Undergraduate Credit Transfer Policy

General Policy

When evaluating credit for transfer, Bennington only reviews official transcripts from accredited colleges and universities. Students must submit separate transcripts from each institution from which they have received credit. On occasion, the College may require supporting materials such as a college bulletin, course description, course work, or syllabus in order to evaluate credit for transfer.

All College decisions regarding transfer credit are final.

First-Year Entrants

Applicants who enter Bennington as first-year students will receive credit evaluations after submitting their deposit and Intent to Enroll, provided they have submitted official transcripts and/or score reports.

First-year entrants may transfer up to 12 credits from any combination of earned college, AP, IB, A-level, or French Baccalaureate credit.

  • For students who have enrolled in an AP curriculum, Bennington may grant credit for exam scores of 5. Four credits are granted per exam.

  • For students who have completed the International Baccalaureate diploma, Bennington may grant credit for scores of 6 or 7 in the Higher Level exams only. Four credits are granted per exam. No credit is granted for Standard Level exams.

  • For students who have passed an A Level Exam with a grade of A, four credits may be granted, depending upon the subject. No credit is granted for Ordinary Level exams.

  • For students who have completed the French Baccalaureate diploma, Bennington may grant credit for scores of 14-20 when the coefficient is 4 or higher. Four credits are granted per exam.

Please note that transferred credit does not normally guarantee placement in advanced coursework, nor does it guarantee an adjustment to a student’s anticipated graduation date. Progress toward graduation is determined by the development of a student's work within their Plan as well as an accumulation of credits.

Students with additional credits are encouraged to have a conversation with their advisor about how they plan to use them:

  • They can be used as a credit cushion, which will allow students the option of taking fewer than 16 credits in future terms.

  • They can be used toward early graduation. This process is not automatic and students are also required to submit a Petition for Early Graduation approved by their Plan committees in the term preceding the one in which they plan to graduate. Successful petitions demonstrate not just the credit requirement but also how the goals of one’s Plan have been achieved, including both breadth and depth of work.

Transfer Students

Applicants who enter Bennington as transfer students have their credit evaluated at the time of admission. Students may apply for transfer admission after graduating from high school and enrolling in an accredited institution of higher learning. Students with associate’s degrees, students who are currently enrolled in college, and students who have withdrawn from another degree program, either recently or in the past, are considered transfer students.

The maximum amount of allowable credit for transfer applicants is 64 credits, or 2 years. Transfer students must complete at least 64 credits at Bennington, for a total of 128 credits, in order to receive a Bennington diploma.

Admitted transfer students may defer entry for up to one year with the approval of the Admissions Committee, provided they do not earn any additional credit before enrolling at Bennington. Deferred transfer students who enroll elsewhere will be required to reapply for admission.

Transferable Credit

Transferable courses must be within the liberal arts curriculum as determined by Bennington. No credit is granted for technical engineering classes, basic math classes (pre-college preparation), nutrition classes, physical education classes, speech classes, or study skills classes, including many first-year seminars. Credit for pre-professional courses, including many business classes, is rarely granted.

Bennington does not grant “life experience” credit, nor do we grant credit for internships. Credit earned by examination is not eligible for transfer. Awarding of credit for independent study, online or distance learning courses is dependent on review of a syllabus and other supporting materials.

Transferable credit includes only those courses for which students have received at least a C rating. Ratings of C- are not eligible. If a student has received several C’s, this may affect their placement in the Plan Process, or may prompt their Plan Committee to require the student to spend more time at Bennington in order to graduate. Ungraded or Pass/Fail courses will only be considered for credit if the institution’s transcript guide lists passing credit as equivalent to a rating of C or above.

Transfer credit for work done at foreign institutions may need to be submitted to the Center for Educational Documentation for their recommendation. Students will be notified upon receipt of their transcript if a CED evaluation is required, and the applicant is responsible for submitting their transcript(s) to CED. The cost for this outside evaluation is the responsibility of the applicant. The Center normally requires one month to process applications. The College makes the final determination of credits eligible for transfer.

Credits and Placement

A typical program at Bennington is 16 credits per term, 32 credits per year. Transfer students may enter as first- or second-term freshmen or sophomores, or as first-term juniors. Students may carry a deficit of up to 8 credits, which they will need to make up at some point during their time at Bennington. Entrance terms are determined as follows:

Credits | Entry

0–7 | Freshman 1
8–23 | Freshman 2
24–39 | Sophomore 1
40–55 | Sophomore 2
56–64 | Junior 1

Students transferring from institutions using the quarter system will have their credit evaluated proportionally.

Current Bennington Students

Students who choose to study elsewhere (or online) during their time at Bennington arrange for the transfer of credit through the Bennington study abroad or study away application process. Credit earned abroad under the auspices of a U.S. institution does not need to be evaluated as foreign credit.

Currently matriculated students may receive credit for study during the summer if they have received prior approval from the Dean’s Office. Students who would like to propose courses to take at another institution should complete the Transfer Credit Application and return it to the Registrar for approval prior to registration in those courses.