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Transferring Credits

The College is most likely to recognize a course taken at another accredited institution if Lake Forest offers a comparable course. Courses at other accredited institutions that are in the liberal arts tradition, but do not have comparable counterparts at Lake Forest, may also be granted credit. Lake Forest students are required to receive prior approval from the College before taking coursework at other colleges (see below under “Credit for Summer Work at another institution.”)

You may transfer a maximum of two years of college coursework (up to a maximum of 16 Lake Forest course credits) to Lake Forest College. All transferable coursework up to the maximum, completed with a C- or better, will be accepted toward fulfillment of the bachelor of arts degree. No courses with D grades may be transferred to the College. Plus and minus grades with the exception of grades of A+ earned at another institution will be recorded on the Lake Forest College transcript, but are not counted in the Lake Forest GPA.

If you are a recipient of an associate of arts (AA) degree in an applicable liberal-arts field from an accredited community college, you may be granted full junior standing (16 Lake Forest College credits). All coursework completed in the AA degree must be applicable towards a Lake Forest degree and have received a grade of C- or better to be transferable.

An official transcript from the issuing institution must be given to the Registrar’s Office before any academic work done elsewhere may be accepted for Lake Forest College credit. The Registrar evaluates transcripts and awards transfer course credit; students may appeal decisions to the Academic Appeals Board.

How credits transfer

The Office of the Registrar makes the official evaluation of transfer credit upon acceptance to the College and receipt of a student’s enrollment deposit. Once the Registrar has determined how many transfer courses can be counted toward the Lake Forest College degree, you will be assigned class standing as follows: at least 15 Lake Forest credits equates to junior standing, at least 7 Lake Forest credits to sophomore standing, and fewer than 7 credits to first year standing.

Lake Forest College weighs its own courses at four (4) semester hours. Normally, each 15 semester hours of transferrable credit will be considered equivalent to 4 course credits at Lake Forest, with each 3 semester credit hour course transferring as 0.8 Lake Forest course credits.

International credits

Any credit earned outside of the U.S., including credit earned through study abroad programs (excepting programs for which a transcript is issued by an accredited American college or university, or off-campus study programs that have been approved by the College as program providers for transfer credit), must be evaluated by the Academic Appeals Board of the College.

How your credits meet our curriculum requirements

The Office of the Registrar determines which transferred credits apply to the General Education Curriculum at the time of your official transcript evaluation. Individual department chairpersons determine if transferred courses meet major requirements.

  • First Year Studies - A course in the College’s First Year Studies Program; waived if your transfer credits equal or exceed four Lake Forest College credits (15 semester hours)
  • First Year Writing - One composition course or two writing intensive courses approved by the Director of Writing Programs (documentation of writing assignments may be required); may be waived if your transfer credits equal or exceed 7 Lake Forest College credits (27 semester hours)
  • Humanities - Two courses from an approved list; must be from two different departments
  • Social Science - Two courses from an approved list; must be from two different departments
  • Natural and Mathematical Sciences - Two courses from an approved list (includes computer science); must be from two different departments
  • Cultural Diversity - At least two courses from an approved list; the two cultural diversity courses must be taken from two different departments in the Humanities or Social Science divisions
  • Senior Studies - Determined by your major department or may be fulfilled as a Senior Thesis (as approved by the major department)

Lake Forest students and credit for summer work at another institution

Enrolled students who plan to attend a summer session at a college in the United States other than Lake Forest must obtain prior approval for the proposed program of study. Forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office or are available on Transfer credits may not be accepted for students who fail to obtain approval. Upon approval of coursework, credits earned by a student at another college will be converted into Lake Forest College course credits and will be included in the student’s total credits toward graduation, but the grades will not be used to calculate the grade point average. Refer to Transfer Credits (above) for specifics on how transfer credits are converted into Lake Forest College course credits. For policies governing the acceptance of transfer credit from approved off-campus program providers, see the Off-Campus Programs website.

Advanced Placement

Students who have successfully completed Advanced Placement courses and the appropriate examinations provided by the College Entrance Examination Board may apply for college credit for this work.

Scores of 4 or 5 on the examinations may entitle students to at least one course credit; scores of 1, 2 or, in most cases, 3, are not granted credit. A score of 4 or better on both the microeconomics and macroeconomics exams is required for one course credit in economics.

Each department determines the specific amount of credit to be awarded. Credit will not be granted for both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate program examinations in the same department. 

Advanced Placement Credit Table (pdf)

International Baccalaureate

Students who have successfully completed International Baccalaureate courses and taken the higher-level examinations provided by the IB Program may apply for college credit for this work.

Grades of 4, 5, 6, or 7 on the examinations entitle students to at least one course credit; grades of 1, 2, and 3 are not granted credit. Each department determines the specific amount of credit to be awarded. Credit will not be granted for both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate program examinations in the same department.

International Baccalaureate Credit Table (pdf)

Scores from this year

If the College’s registrar has not yet received your AP or IB test and you wish to take a course in that discipline, you should register for the lower-level course in the department in question. For example, if you took the AP Test in Psychology, you should register for Psychology 110. Once we receive your score and determine that it satisfies our criteria, we will notify you so that you may change your schedule and enroll in the higher-level course – after consulting with your advisor, of course. Be sure to review the general information, prerequisites, and placement tests page, which also provides links to the course schedule and charts for AP and IB credit.

Credit by examination

Students may apply to pass a regular course by special examination without prior enrollment. Consent of the instructor and approval of the Dean of the Faculty are required. Where appropriate, the instructor may set requirements in addition to the examination itself. For credit to be awarded, a grade of D– or better must be earned on the examination, but the student’s transcript will show only a P (Pass). Special examinations are not allowed for courses that are usually part of pre-college curricula (for example, elementary languages or elementary mathematics) and are not normally allowed in courses previously audited or in which a student was enrolled. Students will be charged for course credits they earn by examination.