level.)

What if NMSU doesn't have equivalent courses?

Whenever possible, we will give you specific course credit for equivalent courses. If you took a course in early American history, you would get credit for HIST 201G, Introduction to Early American History. However, if you took a course in Texas history, we would give you history elective credit since we don't teach Texas history here. The numbers we use for elective credit are 100E for lower division courses and 300E for upper division courses. This type of credit may be used to meet nonspecific major requirements, or as general electives. If you took an interdisciplinary course, such as Humanities 101, we would give you "generic" humanities credit using the course number AS103E, Humanities Elective. We also have numbers like AS 104E, Social Science Elective, and AS 102E, Science elective, for interdisciplinary courses in those areas. This credit may be used as general electives. If you took a course for which NMSU has no equivalent at all, such as aviation or certain vocational courses, no credit is given.

What about labs for sciences courses?

You may find that you have transferred in a science course that did not include a lab, but the lab is required for either the core requirements or for your major here. In some of our science courses the lab is offered for separate credit from the lecture. If this is the case, you may enroll in just the lab to make up the deficiency. In other courses, the lab is tied to the lecture and cannot be taken separately. If you need a lab in one of these courses, it is best to check with the appropriate department head to see if other arrangements can be made.

Will my grades transfer?

NMSU does not transfer grades from previous institutions, only credits. On your NMSU transcript, your transfer credit will show "CR" instead of grades, and your grade point average will start fresh here. Many students consider this a distinct advantage!

Will D grades transfer?

NMSU accepts credit for D grades whenever a D would be acceptable for a course taken here. In some cases a D grade may transfer in but may not be acceptable toward a particular degree, such as a history course for a history major. The transcript will show credit for the course with the notation "CD" instead of "CR" to show that a D grade was earned.

What if I went to a school on the quarter system?

If you previously attended a school that uses a quarter rather than a semester system, you will receive 2/3 of a semester hour for each quarter hour you completed. A 4 credit course on the quarter system will transfer as 2.7 credits, and a 5 credit course will transfer as 3.3 credits, etc. A course will meet NMSU General Education requirements if it is given at least two thirds of the credit for which the course is taught at NMSU. For other requirements, the course must be 3/4 of the NMSU equivalent.

How can I get an evaluation changed?

When you receive your evaluation of transfer credits, look it over carefully to see if you agree with it. If you feel that an error has been made, contact the Advising Center. The initial evaluation is usually made on the basis of the course title alone, and this isn't always an accurate description of the course. If you bring us documentation, such as a copy of the course description from the college catalog, the course syllabus, or textbook, we can contact the appropriate department head and ask for a reassessment of the evaluation. Upon the recommendation of the department head, we will ask the Dean's Office to send a change of evaluation request to the Registrar's Office.

Do credits still count if they are old?

Some universities will only accept credits that are taken in the past five to ten years, but NMSU is not one of them. Undergraduate credits don't expire here! We will give you credit for that calculus class you took in 1969, even if you can't remember any of it. However, if you plan to take a class that has calculus as a prerequisite, you may want to audit calculus as a refresher before you go on. If you were to take calculus again for credit, we would delete your transfer credit upon completion of the course.

How many credits will I need to graduate?

It takes a minimum of 128 credits to graduate with a bachelor's degree, 48 of which must be upper division (300 or higher), and you must have a grade point average of at least 2.0 at NMSU. It may take longer, depending on how your previously earned credit fits in with your new degree plan. The last 30 credits must be taken at NMSU. Of these last 30 credits, the student not regularly enrolled at NMSU the previous year must complete a minimum or 20 credits in courses numbered 300 or above of which a minimum of 10 credits must be in the major field. Transfers from two year schools must earn at least 66 credits from 4-year institutions.

What if I already have a bachelor's degree?

If you have a bachelor's degree, we will still do a course-by-course evaluation of your transfer credit. The College of Arts and Sciences will waive Univerisity General Education requirements for students seeking a second bachelor's degree, but students must still meet the Arts and Sciences core requirements.

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