Transfer and Nontraditional Sources of Credit

Transfer Credit

General Criteria and Process

  1. Official evaluation of acceptability for transfer — An official evaluation of all previously completed college credit is prepared by the Office of the Registrar after a transfer student has been approved for general admission to the university. The University Registrar makes the final determination for the university with respect to the transferability of credit.
  2. Acceptability for transfer — At the time of admission to the university, previously earned college credit is evaluated by the Office of the Registrar in accordance with university regulations regarding the acceptability for transfer and a summary of all previous college work and all transferable work is prepared by the Office of the Registrar for use in advisement of the student. Such evaluation does not constitute an agreement to accept any specific credit in lieu of any specific requirement for graduation from Aurora University. The following general criteria are used by the Office of the Registrar in determining acceptability for transfer:
    1. Credit is accepted from regionally accredited post-secondary institutions and from institutions accredited by bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Credit from U.S. institutions not accredited by CHEA may only be accepted through the process for assessment of prior learning and is subject to the same limitations as other assessed prior learning.  Credit earned through StraighterLine, Sofia Learning, and other similar opportunities will require an American Council of Education (ACE) official transcript for consideration of transfer credit.
    2. Guidelines presented in the AACRAO “World Education Series” are applied to international institutions. Where credit and content determination cannot be made from international transcripts, a course-by-course evaluation in English from a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) is required at the student’s expense before transfer of credit will be considered. The University Registrar reserves the right to determine whether or not international transcripts meet the university’s requirements for acceptance as official records.
    3. In most cases, only courses bearing grades of C minus (C-) or higher may be transferred. The exception is that a “D” for an Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) course will be accepted if the IAI core requirements are met before entering Aurora University. Courses bearing grades such as “pass” or “credit” may be transferred provided the regulations of the sending institution indicate that such credit represents work at the level of “C-” or higher. The cutoff for numerical grades shall be determined by the University Registrar so that such grades are accepted on a basis consistent with the “C-” criterion. Coursework bearing “pass” or “credit” grades may only be accepted for inclusion in a specific program upon review and approval of the program faculty.
    4. In the case of credit that is to be included in a program, time limits on applicability to the program may be established by the program faculty. Time limits are determined with respect to the date of the student’s first attendance at Aurora University.
    5. Credit is ordinarily considered acceptable for transfer if it is comparable to coursework offered by Aurora University or generally considered to be part of a liberal arts based curriculum.
    6. Post-secondary technical credit may be accepted in transfer for inclusion in an approved student-initiated major; as general elective credit if certified by a program faculty as relevant to the student’s major area of study; or for inclusion in an established major upon approval of the program faculty.
    7. Credit deemed by the sending institution, or by Aurora University, to be remedial or pre-college in level will not be accepted in transfer. However, such credit may be considered by an academic unit as a basis for waiving course prerequisites.
  3. AA and AS General Education transfer articulation — Students holding an AA or AS degree from a regionally accredited college are deemed to have met all lower division General Education IDS requirements for graduation from Aurora University (see “General Education Requirements for Transfer Students”). These students still must participate in a junior-year mentoring, and assessment process.
  4. Transfer of credit by students matriculated at Aurora University — It is expected that, once enrolled at Aurora University, a student will earn all subsequent credit toward the degree at the university. Students retaking courses for grade replacement must do so at Aurora University.
    1. Credit earned by approved cross-registration at other schools that are members of the Council of West Suburban Colleges (North Central College, Benedictine University) is treated as though it were earned at Aurora University.
    2. No credit from other institutions earned while a student is matriculated at Aurora University may be accepted in transfer except under extenuating circumstances and upon prior, written approval of the University Registrar. 
      1. Exception: Transfer credits earned during the last term immediately preceding the initial term of full-time enrollment at AU, will also be evaluated and counted as accumulated transfer credit referenced for the evaluation of required AU general education courses. This transfer grace period is available to students who are registered - during the single semester immediately preceding their initial full-time enrollment at AU, for no more than four credit hours at AU during the grace term, and at another institution concurrently. This policy will not apply to students pursuing their degree on a part-time basis.
    3. No credit may be transferred within the last 24 semester hours of the student’s degree except upon the prior, written approval of the University Registrar.
    4. The applicability of transferred credits to the completion of major requirements is decided by the University Registrar or Dean of Academic Administration.
    5. Aurora University does not accept credit for college-level GED examinations in transfer.
    6. Aurora University will accept credit from an accredited graduate school toward a bachelor’s degree at Aurora University. The student is not required to have received a graduate degree prior to submitting an official transcript for credit.
    7. The application of courses transferred toward meeting general degree requirements will be determined by the University Registrar or Dean of Academic Administration. Professionally oriented courses (e.g., pastoral counseling or Sunday School administration) will not apply toward general degree requirements.
    8. Study abroad credit taken outside of AU travel study/May courses taught by AU faculty is posted as transfer credit. 

