Transfer of Credit – LR 517.1

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Transfer of Credit
Policy Number: LR 517.1
Effective Date: July 1, 2022
Revised Dates:  April 2022; October 2020; September 2019; March 2019
Most Recent Review Date:  April 2022


Designated Transfer Degree

A “designated transfer degree” is an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Arts in Teaching – or any future associate degree program approved by ADHE–that includes a 35-hour state core curriculum.

The core will be transferred according to the core transfer policy and courses will be transferred according to the course transfer policy.  Any additional credits that are not assigned by those two policies shall be awarded as general lower-level elective credit up to 60 credit hours.

Core Transfer Reciprocity

1. Transfer students from public Arkansas institutions shall be deemed to have met all UALR core requirements and shall not be required to complete any additional core courses if they transfer in a completed designated transfer degree (an AA, AS, or AAT) or 60 completed hours that include 35 hours of the state minimum core.

2. Transfer students from public Arkansas institutions shall be deemed to have met a specific core requirement and shall not be required to complete an additional core course for that requirement if they transfer to a course included in the state ACT system that matches a course in the UALR core.

3. Transfer students from public Arkansas institutions, including students transferring between UALR colleges, shall be deemed to have met the requirements of a specific core curricular area and shall not be required to complete an additional core course in that area if they transfer in a course taken to meet a core curricular area requirement at the sending institution or UALR college.

4. Transfer students from regionally accredited out-of-state or private institutions, including those transferring in completed associate degrees, who have completed 35 credit hours of coursework in the following distribution shall be deemed to have met the core requirement in that core curricular area and shall only be required to take coursework from the area(s) they are missing:

  • English/Communications: 6-9 hours
  • Math: 3 hour
  • Science: 8 hours
  • Fine Arts/Humanities: 6-9 hours
  • Social Sciences: 9-12 hours, including 3 hours of US History or American National Government

a. Courses transferred from these institutions go to the office responsible for transfer student services which makes a determination about whether transfer courses met the core curricular area requirement using rubrics approved by the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies.

b. In the event of questions the office responsible for transfer student services consults the relevant department or the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies depending on the question.

c. The office responsible for transfer student services makes the decision about core course equivalency. These decisions may be appealed to the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies, which makes the final decision. The Council on Core Curriculum and Policies will determine rules by which it will manage appeals.

d. The office responsible for transfer student services will meet annually with the Council on Core Curriculum and Policies to review these processes and report on the volume of cases and outcomes.

5. “Core curricular area” refers to one of the five categories established in the State Minimum Core Curriculum by Act 98 of 1989: English/Communications, Math, Science, Fine Arts/Humanities, and Social Sciences.

6. This policy shall not keep individual programs from requiring students to complete specific core courses as (1) degree program requirements, (2) prerequisites for degree program requirements, or (3) licensing requirements.

7. The inter-college reciprocity policy shall only apply to a student who has officially declared a major in the sending college.


In order to facilitate the progress of transfer students within their majors toward a baccalaureate degree, departments offering undergraduate degrees are hereby authorized to revise graduation requirements for transfer students within the constraints described below:

1. To be eligible for a Transflex modification, a student must transfer into UALR at least 12 college-level credits.

2.  Flexibility will be permitted on the following requirements provided that the intentions of these requirements are kept in mind and honored:

Core Requirements*

*While students entering UALR with a high number of semester credit hours (75 or more) in transfer should be given the benefit of a broad interpretation regarding satisfaction of core requirements, the state specified 35-hour core would be applicable.

Course Transfer Policy

UA Little Rock will grant academic credit for courses transferred from a regionally accredited college or university if a grade of A, B, or C was earned at the transferring institution and if a student would be allowed to earn the same grade if the class were offered at UA Little Rock.  Once credit has been assigned, the credit will not be removed should this policy change.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Programs and Policies

UA Little Rock recognizes several methods for earning university credit for undergraduate and graduate level learning including rigorous high school curricula, professional or military experience, and work experiences. In order to receive university credit, these competencies must undergo systematic evaluation against established program or course learning outcomes[1]. A student may earn a maximum of 50% of program degree requirements through PLA (excluding the General Education Core), however, some academic programs may enforce a lower maximum PLA credits. The PLA credit awarded for a specific program of study may not be recognized should the student change majors, programs, or transfer to another institution. Portfolio and licensure credit may not be applied to the General Education Core.  Finally, PLA credit may not be awarded for senior theses or projects, thesis hours, dissertation hours, field research, or field professional experience hours.

