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Credit for Prior Learning FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Transcript Evaluation
General Requirements

Opened transcripts, requesting evaluation, prerequisite courses, recognized accrediting organizations

Is Credit for Prior Learning right for me?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may be a good candidate for Prior Learning Credit:

  • Did you take coursework or an exam in high school that could earn college credit?
  • Can you demonstrate skills and knowledge learned through work or experience?
  • Are you comfortable taking a timed, online exam? 
  • Do you have national or industry certifications?
  • Do your experiences relate to courses offered at Montgomery College?
  • Are you, or were you, a member of the Military?

Do you accept a transcript I opened at home?

No. You must submit an official transcript, which is one that bears the seal and signature of a registrar officer of the sending institution. It may be sent directly to MC (preferred) or hand-delivered by the student in a sealed, un-opened envelope.

What am I supposed to do to get my prior course work evaluated for transfer credit?

You must be fully admitted to the College, be a degree-seeking student, and have officially declared a major (program of study) in your record. And of course, you must submit your official transcript(s) for evaluation. MC requires official transcripts from all previously attended institutions. 

What am I supposed to do if I am not seeking a degree (rather, only taking a course), but need pre-requisite courses waived so I can register?

You do not need to send your transcript to the Transcript Evaluator. Instead, present your unofficial transcript to the Department Chair of your course and request a pre-requisite override. Be sure to provide the course number and semester when you’d like to take your course. To find the department chair, please visit the Academic Affairs website.

I understand MC does not accept credit earned at a college or university that is not accredited by a regional accrediting organization. What are those accrediting organizations?

They are the organizations recognized by the US Department of Education, including:

  1. Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  2. Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  3. New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE) – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  4. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) 
  6. Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) -  Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges 
  7. Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) - Senior College and University Commission

How do I know if my previous school is accredited by a regional accrediting organization?

Accreditation information can be found in the school’s catalog and on its website.

Transcript Evaluation Process

Notification of posted credit, turnaround time and deadlines 

I have submitted my transcript for evaluation. How do I know when I have transfer credit posted in my record?

You will be notified via MC e-mail when your transcript has been evaluated.

Where in MyMC do I see my posted transfer credit?

Log in to MyMC. Under Student Tools, select Request Transcript. Click on View Free Unofficial Transcript. See Transfer Credit Accepted by Institution.

What is the turn-around time?

It may take up to six weeks before your transfer credit gets posted. Make sure you check MC e-mail for a notification when your transfer credit is updated.

What is the deadline to submit a transcript for evaluation?

There is no deadline to submit a transcript for evaluation. However, if you would like your transcript to be reviewed before the first date of registration, it is recommended that you submit your transcript by the following date:

  • September 1 for Spring
  • March 1 for Summer
  • April 1 for Fall         

What will happen if I miss one of the dates above?

Your transcript will still be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. However, there is no guarantee that your transfer credit will be posted before the first date of registration for the corresponding semester.

Grades & GPA

Grade requirements, transfer credit grade assignments

What is the grade requirement to transfer credit?

C or better. In some cases, credits earned with a "D" shall be accepted provided the student has earned a cumulative grade point average equivalent to at least a "C" from the sending institution(s) and such “D” courses fit into the curriculum pursued at Montgomery College as set forth in 58002CP Assessment Testing and Appropriate Course Placement.

What grade will I receive for transfer credit? Does it affect my GPA?

A grade of CR is assigned for transfer credit from outside sources such as college transcripts, national testing service exams, etc. Students with internal exam credit (Credit by Exam) and portfolio assessment will receive a grade of P. Transfer credit does not affect your GPA.

I earned a D for a course at MC. Will this grade be removed/replaced when I transfer an equivalent course from my prior institution?

No, credit earned at MC remains permanent in your record. In fact, you will not be given transfer credit for the same course where you’ve received a grade of D or better.

Change of Major

Re-evaluation of transcript, informing about major selection, General Studies and transfer credits

I’ve recently changed my major. Will you re-evaluate my transcript for the new major?

Yes, you must first have your major officially changed, and then request the Transcript Evaluator on the campus where you submitted your transcript to re-evaluate your transcript for the new major.

I received a Transfer Evaluation Letter asking me to verify a major. Am I supposed to let you know after I’ve done as requested? How do I inform you of my major?

Yes. You may inform the Admissions Office or contact the Transcript Evaluator who sent you the letter.

Will my credits transfer differently if I change my major? What about if I choose General Studies?

Credits will transfer and be applied differently for each degree program. General Studies does offer a bit more flexibility on how courses may transfer and be accepted toward graduation. It’s important to speak with a counselor before choosing General Studies, or any major, to ensure the degree aligns with your next steps or career goals.

Number of Transfer Credits

Maximum number of transfer credits, maximum number of military credits, making up for missing credits in major

Why do I receive fewer credits than what I have on my transcript?

In most cases, the credits that did not get transferred are not applicable to your program of study. Another reason is you may have maxed out the number of transfer credits allowed. Unsatisfactory grades may also be a reason.

How many transfer credits can be applied toward a program?

A maximum of 45 transfer credits can be applied to a degree program or 70% of the credits required to a certificate program.

How many credits can I transfer from my military transcript? What about credits from other non-traditional sources such as CLEP and AP exams and internal evaluations of competencies (Credit by Exam, portfolio assessment)?

No more than 24 credits shall be granted for military courses.

