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Four Truths about Transfer Credits

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The School of Professional Studies admissions team frequently get questions about transfer credit. Many people believe that previous college credits won’t transfer over to the College of Charleston. While transfer credit is a tricky topic, so tricky in fact that the College has a whole department dedicated just to helping you transfer into the College, transferring your credits will also save you a lot of time and money when you look to earn a bachelor’s degree.

One common program for transfer students to look into is the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program. This bachelor’s degree is ideal because it requires you to complete the coursework for two minors instead of one major. Another good option for students is the Bachelor of Professional Studies. In this blog post, however, we’re focusing on the BGS program.

Why is the BGS an advantage for transfer students?

If you’ve previously attended the College of Charleston or another institution, you probably took at least some coursework towards at least one major. With the BGS program, our advisor will help you bundle those credits that you’ve earned into a minor – or maybe two.

Also, BGS students are required to take a minimum of 24 credit hours at the 300 level. That means that even if you’ve taken some upper level courses outside of your area of study, those credits will still directly count towards your BGS degree.

Finally, all BGS students at the College of Charleston must have at least 122 hours of college credit to graduate. Even if you have no upper level coursework and nothing that fits into a minor offered at the College, your credits will still count towards that 122-credit hour requirement.

As previously mentioned, transferring your college credits can seem confusing, but don’t worry. The School of Professional Studies team is here to help you wade through the murky waters.  We’ll start by busting some common myths about transfer credit.

Myth #1: It’s been more than 10 years. My credits have expired and won’t transfer.

Your college credits don’t expire. Most college credits are transferable for your lifetime. The College’s policy does state

Coursework completed more than ten (10) years ago may be subject to an additional review to determine if transfer credit will be awarded.

This applies to courses when technology has changed significantly since you last took your course. However, even in situations where your course may be outdated, you will usually be able to transfer the credit as an elective.

Myth #2: The grades that I made in my previous courses don’t matter because I am transferring those credits.

While it is true that grades don’t transfer, only credits transfer, it is still important that you earn high marks in your classes. A bad grade can effect a credit’s ability to transfer. According to the College’s transfer policy:

A course from another institution is eligible for transfer credit when the course is earned at a school accredited by a regional accreditation association, graded at least a “C” (2.0 on a 4.0 scale), and not a duplication of credits already earned.

Myth #3: Because I am transferring into the College, I won’t be able to graduate on time.

Each student will have a unique academic path, but it is possible to graduate in a timely manner once you apply to the Bachelor of General Studies degree program.

According to the College’s transfer policy:

The maximum number of transfer credits acceptable toward a College of Charleston A.B., B.A., B.G.S., or B.S. degree is ninety (90) credit hours, including all credits earned by examination (e.g. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, etc.). The maximum number of transfer hours earned at a two-year institution that may be applied to the requirements for all College of Charleston bachelor’s degrees is sixty (60) credit hours.

Myth #4: I have a Joint Services Transcript, but I’ve heard the College doesn’t accept military credit.

As of January 2020, the College of Charleston will accept up to 30 transfer credit hours from the Joint Services Transcript (JST). Students admitted or readmitted from Spring 2020 onward will have their JST evaluated for potential transfer credit following admission to the College. To learn more about the College’s military transfer credit policy, click here.


Still have questions? We’re here to help. Email sps@cofc.edu with a specific question about transferring or applying to the Bachelor of General Studies program. Check out the transfer resource center or transferology, a free, online transfer too, to learn more about transfer credits.