• Transfer students can receive credit for college courses completed elsewhere that are similar in content, purpose, and standards to those offered at Parsons. In order for transfer credit to be considered, applicants must provide official transcripts for all prior college study to Parsons. Only courses for which grades of C or better were assigned will be considered for transfer credit. Schools not listed on the application will not be considered for transfer credit. The criteria outlined below will help transfer students determine their appropriate level of entry. Parsons is on a semester credit system.

    BFA Transfer Students

    A student’s level of placement (freshman, sophomore, etc.) at the time of admission is determined on the basis of a comprehensive review of all aspects of the application, including the Parsons Challenge, the portfolio and/or essay, and previous college transcripts. The total number of credits accrued at a previous institution(s) alone does not determine a student’s level of placement. Further, if a student has earned credit in a course that is relevant to the degree program to which he or she has been admitted but did not complete a directly equivalent course, then that course credit can be transferred toward electives. The Transfer Credit Evaluation is subject to final approval and potential redistribution of credits by the academic program.

    For first-year mid-year transfers, students must have a minimum of 12 transferable credits, at least nine of which must be applicable studio credits. Students who do not meet this threshold will be required to complete summer study in order to advance to their intended major.

    For students admitted as sophomore or junior transfers into the 120-credit curriculum, alternative courses can be transferred toward the first-year requirements, including Integrative Studio and Seminar, provided the student meets the minimum threshold of transfer credits.

    Sophomore transfer students with a strong portfolio coupled with a minimum of 15 credits in Studio Art coursework and 9 credits in Liberal Arts coursework can begin the sophomore track (minimum of 24 credits). Coursework should preferably be equivalent to the First Year at Parsons.

    BBA Transfer Students

    Sophomore transfer students with a strong portfolio coupled with a minimum of 15 credits in Studio Art or Business coursework and 9 credits of Liberal Arts coursework can begin the sophomore track (minimum of 24 credits). Coursework should preferably be equivalent to the First Year at Parsons. Students who seek sophomore status are encouraged to take liberal arts courses equivalent to Environmental Science (Sustainable Systems), Macroeconomics and Microeconomics, a Quantitative Reasoning course, English Composition I, and English Composition II.

    Junior transfer students seeking junior entry should also refer to the curriculum page of the program of interest. Junior transfers should preferably have 60 transferable credits. Junior transfers to Design and Technology, Fashion Design, Product Design, and Integrated Design are not permitted.

    Transfer Credit Basics

    For students pursuing their first bachelor's degree, the Office of Admission awards transfer credit according to the following guidelines:

    You may be able to transfer credits earned at another accredited institution for courses in which you received a grade of "C" or better. You must provide official transcripts for all courses that you wish to have considered for transfer credit. You may also be able to receive transfer credit for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level examinations.

    The Office of Admission reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at other institutions of higher education. The New School accepts credit from regionally accredited institutions. Coursework from non-regionally accredited institutions will be evaluated on a case-by-base basis; students may be asked to provide course syllabi, portfolios, and other pertinent documentation.

    Exceptions are noted in the following paragraphs. Classes taken at institutions that are not regionally accredited and derive their educational status from a specialized accrediting agency will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    international academic credentials with transfer credits

    Applicants who attended post-secondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), our preferred provider, or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript. In the absence of an evaluation, the Admissions Committee will do its best to render a decision. Please note: In some cases, a review cannot be made without an evaluation, and a committee decision will be delayed. The NACES service will review your prior coursework and provide Parsons with an equivalency statement that we can use to determine applicability. Transfer credit will not be awarded for courses completed at a foreign college or university without a WES assessment. Note: NACES evaluation can take some time, so it is important that you initiate this process as early as possible. A final transfer credit evaluation is needed in order for Parsons advising staff to properly guide you. See "Transfer Credit Basics" above for more information about the transfer credit process.

