Transfer Policies

Be the agent of your own creativity.

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

For full official transfer policies, consult the Student Handbook.

Want to know how many of your college credits will transfer?

Contact your Admissions Counselor and ask for an unofficial evaluation of your transcripts.

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 75 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 27 units in elective requirements (Studio & General), of which no more than 9 units may transfer as general electives


Advanced Placement Exam Credit

  • Minimum score of 3 for academic subjects
  • Minimum score of 4 for studio subjects

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:

Critical Theory A (CS-300), Critical Theory B (CS-301), Thesis Colloquium (HTCA-390), and BFA Senior Review Seminar (IN-390) are residency requirements and nontransferrable.

Students in their last year (90 credits or more) are required to take 24 out of their final 30 credits in residence at SFAI.

CLEP Credit

SFAI accepts up to six semester College-Level Examination Placement (CLEP) credits in subjects relevant to the SFAI curriculum; on each such subject-matter test, candidates must score 50 or higher.

International Baccalaureate Credit

International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations are accepted for transfer credit in subjects relevant to the SFAI curriculum. Students who have taken IB exams may receive transfer credit for any Higher Level (HL) exams for which they scored a 5 or higher. To request IB exam score reports be sent directly to SFAI, please visit IB Transcripts.

*Please note the International Baccalaureate provides the only acceptable documentation to verify IB exams and results.



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 first day of their first term 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 exceptions:

  1. The removal of courses due to failure to submit final and official transcripts.
  2. The completion of a previously in-progress courses with a "C-" or lower grade.
  3. A reassessment of transfer credits approved by Academic Affairs.

Appeals can be 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