Earning College Credit

Students can earn college credit for completing courses from regionally accredited institutions, CLEP exams, DANTES (DSST), and military coursework as recommended by the American Council on Education. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma, and dual college credit may have been completed during high school. Official transcripts and score reports sent directly from the institution or organization are required for earned transfer credits to be applied on the student record. 

Bellarmine University awards transfer credit for grades “D” or higher in coursework that is considered college-level and is from regionally accredited institutions when similar in scope, content, and standards to courses offered at Bellarmine. Remedial, technical, vocational, internship, externship, and courses not consistent with the liberal arts tradition are not transferable. Military coursework is evaluated using the same considerations as transfer coursework. 

Transfer of credit evaluations are made on a course-by-course basis by the Registrar’s Office in consultation with appropriate academic department chairs when necessary. The university institution requirements of the university must be satisfied regardless of the number of credits transferred. 

Once a student has matriculated at Bellarmine, he or she may not take a course at another institution and transfer it back to repeat a course previously taken at Bellarmine (transfer credits do not include GPA, therefore the original grade earned cannot be replaced).

Visit our Transfer of Credit Policy page to learn more.

Transfer Credit Equivalency Guides

The report below is a list of default transfer equivalencies between courses from external institutions and the Bellarmine University course catalog. Not all external courses will appear in our database. This does not mean they are not transferable. Bellarmine courses shown as “GEXX GENED” fulfill general education requirements. Courses that do not have a Bellarmine equivalent may transfer in as a general elective and will appear as “GEN ELEC”. **If you are a Transfer student, meaning you have attended a college or university after graduating from high school, some courses that appear as elective credit could meet the General Education Requirements.

To view a full list of General Education Requirements and evaluation guidelines for transfer students, visit the Transfer Student Policies section of the Course Catalog.

Credit Options

A maximum of 60 semester credits may be gained through the external and internal credit options described below.


A maximum of 36 credit hours may be earned through external examinations.

A maximum of 30 semester credits for prior learning may be gained through the internal credit options

Credit for Demonstrated Competency (Challenge Exam):
Enrolled Bellarmine students may petition the department chair to take a comprehensive examination on the material covered in any credit course offered by that department. A grade for this exam is strictly on a Pass/Fail basis. A non-refundable $50 fee is charged at the point of application. A fee, equal to one credit hour tuition, is charged for each course after the exam has been evaluated. Download the Challenge Exam Form

Life Experience (Portfolio): Up to twelve undergraduate credits and six graduate credits may be gained in this category. Bellarmine University recognizes the value of life and work achievement by awarding academic credit for knowledge gained through experience. A detailed explanation and documentation of the learning acquired outside the academic classroom are presented in portfolio format for evaluation by Bellarmine faculty. Successful completion of a portfolio results in a “pass” grade. A fee equal to one credit hour of tuition is charged for each course equivalent after a portfolio has been evaluated. A non-refundable $70.00 fee is charged at the point of portfolio application. Download the Credit by Portfolio Form