Initial steps to take:

  1. Read the General Policy Information directly below.
  2. If you are seeking transfer course approval for courses taken summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, or summer 2021, first read the General Policy Information and then thoroughly read the section titled Covid-19 Transfer Course Considerations before proceeding to the section on process.
  3. If you are seeking transfer course approval for courses taken after summer 2021, first read the General Policy Information and then proceed to the section titled Transfer Course Approval Process. Skip the section specific to Covid-19. 

General Policy Information

Before enrolling in courses at another college or university, undergraduate students should determine if the course fulfills an Engineering bachelor’s degree requirement.

Graduate students interested in transferring coursework from another college or university should reach out to their department. 

Students interested in studying abroad should first contact a member of the McKelvey Study Abroad Team. More information can be found on the McKelvey Study Abroad and International Experience webpage.  

Please keep in mind that the university is not required to accept transfer credit from another institution. If students follow the approval process listed below, preapproved transfer credit will be accepted after an official transcript with satisfactory grade is received.

Reviewing transfer course equivalencies is a very time consuming activity. This is true for both the school and for the student who is tasked with gathering all information needed. All required information and supporting documentation must be included with any request for potential transfer coursework to be reviewed. To receive transfer credit, you must take the course for a letter grade and earn a letter grade of "C-" or better. Pass/fail grades are not accepted for transfer credit. Only the credit units are transferred; the grade does not transfer and is not included in your WashU GPA.

Courses offered online and experiential learning credit are typically not accepted as transfer credit (see Covid-19 considerations below). Chemistry courses taken at a community college will not transfer back to Washington University. Courses from University College are not accepted as transfer courses (see University College course policy in the Undergraduate Bulletin).

When considering taking coursework outside of WashU, please be mindful of department-specific limits on the number of courses taken outside of the department that can count toward your degree program, second major or minor. This is especially relevant in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering as outlined in their residency policy: Residency Requirement for Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) Credentials

In addition to department-specific limitations on outside coursework, McKelvey residency rules must be followed. Students are required to complete a minimum number of units at WashU and within McKelvey in order to meet graduation requirements. If you have questions about your degree requirements, please consult your adviser and/or review your WUachieve degree audit.

When a student is on leave, medical leave, or military leave from the university, a maximum of six units per semester may be transferred back to McKelvey. For additional information, please see the McKelvey Leave of Absence Policy for Undergraduate Students.  

Transfer courses approved by McKelvey Engineering are approved to count only toward McKelvey requirements and not for any other requirements for other programs offered on campus. If you have questions about requirements for a program offered outside of McKelvey, please contact the adviser associated with that program.

Covid-19 Transfer Course Considerations

Transfer course policies for McKelvey undergraduates have been modified for summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021.

In light of Covid-19 circumstances, the McKelvey School of Engineering plans to offer several of our courses remotely so as to help safeguard the health and welfare of our students. Furthermore, a decision has been made to allow students earning McKelvey undergraduate degrees, second majors and minors to complete online courses that are pre-approved from other institutions and transfer that credit back here to count for McKelvey undergraduate degrees and other program requirements. Courses already appearing in our Undergraduate Transfer Course Equivalency Database can be taken online without additional approval. Coursework not appearing in the database will need to go through the review process outlined below. Any online coursework approved for transfer while this policy is active will not be added to the database and will no longer be considered pre-approved once this policy expires.  

Because of the increased volume of transfer course equivalency requests during this time, the evaluation of these requests may take several weeks to complete. If you need a decision quickly, you should instead consider taking a course online through Washington University (if available) or selecting a course from our already approved listing.

We are asking that students limit the number of courses submitted for review to three total courses. If a requested course is not approved, then students may submit an additional request in its place.

Biology 2960

Transfer courses approved as being equivalent to Biology 2960 that include an online laboratory component will satisfy the corresponding laboratory requirement for an engineering degree.

Chemistry 151/152 and Physics 191/192

If you enroll in an approved online introductory Chemistry or Physics course from a different institution, and that course offering includes an online laboratory, then that online laboratory will satisfy the corresponding laboratory requirement for your engineering degree. Specifically, this includes laboratory courses evaluated as being equivalent to our Chemistry 151, Chemistry 152, Physics 191L and Physics 192L.

Organic Chemistry

All McKelvey majors may complete an approved transfer online Organic Chemistry lecture and lab course.  

For pre-med students, general elective credit will be awarded to McKelvey Engineering students taking Organic Chemistry online this summer, including online laboratory. However do understand admission requirements among medical schools vary. Even though the general agreement is that in person classes and labs are preferred to online, there is a consensus among medical schools of the need to be flexible considering the COVID-19 pandemic which has limited in-person options for summer 2020. To be sure online courses you take are accepted for application to medical school, it is best to check with the medical schools you intend to apply to. The best centralized source of information on medical school policies is the AAMC adviser reports: Reports are being updated continuously, but if your schools of interest are not reporting policies, your next best option is to contact their admissions offices directly.

MOOC-type courses

MOOC-type courses (Coursera, EdX, etc.) will not be considered unless the course is sponsored by a university; McKelvey departments may identify certain MOOC courses that are appropriate and if so, this information will be available through department channels (e.g. CSE Department’s student FAQ page). The pre-approval process must be followed as described below.

Transfer Course Approval Process

Step 1.  Engineering Undergraduate Student Services maintains transfer course equivalency decisions from past years in the Undergraduate Transfer Course Equivalency Database. If the intended transfer course is already listed as equivalent to the desired WashU course, then you do not need additional authorization and can skip to Step 3.

Covid-19 reminder from above: Courses already appearing in this database can be taken online without additional approval during summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021 and summer 2021. Please review this policy carefully before enrolling in online courses. 

Step 2.  If a course of interest to you does not appear in the database, then it has not yet been evaluated. You will need to request a Transfer Course Equivalency Review using our online form. A form must be completed for each course you are requesting be reviewed. Every required field on the form must be completed or the course will not be reviewed. At the end of the form you will be required to attach a course description. For all Engineering, Computer Science, Math, Science, and Writing courses you will be required to attach a course syllabus.

We will notify you of each decision by email. The evaluation process varies by the type of course you plan to take. The course review process will take several weeks to complete. 

Covid-19 reminder from above: You are limited to submitting 3 courses for review. The review timeline will likely be delayed.

Step 3.  To receive transfer credit, you must take the course for a letter grade and earn a letter grade of "C-" or better. Courses taken pass/fail are not accepted for transfer credit. Only the credit units are transferred; the grade does not transfer and is not included in your WashU GPA. After your grade is posted at the end of semester, within 30 days have the transfer institution send an official transcript to our office. Mail and email addresses along with contact information are provided alongside this page.