To be eligible for PLA, the student must be currently admitted and/or enrolled in the university and in good standing. All PLA credit must be awarded prior to the students’ last semester before graduation.

Prior learning credits will be noted on the student’s transcript as having been awarded through PLA.  Credit through PLA is not recorded as grades on the student’s transcript and do not affect the student’s GPA.

Further restrictions on PLA credit:

  • Credit through PLA cannot replace a failing grade;
  • Credit may only be awarded for courses applicable to the student’s declared degree plan;
  • A student may not receive credit twice for a course that has been awarded through PLA;
  • PLA credits do not count toward the residency requirement for the student’s degree program; and
  • PLA credits do not satisfy eligibility requirements for financial aid or loan deferment.

Credit by Examination (Undergraduate only)

UA Little Rock may award course credit for standardized tests, such as AP, IB, ACT, SAT, Accuplacer, CLEP, and departmentally created examinations. The courses for which such credit, placement, or exemption shall be granted and the grade (credit/no credit or letter grade) which is assigned based on the tests will be determined by the department/program faculty by submitting a request through the curriculum process to Undergraduate Council.  The information in the approved request will be published in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog, placed on the UA Little Rock website, and available at the appropriate offices within the university.

Course credit from examinations will not count toward residency requirements or GPA calculation. A maximum of 45 hours may be awarded for all forms of Credit by Examination. Because there are a variety of ways whereby a student may achieve credit for a specific course (for instance, IB, AP, CLEP, placement test, concurrent, transfer course, UA Little Rock course), under no circumstances should a student receive multiple credits for the same course. Once credit has been assigned, the credit will not be removed should this policy change or should the test scores by which credit is assigned change.

Advanced Placement Program (Undergraduate Only)

UA Little Rock will award some level of credit, placement, or exemption for AP examination scores of 3 or higher.

The request to Undergraduate Council should include the name of the examination, the corresponding UA Little Rock course(s), and the amount of credit awarded for acceptable scores on the examination.

AP Capstone Diploma 

For students who have successfully completed the AP Capstone Diploma, in addition to awarding credit based on AP examination scores, students will receive credit for the research and seminar components in the AP Capstone Diploma program, with each component awarded three (3) semester credit hours. If these credits cannot be assigned to a specific UA Little Rock course or requirement in an academic program, these components shall be awarded as general lower level elective credits.

Standardized Tests for Credit

Students are allowed to take standardized subject matter tests for credit. Such tests will be adopted by the department/program offering the course.

Standardized Placement Tests

UA Little Rock may authorize credit/placement for a course having similar content to the content covered by a subsection of a standardized placement test such as ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer. The request to Undergraduate Council should include the name of the test, the subsection, the minimum score on the subsection, and the course number for which credit will be given.

International Baccalaureate (Undergraduate only)

At least twenty-four (24) semester credit hours shall be granted to entering freshman students who have successfully completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

If a student’s IB curriculum has a subject at the Standard Level, and, by means other than the IB, the student gains credit for a UA Little Rock course that is mapped to the same subject at the Higher Level, then such credit does not count toward the minimum 24 credits granted for the IB.

Because UA Little Rock awards a minimum of 24 credits when it accepts the IB diploma, any extra credits that are not assigned to specific UA Little Rock courses by other means shall be awarded as general lower-level elective credit.

Correspondence Credit[2] (Undergraduate only)

That a maximum of 15 semester hours of credit by correspondence be applied toward an undergraduate degree. To qualify for university credit, a correspondence course must be approved by the UALR department and signed by the chair in which the course is being offered.  Applicability of correspondence courses to a specific major or minor will be determined by the department and signed by the department chair in which the major/minor is being offered.

Transferred courses without credit hours

In cases where an accredited college or university has granted recognition by no academic credit hours for a course, UALR will not grant academic credit for the transferred course; students may consult the department offering the equivalent course on campus regarding the possibility of a course substitution/waiver.

Articulation Agreements

All articulation agreements regarding transfer of credit beyond the core require approval by the individual academic unit/department level affected by the agreement plus the normal approval process before the approval is official. Academic units/departments shall be as accommodating as reasonably possible when making decisions concerning the transfer of credits

Credit through Professional Licensure or Certification

UA Little Rock may award PLA credit to students who hold professional certifications or licenses awarded at the national or state level. The course or courses for which credit may be granted will be determined by the program faculty, who must submit a program change form for approval through the curriculum process. The request must document how all specific learning objectives of the specific course or set of courses are satisfied by the certification/license or set of certifications/licenses.

