Transfer Credit and Credit for Prior Learning

To receive CPL, documentation must be provided that demonstrates your work meets or exceeds the learning outcomes for the corresponding curriculum course.

CPL can be used to fulfill program requirements, except for some mandatory institutional requirements in health programs. The maximum amount of CPL awarded is 75% of the credit hours required for graduation, and you must earn one-third of your major coursework credit hours at GTCC.

Any CPL awarded will be recorded on the academic transcript without affecting your GTCC grade point average (GPA). Please note that CPL may not be transferable to the UNC System constituent institutions, so it's best to seek advice from a transfer advisor at the institution you plan to attend.

Complete information concerning the policies for transfer credit and credit for prior learning may be found in the GTCC Catalog. To request an assessment of prior credits, you should follow the appropriate procedure included in each credit type description.

For more information regarding transfer credit or the award of credit for prior learning, please contact the Records Office at

Transfer of Credit from Approved Institutions

GTCC welcomes credits from colleges and universities accredited by these seven regional agencies: ACCJC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, HLC, HSCHE, NECHE, NWCCU, SACSCOC, and WSCUC.

Students should submit their official transcripts to the GTCC Office of Admissions prior to enrolling. The Records Office will review the transcripts and award all applicable credit. Students will be notified at their email account when transfer credits have been added to their transcript.

Transfer credits will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis. A grade of C (2.0 GPA) or higher is required to receive transfer credit. GTCC accepts transfer credits graded as P or S if the awarding institution confirms the grade is equivalent to a grade of C (2.0 GPA) or better. Some courses may need departmental approval, and there may be time limits on the transferability of some types of credit, as outlined in the GTCC Catalog's Transferring to GTCC – Credit for Prior Learning section and on individual course descriptions.

If a proficiency exam is required to validate transfer credit, please follow the process in the description of "Credit by Proficiency Examination/Demonstration."

Transfer credit doesn't factor into the overall grade point average, but it does count in financial aid GPA calculations. If a department chair requires an exam to validate transfer credit, the test grade won't affect the GTCC GPA.

GTCC accepts all approved courses for transfer credit, but a minimum of one-fourth of required degree program hours and one-third of major coursework must be earned at GTCC.

Students with transfer credit from international colleges must submit their transcripts to an agency recognized by NACES for international evaluation. As with domestic credits, international credits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and may require department chair validation. International credits in English require a placement test to confirm transferability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Previously evaluated courses are recorded in TES, a searchable electronic repository of previously evaluated courses by GTCC from institutions across the United States. Approved transfer courses from over 1,300 colleges are included in the website and it is continually expanded with additional evaluations.

GTCC strives to award the maximum amount of approved, transferable credit for each student. As such, the transcript evaluation staff and academic departments work collaboratively to provide a thorough evaluation based on information available for review. Students who believe additional courses (not transferred during the evaluation or recorded in TES) should be eligible for transfer may appeal the transcript evaluation.

Students who wish to request a re-evaluation of their transfer credit should complete a Transfer Credit Re-Evaluation form and submit it to Additional supporting documentation should be provided for the evaluators, including:

  • Catalog description of the course to be re-evaluated
  • Course Syllabus from the transfer institution, if available
  • Explanation of appeal request

Please note, in the absence of the re-evaluation form and/or the necessary supporting documentation, there is no additional information available to the evaluators to warrant a re-evaluation and the request will be denied.

Credit re-evaluation requests are normally completed within five business days, but may take longer as they often involve input from the appropriate program director/department chair.


Proficiency Examinations/Demonstration

Students may earn academic credits for knowledge and skills earned prior to enrolling at GTCC. To participate in a credit by proficiency exam, follow these steps:

  • Students must provide written evidence of any special aptitude or knowledge in the course material using the Credit by Proficiency/Demonstration form to faculty advisor, department chair, or program director. This evidence may come from high school achievements, military service, prior coursework, apprenticeships, or work experience.
  • All eligibility requirements must be met, including course prerequisites. Note that developmental, supplemental, clinical practice courses, and those previously taken for a grade or being audited are not eligible. Career and College Promise students may participate, but won’t earn high school credit. If a standardized exam like CLEP is available, students will be referred to that option. If eligible, the student’s request will go to the department chair/program director for consideration.
  • Depending on the course’s format, a faculty expert will create a written, oral, and/or performance-based exam covering all approved learning outcomes. The department reviews this to ensure comprehensive coverage.
  • Before scheduling an exam, the student will need to pay a testing fee based on its complexity. The cost of proficiency exam fees can be found in the Tuition and Fees section of the cashier’s web page.
  • The department chair/program director or designee administers the exam. To receive credit, the exam score must be a "C" or higher. Students may attempt a proficiency exam only once per course.
  • After completion, the department chair/program director provides the completed Credit by Proficiency/Demonstration Examination to the Records Office along with documentation of your final grade, course learning outcomes, and the exam/assessment. A passing grade (PA, PB, or PC) will be noted on your transcript, but will not affect the GTCC GPA. Students will be notified at their email account when credits have been added to their transcript.

