2019-2020 Catalog

Publication date June 2019

Admissions Policies: Transfer Students and Transfer Credits

Application procedures/requirements

Applications for admission are to be sent electronically. The university will begin accepting transfer applications on September 1 for the summer and fall terms. Applications may be submitted beginning April 1 for the winter and spring terms.  When we have reached a maximum number of transfer students per term, admission will close. To be considered for admission, the following items must be submitted to the Admissions Office, UW-La Crosse, 2320 Student Union, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601 USA:

  1. A completed UW System application.
  2. An official high school transcript if applicant has earned less than 60 transferable semester credits.
  3. All official college transcripts sent directly from the institution(s) attended to the UW-La Crosse Admissions Office. This includes transcripts for credit earned at the applicant's current institution and any previous institutions (including college credits earned while in high school).
  4. A list of courses in progress, if currently enrolled, with course numbers, titles, and the number of credits for each course.
  5. A non-refundable application fee is required for anyone applying as a transfer student. If the applicant's last institution attended is one of the UW System Branch Campuses, the applicant does not need to pay the application fee.
  6. ACT/SAT scores (not generally required if applicant has completed a minimum of 18 transferable credits).

Admission guidelines

All applications receive a comprehensive review. Applicants with at least a 2.50 cumulative grade point average in all previous transferable college level work will be considered stronger candidates for admission. Applicants with a cumulative grade point average between a 2.00 and a 2.49 will be considered for admission on a space available basis. In addition to grade point guidelines, applicants must be in good standing at their previous institution(s) to be admitted to UWL. Applicants who were not admissible as new first years must earn at least 18 transferable semester credits to be considered for admission as a transfer student.

Due to enrollment limitations and the competitive nature of admission to the university, admission consideration will be primarily based on academic preparation. While academic preparation is the primary criterion used in the admissions review process, other non-academic secondary factors may contribute to the strength of an application. These may include qualities such as demonstrated leadership, extracurricular involvement, special talent, personal statement, recommendations, and/or adding a diverse dimension to our campus community.

Admission to the university does not assure admission to specific degree programs. All transfer students must meet the same criteria (i.e., grade point average, course requirements, etc.) for admission to specific majors or programs as continuing students.

Academic advising and registration

After being admitted to the university, the Admissions Office will evaluate the courses taken to determine the number of credits that will be granted in transfer. This will be used to determine classification as first year, sophomore, junior, or senior. Information will be sent regarding registration and academic advising in April for those students admitted to the summer or fall semester and in November for those students admitted to the winter term or spring semester. In preparing to register, transfer students are encouraged to contact the academic advisor/academic services director for the assigned college or school. College or school assignments are noted in the letter of admission. In the process of academic advising, should a student disagree with how a course(s) transfers or how a course(s) applies toward a program of study, a formal appeals process is available. Consult with the academic services director of the college or school in which the student is enrolled. If the student is undecided about a major, the student may talk to an advisor in the Academic Advising Center.

Transcripts from transfer students

UWL accepts transcripts sent directly from the issuing institution(s) or through an electronic secure document sending service. Transcripts that are marked "Issued to Student" or that are hand delivered by a student will not be accepted unless the transcript remains sealed in the original stamped envelope from the issuing institution(s).


The UW System maintains a Transfer-Wisconsin website. The site provides information about credit transfer and academic program requirements. The Credit Transfer Wizards are designed to give prospective transfer students current information about transferring, including how UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) courses will transfer to any institution in the UW System, and which courses to take at the student's current institution to fulfill specific requirements at the intended transfer campus.

Undergraduate transfer credit policies

Credits considered for transfer to UWL must have been earned at regionally accredited institutions, e.g., Higher Learning Commission/North Central Association. Transfer credit is allowed for appropriate college-level courses completed at four-year colleges and universities as well as from two-year colleges and vocational/technical schools with accredited college parallel programs. Credits in vocational/technical programs other than college parallel programs will not transfer to this university. (See WTCS transfer policy below.) Military service school credit may be granted in transfer based upon recommendations of the American Council on Education. Credits also may be transferred from examination programs such as the Advanced Placement Program (AP), the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), or the International Baccalaureate program (IB).

When credits are transferred and accepted, they are recorded in terms of UWL courses. The student’s record shows courses, grades, and credits; however, only credits are used. Grades and/or grade points are not generally transferred. Exceptions to this policy are necessary for admission into certain programs/majors. The cumulative grade point average of each UWL student is determined only by credits and grades earned in residence at the university.

If a student is currently enrolled at UWL and intends to take course work elsewhere either in a summer term or during an academic year, the student must secure approval in advance of enrollment at other institutions for course work to be taken for transfer to this university. The student should see the academic services director in the dean’s office of the school/college in which he or she is enrolled and complete an "Off-Campus Permit" form, which is used to secure approval to transfer credits from other institutions.  Students planning to transfer UWL credits to other universities should check with the receiving institution regarding the transferability of credit.

Transfer of "D" credits

A course in which a grade of "D" was earned and accepted by this university may be applied to general education and/or core requirements but will be subject to re-evaluation at a later date if the student chooses to major or minor in the subject area or discipline in which the "D" grade was earned.

Two-year/four-year transfer policy

Usually general education requirements will be satisfied by students who have completed associate degrees in college parallel programs at accredited four-year institutions, two-year collegiate transfer programs from two-year institutions, community colleges, or junior colleges. Students admitted with an associate degree are still required to meet all core, professional, ethnic studies, major, and minor requirements. The university reserves the right to review the student’s associate degree and require additional general education courses. The maximum number of credits transferable from a two-year institution is 72.

Guaranteed transfer program for UW System Branch Campus students

UW System Branch Campus students who intend to pursue their education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will be guaranteed admission providing they meet the following criteria:

  1. Submit a UW System application to the UWL Admissions Office.
  2. Be in good standing and have completed an associate degree or 60 credits at any UW System Branch Campus with a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average.

All general education requirements will be satisfied by students who have completed associate degrees. Students accepted under this two-year transfer policy are required to meet all core, professional, ethnic studies, major, and minor requirements. Admission to the institution does not assure admission to specific degree programs. UW System Branch Campus students must meet the same criteria (i.e., grade point average, course requirements, etc.) for admission to specific majors or programs as continuing UWL students.

Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) transfer policy

The UW System undergraduate transfer policy allows the university to transfer up to 72 general education credits in communications, behavioral sciences and social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences from WTCS non-college parallel associate degree programs. In certain cases where the WTCS credit is not acceptable for transfer, students will have an opportunity to earn credit by examination if the academic department offers an appropriate exam. Program-to-program agreements with the Wisconsin Technical College System allow students to transfer additional credits with or without the associate degree. Currently there are agreements in the following disciplines: business and information systems, nuclear medicine technology, computer engineering technology, recreation management, and radiation therapy. Most of these agreements are with Western Technical College (WTC). UWL and WTC also have an articulation agreement for a liberal arts degree. For details, contact the UWL Admissions Office.

Program-to-program agreements

In addition to the Wisconsin Technical College System program-to-program agreements, other agreements have been established with University of Minnesota; UW-Madison; UW-Platteville; UW-Milwaukee; Guangxi Normal University, South Central University of Nationalities, and Wuhan University, China; University of Caen, France; and University of Applied Sciences, Germany. For details, contact the UWL Admissions Office.

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