Transfer Credit

Physics Intro Course Transfer Credit

*This procedure will not apply to students transferring to UM from another institution or to students who take a physics course at another institution under the auspice of a UM program, such as a "study abroad" program.

**Effective Fall 2014 - This policy does NOT apply to any course taken in Spring/Summer 2014. For information on how the course will transfer in prior to Fall 2014, please refer to the U-M Transfer Equivalency Guide or the Michigan Engineering Course Equivalences  

Intro Courses from Other Institutions (Physics 135/235, 140/240)

Introductory Physics courses from other institutions will transfer to UM as “departmental credit” (e.g., PHYSICS 101x). General LSA credit will be granted and departmental credit will indicate to advisers that a student has officially taken and passed a college-level course that covers a physics-related topic. Credit WILL NOT be given for any associated lab course.

How to Transfer a Course

  1. After completing a course with a “C” or better, please submit your official transcript to the University of Michigan, Office of Undergraduate Admissions or UM College of Engineering Recruitment and Admissions.

  2. Complete the Physics Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form to sign up for the competency exam. The first exam will be offered January 5th, 2015 from 9am to 11am. The deadline to sign up for the exam is December 10th, 2014.

  3. Credit will be granted upon successful performance on the competency exam (roughly equivalent to achieving a score of B- or better on the final exam for the relevant UM course).

  4. Transfer credit that is approved as equivalent to a Physics 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, please see your advisor).


What is "departmental" credit? +

Departmental credit is general LSA credit that will indicate to advisers that a student has officially taken and passed a college-level course that covers a physics-related topic.

How can I tell if a course at another school is equivalent to a Michigan course? +

Students may review previous course syllabi here for reference.  If you still have questions about a specific course, please contact us at

How will I receive credit for the intro physics courses? +

You will need to sign up and pass the competency exam with a B- or better. Once you have successfully passed the exam, we will ask the Credit Evaluations Office to change your departmental credit into the equivalent intro physics course. Please allow 2-3 weeks for your credit to be updated.

How often will the exams be offered? +

We will offer these exams at least 2 times a year - prior to the start of the fall term and at the end of the winter term. 

How many times can I take the competency exam per course? +

You are allowed to take the competency exam twice. If you do not pass the exam, you will keep your departmental credit. To get credit for an intro Physics course you will have to take the course at the University of Michigan. 

Will there be alternate exam times for the competency exam? +

No, you will be required to take the exam at the scheduled date and time.  No exceptions will be allowed. If you cannot take the test at the required date and time, feel free to sign up to take the next one that is offered. The test is offered two times per year.

Do you accept transfer credit for intro physics lab courses? +

No, we do not accept transfer credit for any of the intro physics lab courses.

Do I need to take a physics course at another institution to take the exam? +

No, you may take the exam even if you haven’t completed an introductory physics course at another institution. If you pass the exam, you will receive a notation in your online student file that you have demonstrated competency in the course material, but no credit will be posted on your transcript. 

Where can I go for practice exam questions to prepare for the test? +

Problem Roulette provides practice problems from past physics exams.


Is there a fee associated with the competency exam? +

No. UM students may take the exam free of charge.

Can I register for subsequent courses before receiving my score/earning credit? +

Prior to course registration, you will need to speak with your adviser regarding any enforced prerequisites to the subsequent courses and credit requirements for your major or minor.

If you have any questions or concerns about the competency exam, please contact