Transfer Articulation

AU makes available on its transfer admission web site (, both 2+2 Plans and Transfer Plans to assist prospective students in choosing courses at many Illinois and Wisconsin community or technical colleges which will transfer into specific AU academic programs.  AU utilizes the Transfer Evaluation System (TES) to provide prospective students information on how individual courses will transfer into the university.

Transfer Articulation Agreements

Aurora University and the College of DuPage have formally established a transfer articulation agreement between the two schools to aid in and encourage the transfer from the College of DuPage to Aurora University.

Nontraditional Sources of Credit

Aurora University recognizes the validity of college-level learning achieved in settings other than accredited institutions of higher education, provided that this nontraditional learning is validated in accordance with generally recognized standards of good practice and awarded through the processes provided in the university’s academic regulations. A maximum of 30 semester hours may be granted in total for nontraditional sources of credit, including ACE, NCCRS, CLEP, AP, IB, DANTES, STAMP, and LVE.

Portfolio Process for Awarding Credit for Life and Vocational Experience (LVE)

  1. A portfolio assessment program is available to students who have significant prior learning through career achievements, individual study, or volunteer work.
  2. LVE portfolios may present documentation supporting the awarding of credit for the following categories of prior learning:
    1. Military training evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE)
    2. Non-collegiate training and education programs evaluated by ACE or under the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)
    3. College-level learning achieved through organized training and education programs not included in (a) or (b) above (LVE fee applies)
    4. Technical credit or other credit from a regionally accredited or CHEA institution that is not evidently suitable for inclusion in AU baccalaureate programs (LVE fee applies)
    5. Educational experiences achieved through non-CHEA accredited institutions of higher education (LVE fee applies)
    6. College-level learning achieved through on-the-job experience, individual study, or other life experiences (LVE fee applies)
  3. Students seeking LVE credit will complete a “Life and Vocational Experience Credit Request (LVE)” form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. Upon receipt of the request, the student will be directed to the appropriate faculty member to determine the required materials for the portfolio per the type of request.
  4. There is a 90-day time limit for completion of the entire LVE portfolio process which begins with the submission of the LVE credit request form and encompasses initial meeting with the faculty member, supplying satisfactory requested documentation to the faculty member, evaluation of the portfolio by the faculty member, and posting of credit to the academic record by the Office of the Registrar. Failure to complete the process within 90 days renders the current LVE credit request null and void and the process must begin again. LVE credit may be awarded within the final 30 semester hours of the student’s undergraduate program, provided that the evaluated portfolio is submitted to the Office of the Registrar for recording no later than the last day of the term preceding the term in which the student will complete all requirements for graduation.
  5. The student will submit the requested portfolio materials to the faculty member for evaluation.
    1. Credit will be granted when such credit is clearly applicable to the student’s baccalaureate program at Aurora University, and upon submission of the following documentation to the Office of the Registrar:
      1.  A “Life and Vocational Experience (LVE) Credit Request” form completed and signed by the designated program faculty member and approved by the Academic Dean, b) the completed portfolio assessment rubric used by the university, and c) the documentation submitted by the student. An LVE fee is charged, as established by the Vice President for Finance. Such experiential prerequisite credit may only be presented for graduation in fulfillment of a specific program course requirement.
      2. The portfolio evaluation process may result in the award of semester hours of specific course or general elective credit, not to exceed the maximum 30 total combined semester hours, based on submission of the portfolio with satisfactory documentation providing evidence of career-relevant learning achieved through the student’s work experience, including appropriate documentation such as performance evaluation materials and supervisors’ statements. Submissions will be evaluated and approved by the designated faculty member using the portfolio assessment rubric used by the university, and approved by the appropriate Academic Dean.  
    2. Credit awarded through the portfolio process will be recorded on the student’s permanent academic record as determined by the program evaluator, with indications of applicability to the requirements of the major as approved by the major department.
    3. Credit not approved for application in the major may be applied as general elective credit toward graduation.
    4. Portfolio credit considered by the Office of the Registrar to duplicate prior or subsequent transferable coursework or test credit will be removed from the student’s historical record in favor of such coursework or test credit.
    5. Portfolio credit is evaluated as either lower or upper division in nature and will be applied toward the limits for lower and upper division transfer credit and to meet other graduation requirements in the same manner as transferred credit.
    6. Portfolio and examination credit are not included in official audits of student progress or degree completion until recorded in the student’s permanent academic record by the Office of the Registrar.
    7. Credit awarded through the portfolio process, by examination or as an experiential prerequisite for a major may not be counted toward either the general -nor major or minor program- residency requirement for graduation.
  6. Following evaluation of the student’s credit, a copy of the portfolio and a summary of the evaluation shall be attached to the LVE credit request form and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. Acceptable credit will be posted to the student’s academic record. The LVE fee will be assessed at the time credit is posted, if applicable.

