Transfer credit

Requirements for transfer of credits for biology courses to Bates College 

(Updated 10-22-18)

In addition to the requirements specified by faculty legislation for all transfer courses, the Biology Department requires the following:

    1. Biology courses taken at another institution must count towards a major in the biological sciences at that institution. This rule applies regardless of the intent for which the transferred course will be used (i.e., for the Biology major or for general education).
    2. The lecture portion of the course must meet for a minimum of 36 hours; on-line courses require an equivalent duration of structured meeting time (e.g., lecture videos, on-line discussions, etc.). For courses with a laboratory, an additional 30 hours of laboratory meeting time is required; laboratory credit generally requires in-person laboratory meetings.
    3. If the course meets during the summer or on-line, it must meet for a minimum of 5 weeks.
    4. With few exceptions, the biology department does not provide transfer credit for courses offered by departments outside of the biological sciences.

When submitting a request for transfer credit review, all materials must be submitted to the Chair of the Department. These materials include:

  1. The Bates transfer credit form, available from the Registrar’s office, with the student portion completed;
  2. A dated note, requesting how the credit may be applied (i.e., toward major, toward general education).
  3. The transfer institution’s Catalog, clearly marking the area where the relevant biological science department’s requirements, prerequisites and courses are listed. The course to be transferred should be clearly marked as well.
  4. For summer courses and on-line courses, documentation of the times and dates that the course meets; again, a link to the web site is fine, so long as this information is clearly indicated;
  5. If available, the syllabus, reading list and description of laboratories. In most cases this information will be required before an evaluation can be completed.


Assemble the needed items into a single packet and submit them to the Biology Department chair. It is often useful to meet with the chair so questions may be answered. After Biology department review, the materials will be forwarded to the Registrar’s office for the Registrar’s signature. You may be contacted by either the Biology Department or the Registrar if additional materials are needed.

The Registrar will inform you whether the credit has been approved and will send you a copy of the signed transfer credit form for your records. Students are advised that at the end of the semester it may take longer to receive a response, and should plan in advance to provide materials for review. Allow at least three weeks before a summer course is to begin to get approval for that course.