Transfer Credit

Some students may wish to apply credits they've earned at other institutions towards their majors. The process for doing so is outlined below. 

Psychology Major

No more than 9 transfer credits (or a combination of transfer and Barnard credits) will be accepted toward the psychology major. Approval of transfer credits on a student's Entrance Credit Report toward general requirements for the bachelor's degree does not grant approval of these credits toward the psychology major. Approval of transfer credits to fulfill psychology requirements must be obtained in writing from a psychology program advisor using the Major Requirement Substitution Form. To be approved for the major, a course taken at another institution should be substantially similar to one offered by the department, the grade received must be a B- or better, and the course must have been taken within the past 8 years. If two courses overlap in content, only one will be applied towards the major. With the exception of approved Barnard courses, students should consult their Program Advisor (DUS) before registering for psychology courses offered outside the department.

Students who have completed an introductory psychology course at another institution prior to declaring a psychology major should consult their Program Advisor (DUS) to verify whether or not this course meets departmental standards for major transfer credit. If transfer credit toward the major is not approved, the student must enroll in PSYC UN1001 or PSYC BC1001 to complete this major requirement. Note that College Board Advanced Placement (AP) psychology scores will not satisfy the PSYC UN1001 requirement, nor will they confer elective credit toward the major.

Neuroscience & Behavior Major

Students should consult their Program Advisor in the Psychology department before registering for psychology courses offered outside the department. With the Advisor’s approval, a maximum of one psychology course from another institution, including Barnard, may be applied toward the psychology portion of the Neuroscience & Behavior major. Students who wish to obtain credit for a course taken at Barnard or at another institution should complete the Major Requirement Substitution Form. To be approved for the major, the course should be substantially similar to one offered by this department and approved for this major, and the grade received must be a C- or better if from Barnard, or B- or better if from another institution. Advanced placement (AP) psychology scores will not satisfy the PSYC UN1001 requirement.

Steps to take to apply for an exception:

  1. If you are a transfer student and you are seeking credit toward the major or concentration for a psychology course taken elsewhere, you must first obtain transfer credit through CC or GS. If you have not already received approval from CC or GS to apply the course(s) in question toward your total number of credits needed to graduate, you will need to visit your Dean first to obtain the relevant forms and complete that process.
  2. If you are studying abroad, consult with your Program Advisor (DUS) prior to registering for classes at another institution. Provide your DUS with the syllabus for any psychology course you would like to have (conditionally) approved towards the major. Your Program Advisor (DUS) can then advise you regarding the eligibility of the course. If a syllabus is not available, provide your DUS with as much information about the course’s content and requirements as you can. You may need to contact your study-abroad institution and/or your prospective instructor to get this information.
  3. If you are a Columbia College student taking a course at another institution in the United States over the summer, you will need (conditional) advance approval. You should obtain a copy of Columbia College's Pre-Approval for a Course Taken at Another U.S. Institution form, available in the Center for Student Advising, 403 Lerner and discuss your plans with your advising dean.
  • The Major Requirement Substitution Form with top half completed
  • A course syllabus that clearly indicates weekly topics and reading assignments as well as course requirements
    • If the syllabus is not sufficiently detailed you may be asked to bring in the textbook, quizzes and tests, and/or term papers.
  • Course description from school bulletin
  • Your transcript showing grade received
  • The appropriate Dean's form (typically, a transfer credit report for courses completed elsewhere)

Liz Walters, our Undergraduate Curriculum Assistant will check materials for completeness. 

IMPORTANT: If you are a GS Student, you must submit all required paperwork no later than the semester in which you declare a major; failure to meet this deadline may result in the loss of eligibility for transfer credit toward the major or concentration.

The UCA will pass your submission on to your advisor, who will contact you if he or she has any questions or requires additional materials in order to review your request. You may also request to meet with your Program Advisor at this point if you have an unusual transfer situation or any other issues you’d like to discuss (e.g., if you have taken several courses you could potentially transfer, and need help deciding which of those courses would be most advantageous to apply toward your total of nine transfer credits).

Once your Program Advisor has reviewed your request, the UCA will let you know whether or not permission has been granted. If it has, you will need to visit the Psychology Department Office to pick up a copy of the signed form.

  • The Undergraduate Curriculum Assistant in 406 Schermerhorn will keep one copy on file in the Psychology Department office. It will be used to document that you have an approved transfer credit shortly before you graduate, when the Department is required to certify that you have completed the requirements for the major or concentration.
  • The UCA will also give a copy of the form to the program advisor who signed it.
  • Be sure to pick up one copy of the signed permission form. You are responsible for keeping one copy of the form to produce in the (very unlikely) case that the original form cannot be found when it comes time to certify your major or concentration for your graduation.
  • The UCA will contact the registrar to inform them that your transfer credit has been approved for the major. Once this is done, you should be able to see the approved transfer credit on your Degree Audit Report (DAR) on SSOL.

You can find the Major Requirement Substitution Form here.