You are here: American University Provost Registrar Transfer Articulation Equivalency

Transferring Credit to AU

AU utilizes the Transfer Evaluation System (TES®) to maintain previously evaluated transfer courses to AU. The OUR transfer articulation team regularly updates the site with the latest course equivalency information approved by AU faculty. New equivalencies are added to the TES system per applicant/student request. If an external course does not currently have an equivalent in TES, then it requires an articulation request or completion of an existing request. Articulations are subject to periodic reevaluation by AU faculty, and a past articulation is not a guaranteed indicator of a renewed evaluation.

For further clarification on the types of equivalencies found in TES®, expand the following menus.

Transferable courses meet the requirements for transfer as defined in the American University (AU) Transfer Credit Guidelines. These are courses that are eligible for credit at AU. For example, a course is transferable if it was completed at an accredited institution and a grade of C or higher was received, as indicated on the official transcript.

AU accepts transfer credit from institutions accredited by the following accreditation bodies:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) 
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE) 
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) 
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) 
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission (WASC-SCUC) 
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC-AACCJC) 

Non-transferable courses do not meet the requirements for transfer as defined in our Transfer Credit Guidelines. They include the following course types: 

  • Courses that have not received a grade of C or higher, including grades of “P” or “Pass” that are not defined as a C or higher by the external institution
  • Internships, Independent Study and Independent Research courses 
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) courses
  • Orientation courses, First-Year Experience/Seminar courses that are non-academic  
  • Vocational courses 
  • Remedial courses   

Practica/Service-Learning Courses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis for eligibility to transfer.

When a transferable course is granted credit at American University, the articulation is how the course appears on the degree audit in the Eagle Service student portal. The three main types of articulations are course-to-course equivalents, subject-level credit, and general elective credit.

For more information regarding specific types of credit, visit the links below: 

AU Equivalent Credit means that the course taken at another institution has an equivalent at AU. Equivalency is defined as meeting the same standards as an AU course, including similar scope, content, learning outcomes, rigor, and number of credit hours. 
For example, ENG-111 from Northern Virginia Community College may have an AU equivalent of WRT-100. 
Note that external courses cannot be equated to AU's Habit of Mind courses for the AU Core Curriculum, such as SOCY-100: Introduction to Sociology. If a course is articulated as SOCY-100 based on course content, rigor, learning outcomes, and credit hours, the articulation would be entered on the record as SOCY-100X.  The "X" is the indicator that an articulation will not fulfill HOM, but can fulfill major, minor, and certificate program requirements when relevant, as well as any registration prerequisites. 

These “trailing X”  courses may also be used for articulations that fall under AU Core’s list of courses approved to satisfy Integrative requirements (Written Communication and Information Literacy II, Quantitative Literacy II, Diversity and Equity, Capstone). 

Subject-level credit means that a course taken at another institution does not have a direct course equivalent but fits within a specific subject at AU and an AU course level. For example, ARTH-1** is subject-level credit through the Art History department at the 100 (lower) level. 

The course level articulation aligns with American University’s definition of course levels. Any courses at the 100 or 200 level are considered “lower level” undergraduate courses and are articulated as 1** and 2** respectively; any courses at the 300 or 400 level (3** or 4**) are considered “upper level” undergraduate courses, and any courses at the 500 level (5**) are considered advanced standing/graduate level courses.

Subject Level Credit counts toward the 120 credits needed to complete an undergraduate degree.

General elective credit means that a course taken at another institution does not have a direct equivalent and does not fall within a specific subject at AU. For example, ELEC-1** is general elective credit at the 100 (lower) level. General elective credit counts as a University “free” elective towards the 120 credits needed to complete an undergraduate degree.