Standardized Examinations

When applying, students must submit their official exam scores to the GTCC Admissions Office.

The Records Office will match your scores with approved equivalencies and grant credit accordingly

If no equivalency is found, the exam scores will be referred to the relevant department chair/program director to be assessed. Once complete, the Records Office will record any credit awarded, and inform the student of the outcome at their email account.

GTCC awards credit for the following standardized examinations:

High school students may take AP exams to show college-level proficiency. Students must submit an official transcript when applying to the college. AP transcripts may be requested at

Scores of "3" or higher may earn course credit based on the academic program. A list of AP credit accepted at GTCC is available here.

The IB Diploma program is for students aged 16-19, with standardized exams assessing content mastery. A grade of 70% or higher is needed for credit consideration. International credentials require validation by a US accrediting agency. Students must submit an official transcript when applying to the college. IB transcripts may be requested at

Credit is awarded for scores of 5 or higher. Some IB courses may not apply to the student’s program. A list of IB credit accepted at GTCC is available here.

CLEP allows students to demonstrate college-level knowledge and earn course credit. Credit is granted based on recommended scores from the American Council of Education. Students must submit an official transcript when applying to the college. CLEP transcripts may be requested at

Scores of 50 or higher are approved for credit, with potential additional tests for some cases. Multiple course credits may be possible for foreign language exams. A list of CLEP credit accepted by GTCC is available here.

DSST is a credit-by-examination test developed by the US Department of Defense. Students must submit an official transcript when applying to the college. DANTES transcripts may be requested at

Full course credit is available for scores at or above ACE-recommended credit-granting scores (400 or higher). Retakes of DSST exams are available after three months.

Scores for al DANTES-funded DSST exams are automatically reported to the Joint Services Transcript (JST) and the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

Cambridge International Certificate of Education focuses on the development and demonstration of critical thinking, writing, and skill application. Students must submit an official transcript when applying to the college. AICE transcripts may be requested at

Students may earn college credit with a grade of "e/E" or better (equivalent to a "C" in the US) on Cambridge International Examinations.


Courses listed in the High School to Community College Articulation Agreement

GTCC may award credit for courses taken in high school if they are included in either the current statewide articulation agreement between NC Department of Public Instruction and the NC Community College System or a current local high school to community college articulation agreement.

Students must meet all criteria as outlined in the articulation agreement to be awarded credit, including earning a designated minimum grade in their high school class.

To receive credit, students must provide an official copy of their high school transcript, a Score Report including the student’s CTE score, and a High School Articulation Credit form to the GTCC Admission Office. Transcripts from North Carolina high schools may be requested at

Professional Certifications/Licensures/Industry Credentials

Students may earn credit for prior learning for state or industry recognized credentials that document similar college-level learning as corresponding curriculum courses. Download a list of credentials currently approved for credit.

Credit for industry recognized credentials may be secured by submitting the original professional certification or credential to the appropriate department chair/program director for review upon admission to the college. The chair/director will review the request and, if applicable, submit a Credit for Prior Learning Request form to the Records Office to be added to the student's academic record.

Registered Apprenticeships/Work-Based Learning

GTCC awards academic credit for related instruction provided by external entities participating in registered apprenticeship programs as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Work-based learning course credit may be awarded for the experiential portion of a registered apprenticeship in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the North Carolina Community College Curriculum Procedures Reference Manual, Section 20. An Apprenticeship Agreement will outline the documentation requirements to award credit.

To receive credit, students must submit their original apprenticeship documentation to the appropriate department chair/program director for review upon admission to the College. The chair/director will review the request and, if applicable, submit a Credit for Prior Learning Request form to the Records Office to be added to the student’s academic record. Students will be notified of the award of credit at their email account.

Military Education and Training

Students may be eligible to receive credit for prior learning based on transcripts issued by one or more branches of the armed forces. The college awards credit for prior learning based on military education and training consistent with the standards adopted by the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) Military Prior Learning Academic Panel.

Community College of the Air Force transcripts are evaluated as traditional college transcripts. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard transcripts are reviewed based on the recommendations from the American Council on Education for occupations and courses not current evaluated by the NCCCS Military Prior Learning Academic Panel. Download a list of possible transfer credits from military education and training.

Students must provide an official copy of their military transcripts to the GTCC Admissions Office upon application. Transcripts will be reviewed against the current approved crosswalk. Applicable credit will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Experience not reflected in the official crosswalk may be forwarded for review by the department chair/program director to determine the awarding of transfer credit. The Records Office will record approved transfer credit on the student’s transcript and communicate the outcome to the requestor at their email account.