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Transfer Information & Process

The Program in Biology is excited to welcome transfer students from across the state, the country, and the world. We value the unique experiences, perspectives, and skills that transfer students bring to our program, and we are continually looking for ways to help you find and follow your passion at Michigan. 

Below is a comprehensive walkthrough of our transfer credit process and frequently asked questions.

Reach out to at any time! We're here to support you!

Before you begin: The Program in Biology has transfer agreements with some Michigan institutions.  Check the Transfer Equivalency Database to determine whether or not an agreement is in place. Students must achieve a "C" or better to receive transfer credit on their U-M transcript.

What is Departmental Credit? What is Equivalency?

Departmental Credit

Most biology courses from other institutions will initially transfer to U-M as “departmental credit” (e.g., BIOLOGY 101x) and general LSA credit is granted. Departmental credit cannot fulfill major/minor requirements or be used in place of prerequisite courses. In some cases, departmental credit may be applied to LSA distribution (i.e. Gen-Ed) requirements, at the discretion of your general advisor.

Equivalent Credit 

Upon student request (via the form linked below), the Program in Biology reviews classes taken at other institutions to determine equivalency to specific University of Michigan Biology, EEB, and MCDB courses. Evaluations are done on a case-by-case, term-specific basis.

If an external class is determined to be equivalent to a Program in Biology course, it can be posted to a student's transcript as the equivalent U-M Biology, EEB, or MCDB course (with a "T” in the grade column). If the course is not equivalent, it will remain as departmental credit.

Under normal conditions, evaluations for external courses can take 7-10 business days.

Ineligible Courses

Non-majors 100-level Biology Courses

Equivalency may be granted for the introductory biology series of courses, BIOLOGY 171, 172, and 173. Other 100-level courses are not evaluated because they don’t count toward any majors or minors.  The credit you are granted for them  may be applied toward your minimum 120 credits required to graduate and can usually be used for distribution (see your advisor).

300- and 400-level Courses

Effective February 1, 2018, 300- and 400-level courses will not be evaluated for equivalent credit.  University of Michigan upper-level courses are most representative of the research specialties of the U-M biology faculty and are seen as “uniquely Michigan” and crucial to a U-M major.  Please contact the Program in Biology office with questions.

Equivalency Request Process - How to Transfer a Course

1.     Read the FAQs below!

2.     Check the Transfer Equivalency Database to determine whether or not a transfer agreement is in place. If your course transfers as departmental credit (e.g. BIOLOGY 101X) then proceed below.

3.     Obtain a detailed syllabus from the instructor or institution (this can be an electronic copy, a link, or a paper copy).  Incomplete or missing information may cause a delay.
A detailed syllabus includes:    

o   Instructor’s name,

o   Term class was offered,

o   Textbook used,

o   Days and times of lectures, discussions, labs,

o   Number and duration of exams,

o   Basis of grading, and,

o   A day-by-day schedule of topics covered (i.e., what you covered each time you met in class)

4.     Complete the Transfer Credit Equivalency Request Form (linked above).

5.     Transfer credit that is approved as equivalent to a Biology, EEB, or MCDB course will be posted (or changed) on your transcript to indicate the specific course, with a “T” grade, and it will satisfy prerequisites or major requirements (as appropriate, see your advisor).

Note:  You are welcome to request review of a course before you take it.  You will need to provide a detailed syllabus as described above, so you must obtain one from the instructor or institution in advance. Once you have completed the course (with a “C” or better), request that an official copy of your transcript be sent to the University of Michigan, Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Even if deemed equivalent, the UM course cannot appear on your UM transcript until an official transcript from the home institution has been received by UM Admissions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)