Academic Catalog

Transfer Credit Overview

Our goal is to award maximum credit for transfer coursework and knowledge demonstrated through scores on approved exams, while simultaneously ensuring that we maintain the high standards of a Seattle Pacific degree. 

Seattle Pacific University endorses the rights and responsibilities of transfer students established by the Washington Student Achievement Council. Your credits earned from a nationally recognized, degree-granting institution of higher education in academic areas offered at Seattle Pacific University usually will be accepted in transfer. (To be “nationally recognized” means that the institution’s accreditor has been reviewed and accepted as a national accreditor by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education.) Your college courses will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis to determine their transferability and to ensure that courses are applied appropriately toward general education requirements and requirements in your intended program of study. 

The University reserves the right to deny credit for courses that are not compatible with those offered in SPU's degree programs in content, depth, or rigor. College courses numbered below college level, technical and vocational courses, developmental education or remedial courses, English as a Second Language, credit for life experience/travel, credit for work experience, and DANTES credit by examination do not transfer, regardless of an institution’s accreditation. Credit for military service is limited to three credits of physical activity awarded for basic training.

Students who have earned a Washington state DTA (Direct Transfer Agreement) associate degree or approved comparable degree from Oregon or California before beginning classes at SPU, enter with all general education requirements complete, except University Foundations (UFDN) coursework, which is determined by a student's class standing upon entrance. With few exceptions, these students are awarded 90 credits and junior class standing upon entrance.

If you have earned credit from an institution outside the U.S., see how credit from an international institution transfers.

Transcript Requirement of Admitted Students

As part of the application process, transfer students must submit an official transcript from each institution of higher education at which credit was earned. First-year students who completed college credits while in high school, through dual-credit programs such as Running Start and College in the High School, or through direct enrollment at a college or university, also must submit official transcripts from each institution at which credit was earned. These college-level transcripts are not required from first-year students until after they have been admitted to SPU. However, official transcripts will be used to award credit for past college-level coursework and to determine placement in some advanced courses, so students are encouraged to submit transcripts as soon as possible.

As a transfer student or first-year student applying for admission to Seattle Pacific University, you must meet the following conditions, regardless of your previous institution, and be aware of the following policies:

  • You must present a separate, official transcript from each institution of higher learning at which you completed college-level coursework.
    • Failure to disclose previous coursework taken at an institution with nationally recognized1 accreditation is a serious offense.
  • You must be in good standing at all prior institutions attended.
  • Credit for approved standardized exams will be awarded based on official score reports sent directly from the testing program, using SPU’s credit-granting criteria.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your final, official transcripts reflecting all coursework and degrees completed after your admission to SPU are received by Undergraduate Admissions by the 10th day of your first quarter at SPU.
    • The absence of final coursework will affect your class standing, eligibility for financial aid, and progress toward degree completion.
  • If you are a transfer student who has successfully completed 45 college-level quarter credits or 30 college-level semester credits from an institution with nationally recognized accreditation at the time of your application, you are not required to take the American College Test (ACT) or the College Board Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT-I). (Note that SPU is test-optional for the 2024–25 academic year.) 

Transfer Student Hub

Find everything you need for your transfer journey — academics, campus life, financial aid, and more.

Transfer Course Equivalency Guide

Find out how academic credits you received from other institutions and approved testing programs typically transfer to SPU.

Find out now.