Undergraduate Transfer Guide


Maximize the use of a student’s previously earned college credits while maintaining the integrity of the ACU CORE and ACU’s academic programs.

Acceptance of any transfer credit does not imply that other graduate or undergraduate institutions will also accept the course. It is the responsibility of the student to verify the requirements for any other institution or program to which the student may be seeking transfer or admission.

Acceptance of transfer credit in one ACU program or major does not guarantee acceptance in other programs/majors.

Submitting Transfer Credits

The student must submit official academic transcripts of work completed for evaluation.

  • Mailed directly from the originating institution to the Office of the Registrar at ACU, or…
  • Emailed directly from the originating institution to [email protected].
  • Any transcript that has been emailed directly to the student is not considered an official transcript.
  • Any transcript mailed directly to the student and then delivered to ACU must be in the original envelope sealed and stamped by the originating institution.


Only courses with a grade of “C” or higher will be considered for transfer

  • Pass/fail credit/no credit courses will not be accepted.
  • Ungraded or unfinalized courses will not be accepted.


Transfer courses will be considered equivalent to ACU courses when the transfer course is equivalent in semester units (see conversion of quarter credits below) with a 70% substantive match in content, unless a more specific match is needed for specific accreditation, discipline content, or other written requirements.

  • Transfer courses from the same originating institution may be combined to reach either or both criteria.
  • Equivalent semester credit will be taken from the official transcript.
  • The course description from the catalog of the originating institution may be used to determine the match in course content.
  • In some cases, the department chair may request that the student provide a course syllabus to determine content match. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain that course syllabus from the originating institution.

Remedial/Developmental Courses will not be considered for transfer

  • In most cases, this is a course number less than 100 level
  • California community colleges use a different numbering system. Only those classes notated as applying toward an associate degree or transferrable to the California State system will be evaluated for transfer.

Age of transfer credits

  • Credits earned within the last 9 years will be considered for transfer
  • Credits earned more than 9 years previously may be considered with Department Chair approval
  • If a course is rejected by the chair for being over 9 years old, then it can still count as a general elective or other part of the degree.

Credit Conversion

Credit for ACU classes is awarded according to Semester Hours. Transfer credits from institutions on a Quarter System will be converted according to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) published best practices.

  • Multiple 4 quarter hours by .67% to convert from quarter to semester. A 3-credit semester course will be satisfied by 2.68 semester hours (converted from 4 quarter hours).


Quarter Credits Converted *.67 Semester Credits
1 .67 1
2 1.34 1
3 2.01 2
4 2.68 3
5 3.35 3
6 4.02 4
7 4.69 5
8 5.36 5


Transcripts and GPA

Transferred credits are not used to calculate the student’s ACU GPA. The grade earned for courses taken from another institution will not show on the ACU transcript. The ACU transcript will only show the course number, name, credits, and originating institution for all accepted transfer credits.

Missional Alignment

Courses that are inconsistent with the ACU mission, values, and statement of faith will not be accepted, such as courses on witchcraft and the occult.

Applicability to Program

Transfer credit may be accepted by the university according to all the published criteria, yet not be applicable to the student’s program/major of choice. In those cases, the transfer credit will be documented on the student’s transcript and will count towards overall credit earned. The student is still required to meet the requirements of their chosen program and major, even with the additional overall credits.

If a student requests a change of major, previously applied transfer credits may not necessarily be applied to the new major requirements. When possible, those credits will fall to general electives.

Credit Limits

Transfer credits submitted for evaluation are subject to specific standards that maintain the integrity of ACU programs approved by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and meet graduation requirements.

  • Maximum of 90 credits total accepted as transfer for bachelor’s degrees
    • Bachelor’s degrees require a minimum 30 credits in residence at ACU.
  • Maximum of 44 credits accepted as transfer for Associates degrees
    • Associate degrees require a minimum of 18 credits in residence at ACU.
  • A maximum of 84 lower division semester credits may be accepted
  • At least 36 credits of the total course requirements (transfer and taken at ACU) must be upper level (300- 400).
  • At least 15 credits of the academic major must be upper level (300-400).
  • 50% of the academic major must be taken at ACU
    • Count the combined total of academic major and any major electives
    • For IDS, count the combined total of academic major and both tracks
  • 50% of a minor must be taken at ACU.
  • Bachelor’s degree students must take 20 of their last 30 credits at Arizona Christian University.
    • Leaving a maximum of 10 credits that can be transferred back into ACU to complete a degree.
  • All ACU majors require a capstone course which must be taken at ACU.

Originating Institutions

Transfer credits may be accepted from institutions of higher learning that meet the following criteria:

  • Institutionally Accredited colleges and universities: accepted for evaluation
  • Non-accredited may be evaluated on a course-by-course basis in consultation with the Department Chair.
    • All such accepted credit will be considered lower division.
    • After a student has earned a total of 64 semester credits, ACU will not accept any credit from non-accredited institutions
  • Continuing Education courses: not accepted
  • Life Experience: no credit granted

Technical/Vocational Institution Credits

    • Maximum of 9 semester credits accepted as elective credit.
    • College level general education courses are not subject to this limitation.

