Transfer and Transition Programs

Welcome to Howard University!

Advising and Registration

First time enrolled students (which includes first time in college (FTICs) and transfer students) will be registered for classes by their academic adviser during New Student Orientation.

Continuing students must register via Bison Web. 

Alternate PINS are required to access Bison Web for registration.  New students, students on academic probation and students with registration holds will not be issued Alternate PINS and will not be permitted to register until they either meet with their adviser and/or resolve their holds.  

The academic calendar provides the registration period dates each semester.  During this period, students identify courses in which they intend to enroll and enter those selections in Bison Web.  Specific instructions on how to us Bison Web are provided here.

In preparation for registration, students should consult the following resources:

  • Degree Works: A web-based degree audit tool that identifies students’ progress toward fulfilling degree requirements
  • Program Schemes/Degree Maps: A curriculum guide that lists all degree requirements including recommended semester-by-semester schedules.   Program Schemes and Degree Maps are available in departments and in advising offices.
  • Undergraduate Catalog: The web-based undergraduate catalog provides general information on academic policies, academic programs, degree requirements, and course descriptions

Students are encouraged to meet with their adviser at least two times per semester:

  • At the beginning of the semester to ensure that their courses are aligned with their degree requirements
  • Prior to the registration period to review their course selections for their next semester of enrollment.

Undergraduate Transfer Credit Policies

College Credits

Howard University accepts academic courses from regionally accredited colleges and universities as transfer credits. For a new student entering Howard University, and upon receipt of the student’s official transcript(s), transfer credits will be evaluated by using the following criteria.

  • Transfer courses must be of comparable content, academic level, and scope to the curricular offerings at Howard University
  • Credit hour(s) assignment to transfer courses will be semester credit hours. If the originating institution is other than the semester system, the appropriate conversion of credit hour (s) will take place by the Office of Enrollment Management.
  • Students must have earned a grade of “C” or higher in academic courses in order for the courses to be transferred to Howard University.
  • For transfer course credits that are discipline specific, the Office of the Registrar will request a review and assignment of the transfer credits by the specific discipline.
  • A maximum of 60 credit hours from an accredited institution can be transferred. (Note: Howard University requires that the last 30 credit hours for an undergraduate degree be taken at Howard University)
  • Credit hours are transferable to Howard University, not grades. Therefore, grades for academic courses transferred will not be included in the overall GPA of a student
  • All transcripts from international institutions (except pre-approved study abroad courses) must be evaluated by a current NACES member, and must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar via the respective agency.

Credit by Advanced Placement (AP)Examination

New students entering Howard University may receive course credit for academic courses completed in secondary schools under the Advanced Placement Program administered by the College Board. 

  • AP score must be sent directly from the College Board to Howard University.
  • AP credit hours are awarded by Howard University according to the Advanced Placement Chart.
  • A minimum e xa m score of 3 is required for each subject that a student wants to receive transfer credits for. However, some departments may require a score of 4 or 5 to receive the transfer credit for an AP examination.

Credit by International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination

Howard University will evaluate and award course credits for the International Baccalaureate Examination provided the below conditions are met. Only HL (High Level) examinations are accepted for transfer credit consideration. 

  • IB certificates must be submitted directly to Howard University via the examination agency.
  • IB credit hours are awarded by Howard University according to the International Baccalaureate Chart.
  • Generally, a score of 4 on the IB HL exam will result in credits being awarded for the first level of the course.
  • Generally, scores of 5, 6, or 7 will result in credits being awarded for the first and second levels of the course (e.g. A Biology HL score of 5, 6, or 7 will result in credits being awarded for BIOL 101 and 102).

Credit by Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination

Howard University will award transfer credits for scores ranging from 1-3; however, some departments may require a minimum score of 2 to receive the transfer credit for the CAPE examination  For transfer credit consideration, official CAPE certificates must be submitted directly to Howard University via CXC. CAPE credit hours are awarded by Howard University according to the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination Chart. 

