Academic Info and Transfer Credit as a Transfer Student Skip Navigation

Academic Information and Credit Transfers

Determine what your academic standing will be at Colgate based on your previous coursework.

Application Process

To make the application process as easy as possible, we have outlined four steps for you to consider and follow:


Upon enrollment, each student is assigned two advisers.
  1. Administrative: answers questions about course requirements, registration, academic standards, leaves of absence, and student life issues.
  2. Academic: develops meaningful education plans compatible with student goals, interests, abilities, and skills. The academic adviser is a faculty member in your major. 

Transfer Credits

Student working in the lab with geology professor William Peck
Individual departments determine which courses taken elsewhere can transfer for credit toward a major. The registrar decides which courses apply toward graduation requirements.

At Colgate, one course generally carries one course credit, which is equivalent to four semester hours. Colgate requires students to complete at least half the required courses (16 of 32 courses) for graduation at Colgate or in Colgate-sponsored programs.
Guidelines for conversion of academic credit
Courses that have a value of one or two semester hours or fewer than four quarter-hours are not normally considered for transfer credit.

Cumulative quarter-hours transferred Cumulative semester hours (credits) transferred Colgate course equivalents
5–8 3–5 1
9–13 6–8 2
14–19 9–12 3
20–25 13–16 4
26–31 17–20 5
32–37 21–24 6
38–43 25–28 7
44–49 29–32 8
50–55 33–36 9
56–61 37–40 10
62–67 41–44 11
68–73 45–48 12
74–79 49–52 13
80–85 53–56 14
86–91 57–60 15
92–97 61–64 16
Credit evaluation
Transfer credit is normally considered for liberal arts courses bearing the equivalent of three semester — or five quarter — hours’ worth of credit when the student earns grades of C or better. Grades of C- or lower are not granted credit, nor are courses taken as pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Determining class year/academic standing
The following defines academic standing and required Colgate credits to achieve the listed standing:
  • Junior standing: Transferring an equivalent of 14 Colgate credits
  • Sophomore standing: Transferring an equivalent of six Colgate credits

Curriculum and Course Requirements

To earn your degree at Colgate, you will need to complete the curriculum outlined below, in addition to your academic major.
Liberal Arts Core Curriculum
Colgate’s core curriculum provides common ground for wide-ranging student-faculty interactions, and builds an intellectual foundation for a life of fulfillment. Learn more about the Core Curriculum.

Students are required to complete core requirements as indicated.:

Total courses accepted upon enrollment at Colgate Core courses required at Colgate
1–4 4
5–8 3
9–12 2
13–16 1
Areas of Inquiry
As a condition of graduation, students must take at least two courses, from different departments, in each of three areas of inquiry:
  1. Human Thought and Expression
  2. Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  3. Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents
While transfer credits may satisfy this requirement, summer course credit will not apply. 
Global Engagements
Select courses from across the curriculum satisfy this requirement. All students must take one such course, as transfer credit does not apply.
Language requirement
Students must be competent in a foreign language before graduation. Language competency may be shown by one of the following:
  1. Completing three years (levels) of a foreign or classical language in a secondary school before enrolling at Colgate. 
  2. Demonstrating basic language skills on a standard test (for example, a satisfactory score on a College Board SAT-II language subject test). 
  3. Studying a foreign or classical language at Colgate or another college/university through at least one semester at the intermediate level. 
Physical education requirement
All students must complete two units of physical education, taken by the end of the sophomore year (one unit equals six weeks). Junior transfer students must complete one unit.