The institution publishes policies that include criteria for evaluating, awarding, and accepting credit for transfer, experiential learning, credit by examination, advanced placement, and professional certificates that is consistent with its mission and ensures that course work and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to the institution’s own degree programs. The institution assumes responsibility for the academic quality of any course work or credit recorded on the institution’s transcript. (See Commission policy “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards”) (Acceptance of academic credit)

Compliance Judgment

X      In compliance     Partially compliant     Non-compliant


Francis Marion University has a process for determining whether or not to accept transfer credit, which is stated publicly.  The University does not grant credit for experiential learning or professional certificates. In addition to having completed courses at another accredited institution, students may earn credit by scoring well on placement tests.  Francis Marion University abides by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education to ensure transferred credits are consistent with Francis Marion’s credits, and the Registrar’s Office is responsible for maintaining transcripts. The policies are published in the annual university catalog, which is available to students both in print and online.

Undergraduate Transfer Credit

To qualify for transfer credit at Francis Marion, undergraduate students’ courses “must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution.”  Additionally, a related stipulation clarifies that “no more than 76 semester hours of credit may be accepted from institutions accredited as junior colleges or two-year institutions.” For undergraduate coursework, grades of C or higher are required to qualify for transfer credit at Francis Marion University [1].

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for evaluating the transcripts of all undergraduate students who transfer from another institution. Upon receiving a transcript for an undergraduate transfer student, the Registrar’s Office follows a checklist to ensure the credit is awarded appropriately and in compliance with catalog policy [2]. First, The Registrar’s Office determines that a transfer student’s previous institution was regionally accredited. Next, the transcript is confirmed to be official. Third, the Registrar’s Office determines what coursework is under consideration for transfer credit. For example, coursework in disciplines not offered at Francis Marion is not eligible for transfer.

After the Registrar’s Office identifies the courses eligible for transfer, they next determine whether or not the course is equivalent to an Francis Marion course. To make this determination, the Registrar’s Office first consults The South Carolina Transfer and Articulation Center (SCTRAC), a state-sponsored database that is a repository of previously determined transfer equivalencies [3], and the Francis Marion Transfer Credit Guide, which states Francis Marion’s equivalencies for courses taken at South Carolina public two-year technical colleges [4]. If any equivalencies cannot be determined through these means, the Registrar’s Office acquires course descriptions for the transfer-eligible courses and the Registrar determines if the courses are equivalent to Francis Marion courses in content and learning outcomes. If the Registrar cannot make that determination from the course descriptions, she instructs her staff to consult with the academic program coordinator in the appropriate area, who then makes the decision. If course descriptions do not provide adequate details to determine a course’s content and learning outcomes, then the Registrar’s Office requests that the student supply a course syllabus. If a course’s content is not equivalent to a Francis Marion course, the Registrar or program coordinator may award elective credit at the appropriate level (100-level, 200-level, etc) as shown on the attached transcript [5].

The Catalog 2016-2017 states that, “Francis Marion University may accept a total of 30 hours of advanced placement credit,” but “a student may not take a course for which he/she has previously earned advanced placement credit” [6]. The University provides a list of the College Entrance Board Advanced Placement Courses, required scores, the courses for which credit is given, and the number of credits granted [7].

Students can earn advanced placement by earning the necessary score on the following examinations:

  • College Entrance Board Advanced Placement
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Advanced Placement Exams Administered by Francis Marion University [8].

The Office of Counseling and Testing receives test scores and forwards them to the appropriate department chair for approval to grant credit. Upon review of the scores, the department chair completes an Exemption Examination Form to indicate the course credit the student has earned and forwards the form to the Registrar’s Office, where the credit is applied to the student’s transcript [9].

Graduate Transfer Credit

Graduate students may transfer up to six credits from a regionally-accredited institution. For graduate coursework, grades of B or higher are required to qualify for transfer credit. Graduate students must submit an official transcript to their academic program for evaluation. The graduate student’s adviser determines whether a course taken at a previous institution is equivalent in content and learning outcomes to a Francis Marion graduate course [10]. The adviser forwards transcripts and their written approval to the Registrar’s Office, where the credit is applied to the student’s transcript [11].

The process for evaluating, awarding, and accepting both undergraduate and graduate transfer credit maintains consistent compliance with university transfer policies and ensures that transfer work meets the university’s academic standards in content and learning outcomes. The process for evaluating test scores ensures that scores are interpreted uniformly by the departments awarding crediting in their disciplines. Francis Marion University takes responsibility for the quality of the credit that appears on its transcripts.


  1. Catalog 2016-2017, Transfer Credit, p. 55
  2. Transfer Credit Checklist
  3. SCTrac Website, Transfer Agreements
  4. FMU Transfer Guide
  5. Undergraduate Transfer Process
  6. Catalog 2016-2017, Advanced Placement Credit, p. 54
  7. Catalog 2016-2017, College Entrance Board Advanced Placement, p. 54
  8. Catalog 2016-2017, Advanced Placement Credit, p. 53
  9. Test Exemption Example
  10. Catalog 2016-2017, Transfer Credit, p. 176
  11. Graduate Transfer Process