Credit by Examination

  1. CLEP/AP/IB/DANTES/STAMP — Examination credit through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Advanced Placement Program (AP), the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), the Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Educational Support program (DANTES), and the Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP), is granted by Aurora University as outlined in this catalog, to provide a means of measuring the academic achievement of those students who, through extensive reading and experience, may be able to meet the standards set as a basis for granting college credit.
  2. Prior approval of the University Registrar must be secured by filing a Petition for Prior Approval before current students take examinations for credit.
  3. Limitations on Use:
    1. No more than one-fourth of the courses presented for the major shall be by examination.
    2. No more than 4 semester hours of examination credit may be used to meet the General English Composition requirement.
  4. Fees
    1. Students are expected to pay all fees required by testing agencies.
    2. CLEP, AP, PEP, or NLN test credit earned while attending another institution and prior to attendance at Aurora University will not be assessed a recording fee.

Seal of Biliteracy

AU accepts the State Seal of Biliteracy. Incoming students receive eight hours of credit in the relevant language. Students who receive credit for the seal are not eligible for AP credit in the associated language. The student will be subject to the AU course placement policy for foreign language. A student must request credit for the seal at the point of enrollment at AU. Seal credit will only be granted within three years of the student’s high school graduation.

Seal of Biliteracy Spanish French Other Languages
World Languages SPN-1120 & SPN-1220 (8 SH) FRN-1120 & FRN-1220 (8 SH) Foreign Language Elective (8SH)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General Examinations

The General Examinations are designed to be taken before college work is begun. Students who have any college credits must seek prior approval. If courses have been taken prior to the test date, appropriate reductions in the amount of credit usually awarded will be made by the Office of the Registrar.

A student who has received CLEP credit in English cannot also receive college credit for ENG-1000 Introduction to Academic Writing. A student who has received four semester hours of CLEP credit in mathematics may not take MTH-1100 College Algebra for college credit.A student who has received eight semester hours of CLEP credit in mathematics may not take MTH-1100 College Algebra or MTH-1310 Precalculus for college credit.1


Note to CLEP Recipients Who Intend to Take Additional Mathematics Courses: In some instances the results of the Aurora University Mathematics Competency Examination may suggest that a student needs to take one of the courses prohibited above. In that instance, a student should decide whether to take the course as an auditor, take the course for college credit and accept a reduction in CLEP credit, or proceed to the next level of mathematics with the understanding that he/she may have some difficulty. 

CLEP Subject Examinations — Credit cannot be awarded if a student has had classroom credit in the subject area. Students who have any college credits must seek prior approval. The following options are available:

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) — Aurora University awards appropriate credit from the College Level Examination Program.