    Students who completed the French Baccalaureate, German Abitur, International Baccalaureate A-Level Exams, or another equivalent European university qualifying examination may be able to receive transfer credit toward their degree program for the examination. Please note guidelines below.

    general faq

    International FAQ

    general FAQ

    What is considered an "official" transcript?
    Transcripts sent directly from your previous institution(s) to the Office of Admission, as well as transcripts sent directly to you and forwarded to the Office of Admission office in an original sealed envelope, are considered official. Only official transcripts will be used to transfer credit.

    What is a Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE)?
    A Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) is the process through which admission counselors evaluate credit from a previously attended university (or AP or IB coursework) in order to determine whether and how it may be transferred into a specific Parsons program.

    When is the TCE processed?
    A Credit Summary is prepared upon your acceptance to Parsons. This document provides you with a tentative overview of the credit that is likely to be transferred should you choose to attend Parsons.

    A Transfer Credit Evaluation will be processed after you accept our offer of admission by submitting the Reply Form along with your tuition deposit.

    How is my prior coursework evaluated for transfer?
    Prior coursework is evaluated in two ways — first to determine level equivalency and then to determine course-by-course applicability. In other words, your level of placement (freshman, sophomore, junior, etc.) is determined on the basis of a comprehensive review of your application materials, including the Parsons Challenge, the portfolio, and previous college transcripts. If your portfolio and challenge suggest a degree of proficiency commensurate with sophomore placement, you must also have accrued credit comparable to that earned in the first year at Parsons. The total number of credits that you accrued at your previous institution(s) does not alone determine your level of placement. Further, if you have earned credit in a course that is relevant to the degree program to which you have been admitted, but did not complete a directly equivalent course, then that course credit may be transferred toward electives.

    Since the level of placement at Parsons is rarely dependent upon the total number of liberal arts credits (including art and design history and theory) that you previously earned, these courses are evaluated and transferred on a course-by-course basis. If you completed AP coursework in high school and achieved exam scores of 4 or 5, you may be awarded up to three credits per exam towards liberal arts requirements. If you completed higher-level courses as part of the International Baccalaureate and earned a score of 4 or higher, you may receive 9 credits per exam, as applicable.

    I have already completed a freshman (or sophomore) year at another university, so why must I repeat that year at Parsons?
    In order for credits to be transferred, the courses must be applicable to the curriculum of the program to which you have been admitted at Parsons and a minimum grade of "C" must have been earned in each course. While you may have already completed a freshman or a sophomore year at another university, it is possible that only some of the credits you earned are transferrable.

    In addition, the Admission Committee reviews application materials carefully to confirm that they demonstrate the requisite ability to perform at an advanced level. The goal of the Admission Committee is to place you in the proper courses at Parsons in order to insure your continued academic success.

    How is year level determined?
    Year level is determined by the overall review of your application materials as well as a careful review of your prior coursework. Please use the following link to see the credit-based criteria we use to determine a student's year level at entry:

    How many credits can I transfer?
    The number of credits that can be accepted for transfer depends on the degree program to which you have applied. For an associate's degree, the maximum number of transfer credits is 31 (10 credits toward program requirements and 21 credits toward liberal arts requirements). For a BBA, BFA, BA, or BS degree, the maximum number of transfer credits is 60.

    Does my GPA from my previous institution transfer?
    No; your GPA does not transfer. Your Parsons GPA will reflect only the grades you receive for courses taken at Parsons.

    What if I have not yet completed a course that I plan to transfer?
    If your application transcript reflects "in progress" courses that are eligible for transfer, those courses will be provisionally assessed pending receipt of a final transcript. Once the official final transcript has been received, it is assessed to determine that the final grades are sufficient. Then a revised Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) will be processed to award the remaining transfer credit towards your Parsons degree.

    Should I include on my application all the undergraduate schools I attended and request transcripts from them?
    Yes; all previously attended undergraduate institutions should be listed on your application and transcripts from all submitted for review by the Admission Committee. Any prior undergraduate program or coursework that is not indicated on your Parsons application will not be considered for transfer credit.

    Note: If you studied abroad while attending another school and those courses and grades are listed on your home university's transcript, you will not need to submit a transcript from the study-abroad institution.