StraighterLine/Sophia/ACE credits

    • Maximum of 12 credits
    • Must be ACE accredited.
    • May be applied to general education and general electives courses.
    • May not be applied to a major, major electives, concentrations, or minors.

Armed Services credits

International Institutions

  • Credits submitted for transfer from an International Institution must be evaluated by an approved credentialing agency and submitted as an Official Transcript from the agency:
  • Credit Earned in High School is only accepted if taken as
    • Dual Enrollment with an accredited institution as evidenced by official transcripts submitted by the originating institution
    • Advance Placement as evidenced by official test scores submitted directly by the testing agency.
    • Dual enrollment or AP credit listed on high school transcripts is not sufficient evidence for the awarding of credit.

Sport Participation Credit

  • There is no maximum on the number of sport participation credits considered transferrable to ACU under the guidelines for transfer credits in this document.
  • However, a maximum of 8 credits of sport participation, whether earned at ACU or transferred in, may be applied to any course of study. These will be counted as general electives.
  • A course under an athletic prefix but with a core of an academic subject is not subject the 8-credit limit.

Examples of this would be ACU’s PHE 300 and 400 level courses.

Bible Minor Waiver and Lia 101 Waiver

Traditional Undergraduate Students with 28 or more transferrable credits toward their degree may waive LIA101.

  • Apply 3 credit hours of transfer credit toward LIA 101
  • Take LIA 105 in place of LIA 102
  • LIA105 is not offered online; therefore, all online students must take both LIA101 and LIA102.

Traditional Undergraduate Students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree and transferring 48 or more credits toward their degree, and who are not Biblical Studies or Christian Ministries majors, may be waived from the following general education and Bible. These students will not receive a Bible minor.

  • HUM 201 The Human Narrative I
  • HUM 202 The Human Narrative II
  • BIB 100 Introduction to the Bible and Biblical Interpretation
  • BIB 221 The Relational God – A Study of the Divine Covenants
  • BIB 222 Image Bearers – Humanity’s Story

Waivers for these courses are granted upon an official transcript evaluation by ACU’s Office of the Registrar.

  • The waived courses may be fulfilled by transfer credit or elective credit taken at ACU.
  • Post-enrollment transfer courses do not apply to the waiving of these requirements.
  • The Bible Minor Waiver only applies to bachelor’s degrees. The Waiver does not apply to associate degrees or undergraduate certificate programs.

Students with transfer credits from a like-minded institution may be granted a Bible minor if they are bringing in credits that align with ACU’s General Biblical and Theological Studies courses.

Core and Bible Minors for Re-Admitted Students

A re-admitted student is defined as a student who previously attended ACU, withdrew before completing a degree, and then returns after more than one year absence to complete the degree.

  • Students are placed in the catalog/check sheet for the academic year in which they returned.
  • The goal is to use all credits previously earned at ACU in the new program.
    • Department Chair approval required for credits in the major older than 9 years
  • The Bible and Humanities classes may be fulfilled by previously earned ACU credits
  • If the student did not take the LIA101/LIA102 sequence in their past tenure with ACU:
    • Substitute an otherwise unused ACU Bible or Humanities class for LIA101
    • The student is required to take LIA102 or LIA105

Post-Enrollment Transfer Credits

  • The student must submit a Transfer Course Approval (TCA) form prior to enrolling in the course.
  • StraighterLine/Sophia/ACE post-enrollment credits will not be accepted without preapproval (TCA).
  • All post-enrollment transfer credits are subject to the policies governing transfer credits.
  • More than 12 post-enrollment transfer credits total per student must be approved by the department chair.


Student Appeal Process

Once a student has enrolled and transfer credits have been evaluated based on official transcripts, a student may appeal any decision on the application of transfer credits by submitting an Academic Request Petition to the University Registrar. This Petition must specify the intuition and course number of the credit under appeal. Course descriptions from the originating institution must be attached to the petition. Attachment of a course syllabus from the originating institution is highly recommended. The Registrar’s Office will respond to the appeal within 10 business days.

Equivalency Guide by Program

2023-2024 Academic Year

General Education CORE
Course / Course Group Accepted Not Accepted
ENG101/102 English Composition

College composition course, focusing on academic writing and research.

CLEP, AP (see equivalency sheet)

Literature Creative Writing

Professional Writing

COM100 Public Speaking Course with a large component of public speaking and research.

Interpersonal Communication Human Communication

Intro to Communication Group Communication

HUM201/202 Humanities I/II Transfer credit only accepted under the Bible Minor Waiver. See above.
HUM301/302 Humanities II/IV No transfer accepted. For re-admitted students see above.
LIA 101 C3: Community, Covenant, Commitment Transfer credit only accepted under LIA101 waiver. See above. For re-admitted students see above.
LIA102 Biblical Worldview and Culture No transfer accepted


General Education Math for Bachelor’s


College Math or any higher-level math that is not required in the academic major.