Composition and Literature

Subject Score (Minimum) AU Credit (4SH)
American Literature 50 ENG-2420 or ENG-2430
Analyzing/Interpreting Lit 50 English Elective
College Composition 50 ENG-1000
College Composition Modular 50 Does Not Transfer (DNT)
English Literature 50 ENG-2520 or ENG-2530
Humanities 50 General Elective

World Languages

Subject Score (Minimum) AU Credit (4SH)
French Language: Levels 1&2 50 FRN-1120, FRN-1220 (8 SH)
German Language: Levels 1&2 50 Foreign Language Elective (8 SH)
Spanish Language: Levels 1&2 50 SPN-1120, SPN-1220 (8 SH)
Spanish w/ Writing: Levels 1&2 50 SPN-2200, SPN-2300 (8 hours)

History and Social Sciences 

Subject Score (Minimum) AU Credit (4SH)
American Govt. 50 PSC-1300
History of the U.S. I: to 1877 50 HIS-1200
History of the U.S. II: 1865 - Present 50 HIS-1210
Human Growth/Development 50 PSY-3250
Intro to Educational Psych 50 EDU-2260
Introductory Psychology 50 PSY-1100
Introductory Sociology 50 SOC-1100
Principles of Macroeconomics1 50 Economics Elective
Principles of Microeconomics1 50 Economics Elective
Social Sciences/History 50 Social Behavior Science Elective
Western Civ I: to 1648 50 History Elective
Western Civ II: 1648 - Present 50 History Elective

If Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are both successfully completed, 4SH of credit will be awarded for ECN-2030 Principles of Economics and 4SH of credit will be awarded in Economics elective credit. 

Sciences and Mathematics

Subject Score (Minimum) AU Credit (4SH)
Biology 50 BIO-1210/BIO-1210Z
Precalculus 50 MTH-1310
Calculus 50 MTH-2210
Chemistry 50 CHM-1200/CHM-1200Z
College Algebra 50 MTH-1100
College Mathematics 50 MTH-1030
Natural Sciences 50 General Elective


Subject Score (Minimum) AU Credit (4SH)
Financial Accounting 50 ACC-2010
Information Systems 50 CSC-1010
Introductory Business Law 50 BUS-2010
Principles of Management 50 Business Elective
Principles of Marketing 50 MKT-2300

DANTES Test Credit

Aurora University accepts appropriate credit from the DANTES testing program. Subject areas are accepted if they meet the general requirements for acceptance of other forms of credit (i.e., are nontechnical in nature, are in technical fields otherwise deemed appropriate for inclusion in the student’s degree, or meet other guidelines for transfer of technical credit).

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

Aurora University awards appropriate credit from the Advanced Placement Program. 

Capstone Diploma Program

AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
Research n/a Does Not Transfer (DNT)
Seminar n/a Does Not Transfer (DNT)


AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
Studio Art: 2-D Design 3, 4, 5 ART-1210
Studio Art: 3-D Design 3, 4, 5 ART-1310
Art History 3, 4, 5 Art Elective
Studio Art: Drawing 3, 4, 5 ART-2100
Music Theory 3, 4, 5 MUS-2600


AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
English Lang/Comp 3, 4, 5 ENG-1000
English Lit/Comp 3, 4, 5 English Elective

History and Social Sciences

AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
Comparative Govt./Politics 3, 4, 5 Political Science Elective
European History 3, 4, 5 History Elective
Human Geography 3, 4, 5 Social Behavior Science Elective
Macroeconomics1 3, 4, 5 Economics Elective
Microeconomics1 3, 4, 5 Economics Elective
Psychology 3, 4, 5 PSY-1100
U.S. Govt./Politics 3, 4, 5 PSC-1300
U.S. History 3, 4 HIS-1200
U.S. History 5 HIS-1200, HIS-1210 (8 SH)
World History 3, 4 HIS-1300
World History 5 HIS-1300, HIS-1400 (8 SH)

If Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are both successfully completed, 4SH of credit will be awarded for ECN-2030 Principles of Economics and 4SH of credit will be awarded in Economics elective credit. 