    Is there a deadline to finalize my transfer credits?
    Yes. All transfer credits will be finalized by the end of the first semester. Students are responsible for submitting official transcripts, which must be received by October 15 for fall start students and by March 1 for spring start students. Please alert your advisor of any transcripts or transfer credits in question during the first advising meeting. Transfer credits from previously attended universities will not be evaluated after the first semester.

    What if I have questions about the number or allocation of my transfer credits?
    Questions about number of credits accepted for transfer or about how transfer credit was distributed should be answered by your Parsons Academic Advisor (advisor contact information is located at If your query is about a particular course(s), course descriptions, syllabi, and examples of the coursework may be requested by the Academic Advisor to inform a final review.

    Can I start as a transfer student in the spring?
    Parsons programs admit transfer students for the spring semester with the exception of Fashion Design, Integrated Design, and Product Design. Spring entry is dependent on the number and kind of credits that you have completed. Speak with an admission counselor to determine whether spring entry is possible.

    I have taken some courses at the master's/PhD level. Can I transfer credits from those?
    Only undergraduate credits are transferable to undergraduate programs.

    I attended an institution that used a quarterly credit system. How will my credits be evaluated, given that Parsons operates on a semester system?
    Three credits earned in a quarter system are counted as equivalent to 2 credits earned in a semester system.

    Can I receive transfer credit for my Advanced Placement (AP) scores?
    AP scores of 4 and higher are evaluated for up to three transfer credits toward liberal arts requirements and toward the studio requirement.


    I took English courses at an institution outside of the United States. Why aren't these courses counted toward my liberal arts reading and writing requirement?
    Parsons transfers credit for the Critical Reading and Writing requirements only if you are a native English speaker or if you previously received a bachelor's degree from an institution where English is the language of instruction. English courses taken by non-native English speakers are not transferred until an English language placement test is administered and your level assessed.

    I am a non-native English speaker. I have studied English at another institution, and I passed the TOEFL for admission to Parsons. Why is another English language placement test required in order to award transfer credit?
    The TOEFL tests standard English fluency but not the ability to read and write critically. The combination of TOEFL score, Parsons' own English Language Placement test results, and a transcript evaluation are necessary to determine whether to award Critical Reading and Writing transfer credit and to determine a student's correct placement into English courses at The New School.

    Only one of the two required Critical Reading and Writing courses was transferred. Why has it been recorded as Critical Reading and Writing 2 and not Critical Reading and Writing 1?
    Critical Reading and Writing 1 and 2 are a sequence, and students normally complete part one before part 2. If you were awarded only three of the required six Reading and Writing credits, Parsons requires that you complete the requirement by taking part 1. Because part 1 engages design in terms of form and function, analysis and rhetoric, and visual and informational literacies, it is considered likely that you will encounter exercises and writing opportunities unlike those you experienced in your previous institution.

    Can I receive credit for my International Baccalaureate (IB) scores?
    Yes. The Higher Level IB in a liberal arts subject with a score of 5 or higher will be reviewed for transfer credit. We award 6 credits per exam.

    How do I request my IB scores?
    You must have the official IB scores sent to the Office of Admission directly from International Baccalaureate. Scores cannot be sent from your high school. You can request IB scores here.

    Are GCE Advanced Levels (A Levels) accepted for transfer credit?
    Yes, but transcripts must be evaluated by WES or another NACES evaluation service.

    How many credits can I receive for my A-Levels courses?
    Credit is granted at the discretion of the degree program to which you have been admitted. Provided that grades of C (or equivalent) were assigned, liberal arts subjects will be reviewed by all Parsons programs. Studio arts subjects are typically accepted only by the BBA Design and Management program.

    Can I receive credit for German Abitur Final Examinations?
    Yes, but your transcript must be evaluated by WES or another NACES evaluation service. A minimum score of 7 (B equivalent) is required for consideration.

    Note: If you are accepted to Parsons, your school will provide you with a comprehensive Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) explaining your approved level of entry and identifying the courses for which you have been awarded credit.