Jul 15, 2024  
2022-2023 NOVA Catalog 
2022-2023 NOVA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CPL: Section 1-Credit from Postsecondary Institutions Procedures and Policies

Credit from Post-secondary Institutions Procedures and Policies

Transfer Credits from Accredited Colleges or Universities

NOVA accepts transfer credit for college-level courses completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or higher, provided the courses are consistent with the course requirements of the curriculum in which the student enrolls at NOVA. Once an institution is accredited, NOVA will recognize credits earned at the institution during its candidacy for accreditation or in the two years prior to the institution’s full accreditation by such commissions, whichever is the shorter period of time. Credit also may be transferred from institutions if the Transfer of Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions, published by American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, states that credit from the institution “is generally accepted for courses that are appropriate to the reporting institution’s baccalaureate programs.”

Post-secondary Credits from Non-Accredited Colleges or Universities

Credits earned at post-secondary institutions without accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education do not transfer to NOVA even if the institution is accredited through a different commission such as a national accrediting organization or specialized and professional accreditors. However, in some cases where a post-secondary institution offers specialized educational opportunities (culinary institutes, etc.) and the institution is empowered by a state to award associate degrees or above, NOVA faculty may pre-approve the recommendation to award equivalent transfer credit for courses within a specific discipline. Courses, which have been specifically evaluated and will be accepted for transfer, are listed in this manual; only credit earned after the date specified in the review will be accepted.

Transfer Equivalency Statement

Courses will be transferred at full credit value. Totally dissimilar and unrelated courses will not be grouped together to fulfill NOVA sequential course requirements. To be considered equivalent to a specific NOVA course, transferred courses must be the same number of credits (or more) than their NOVA counterpart. NOVA’s Transfer Evaluation System (TES) database contains courses that have been evaluated and approved by college faculty to offer transfer equivalency at NOVA. Please note that this database is dynamic; we are constantly updating course equivalency data. While this data is as accurate and current as possible, NOVA retains the right to make changes to any course equivalency within this database, whether during a student’s enrollment or otherwise.

Transcript Evaluation Process

NOVA accepts credits from other 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. 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 the College Records Office. The evaluation of transcripts is intended as a service to students who are pursuing academic programs at NOVA. It is not intended as a means for credentialing students or providing documentation for job promotions, etc. Students are required to submit a Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form #125-049E and send official documents to AsktheCRO@nvcc.edu to initiate the evaluation process. VCCS students will need to submit this form in order to be identified by the College Records Office for transfer credit evaluation. 

Prior to submitting the transfer credit evaluation form #125-049E, the student must ensure they are placed in the degree plan of their choice. Upon submission of the transfer credit evaluation request form #125-049E from a student, a maximum of 45 credits will be transferred in as applicable to the student’s degree plan on record in the Student Information System (SIS) at the time of the request. The 45 credit maximum includes elective courses, “EEE” credits, and direct equivalent courses. The College Records Office (CRO) will implement this process with a review of the requestor’s advisement report for degree requirements. Applicable credits will be transferred in with consideration given to elective courses that require a faculty review in order to be substituted for a direct course equivalency. Throughout this process, the CRO will scan the requestor’s academic record and all Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) documents submitted for duplicate credit awards. Students will receive an email notification once evaluations are completed. 

Students should send their transcripts during their first semester at the College so that the transcript will be evaluated in a timely manner. NOVA does not award credit based on another institution’s evaluations; all sources of credit will be evaluated based on NOVA’s policies and guidelines. Visit the following web page for more information about transcript evaluation, https://www.nvcc.edu/cro.


Course Specific Credit

All acceptable courses will be transferred as closely to the NOVA course equivalent as possible. Direct course credit cannot be given for a course not offered at NOVA. In this case only elective credit may be given. The academic dean and/or pathway council responsible for the chosen curriculum will determine if the courses in question may be substituted for a course required within the curriculum.