Credit by Cambridge International A & AS-Level Examination

Howard University will award transfer credits for grades of ‘C’ or better. For transfer credit consideration, official Cambridge certificates must be submitted directly to Howard University via the examination body. A/AS-Level credit hours are awarded by Howard University according to the Cambridge A/AS-Level Examination Chart. 

Credit Hour Assignment Policy

General Policy

The Credit Hour Assignment Policy is intended to ensure that the number credits awarded per each transferable course reflect Howard University’s academic rigor and contact hour requirement. University transfer credit hour values are based on the credit hour value assigned by the originating institution and the appropriate conversion is made to yield semester credit hours when deemed necessary. If the academic calendar of the originating institution is not following a semester system, the appropriate conversion of the assessed credit hours of course work will take place based on the calendar of the originating institution and the formula for converting to semester credit hours. (Quarter hours are multiplied by .667 to convert them to semester hours). 

The Office of Admission and Office of the Registrar evaluate General Education courses. Core courses are subject to the approval of the individual schools and colleges and are submitted via the Advanced Standing form to the Office of the Registrar.  Credit hours are submitted to reflect the initial values and converted in the Office of the Registrar if necessary.  

Graduate level courses are subject to the same policy but may differ per academic program accreditation requirements.

Semester Calendar Credit Hours

Definition of a Credit Hour:
In accordance with federal regulations, a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates: 1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester; 2. At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practicum, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Contact hour or clock hour

A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students

Credit or credit hour

A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of credit hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma or certificate, or other award.)

Howard University operates on an academic year divided into two semesters of 15‐16 weeks, with a winter break of 2‐3 weeks and a summer session of 10‐12 weeks, plus additional shorter breaks. The actual amount of academic work that goes into a single semester credit hour is calculated as follows:

  • One lecture (taught) or seminar (discussion) credit hour represents 1 hour per week of scheduled class/seminar time and 2 hours of student preparation time.  Most lecture and seminar courses are awarded 3 credit hours.  Over an entire semester, this formula represents at least 45 hours of class time and 90 hours of student preparation.
  • One laboratory credit hour represents 1 hour per week of lecture or discussion time plus 1‐2 hours per week of scheduled supervised or independent laboratory work, and 2 hours of student preparation time.  Most laboratory courses are awarded up to 4 credit hours.  This calculation represents at least 45 hours of class time, between 45 and 90 hours of laboratory time, and 90 hours of student preparation per semester.
  • One practice credit hour (supervised clinical rounds, visual or performing art studio, supervised student teaching, field work, etc.) represents 3‐4 hours per week of supervised and /or independent practice.  This in turn represents between 45 and 60 hours of work per semester.   Blocks of 3 practice credit hours, which equate to a studio or practice course, represent between 135 and 180 total hours of academic work per semester.
  • One independent study (thesis or dissertation research) hour is calculated similarly to practice credit hours.
  • Internship or Apprenticeship credit hours are determined by negotiation between the supervising faculty and the work supervisor at the cooperating site, both of whom must judge and certify different aspects of the student’s work.  The credit formula is similar to that for practice credit.

A typical bachelor’s degree program of study on a semester calendar requires at least 120 credit hours to be earned by the student.  Normal full‐time registration is usually 15 credit hours per semester or 30 per academic year (shortfalls can be made up in summer sessions or independent study).  This roughly translates into at least 30‐40 courses (depending on the major subject and thus the proportion of types of credit hours earned) and represents at least 5,400 – and probably more – actual hours of dedicated academic work for a non‐science or non‐art concentration, and well over that total for graduates of programs in the sciences, engineering, fine arts, or performing arts.    A master’s degree program requiring at least 33 credit hours and including a research thesis or project represents over 4,000 actual hours of supervised and unsupervised (independent research) study, while a doctoral program can represent 8,000 or more actual hours of advanced study and research beyond the master’s degree.

HU Degree Programs

The University has an enduring commitment to the education and advancement of underrepresented populations in America and the global community. Howard University’s unique mission represents an unwavering commitment to its core values of leadership, excellence, truth and service. Please our academics page for more information!