Once approved through the curriculum process, the PLA opportunity will be published in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate or Graduate Catalogs, placed on the UA Little Rock website, and will be available at the appropriate offices (e.g., Testing Services, Records and Registration, Financial Aid, and the advising offices) within the University. Since the PLA review is based on specific learning objectives, the PLA credit approved for one program may not be accepted by a different program.

To receive the PLA credit, the student must apply for PLA review and provide all required documentation to Testing Services. Testing Services will store all records and provide PLA information as needed for purposes of accreditation and curriculum assessment and review.

Credit through Portfolio Assessment

Subject to specialty accreditation requirements, UA Little Rock may award PLA course credit through portfolio assessment. The portfolio must describe in detail specific and significant learning experiences and demonstrate how those experiences apply to the learning objectives of a specific course. Each program will have specific requirements for portfolio content and evidence of learning.  A non-exhaustive list of examples of experiences that may be used as evidence of satisfying specific learning objectives includes: non-transferrable courses from accredited institutions, letters from instructors or supervisors, professional certifications and licenses awarded at national or state level, reports, creative works, and other demonstrations of knowledge, skills and abilities. There will be a PLA coordinator responsible for coordinating portfolio assessments.

The student will apply for portfolio review with PLA coordinator, pay all applicable review fees, and be informed of the program-specific requirements of portfolio assessment. At a minimum, the portfolio will include the PLA application, student resume with relevant information, course syllabus, brief summary statement directly linking the course learning objectives to specific resume information, and a longer narrative with any necessary supporting evidence and documentation demonstrating satisfaction of all course learning objectives.

Portfolios will not be accepted for review until the portfolio application, advising and payment of fees have been completed. The student will submit their portfolio to PLA coordinator who will ensure the portfolio is ready for final review. If the portfolio is not ready for final review, the portfolio will be returned to the student for revision.

Once the PLA coordinator determines the portfolio is ready for review, the portfolio will be assessed by program faculty trained by the University in portfolio assessment. The portfolio review recognizes that specific course learning objectives may require different levels of mastery. While the different levels of mastery should be reflected in the course learning objectives, the portfolio reviewers will coordinate with the program and course faculty to ensure the appropriate levels of mastery are satisfied.

Students may not revise the portfolio or submit additional documentation after the portfolio review committee has begun portfolio review. Students may appeal the decision of the portfolio review committee to the program faculty through the school or department’s director/chair. The decision of the program faculty is final.

Requisite Test

Individual academic units/departments may choose to develop and administer a requisite test to all students in a course prior to registering for the class and no later than the end of the first week of classes to verify that those enrolled have the skills necessary to successfully complete the class. Students may be administratively withdrawn from the course if they do not demonstrate their grasp of the requisite skills. Departments that choose to initiate a requisite test shall follow the normal curricular approval process using the appropriate curriculum change forms. The requisite test must be accompanied by a syllabus of topics covered on the test and recommended study materials to prepare for the test.

Citation and Modification 

This policy must be cited in any curricular documents that excerpt it (such as the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog) and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (or their designee) should review those documents before they are finalized.  Wherever there is a substantive conflict between the document which quotes this policy and this policy, this policy shall be followed.

The Policy can be modified through legislative action of the Faculty Senate (see Article III of the Constitution of the Assembly of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock).

Unless otherwise specified in the legislation, changes to this policy take effect in the Fall semester of the nine month academic year subsequent to the approval of the legislation.

[1] Graduate programs will specify if they will accept PLA, what forms of PLA they will accept, and the maximum percentage or number of hours they will accept.

[2] Correspondence course: A correspondence course is a self-paced course of study, where materials are disseminated through means such as mail or Internet, including examinations on these materials. Interaction between instructors and students is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student.

Source:  Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes (4/2022, 10/30/2020, 3/29/3019, 8/25/2017, 4/21/2017, 11/18/2016, 5/6/2016, 5/5/2016, 9/25/2015, 12/3/2015, 10/22/2015, 11/14/2014, 5/4/2012, 1/28/2011, 11/19/2010, 12/5/2008, 11/30/2007, 3/16/2007, 5/6/2005, 3/16/2004, 12/5/2003, 4/18/2003, 9/15/2000, 4/30/1986, 10/20/1983, 10/24/1972)
Status:  Active
Approved By: Chancellor Christina Drale
Originator: Faculty Senate
Custodian: Faculty Senate