Richmond Home

Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria are used to determine if course work is transferable?

In order for coursework to be evaluated for transfer credit, it must be taken at and transcripted by a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the US or the international equivalent of recognition by the home country as a degree granting institution of higher education; be at a level and in subject matter comparable to the curriculum at the University of Richmond; and have an earned grade of “C” or higher (or the equivalent) recorded on the official transcript (grades do not transfer nor are they listed on the transcript).

I earned nine units over two semesters at my previous institution but my transcript only reflects five units of transfer work. Where are the other units?

In this case, there are two possible answers. We may have received only one semester’s worth of work on your official transcript. Check with the Registrar’s Office to see if that is the case. If so, you will need to request an official copy of your transcript from the transferring institution to be sent directly to the University of Richmond Registrar’s Office.

Secondly, some of your credits may not have been transferable. Make sure they meet the criteria for transfer stated above (grade, subject, accreditation, etc.).

What does the subject code TRNS mean?

A TRNS code indicates general transfer credit and requires a departmental review in order to be applied towards general education, major, or minor requirements; they may be applied to elective credits without further review. Courses with TRNS codes may be multidisciplinary and applicable to multiple departments.

What does course number 999/998/997, etc., mean?

Course numbers in the 900s are used for courses that are comparable to Richmond's curriculum but not exact matches to current courses. In order for a course numbered in the 900s to count for a major or general education requirement, it must be approved by the appropriate department chair or coordinator.

How do I get TRNS or 900-level courses approved for major or field of study requirements?
In order to get TRNS or 900-level courses approved for major or field of study requirements, you must return a completed Transfer Approval Work form to the Office of the Registrar. The form, available in the Registrar’s Office, must be reviewed and signed by the appropriate department chair. He or she will need a copy of the course description for the course in question in order to complete the review. Further instructions for completing the transfer approval form can be found on the Registrar's website. If you are only using the course for elective credit, no review is necessary.
Why is my Richmond GPA a 0.00 when I have earned credits?

The University does not accept grades in transfer. Thus, all incoming students initially have a GPA of 0.00. The Richmond GPA is based solely on grades earned while at Richmond.

Why is a certain class I took (e.g., Art Appreciation, World History, etc) not a field of study course?

Only courses that are an exact match to a Richmond field of study course may fulfill field of study requirements upon initial review. For further consideration, see the department chair and complete the transfer approval process described above.

What general education requirements must I meet? Am I exempt from any requirements?

Transfer students are required to complete all of the University’s general education, field of study, and degree requirements in effect at the time of enrollment. As a transfer student, you will be exempt from the First-Year Seminar requirement only if you transfer more than 6.83 semester credit hours.

How many units must I earn to graduate from the University of Richmond?

University of Richmond degrees require at least 35 earned units; dual degrees require at least 44 units.

I earned 30 credit hours at my last institution, and now I'm only showing 8.57. Why such a difference?

Richmond is no longer on the semester hour credit system employed at many other institutions. Most Richmond courses are 1 unit, which is equivalent to 3.5 semester hours. Students must earn 35 units to graduate. Most likely, if you multiply your unit total by 3.5, you should get something very near the number of semester hours you earned previously.

Why are some of my classes 1 unit and some only 0.86? They were both 3 semester hours.

Because Richmond's unit of credit is equivalent to 3.5 semester hours, 3-semester hour courses are mathematically equivalent to 0.86 units. However, to more accurately compare semester-hour curriculums to Richmond’s, we transfer (5) 3-semester hour courses as 1 full unit. All other 3-semester hour courses transfer as 0.86 units.

My former institution was also on units. Why are my courses 0.96 or 1.07 units?

Each institution defines a unit differently. When determining the amount of credit, we go by the guidelines provided on your official transcript for how their unit is defined, so a unit at your institution may be slightly different than a Richmond unit.

Most of the courses required for my Richmond field of study and major requirements are 1 unit. If I transfer a course to meet these requirements, but only with 0.86 units, is the requirement still fulfilled?

In most cases, yes. For field of study requirements, partial units will meet the requirement. For major requirements, it is important that you meet with your major advisor to discuss how your transfer courses will apply towards your major. If your major requires that a course be a full unit, please contact the Registrar’s Office. We can change which courses are transferred as 1 unit, so in most cases, we can rearrange the assignment of credit to meet these needs.

I am a transfer student, can I study abroad?

While we encourage all students to take advantage of study abroad, the University requires that a minimum of 17.5 units be completed here at the University of Richmond. However, students who transferred in after one and one-half years of study at another institution may apply one additional unit earned on an approved study abroad program toward this 17.5 unit residency requirement. Students who transferred in after two years of study at another institution may apply up to four units earned on an approved study abroad program toward this 17.5 unit residency requirement. Transfer students considering studying abroad should discuss this with their advisor early in their time at Richmond to ensure that they will be able to meet the residency requirement by their intended graduation date.

I took dual enrollment credit that was accepted by my prior college/university. This credit does not appear on my Richmond transcript. Why?

Most departments at the University of Richmond do not award transfer credit for coursework completed as part of a high school program. Only coursework that meets the following criteria will transfer:

  1. Was taught on the college campus
  2. Was taught by a regular college professor (not a high school teacher)
  3. Was cataloged in the official college catalog
  4. Was offered primarily for enrolled college students (i.e. high school graduates)

If the coursework you completed during high school meets all of the above criteria, please have the college you attended during high school complete the Transfer Work Certification form and return to our office In order to be considered for possible transfer credit.

Fall Transfers Only: Can I take summer courses before starting classes this fall?

If you are interested in taking summer classes at Richmond before your fall enrollment, you should contact the School of Professional & Continuing Studies regarding taking summer classes as a non-degree seeking student. Please note, you will want to sign up for a course that does not have the letter “U” at the end of the course number. For instance, SPCH 206U-“Group Communication” is one you would not want to register for due to the “U” at the end of the course number. JOUR 200-“News Media & Society” does not have a “U” at the end of the course number and is a course that would be accepted towards your degree at Richmond.

If you are interested in taking summer classes at an institution other than Richmond, there are several things to consider: how will this impact my transfer residency requirement (see gray box on this webpage), will these courses count toward my major/minor plans in the way I hope for them to, do I need to take summer classes in order to graduate within my planned timeline, it is strongly recommended that you speak with the Academic Advising Resource Center and the Transfer & Curriculum Analyst prior to enrolling in summer classes at another institution.

Transfer Residency Requirement

Remember, transfer students must complete a specific number of units at Richmond in order to receive their degree. This depends on how much coursework has been completed prior to transferring and is as follows:

  • If you have completed up to one year at another institution, you must complete at least 23 units at Richmond.
  • If you have completed up to one and one half years of study at another institution, you must complete at least 20.5 units at Richmond.
  • If you have completed two or more years of study at another institution, you must complete at least 17.5 units at Richmond.