2020-2021 University Catalog

Transfer Credit and Prior Learning Assessment Policy

January 2020




To specify consistent practices for accepting credit for college level courses transferred into Northwestern Health Sciences University and to award credit for prior learning.



The scope of this policy applies to all transfer students in all programs.



Transfer credit is generally accepted for courses comparable to those offered by Northwestern Health Sciences University that were successfully completed with a grade of “C-” or above at another regionally accredited institution or internationally recognized institution. Academic programs may accept transfer credit from some non-regionally accredited institutions or programs on an individual basis. The university will evaluate official transcripts submitted by the transfer applicant and reserves the right to accept or deny any of the credits for transfer. Credit may also be awarded for prior learning when that learning is demonstrated at commensurate levels as the course/curriculum offered by NWHSU.

  1. Official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit in the Registrar’s Office and the results are provided to the applicant. Only original, sealed transcript(s) from each college/university previously attended will be considered for the award of transfer credit by the NWHSU Registrar's Office and/or appropriate NWHSU academic departments. All courses submitted for transfer must be evaluated and approved prior to the student’s enrollment.
  2. Transfer courses must have similar course content, title, length or objective, and correspond to courses within the applicant’s intended program curriculum. A course catalog and/or syllabus may be required to demonstrate course content.
  3. Only transfer courses earned with a minimum grade of "C-" or better at institutions outside of the Northwestern Health Sciences University will be accepted for transfer.
  4. All course requirements with the exception of general education and foundational sciences coursework submitted for transfer must have been completed within five years of the date of enrollment at the University.
    1. Transfer credit may be given to a student who has taken an equivalent course (which meets the above referenced standards) prior to the past five years, if work or life experience has enabled the student to use the skills learned in that course within the past five years
  5. Credit awarded at another college or university for course work completed in a nontraditional manner, e.g., through Advanced Placement programs (AP) or proficiency tests (CLEP or comprehensive examinations administered by an academic department), must be validated by the NWHSU Registrar's Office and/or appropriate NWHSU academic department. That is, such credits do not transfer automatically, and the student must furnish official score reports, etc., for consideration. Students must request that official AP and or CLEP test results be sent directly to the Admissions Office for evaluation.
  6. Credit for Military Training: The University will consider academic credit for military training equivalent to NWHSU courses required for the students' program requirements as defined in the Military Guide provided by the American Council on Education (ACE). Documentation of the training, such as a license of completion, Joint Services Transcript, or notation on the student's DD Form 214, is required. All credit hours transferable are converted to trimester credit hours.
  7. A maximum of 20 credits combined may be accepted from the ACE, CLEP and/or AP programs combined in the College of Health and Wellness and College of Chiropractic; a maximum of 30 credits combined may be accepted from the ACE, CLEP and/or AP program combined in the College of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
  8. Total semester credit hours transferred from each institution previously attended are recorded on the student's NWHSU transcript. (Note: Grades earned at institutions outside the Northwestern Health Sciences University do not become a part of the student's NWHSU cumulative grade point average. NWHSU does not issue copies of another institution's transcript.)
    1. The maximum transfer credits allowed varies by program.
      1. College of Health and Wellness program students may transfer up to 50% of major credit. 25% of overall credit requirements must be earned in residence. BS Completion Health Professions Core classes must be completed in residence.
      2. College of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine students may transfer up to 25% of program clinical training requirements and up to 50% of total program credit requirements.
      3. College of Chiropractic students may transfer up to 75% of didactic coursework, however, all clinical requirements must be completed at the degree granting institution and transfer students must complete a minimum of five trimesters of resident study at NWHSU to graduate from the University.
  9. A student currently enrolled at NWHSU may pass a specially prepared challenge examination and receive credit for a University course without having to do the normal course work. The student must contact the chair of the department in which credit is sought to request administration of an examination. Since it may not be appropriate to award credit by examination for some courses, the decision to offer an examination is that of the department. Hours earned through credit by examination will be indicated on the transcript, but no grade points will be awarded. Hours attempted will be assigned equal to the hours earned. Failure on such an examination will incur no grade point penalty or hours attempted.  Other procedures and methods for assessment of prior learning may be added at the discretion of the university.
  10. Prospective students may appeal the acceptance of transfer credit by contacting the Registrar.