CLEP, AP (see equivalency sheet)

Remedial or developmental math

Sciences for BS Degrees: SCI100/BIO100

Psychology: BIO100, BIO181 Biology: BIO181, BIO182

Any 4 credit Laboratory Science. CLEP, AP (see equivalency sheet)

Biology and Psychology have specific science requirements. Apply only equivalent courses with Department Chair approval.

Geography, Anthropology, Sociology, critical thinking, theorical science must be further reviewed
Foreign Language for BA Degrees Biblical Studies: GRK311 and GRK312

Any foreign language, including Sign Language, for a total of 8 credits.

CLEP, AP (see equivalency sheet)

Biblical Studies must take Greek as the BA Language

Commercial courses such as Rosetta Stone.


General Biblical Studies Curriculum
Course / Course Group Accepted
BIB100 Introduction to the Bible

Transfer credit only accepted under the Bible Minor Waiver. See above.

Or an equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.

BIB101 Biblical Interpretation (Biblical Studies/Christian Ministry) Equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.
BIB221 The Relational God Transfer credit only accepted under the Bible Minor Waiver. See above. Or an equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.
BIB222 Image Bearers Transfer credit only accepted under the Bible Minor Waiver. See above. Or an equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.
BIB321 Dwelling in God’s Presence Equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.
BIB322 The King and His Kingdom Equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.
Upper Division Bible Elective Equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.


*Like-Minded Institutions

Academic Major Courses
Major / Department Accepted Not Accepted

Behavioral Health

Focus on counseling and coaching to work in mental health fields

Transfer course for PSY210 Statistics for Behavioral Studies must be a statistics course specific to Psychology or Counseling. General or Intro to Statistics.
Biblical Studies Equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review. No transfer credits accepted for DTS Advanced Standing (AS) or Dual Credit (DC) classes.

Courses accepted for BIO181/182

must be General Biology for Biology Majors.

BIO100 from Maricopa Community College is not equivalent to BIO181.

Business Administration Organizational Leadership

Non-profit Management

A general statistics class may transfer in for BUS210. BUS210 Introduction to Business Statistics cannot be substituted with a different math field.
Child Development Consult with department chair. Courses are designed to meet ACLP (https://www.childlife.org) requirements to become a child life specialist.
Christian Ministries Equivalent course from accredited like-minded institutions upon review.
Communication No specific restrictions currently. Subject to change.
Elementary Education Confirm any transfer course with Department Chair due to licensure issues.

HIS212 must be a direct match

containing US History and Arizona Government.

EED415 must be taken at ACU.
EDU317 must be taken at ACU.
English No specific restrictions currently. Subject to change.
Family Studies Confirm any transfer course for upper division ACU courses with Department Chair due to licensure issues.
Interdisciplinary Studies

Consult Christian Liberal Arts for Academic Major.

For tracks, see Department Chair for corresponding minor.

Music Confirm any transfer course with Department Chair.
Political Science No specific restrictions currently. Subject to change.

Psychology/ Pre-psychology

Focus on research and analysis.

  PSY475 and PSY495 must be taken at ACU.
Secondary Education Confirm any transfer course with Department Chair due to licensure issues. HIS212 must be a direct match containing US History and Arizona Government.
EDU317 must be taken at ACU


Sport Management

(* denotes transfer course is accepted, but if courses must be omitted to remain below 50% transfer, choose these first)

Lower division courses cannot be applied to upper division courses.
BSM 410 Sport Ethics: upper division contemporary ethics class. Business Ethics is needed for BUS concentration.
BSM420 Sport Finance: upper division finance principles

*A finance course would not cover

the financing process for new stadiums or arenas.

BSM322 Sport Law: upper division business law

*Business law course would not cover

contract law and liability issues unique to sports

BSM315 Sport Communication: upper division Communication Strategy in Business

*Class covers career opportunities including Sports Information, Media Relations, Community Relations,

Public Relations

BSM320 Sport Promotion and Sales: business class that covers Marketing/Advertising/Consumer Behavior/Revenue Generation  
BSM330 Sport in Contemporary Society: upper division Sociology  

BSM340 Leadership in Sport

Organization: upper division leadership course


BSM 430: International Sport

Management: upper division global management course

BUS Concentration: see Business Administration major  



A Guide to Best Practices: Awarding Transfer and Prior Learning Credit

https://www.aacrao.org/docs/default-source/signature-initiative-docs/trending-topic-docs/transfer/guide-to- best-practices.pdf?sfvrsn=4820bb55_6

Office of the Registrar

Arizona Christian University
1 W. Firestorm Way
Glendale, AZ 85306

(602) 386-4111

[email protected]