How Credits Transfer

SMU offers tools to help you determine how credits will transfer, as well as to assist with course selection at your current institution to meet SMU core and major requirements.

  • The Equivalency Course Tool helps you create a transfer report to see what courses transfer. If SMU has a corresponding course to one you've taken, the SMU course equivalency is listed. Transferable courses for which there is no exact SMU equivalent are awarded elective credit and given an "XX", "YY" or other generic course number.
  • Transfer Pathway Guides for the Common Curriculum and specific majors suggest courses and term plans to keep you on track to meet requirements at SMU. Guides for scholarships, financial aid, international students and veterans are also available.

When planning your move to SMU, keep the following transfer policies in mind:

  • Official college transcripts are required for ALL college-level work attempted, regardless of transferability.
  • University policy requires that of the 120 minimum required term hours for a degree, at least 48-60 hours must be earned in residence at SMU.
  • Within this framework, all students must complete SMU's Common Curriculum and at least one major in order to earn an undergraduate degree.
  • If you are currently attending a college or university on the quarter system, your course credits will be converted to semester credits. Quarter hours are converted to semester hours by multiplying by two-thirds (0.67000). If you are unsure what type of credit system your institution follows, refer to the transcript legend on your transcript or your institution's catalog or website.

Transfer Pathway Guides are helpful tools which allow you to easily match your transfer coursework with requirements at SMU. These guides provide information on admission procedures and requirements, academic programs, and course conversions.

A degree from SMU is typically comprised of a minimum of 120 hours, 60 of which must be completed in residence at SMU. Components of the degree include:

  • Courses in your major
  • Courses required for the Common Curriculum (CC) 
  • Elective courses.  These electives may also be used to add a second major or minor.

Use these comprehensive Transfer Pathway Guides to identify courses which satisfy these three components for a smooth transition to SMU. Informational guides for financial aid, international students, veterans, the University Honors Program and merit scholarships are also available.

SMU's University Honors Program (UHP) allows highly engaged and motivated students of all majors to enhance their academic experience at SMU by satisfying the University Curriculum in small, discussion-based honors classes. In addition to these classes, UHP students participate in an honors community that offers a full calendar of optional honors events including lectures, field trips, book discussions, lunches, and dinners. Fellowships are also available for independent research. Students who complete the UHP graduate with honors from the University.

In order to participate in SMU's UHP, you must have a transferable GPA of 3.7. A short application process is required.

Click here for an information sheet.

Contact your admissions counselor for an application.

As a prospective transfer student, you are assigned an admission counselor to help you understand SMU's requirements and procedures, explore academic interests, clarify academic expectations, and prepare you for your transfer to SMU. Long-range planning is the key to success. Our degree programs are designed to give you flexibility, as well as the expertise you need to succeed.

Start Planning Now

Now is the time to start academic planning by reading through the admission requirements and degree requirements in SMU's Undergraduate Catalog. The University Advising Center website is also a valuable tool for familiarizing yourself with academic policies, and exploring what SMU has to offer.

Are you Math Ready?

What is math readiness, and why is it important to the transfer admission process?

As part of SMU's Common Curriculum, you must complete a math fundamentals requirement consisting of one, three-hour math course. Math readiness is an indication you are prepared to satisfy this requirement, if you are not already transferring in a course to meet it.

To be "math ready," you must complete college algebra or a high school sequence of Algebra I, Algebra II and Plane Geometry within the last three years to be considered for transfer admission. These courses should prepare you to take one of the SMU math courses when you arrive. SMU does not accept developmental math courses for transfer.

Please pay careful attention when choosing math courses at your current institution. If you are choosing a math course for transfer to meet the University Curriculum math requirements, check your institution's course descriptions against the SMU's Course Descriptions.

SMU Admission staff is available to help with any questions you may have. Please contact your Transfer Admission Counselor.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Once your transcripts are received at SMU, your coursework will be evaluated, and a Transfer Evaluation Report will be created.  You will want to review the Transfer Evaluation Report carefully to confirm that the evaluation is accurate.

  Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted, regardless of transferability.
  • To be considered "official," transcripts must be received at SMU directly from the transferable institution.
  • A transcript issued to you is acceptable by SMU provided it is received in a sealed, letterhead envelope with the Registrar’s Office stamp.
  • SMU only accepts electronic transcripts sent from the transferable institution. We will not accept electronic transcripts sent by students.
  • Transcripts must be dated fewer than three years prior to processing.
  • Coursework from one institution which appears on an official transcript from another institution will not be accepted for transfer credit. An official transcript must be issued by each institution attended. Also, copies of transcripts provided by other institutions are not acceptable.
  • For standards applied to transcripts issued by non-U.S. institutions, see our International Transfer Students page.

If you are transferring from a U.S. institution(s), send your transcripts to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181

Electronic transcripts from the transferable institution via a secure means (e.g., Scrip-Safe, NSC, GreenLight) should be sent to

If you are transferring from a foreign institution(s), have your transcripts and related documents sent to:

The International Center
6185 Airline Road, Suite 216
Dallas, TX 75205

If you are a current SMU student, have your transcripts sent to:

University Registrar
P.O. Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181

Electronic transcripts from the transferable institution via a secure means (e.g., Scrip-Safe, NSC, GreenLight) should be sent to

    What is the Transfer Evaluation Report?