Math and Computer Science

AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
Calculus AB 3, 4, 5 MTH-2210
Calculus BC 3 MTH-2210
Calculus BC 4, 5 MTH-2210, MTH-2220 (8 SH)
Computer Science A 3, 4, 5 CSC-1700
Computer Science Principles 3, 4, 5 CSC-1010
Statistics 3, 4, 5 MTH-2100


AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
Biology 3 BIO-1210/BIO-1210Z
Biology 4, 5 BIO-1210/BIO-1210Z, BIO-1220/BIO-1220Z (8SH)
Chemistry 3 CHM-1200/CHM-1200Z
Chemistry 4, 5 CHM-1310/CHM-1310Z
Environmental Science 3, 4, 5 BIO-2200
Physics 1: Algebra Based 3, 4, 5 PHY-2210/PHY-2210Z
Physics 2: Algebra Based 3, 4, 5 PHY-2220/PHY-2220Z
Physics C: E&M 3, 4, 5 PHY-2250/PHY-2250Z
Physics C: Mech 3, 4, 5 PHY-2240/PHY-2240Z

World Languages & Culture 

AP Exam Score AU Credit (4SH)
Chinese Lang/Culture 3, 4, 5 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
French Lang/Culture 3, 4, 5 FRN-1120, FRN-1220 (8SH)
German Lang/Culture 3, 4, 5 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
Italian Lang/Culture 3, 4, 5 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
Japanese Lang/Culture 3, 4, 5 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
Latin 3, 4, 5 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
Spanish Lang/Culture 3, 4, 5 SPN-1120, SPN-1220 (8SH)
Spanish Lit/Culture 3, 4, 5 Spanish Elective

International Baccalaureate Program (IB)

Aurora University awards appropriate credit from the International Baccalaureate Program (IB).


Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Art History n/a Does Not Transfer (DNT)
Dance n/a Does Not Transfer (DNT)
Film 4, 5, 6, 7 COM-2300
Music 4, 5, 6, 7 MUS-1550
Theatre 4, 5, 6, 7 THE-1200
Visual Arts 4, 5, 6, 7 Art Elective
Philosophy 4, 5, 6, 7 PHL-1100


Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Biology 4, 5, 6, 7 BIO-1210/BIO-1210Z
Chemistry 4, 5 CHM-1310/CHM-1310Z
Chemistry 6, 7 CHM-1310/CHM-1310Z, CHM-1320/CHM-1320Z (8SH)
Computer Science 4, 5, 6, 7 CSC-1010, CSC-1700 (8SH)
Math: Analysis/Approaches 4, 5, 6, 7 MTH-1310, MTH-2210 (8SH)
Math: Applications/Interpret 4, 5, 6, 7 MTH-2100, MTH-2210 (8SH)
Physics 4, 5, 6, 7 PHY-2210/PHY-2210Z, PHY-2220/PHY-2220Z (8SH)


Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Language A: English Lit 4, 5, 6, 7 English Elective
Language A: Lang/Lit 4, 5, 6, 7 Foreign Language Elective or ENG-1000
Language B: Other than English n/a See Foreign Languages

Foreign Languages

Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Classical Languages 4, 5, 6, 7 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
French 4, 5, 6, 7 FRN-1120, FRN-1220 (8SH)
German 4, 5, 6, 7 Foreign Language Elective (8SH)
Spanish 4, 5, 6, 7 SPN-1120, SPN-1220 (8SH)

Social Sciences 

Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Economics 4, 5, 6, 7 ECN-2030
Geography 4, 5, 6, 7 General Elective
Global Politics 4, 5, 6, 7 General Elective
American History 4, 5, 6, 7 HIS-1200, HIS-1210 (8SH)
World History 4, 5, 6, 7 HIS-1300, HIS-1400 (8SH)
Psychology 4, 5, 6, 7 PSY-1100
Social/Cultural Anthropology 4, 5, 6, 7 SOC-2150


Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Business Management 4, 5, 6, 7 BUS-1020


Higher Level (HL) Score AU Credit (4SH)
Design Technology n/a Does Not Transfer (DNT)
Sports, Exercise, Health Science n/a Does Not Transfer (DNT)

Credit for Departmental Challenge Examinations

In those cases where no nationally-normed examination is available or appropriate to support the awarding of credit in a subject area required in a major, the program faculty may establish a departmental challenge examination for the awarding of a maximum of four (4) semester hours to be used in lieu of a specific major course. Such examinations are subject to the same approval process as that prevailing for new courses. A testing fee for such examinations will be established by the Vice President for Finance. Students may present for graduation a maximum of eight (8) semester hours by departmental challenge examinations; such credit may be applied only toward major requirements and does not meet other general degree requirements. Departmental challenge credit shall be designated as lower or upper division by the program faculty.