Advanced Standing for First-year & Transfer Students

First-year students

Applicants who earn the equivalent of eight or fewer Bucknell University course credits at another college while in high school shall only be considered for admission as first-year students. These students will be required to comply with University curricular and cocurricular programs and policies for entering first-year students.

Credits can be earned through College Board Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or college courses taken while in high school. Students earning any of these credits may attend Bucknell for eight semesters (or 10 semesters if they are enrolled in a five-year engineering program).  

Students who have earned more than eight course credits but admitted as first-year students should consult with the associate dean of their respective college after admission is offered to determine which courses they should select for transfer.

Students interested in transferring more than the equivalent of eight Bucknell University course credits shall be considered for admission only as a transfer student. These students will not be eligible for, or required to comply with, University curricular and cocurricular programs and policies intended for those entering college immediately after high school. The graduation dates of these students will be adjusted to reflect their prior work. The graduation date, or class year, determines the number of semesters a student may attend Bucknell. When necessary, the appropriate college dean may adjust a student’s graduation date due to curricular needs.

Transfer students

Students who have graduated from high school and have earned college credits while matriculated in a degree program elsewhere will only be considered for admission as a transfer student. Students with less than four accepted transfer credits will be eligible for, and required to comply with, University curricular and cocurricular programs for first-year students.

Students will not be admitted to Bucknell’s undergraduate program if they have earned the equivalent of more than 80 semester hours or 2.5 years of college work elsewhere. This limit includes credits earned through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and College Level Examination Program subject tests. 

While the preceding policies apply in most situations, exceptions may be made by the Office of Admissions after considering an applicant’s particular circumstances and consulting with the office of the registrar; the deans of arts & sciences, engineering or management; and student affairs.

Students applying for transfer admission are typically expected to have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). The average GPA of admitted transfer students is 3.4. Courses will be credited if they are comparable to those offered at Bucknell, if they may be counted toward the requirements for graduation, and if a grade of C or better was earned. A grade of C- or below, pass/fail grades, or audited courses will not be accepted for transfer credit. Courses in professional or vocational fields, math courses lower than introductory calculus, and language courses that repeat high school work are not acceptable for transfer. Courses taken online at regionally accredited universities will be considered for transfer credit at the discretion of the department chair.

Most students transfer to Bucknell from schools employing the semester hour credit system. For schools on a semester hour system, four semester hours are equivalent to one Bucknell course credit. Policy does allow that two courses of only three semester hours may each transfer as a full course credit. Transfer credit would be reduced to .75 credits for any three semester hour course taken thereafter. For schools on a quarter credit hour system, six quarter hours are equivalent to one Bucknell course credit. Policy does allow that two courses of only 4.5 quarter hours may each transfer as a full credit. Transfer credit would be reduced to .75 credits for any 4.5 quarter-hour course taken thereafter.

The grade point average required for good standing and for graduation is compiled only on work taken at Bucknell. Applicants for admission with advanced standing must provide the dean of admissions with an official transcript of record that reflects all earlier college work and any other requested information.

In highly structured programs, such as those leading to the bachelor of music degree, the bachelor of science degrees, and the bachelor of engineering degrees, the sequence of courses is very important. Potential transfer candidates interested in these areas should contact the Office of Admissions as early as possible for advice on selecting courses where they are currently enrolled.

To satisfy Bucknell’s graduation requirements, undergraduates in the College of Arts & Sciences and Freeman College of Management must complete a minimum of 12 Bucknell University courses, and in the College of Engineering, a minimum of 13. A minimum of two semesters in residence during the junior and senior years is also required. The first semester after matriculation and the final semester before graduation must be in residence.