Transfer Credit Guides

How Your Credits Transfer

It's Easy to Transfer 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) or associate of science (AS) 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 or AS 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

Students seeking to transfer in credits from colleges or universities outside the United States will be required to provide any and all course descriptions, syllabi, or other supplementary materials about the courses for review and evaluation by the Registrar’s office. Students may be required to have an evaluation done by WES or ECE. Students will work with faculty advisors and department chairs to determine how transfer courses meet major and minor requirements.

Reverse Transfer Credit Policy

Current Lake Forest College students who have transfer credit from a community college but have not earned an associate degree may be eligible for reverse transfer. Students can transfer their Lake Forest College coursework back to their community college for review of the college’s associate degree requirements. Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Have completed a minimum of 15 semester hours at the community college.
  • Have completed a minimum of 11.25 Lake Forest College credits (45 semester hours) of eligible coursework at Lake Forest College.

How the process works:

  • Lake Forest College will inform you if you meet the eligibility criteria for reverse transfer.
  • Fill out the Reverse Transfer Form and submit it to the registrar’s office. This form will be sent, along with your transcript, free of charge for the purposes of reverse transfer.
  • Your community college will evaluate your Lake Forest College courses to determine if they will complete your remaining associate degree requirements.
  • If you meet the requirements for an associate degree, your community college will inform you and send Lake Forest College an updated transcript.

    Reverse Transfer Form
How Your Credits Fulfill Our Requirements

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

Below is a brief summary of the FFC requirements. Many courses are designed to fulfill more than one requirement. View the requirements in more detail

Students transferring to the College with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from an Illinois community college will automatically be granted all five of the distribution requirements, which comprise Lake Forest College’s lower division general education requirements, as part of our complete Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC).

The Lake Forest College degree also includes an experiential component, which most students fulfill via a for-credit internship through our Career Advancement Center, though other options are available. The typical Associate’s degree transfer student will have about two course credits of additional upper-level FFC requirements to complete outside of their major courses.

1. First Year Studies
The Forester Fundamental Curriculum begins with the College’s First-Year Studies Program. This also includes a writing requirement

2. Distribution Requirement
Students must complete one course in each of five areas: Creative and Performing Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning, and Social Sciences. 

3. Cultural Diversity Requirement
Students must complete one course in each of two areas: US Domestic Pluralism and Global Pluralism. 

4. Skills Requirement
Students must complete at least one course in each of three areas: Writing Intensive, Speaking Intensive, and Technology Intensive. 

5. Experiential Learning Requirement
The goal of this requirement is to ensure that students integrate their traditional classroom learning with experientially-based work. By connecting theory and practice, students develop new skills and extend their knowledge and training to unfamiliar tasks and situations beyond the classroom environment.

The Experiential Learning requirement is fulfilled in two parts: the completion of an appropriate experience or activity and the production of a written reflection.

6. Senior Studies Requirement
A senior studies course, also known as a senior “capstone,” is a culminating experience in the student’s major. The course emphasizes writing and speaking and encourages integration of the methods and content explored in the major. Senior theses, research projects, and creative projects may also be used to fulfill the senior studies requirement. 

Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) Participant

Lake Forest College is a participant in the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a statewide agreement that allows transfer of the completed Illinois General Education Core Curriculum between participating institutions.

Completion of the transferable General Education Core Curriculum at any participating college or university in Illinois assures transferring students with an Associates of Arts or Science that lower-division general education requirements, through the Lake Forest College Forester Fundamental Curriculum (FFC) distribution requirements, have been satisfied. Students are still expected to complete any remaining institution-wide and/or mission-related graduation requirements.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Scores

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

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

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.