National testing credits cannot exceed 30 credits (or 50% of the credits required for a certificate). Internal credits (Credit by Exam and portfolio assessment) cannot go beyond 15 (or 25% of the credits for required a certificate). Also note the maximum combined credit earned by national testing service exams, credit by exam, and portfolio assessment cannot exceed 30 credits (or 50% of the credits required for a certificate).

Why do I receive fewer credits for a transfer course than the MC “equivalent” course? How can I make up the missing credits?

The credit difference often results from a quarter-semester conversion, where a quarter credit is equal to two-thirds (2/3) of a semester credit. In addition, if you transfer a 3-credit course that is so-called equivalent to a 4-credit course at MC, you would receive 3 transfer credits – not 4. 

If you have other course credits from the same discipline, they can be used to fulfill the missing credit requirement. Exceptions can be made for General Education courses, where 2.67 converted credits are rounded up to meet a 3-credit corresponding requirement.  

Prior Degree

General Education credits from prior degree, program specific course credit from prior degree

I have an Associate of Arts/Science (or higher) degree from a U.S. institution accredited by a regional accrediting organization. Will I receive all the General Education credits required for my major at MC? What about an Associate of Applied Arts/Science?

An Associate of Arts/Science (or higher) degree from a U.S. institution accredited by a regional accrediting organization satisfies all General Education requirements in most programs. However, if your program requires specific General Education courses (e.g., PSYC 102/PSYC 203 for Social Sciences in Nursing Curriculum, or BIOL 150 for Natural Sciences with Lab in Biotechnology Curriculum), you must have those specific courses on your prior transcript to receive the credits.

An Associate of Applied Arts/Science does not satisfy General Education requirements. Transcripts with an AAA or AAS will be subject to a course-by-course evaluation.

Will specific General Education courses such as ENGL 102, COMM 108, etc. show in my MC record when I transfer with an accepted prior degree?

No, unless your program requires specific General Education courses and you have them on your prior transcript. Most, if not all, of General Education courses will show as FND (Foundation) and DIST (Distribution) in your MC record when you transfer to MC with an accepted degree.

Will I also receive credit for program specific courses when I transfer to MC with an accepted prior degree?

Yes. Your program specific courses will also be evaluated for transfer credit as they apply to your major, but the combined credits of General Education and program specific courses can’t exceed 45.

Non-Specific Courses

General Elective requirement credit, non-equivalent credit, Foundation (FND) and Distribution (DIST) course credit

Why are some of my transfer credits 888 or 999 instead of specific course numbers? What is the difference between 888 and 999?

888 and/or 999 courses will be given when your prior courses do not have direct equivalents at MC. 888 is 100-level elective courses, and 999 200-level. They may be used to fulfill General Elective requirements in your program of study.

How many credits can I receive for non-equivalent courses?

Only 9 non-equivalent credits may be granted.

What if my courses do not have direct equivalents at MC but they satisfy General Education requirements at my prior college?

Up to three non-equivalent general education courses may be applied toward graduation.

International Transcripts

Evaluation services recognized by MC, course-by-course evaluations, English language assessment level

What international transcript evaluation services are recognized by MC?

Currently, MC accepts evaluations completed by World Education Services (WES), Josef Silny & Associates or ECE. We will accept AACRAO evaluations completed before August 15, 2016. (AACRAO stopped doing International Credit evaluations on this date, but MC will honor evaluations done prior to the program ending.) 

The international transcript evaluation services offer course-by-course and document-by-document evaluations. Which one should I choose?

A course-by-course evaluation.

Is a course-by-course evaluation done by one of these companies sufficient for you to determine MC equivalents for my courses?

No. Be prepared to submit course descriptions when requested.

I have a Bachelor’s (or higher) degree overseas. Am I considered to have met the English Assessment Level and/or General Education requirements for a program at MC?

No. You must take the ESL-Accuplacer test to determine your English level. Visit the Assessment Center for more information.

Do my biology courses taken overseas fulfill the health sciences programs’ requirement?

No. They may be considered for pre-requisites, but no credit will be awarded.

Prior Learning Credit

Transferring Prior Learning, Types of Prior Learning Accepted, and the Process to earn Credit for Experience.

What types of Prior Learning does MC accept?

MC accepts transfer credits from accredited higher education institutions, international credit that has been reviewed by a third party agency, military experience and occupation credit, satisfactory completion of nationally recognized exams (Advanced Placement, CLEP, International Baccalaureate, etc.) and credentials, apprenticeships, and high school articulated credit. The College does not award Portfolio credit.

Will these credits transfer?

Each institution determines how credit for prior learning (CPL) is accepted and awarded, and that includes how these credits transfer. There is no obligation for an institution to accept credit the same way that MC does. However, if MC satisfies a general education area using non-traditional credit, and you transfer to a public institution in the state of Maryland, that institution must award you general education credit for that class. The institution can require you to take a course satisfied by CPL, or additional credits to satisfy the degree completion requirements at that institution. Similarly, MC may not accept credits the same way as a previous institution may; students should work with a counselor to learn more. 

How do I earn credit for prior learning?

Submit your transcript (JST, ACE Recommendations, CLEP scores, etc.) to the transcript evaluator at your primary campus, in accordance with the deadlines and processes outlined on the main CPL page.


Transfer credit review evaluation

If I believe the awarding of my transfer credit was not correct or certain courses were overlooked, whom should I contact?

E-mail the Transcript Evaluator on the campus where you submitted your transcript for evaluation. He/She will gladly review the evaluation and follow up with you accordingly.