Courses from Other Institutions
Biology courses from other institutions transfer to UM as “departmental credit” (e.g., BIOLOGY 101x). General LSA credit is granted. Upon student request (see below), the Program in Biology reviews classes taken at other institutions to determine equivalency to specific University of Michigan Biology, EEB, and MCDB courses. If an external class is determined to be equivalent to a Program in Biology course, it can be posted to your transcript as the equivalent UM Biology, EEB, or MCDB course (with a "T” in the grade column).
How to Transfer a Course
- Read the FAQs below!
- Obtain a detailed syllabus from the instructor or institution (this can be an electronic copy, a link, or a paper copy). Incomplete or missing information may cause a delay.
A detailed syllabus includes:
- Instructor’s name,
- Term class was offered,
- Text book used,
- Days and times of lectures, discussions, labs,
- Number and duration of exams,
- Basis of grading, and,
- A day-by-day schedule of topics covered (i.e., what you covered each time you met in class)
- Complete the Program in Biology Transfer Credit Evaluation request form.
- Transfer credit that is approved as equivalent to a Biology, EEB, or MCDB course will be posted (or changed) on your transcript to indicate the specific course, with a “T” grade, and it will satisfy prerequisites or major requirements (as appropriate, see your advisor).
Note: You are welcome to request review of a course before you take it. You will need to provide a detailed syllabus as described above, so you must obtain one from the instructor or institution in advance. Once you have completed the course (with a “C” or better), request that an official copy of your transcript be sent to the University of Michigan, Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Even if deemed equivalent, the UM course cannot appear on your UM transcript until an official transcript from the home institution has been received by UM Admissions.
Equivalency may be granted for the introductory biology series of courses, BIOLOGY 171, 172, and 173. Other 100-level courses are not evaluated because they don’t count toward any majors or minors. The credit you are granted for them may be applied toward your minimum 120 credits required to graduate and can usually be used for distribution (see your advisor).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Review the FAQs about transfer credit before you take a course!
Yes, LSA students may take a course at a community college and transfer the credit back to UM. See your LSA General Advisor for questions about LSA College policies.
Transferring a course to UM is a two-step process (see “How to Transfer a Course” above):
- One step is transferring the credits to the University by submitting the official transcript to UM Admissions. If the course is college-level and from an accredited school, it will likely receive credit at this level (this is “departmental,” generic credit usually at the 101X- or 201X-level). This indicates to advisors that you have officially taken and passed a college-level course that covers a Biology-related topic.
- The other step is determining whether or not the course is a direct course equivalent to a course offered at UM Ann Arbor. Once (or before) you have submitted your transcript to Admissions, you should request a credit evaluation from Biology. You can do so via the Program in Biology Transfer Credit Evaluation form.
The Program in Biology reviews classes on a term-by-term basis. So each instance of a course transfer must be evaluated for direct equivalency. (A class that was accepted last fall may not be accepted the next if the course material or other details have changed!) Most courses must be reviewed again for each new term.
Plan ahead: If you are considering taking a class from another institution (going abroad or taking a summer course elsewhere), go through the approval process (see above) before you take the course!
Yes! The review will move quickly if the specific offering has already been approved, but we will still need the information from the evaluation request form to verify.
The Program in Biology strongly encourages you to take all major courses on the Ann Arbor campus—this will put you in the best position to succeed in the major. However, you may take a major course elsewhere. Please be aware of the residence rules for your particular college. LSA rules are here.
The Program in Biology Evaluation Committee will determine whether or not the introductory course or sequence you're considering is equivalent to Biology 171, 172, or 173 (or a combination thereof), or to a course for non-majors. To receive credit for having satisfied the introductory biology requirement, the student needs to have completed course(s) that covered cell and molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, plant and animal biology, and had labs. Two-semester introductory sequences at four-year institutions will often meet these criteria. So will some two-semester sequences at community colleges, but the syllabi for transfers from community colleges will be carefully reviewed to verify that the student is adequately prepared to move into upper-level biology courses.
Yes, the course(s) will count toward general electives.
No. You will need to have any course that is NOT a BIOLOGY, EEB, or MCDB course evaluated by the home department at UM (i.e, PHYSICS courses must be evaluated by the Physics Department).
Under normal conditions, we can review an external course in 5-7 business days.
Note: the process for submitting official transcripts from other institutions, review at the UM admissions level, and changing the course on your UM transcript happens outside of the Program in Biology, so we cannot guarantee a time frame for these processes. We will be happy to follow up on your behalf, however! Contact us with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 734-764-1440.