    The Transfer Evaluation Report (TER) is a comprehensive report of how your college work will transfe­r to SMU. The TER includes the transfer G.P.A. and a detailed list of every course you enrolled in at other universities or colleges. The list shows which courses have been approved for SMU credit, and also the reasons why other courses were deemed non-transferable.

    How does SMU determine which courses transfer?

    Official college transcripts are required for all college-level work attempted before you enter SMU, regardless of whether or not those courses are approved for transfer credit. SMU accepts most college-level academic credits earned with grades of “C-“ or better. The courses must be from a regionally accredited institution, acceptable in content, and comply with all other SMU transfer policies.

    Transferable courses are used to determine your Transferable G.P.A., which is then reviewed by counselors for admission to SMU and for transfer student scholarship consideration. The Transfer G.P.A. is based on all transferable coursework.  The last grade prior to matriculation in repeated courses where the original grade was a "F" or "D" is used in the Transferable G.P.A calculation.  Coursework attempted in another college's conditional or probationary program is also used.

    College-level courses taken at another institution, but not offered at SMU, may receive generic course numbers or free-elective transfer credit. These courses must have been completed with a grade of “C-“ or better at regionally accredited colleges or universities that meet SMU standards. Courses in this category include number designations ending in “XX”, “YY”, “U1”, “U2”, etc.

    Why are courses not approved for transfer credit?

    If a course is determined to be non-transferable, a code corresponding to the reason for that determination is noted on the right side of the report. Explanations of those codes are listed in the table below.


    Non-Transferable Code on



    Code Descriptions



    Transfer Evaluation Report












    Course does not meet SMU standards for content








    Course does not satisfy SMU academic policies








    Further information is needed to evaluate the course








    Course is vocational or technical









    Course is below college level or remedial



    (e.g., Developmental English, math, and reading courses; ESL courses)









    Course completed with a grade below a "C-", a Withdrawal, or a course in



    progress (IP)



    (Note: Although the course is non-transferable, a grade below C- will be calculated into









    the all-college G.P.A. and will affect admission eligibility)

All grades for transferable courses are used to calculate the transfer GPA. Courses with a grade of D or F are not transferable to SMU for credit, however the grades are calculated into the transfer GPA. Exceptions are made for repeated courses where the grades in the first attempts were D+ or lower. In these cases, only grades in the last attempts of the repeated courses prior to matriculation at SMU are used to calculate the transfer GPA, even if lower. To qualify for the transfer grade replacement, courses must be repeated at the same institution in which the original grade was earned or carry the same course number based on a statewide course numbering system.

For repeated courses where the grade in the first attempt was a C- or higher, all grades will be used to calculate the transfer GPA but credit will be awarded for only the first successful attempt.

A grade of W (Withdrawn) is not used to calculate the transferable GPA. A grade of I (Incomplete) or a missing grade is calculated as F. A grade of IP (In Progress) for a current term is not calculated. This grade replacement policy for eligible transfer courses will be used in all transfer and all-college GPA calculations and other academic determinations at SMU.

For some majors requiring a subset of courses and specific GPAs for entry, the subset GPA is calculated using the first graded attempt of these courses, even if the first attempt of the course was failed or later repeated.

Transfer course grades are not calculated in major/minor GPAs. 

Generic elective credit for transferable courses for which there is no exact SMU equivalent are given an "XX", "YY," “U1,” or “U2” designation.
Free elective transfer credit (FETC) is awarded to courses not taught at SMU. FETC may be awarded for appropriate courses completed with a grade of C- or better at regionally accredited colleges or universities that meet SMU's academic standards.
SMU accepts the grade of "Pass" for transfer courses as long as the grading scale used at the awarding institution awards a P for courses passed with a C- or better. For example, if the transferring institution defines "P" as passing with a C- or better, then SMU will evaluate the course as a "P" and award credit.  SMU students are limited to a total of 12 hours of Pass credits. This includes grades earned for accepted transfer courses. This requirement cannot be waived.
  • Courses below college level (e.g. Developmental English, Math and Reading courses; ESL courses)
  • Vocational - Technical courses including Workforce Education courses
  • PE activity courses in excess of two hours
  • Correspondence courses
  • Courses completed at a school that is not regionally accredited
  • Courses with a grade below a "C-" (Note: Although the course is non-transferable, the grade received below a C- will count towards a student's admission eligibility and is calculated into his/her all-college GPA, which is used when calculating Latin degree honors at graduation time.)
  • Credit by examination earned at another college or university

Please note: If a course on your Transfer Evaluation Report receives an evaluation of NTCN and you believe it should transfer, please email for a second review.

SMU allows students to dismiss coursework taken 10 or more years prior to the term of admission.  These courses are not considered part of your admission review and are not included in the calculation of your transferable GPA or hours earned for transfer to SMU. Applicants must submit official transcripts and SMU's Academic Forgiveness Form along with all other required application materials at the time of admission to receive academic forgiveness.