transfer credit guidelines

This information is provided as a guide when applying transfer credit to the SFAI curriculum.

Maximum of 60 units accepted in transfer

  • 24 units in Art History and Liberal Arts
  • 12 units in Major
  • 24 units in Elective

Advanced Placement Exam Credit

  • Minimum score of 3 for academic subjects
  • Minimum score of 4 for studio subjects

Non-Transferable credits:

  • No courses graded C- or below
  • No physical education classes
  • No credit for professional or “life” experience.
  • No remedial courses
  • No ESL credit
  • No conversational foreign language classes
  • No academic credits from U.S. colleges without regional accreditation

Transfer Credit for Second-degree Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate degree applicants with a previous undergraduate (baccalaureate) degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university are eligible to transfer up to 90 units of credit towards their SFAI degree. With the approval of the Registrar and the Dean of Academic Affairs, the office of Admissions will accept up to 30 units of Liberal Arts credit, 12 units in Art History, 12 units in the Major, and 36 units in Elective Studio including up to 12 units of relevant General or Non-Studio electives. Contemporary Art History and Critical Theory B are residency requirements and nontransferable.

The Off-Campus Study Requirement will also be waived for Second-degree Undergraduate students.

Transferable Courses
The following is a list of SFAI’s requirements and a sample of courses that are generally equivalent and may be transferred:

Liberal Arts Courses

English Composition A: Investigation and Writing
Freshman/College Composition courses
Creative Writing
The following courses do not fulfill English Composition A:

English Literature
Comparative Literature
English credits from colleges where English is not the primary language of instruction. These courses may be counted as Liberal Arts elective.

    English Composition B: Nonfiction Writing:
    English Literature
    Comparative Literature

    Humanities Core A: Historical survey from antiquity to the Renaissance

    Western Civilization A
    Cultural Anthropology
    Pre-20th Century Classics
    Intro to Literature
    Intro to Philosophy
    European Civilization
    General Humanities before 1500

      Humanities Core B: Development of the European avant-garde in the 19th century

      Western Civilization B
      Most General Humanities since 1500

        Natural Science

        All Lab Sciences
        Physical Anthropology
        History of Science


          College level math (algebra or above)
          Symbolic logic
          Computer Science
          Some Astronomy courses

            Social Science
            Political Science

            Global Culture

            Coursework that concentrates on the contributions of diverse cultures – specifically ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations not focused upon in the Western/European curriculum.

              Liberal Arts Elective

              Any general education course except art studio, PE or non-credit classes. Classes such as Business, Home Economics, Health, etc. are not appropriate.

                Critical Theory A and B must be completed at SFAI.

                Art History Courses

                Global Art History

                Art History A
                Prehistoric to Gothic/Middle Ages

                  Modernity and Modernism

                  Art History B
                  Renaissance to Modern/mid-20th Century

                    Elective Art History

                    Any college level art history course
                    History of Architecture, ethnic arts, etc.
                    Only 3 units of non-fine arts art history may transfer.

                      Major Art History

                      History of the discipline depending on the major

                        Studio Courses

                        Contemporary Practices

                        Any foundation level art course for students who transfer in 12 units or more of studio credit

                          Major Studio

                          Specific to each curriculum

                            Elective Studio

                            Foundation courses: 2D design, color theory, 3D design, composition, Art I, II or III
                            No more than 12 units of non-fine arts classes may transfer as studio electives. (e.g. illustration, graphic design, craft, architecture, theater, music, fashion, dance, etc.)

                              A course description may be required to assess transferability of specific courses.

                              Other Information

                              Converting Quarter Units

                              Quarter Units Semester Units
                              1 2/3
                              2 1 1/3
                              3 2
                              4 2 2/3
                              5 3 1/3
                              6 4
                              7 4 2/3
                              8 5 1/3

                              Most 4 quarter unit courses will be accepted as equal to 3 semester units.