Required Grades

Generally, only courses earning a grade of “C” (not “C-“) or better will be accepted for transfer credit. Courses earning a grade of “P” (for a Pass/Fail course) and, with the designation “CR” (for credit), may be accepted for transfer if the transcript indicates that credit hours have been awarded and if the transcript states that the P grade is the equivalent of an A-C (not D) grade. Courses graded with a “Pass” may be placed on the transcript for later use; they will be applied to students’ programs as noted above. Students who are interested in transferring to four-year institutions are advised to review the institution’s policies and guidelines on the acceptance and awarding of Pass/Fail credits from NOVA. Please note that the manner in which credit is accepted and/or applied varies by institution. 


Sequence Courses

Sequential courses (two semesters or three quarters) in which one or more grades of “D” were earned may be transferred as a sequence at full credit if the grades for the sequence average at least a grade of “C.” Failing grades will not be accepted for averaging. Grade averaging will be weighted by the credit hour value of the courses. Very dissimilar and unrelated courses will not be grouped together to fulfill NOVA sequential course requirements.

Natural Science Course with Separate Laboratory

For courses with separate lecture and laboratory grades, a “C” (not “C-“) average or better must be earned in order for credit to be awarded. Failing grades are not accepted for averaging. Thus, if a student has received a grade of “F” in either the lecture or the laboratory, the course will not be accepted. Grade averaging will be weighted by the credit hour value of the courses. However, the portion that was passed may be accepted for elective credit and combined with the missing portion from NOVA or another college.

Credit for Prior Learning Awards on Transcripts

NOVA will recognize and award transfer credit for credit awarded through institutionally administered exams, portfolios, etc. and posted as course equivalent credit on official transcripts from colleges and universities that are accredited in the U.S. NOVA will reevaluate credit for external equivalencies such as ACE recommendations, AP, CLEP, or IB.

Evaluation of International Transcripts

Students who have earned college credit from universities outside 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 http://www.wes.org/students/index.asp), the International Education Research Foundation (IERF at http://www.IERF.org), Foreign Credentials Service of America (FCSA at http://foreigncredentials.org), and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE at https://www.ece.org). NOVA will accept AACRAO (www.aacrao.org) international transcript evaluations dated prior to August 2016. 

  • Students may only submit one evaluation during their academic career at NOVA.
  • Students must submit their original transcripts to one of these organizations and pay for the course-by-course evaluation.
  • NOVA cannot guarantee the quality or outcome of the evaluations.

Once the College receives a copy of the evaluation, appropriate transfer credit will be awarded and posted to the student’s record unless NOVA needs additional information. In certain instances, a student may be given elective “EEE” credit and will be responsible for providing coursework, syllabus, reading lists, and/or any other necessary documents from courses taken outside the US, if required by the Dean or Department Chair at NOVA.

Note: Credit for ENG 111 or higher English credit will be awarded only if the student has taken NOVA’s English Placement Test and qualified for ENG 111.


Ten Year Limit on Career-Technical Credits

Transfer credit for Information Technology, Computer Science, Nursing, or Health Sciences courses more than ten years old are not routinely accepted; exceptions must be approved by the Pathway Dean. Furthermore, science courses ten years old will not be accepted for degree programs such as Nursing or Health Sciences.


General Elective Credit

Transfer credit may be allowed for certain courses which do not correspond directly to NOVA courses but are in disciplines NOVA offers. The academic dean and/or pathway council responsible for the student’s curriculum will determine if and how, within NOVA and VCCS policy, the elective(s) may be used in the curriculum.

Transcripts Showing Only English Courses

Effective 2014, NOVA does not accept a transcript from any college that shows only English unless the student places into ENG 111 via Accuplacer, VPT, or one of the other approved placement alternatives. When a case falls into a gray area, the Associate College Registrar consults with the Credit for Prior Learning Coordinator and the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs before deciding. English deans are involved as appropriate.

SDV Transfer Credit for Students with Previous Degrees

Students who have attended another accredited United States institution of higher education should request that an official transcript be submitted for evaluation. Credit will be awarded on a course-by course basis. In addition, students who have graduated with an associate, baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited United States institution of higher education are considered to have fulfilled NOVA’s SDV requirement.