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Transferring Credit to NOVA

Transferring Credit to NOVA

NOVA allows previous academic study, examination, or career experience to be evaluated for possible College credit. Only students who have declared a major and registered for at least one credit at NOVA may request evaluation of transfer credit or credit for prior learning. Students must have completed at least one course at NOVA before an official transcript reflecting transfer credit will be issued. No more than 75 percent of a degree or certificate may be earned through transfer credit and/or credit for prior learning. Only credit applicable to a student’s academic program will be transferred. Prior learning credits that are to be used to meet the specific requirements of a curriculum must be approved by the academic dean responsible for a student’s curriculum.

Credit from Other Colleges and Universities

NOVA accepts credits from other regionally accredited U.S. colleges and universities for which a student has earned a grade of “C” or better. To have such credit evaluated, students must submit an official transcript from their previous institution and a request for evaluation to the Student Services Center at any campus. An official transcript is one that has the seal of the institution or testing organization and the signature of an official of that institution or organization. An official transcript must be received in a sealed envelope from the originating institution that has no overt sign of having been opened or otherwise disturbed. Official transcripts may be mailed directly from the transferring institution to a NOVA Student Services Center or delivered in acceptable condition, such that the receiving registrar has confidence that the record received is authentic. Official transcripts that are sent to College faculty also may be accepted. Contact the Student Services Center at any campus for procedures required to initiate the evaluation of transfer credit.

Students who have earned college credit from universities outside of the United States must have their credit evaluated by an international credit evaluation agency before submitting it to the College. NOVA accepts international transcript evaluations from World Education Services (WES at https://www.wes.org/), the International Education Research Foundation (IERF at https://www.ierf.org/), Educational Credential Evaluator (ECE at https://www.ece.org/ECE), or Foreign Credentials Services of America (FCSA at http://foreigncredentials.org/). NOVA will also accept AACRAO transcript evaluations dated prior to August 2016 and on a case-by-case basis, NACES approved evaluations performed prior to August 2014. Students may only submit one evaluation during their academic career at NOVA. 

Credit for Prior Learning

NOVA also evaluates prior college-level learning from nontraditional sources. Only official transcripts or other documentation specified in the Credit for Prior Learning Manual will be evaluated. Consult NOVA’s Credit for Prior Learning Manual for complete information and a list of credit for prior learning opportunities or contact an academic advisor or counselor.

Credit for prior learning is available to students for nontraditional educational experiences that fall into the following basic categories:

  • credit for military training and courses
  • credit earned in nontraditional programs, including workplace and government training programs evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE), National College Credit Recommendation Services (NCCRS), and NOVA faculty
  • credit by examination, including Abitur, Advanced Placement (AP), Assessment by Local Examination (ABLE), University of Cambridge Advanced Level Examinations, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST (formerly known as DANTES), International Baccalaureate (IB), and SAT II subject exams
  • credit by PLACE (Prior Learning Activity for Credit Evaluation) portfolio development, a NOVA program for adults who have gained college-level learning through life experiences, such as work, volunteer activities, participation in civic and community assignments, travel, independent study, etc.

Foreign Language Credit

Students who have completed two years of a single foreign language in high school or whose native language is not English have the following options:

  • Request assessment by the College faculty if it is a language currently taught at NOVA. Such assessment could place the student into levels above the introductory course in the foreign language sequence. For students who are granted advanced placement, additional general electives may have to be completed to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree.
  • Take a CLEP or other approved foreign language exam. Students who achieve a satisfactory score will be awarded credit for the foreign language that may be used toward completion of a degree.
  • Request a waiver of the foreign language requirement for those who are proficient in a foreign language not offered by NOVA or through examination. Proficiency is generally indicated if the student has at least the equivalent of a high school diploma from an institution where the primary language is other than English. If the foreign language requirement is waived, additional general electives must be completed to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree. To receive the waiver, students must submit a high school transcript or other official documentation indicating that the language of instruction was not English.