Transfer Credits

SFAI welcomes and provides services to students who have completed credits elsewhere. Let us help you navigate between schools and make your transition smooth.

Transfer credit policies are applied by the Admissions Office for new students and by the Registrar's Office for returning and continuing undergraduate students.*

Incoming Students

For information on transferring as a new student, please consult the Admissions Transfer page. Students planning to transfer to SFAI in the future are strongly recommended to take an average of 2 liberal arts and 3 studio introductory courses eligible for transfer (see Articulation Agreements) each semester prior to applying to SFAI for a smoother transition. Students who do not transfer in this balance of courses may need a substantively adjusted schedule during their first semester or two at SFAI.

Continuing Students

Continuing students may apply to transfer while remaining active students at SFAI through Concurrent Registration. Concurrent Registration allows active undergraduate SFAI students to fulfill limited requirements for their degree program usually during summer or winter semesters. Keep in mind that Concurrent Registration is not available to seniors, so plan accordingly. 

Articulation Agreements

Want to know which courses at your college will transfer to SFAI?

SFAI has articulation agreements either in place, or in the final planning stages, with the community colleges listed below. Check this page frequently for updated information related to transfer credit policy and articulation agreements:

City College of San Francisco (CCSF)
Santa Monica College (SMC)
Memphis College of the Arts (MCA)
Foothill College—pending

General Requirements from California Colleges 

SFAI accepts up to 60 semester credits for transfer.

For all California Community Colleges, State, and UC's that use IGETC, the following chart depicts the basic list of IGETC areas SFAI accepts for certain SFAI requirements of all bachelor's level programs. Courses SFAI accepts for transfer are not limited to courses in the IGETC areas below. If there is a course that does not have an IGETC area assigned, contact or consult the Articulation Agreement for your school if available.

SFAI Requirement
(credits are semster-based)
IGETC Area SFAI accepts
English Compsition A (3.0 credits required) 1A 
English Composition B (3.0 credits required) 1B
Math or Science (3.0 credits required) 2A or 5
Humanities (6.0 credits required) 3B
Social Science (3.0 credits required) 4
Liberal Arts Electives (9.0 credits required) 1,2,3,4,5 & LOTE (non-conversational foreign language course)
Art History Elective (3.0 credits for BFA; 21.0 credits for BA, maximum of 15.0 may be transferred in) 3A with historical emphasis

For other art history and/or  major specific requirements, contact or view Articulation Agreement if available.

Transfer Policies

Below are abbreviated points in our transfer policy.

For full official transfer policies, consult the Student Handbook (see side navigation). 

Transfer Credit Eligibility

  • Sending school must be regionally accredited or nationally accredited by agency recognized by CHEA.
  • Transfers approved course-by-course basis if it is related to SFAI degree program
  • Maximum 60 total credits in all categories for 1st degree students
    • up to 36 units in Liberal Arts requirements and Art History requirements combined
    • up to 12 units in major studio requirements
    • up to 24 units in elective requirements (Studio & General), of which no more than 9 units may transfer as general electives

Transfer Credit Non-Eligibility

Cases in which credit is not transferrable:

  • courses graded C- or below
  • physical education classes
  • professional or "life" experience
  • remedial courses
  • ESL credit
  • conversational-only foreign language classes
  • no regional or CHEA accreditation


SFAI Residency Requirement

SFAI requirements that generally do not accept transferred courses:

Art Since 1945 (HTCA-102)*, Critical Theory A (CS-300), Critical Theory B (CS-301), Thesis Colloguium (US-390, HTCA-390), and BFA Senior Review Seminar (IN-390) are residency requirements and nontransferrable. 

*CSSF transfer students only may be able to transfer in ART-109 to fulfill this requirement

Students in their last year (90 credits or more) are not permitted to transfer courses through Concurrent Registrations. Senior year must be done in residence at SFAI.

Official Transcripts

All transfers for both incoming and continuing students require official transcripts of courses petitioned for transfer. 

  • Official transcripts are sealed in an envelope with appropriate stamp or seal from the institution.
  • Must be submitted at the time of application for incoming students; submitted once grades are posted from outside institutions for continuing students
  • Failure to submit all transcripts may result in a change of admission status or academic standing/progress
  • All documents submitted for evaluation become the property of SFAI regardless of admissions or concurrent registration decision

Credit Translation

All SFAI requirements are 3 semester credits, unless otherwise noted.If transferred courses are either less than 3 semester credits, students must take multiple eligible courses to fulfill one of SFAI's requirements. Excess credits may be moved to electives if applicable. 

Converting Quarter Units

Quarter Units Semester Units
1 2/3
2 1 1/3
3 2
4 2 2/3
5 3 1/3
6 4
7 4 2/3
8 5 1/3

Most 4 quarter unit courses will be accepted as equal to 3 semester units.

Transfer Appeal Process

A student has one year from the date of receiving their transfer credit evaluation to request any adjustments to their evaluation. After one year, no adjustments to the transferred courses, including the removal of any transferred courses, will be made to the academic record with the following exception:

removal of transferred courses due to:

  1. Failure to submit final and official transcripts, or
  2. Completion of a previously in-progress course with a "C-" or lower grade.

Appeals are submitted in writing to


For more information on transfers, including transfer policies for second-degree student transfers, international students, and how transfers appear on records, consult the Student Handbook. 

Articulation Agreement with City College of San Francisco (CCSF)

Articulation Chart of Common Requirements CCSF to SFAI

Requirements that are common to every undergraduate degree program at SFAI

Articulation Chart of Major Requirements CCSF to SFAI

Requirements specific to each undergraduate major at SFAI

Articulation Agreement with Santa Monica College (SMC)

Articulation Chart of Common Requirements SMC to SFAI

Requirements that are common to every undergraduate degree program at SFAI

Articulation Chart of Major Requirements SMC to SFAI

Requirements specific to each undergraduate major at SFAI

Articulation Agreement with Memphis College of the Arts (MCA)

Articulation Chart of Common Requirements MCA to SFAI

Requirements that are common to every undergraduate degree program at SFAI

Articulation Chart of Major Requirements MCA to SFAI

Requirements specific to each undergraduate major at SFAI