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Transfer Pathways

Transfer students come to LSA through multiple pathways. Therefore, LSA does not have specific course prerequisites required to be admitted as a transfer student. Use the following guidelines to plan your course work in preparation for transfer.

Undergraduate Admissions has some advice on what they look for when evaluating transfer students’ transcripts.

How to Prepare for Transfer to LSA

Pursue the Liberal Arts at Your Current School

It is possible to pursue a liberal arts education at any college and university. Taking courses in a variety of subjects, disciplines, and departments can help you design your own liberal arts curriculum, even if your school does not call it that. Taking courses in a variety of disciplines over the first two years of college is the advice that students enrolling in LSA directly from high school receive. You have simply chosen a different path, but can undertake the same exploration at your current school.

Explore Your Major

All majors are open to transfer students and all LSA departments welcome transfer students. 

Such exploration, we firmly believe, is the best way to find a major that means something to you, and all students who begin college in LSA are strongly encouraged to sample the wide array of the Liberal Arts.

Don’t worry that your exploration will lead to wasted credits. Any course transferable to LSA will count toward the completion of an LSA degree.

To learn about all the LSA majors and minors, please go to Majors and Minors.

We do recommend that, as much as possible, you are prepared to declare your major upon transfer. All transfer students start undecided and have the opportunity to explore or change majors. There are a few majors, however, that have additional requirements for declaration that might affect transfer students’ ability to complete the majors. 

Organizational Studies and PPE: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics require students to apply for admission into the major after completing the prerequisites. The Department of Communication Studies does not allow any transfer credit to count for the Communication Studies prerequisite courses. These additional steps do not hinder attaining these degrees and a number of transfer students graduate each year with these majors. 

Take Classes That Meet Some of the LSA Degree Requirements

Many of the classes you take to explore possible majors will likely count toward LSA Distribution requirements. We recommend prioritizing this exploration and weighing options for your major -- but, once you’ve made progress in those tasks, you can certainly choose classes specifically to meet Distribution, Quantitative Reasoning, Second Language, or other general LSA requirements.

Please note that we do strongly encourage you to take a course (or combination of courses) that will satisfy the First-Year Writing Requirement when transferred.

To learn about the LSA degree and requirements, please go to LSA Degrees and LSA Requirements.

Transfers from Michigan Community Colleges

Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA)

If you are at a Michigan community college, completing the courses in your school’s MTA program is completing a piece of a liberal arts education. For details on how MTA courses from your institution transfer and can count toward the LSA General Degree Requirements visit our Community College Transfer Guides.

International Students

International students transferring into LSA should consult the Undergraduate Admissions instructions for international applications. Credits from colleges and universities outside the United States are evaluated on the same criteria as those from domestic institutions and are included in the Transfer Credit Equivalencies Guide.

Credit Conversion

If you have taken courses at an institution outside the United States, the credits will be converted to U-M semester credits. The conversion differs based on the credit system of the country in which you took the courses. International students should be aware that the number of credits approved for transfer might differ significantly from what appears on your transcript from your previous institution.


For information on the experience for military veterans transferring to U-M and details on educational funding, including the G.I. Bill, contact Veteran and Military Services

Military Credit

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is conservative in awarding credit for learning experiences at military schools. In order for credit to be granted, the material covered in the school must be similar to material taught in a course at University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. The amount and level of credit given is determined by the faculty in the appropriate University department. No credit is awarded for schools that are specific to military activities or for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). The Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Presidio of Monterey, California, is regionally accredited at the higher education level. Courses completed at this institution are evaluated in the same way as courses from other colleges or universities. You must have an official DLI transcript sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions when you apply.