The General Education program regularly permits current students to transfer credits earned at other, accredited institutions and use them to fulfill program requirements. Click on the FAQs for more information about the approval process.

How do I get started?

First, you must be a current student. Paying a deposit to admissions isn’t enough. You must actually be taking classes here. If that’s you, then read all the FAQs. Really. If you are enrolled somewhere else and interested in transferring in to JMU, go to this page.

Who has to approve my course?

It depends.

  • For courses taken at a Virginia Community College System (VCCS) institution and listed on the General Education equivalency website, a student only needs to take a completed “Permission Form to Take Courses for Transfer Credit” form to the Office of the Registrar for final signature (no departmental signature is required). Don’t use the master VCCS-JMU articulation list by mistake. That’s for students transferring in to JMU only.
  • For courses offered outside the Virginia Community College System, especially out of state, students will need a signature of approval from the Associate Vice Provost or the appropriate Cluster Coordinator. Office hours are posted under the Contact tab. For some Gen Ed courses, such as Math and Chemistry, students also need departmental approval. For courses that you want to double count for Gen Ed and for your major, then BOTH the departmental and Gen Ed signatures are always mandatory.
  • If you are not in good standing (eg, on probation) or need final hours or are taking courses through a non JMU study abroad program, then additional approvals are also needed in addition to the ones above.
  • If you have questions, always call or email the Gen Ed office for accurate info.

Where do I get a Permission Form?

Here is the link: Permission Form to Take Courses for Transfer Credit. This form is maintained by the Registrar’s office, but you will likely need approval from an academic department BEFORE you submit it. The Registrar’s signature is the LAST one to get. You must have a signed form on file at the Registrar’s Office in advance of taking courses at another institution. JMU does NOT guarantee that permission will be granted. We’re kinda picky.

What should I bring with me?

Chocolate is always appreciated, but at a minimum just plan to bring a course description and a permission form. For certain kinds of courses, we will require a syllabus, too. Literature courses, for example, always require a syllabus so we can be sure they meet the writing criteria for Cluster Two. Don’t bring a long, random list for review, either. Troubleshoot by reviewing the Gen Ed program outcomes, consulting your My Madison to see exactly what academic requirements you want to fulfill via transfer, and picking your best 2-3 options from the choices available at the other campus.

Do I have to come in person?

Not necessarily, but the process works best if you do, especially during the regular academic year. That way, if we have questions or concerns, they can be resolved quickly and efficiently. It also helps to email or call us with questions before you come. During the summer, when you are away from JMU, you can certainly use email.

When should I start this process?

 The semester before you intend to take the course. If you try too far in advance, the course you get approved might not be offered. If you wait too long (like, the day registration opens on the other campus), you may not get a seat. Be advised: having a last minute crisis doesn’t get you special preference for approval.

Can I take whatever I want and transfer it in?

Now, that’s just crazy talk. Our Gen Ed program is unique and we have standards to uphold. Here are the restrictions:

  • Courses must be taken at an accredited institution of higher education
  • Courses must meet the program’s learning outcomes
  • No more than three courses can transfer for General Education credit
  • No more than one transfer course per cluster
No transfer credit will be awarded for Cluster Four, The American Experience (HIST 225, JUST 225 and POSC 225) due to the content and unique features of these courses.

What if it's an emergency and I need an exception?

We all make mistakes. Sometimes students wait until the last minute. Sometimes they get inaccurate information from advisors or friends and take the wrong course or realize they have to take a class over the summer in order to graduate. These are all ordinary occurrences, not emergencies, and they don’t entitle you to an exception. All students are responsible for knowing their own degree requirements and meeting them. If you really have an extraordinary problem, however, let us know and we’ll try to help.

Anything else I should know?

Well, yes. Don’t forget to have an official transcript mailed to the Office of the Registrar after you complete your transfer coursework. It’s your responsibility to take care of that final detail. Credit hours will only be awarded for approved courses carrying a "C" or better grade (2.0 quality points). Grades for courses taken at another institution are not included in grade point average calculations although they will be used in determining graduation honors for eligible students.

Back to Top