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General Credit Transfer Policies

In accordance with the state-regulated credit transfer policies and articulation agreements, Palm Beach State College accepts credit from institutions that are accredited by a regional accrediting agency that participate in the statewide course numbering system. Credits obtained from non-regionally accredited institutions recognized by the United States Department of Education and that participate in the Statewide Common Numbering System (SCNS) are evaluated and accepted in the same manner as credits from regionally accredited institutions.

For non-regionally accredited institutions that do not participate in the SCNS, credits will be evaluated and accepted on a course-by-course basis through an appeals process that is initiated by the student. The student’s appeal must include the following information:

This  form requires that students:

  • Attach a course description for each course
  • Attach a course syllabus for each course
  • Provide official documentation stating the name of the instructor who taught the course and the instructor’s academic credentials. 

Students who have attended colleges or universities outside the United States are required to submit to the College:

International (F-1 Visa) students must submit all transcripts and commercial evaluations before the student’s first term of enrollment at Palm Beach State College.

The student is responsible for commercial evaluation fees and each course will be individually assessed for transfer consideration by the College. If credits are accepted, credits will be awarded on a course-by-course basis.  

Students may transfer credits from other institutions into Palm Beach State College; however, at least 25% of the degree or certificate program credit must be earned at Palm Beach State College (also known as “courses in residence”). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.

Palm Beach State College follows the state guidelines for awarding credit for prior learning experiences and credits earned through accelerated mechanism exam programs

Note: Palm Beach State College does not transfer degrees from non-regionally accredited institutions. The College Registrar reviews courses and has the right not to accept all or any part of the previously earned credit. 

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

The following factors will be considered in the evaluation of credits for transfer:

  • Breadth, depth and rigor of course content as evidenced by course syllabi, prerequisites, placement test scores, exit requirements, student portfolios, textbooks, writing or oral communication requirements, grading standards, catalog descriptions, etc.
  • Qualifications of the faculty member(s) providing the instruction
  • Age of credits
  • Recommendations through other established credit assessment bodies (e.g., ACE)
  • Institutional accreditation via other professional assessment/accrediting bodies (e.g., AMA, NLN, state agency)
  • Secondary documentation of course competencies (e.g., professional certification, standardized exam scores, etc.)


In addition to the above-stated factors, lower division college credits in technical areas not generally applicable at the baccalaureate degree level may also be subject to one or more of the following conditions prior to their acceptance as satisfying degree requirements. 

  • Successful completion of related higher-level courses in the student’s program of study;
  • Successful completion of subsequent courses in the subject/course sequence;
  • Successful completion of complementary lower division coursework in the subject or related area;
  • Demonstration of specific lab/clinical skills or other applied competencies;
  • Completion of additional supplemental independent/directed study in the subject area which augments the skills/content of the technical course;
  • Presentation of a portfolio of work substantiating the breadth, depth and rigor of the course content to include both theory and applied competencies;
  • Analysis of clusters of course credits where a combination of technical courses may represent baccalaureate level competencies when viewed as a package (e.g. eight credits in technical coursework may correspond to a three credit traditional transfer course in a given subject area);
  • Verification of faculty credentials at the transferring institution.

Recording Transfer Credits on a Student’s Palm Beach State College Transcript

A course equivalency crosswalk of commonly transferred courses based on the SCNS database and Palm Beach State College’s previously transferred non-SCNS courses are maintained in the College’s student information system. Various resource tools, such as CollegeSource, are also used in the evaluation of non-SCNS credit.

The routine process of evaluating transcripts is the responsibility of transcript evaluators in the College Registrar’s office. Only transcripts of degree-seeking students will be evaluated. Acceptable transfer credits will be entered and recorded on the student’s Palm Beach State College transcript as externally awarded and will indicate the original institution awarding the credit and, where appropriate, an equivalent Palm Beach State College course number may also be indicated. For courses that are not equivalent to or differs substantially to a Palm Beach State College course, the transfer credit will be listed on the student’s transcript as an “elective” course. The elective credits will be described as an open elective, a subject area elective, a general education elective, or a general education subject area course, as appropriate.

Quarter credit hours from external colleges are converted to semester credit hours (one quarter hour is equivalent to 0.67 semester hours). All grades, including failing grades, from other colleges are considered in calculating the cumulative grade point average for student standards of academic progress and for meeting graduation requirements. However, only courses with grades of “D” or higher are considered for awarding transfer credit. Courses with a grade of “D” cannot be used to satisfy General Education requirements. Plus (+) and minus (-) designations used with grades will be removed from all transfer courses.

If a student wishes to appeal the routine evaluation of their transfer credits requesting that the credits be re-evaluated and considered as equivalent to a Palm Beach State course, the student should follow the procedures outlined in the “Appeal for Transfer Credit Re-Evaluation” section. 

For course substitution requests, the student should follow the procedures outlined in the “Course Equivalency/Substitution” section.


Foreign Language Requirement

Students must meet the provision of Florida Statute 1007.262 regarding the statewide foreign language requirement as a graduation requirement of the associate of arts and bachelor’s degree. Students may meet the requirement for foreign language or American Sign Language proficiency without obtaining two credits. If a student is able to demonstrate competency to the second high school level or higher (Spanish 2, Creole 2, etc.) without taking the first course, the student will be considered as meeting the requirement.

Alternative for Determining Proficiency in a Foreign Language

For Students who are proficient in a foreign language through means other than high school or college instruction, the student may choose to show proficiency through the following:

  • Present an evaluated transcript indicating a high school education has been earned from an institution where the primary language of instruction is something other than English.
  • Present an evaluated transcript showing transferred credits earned at an institution of higher education where the primary language of instruction is something other than English.
  • Submit proof of a score sufficient to earn foreign language level 2 credit via CLEP, SAT II, AP, AICE, IB, or other appropriate exam accepted for credit or placement at Palm Beach State College.

Appeal for Transfer Credit Re-Evaluation

A student may appeal to have transfer credit courses re-evaluated by completing and submitting a Course Re-Evaluation Appeal form to the college registrar’s office. The student must also attach to the form a course description from the transfer institution’s college catalog or a course syllabus for each course to be re-evaluated. If the re-evaluation is for a general education course, a listing of the transfer institution’s General Education courses must also be provided.

The review process will parallel that applied to the general evaluation of credits for transfer; however, the final determination will be made by the college registrar in consultation with the appropriate department chair, associate dean, or vice-president of academic affairs. The student will be notified by email as to the final decision of their re-evaluation request.

Last Updated: May 2018

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