Transfer Credit FAQs

Can I get credit for a test score?

AP English Language and Composition test scores of 4 or 5 are eligible for WR 099 credit for all students except for those in CGS. The Writing Program does not accept any other test scores for WR credit.

Can I get credit for a writing course I took at a college or university while I was in high school?

University-level courses taken while the student was in high school or taken as part of a high school program associated with a university may be submitted for consideration for WR  transfer credit.

What is WR 099 credit?

WR 099 is general writing credit. If your course is approved for WR 099 credit, you receive WR credits for the course but are not exempted from WR 100 or WR 150 if you are required to take those courses.

When should I  submit my writing transfer credit application?

If you are currently registered for a WR course or plan to register for one for the upcoming semester, you should submit your application before the start of the semester if possible or as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester.

If approval of your external class is needed to meet a prerequisite for a WR class, you have not met the prerequisite until your transfer credits have been evaluated and approved by the Writing Program. The deadline to add or change WR classes is one week from the first day of classes (a week earlier than the deadline for other classes). If you do not have your transfer credit submitted and approved by the WR add deadline and you do not qualify for the WR course for which you are registered without the transfer credit, you will not be allowed to remain in the WR class after the WR add deadline.

How do I  submit my writing transfer credit application?

If you are an incoming transfer student or freshman who has taken college-level courses, the Registrar’s Office will assist you with the transfer credit process and handle sending your applications to the appropriate Boston University programs and departments for evaluation. Returning students should submit transfer credit applications directly to the Writing Program at or at the 3rd floor reception desk at 100 Bay State Road.

I want to take a writing class at another school during the summer. Are there any restrictions?

Many BU colleges (including CAS and CFA) have a policy that students may not satisfy writing requirements through the transfer of credit earned in summer offerings of other institutions located within the Greater Boston area, unless (a) the credit involved is for a required course, not offered through Boston University’s Summer Term, or (b) prior approval has been obtained from both the responsible department chair and the dean of the requesting student. If you are not certain of your college’s policy, please contact your college’s advising office.

Students who enter Boston University as freshmen are allowed to take an external class for either WR 100 or  WR 150 transfer credit but must take one of the those two (or a WR 100 or WR 150 equivalent) at Boston University.

Prerequisites still apply for transfer credit. For example, you must have received WR 100 credit prior to taking an external class for WR 150, and you must have received WR 098 credit prior to taking an external class for WR 100 if you are required to take WR 098.

If the class is offered by a school that is not in the United States, you will need to have it approved by the Study Abroad Office in addition to having it approved by your advisor and by the Writing Program.

I want to take a course at another school in the future. How do I determine which of their courses could receive WR credit?

You are welcome to submit several potential courses for consideration for the same credit. For example, you could submit two external classes for WR 150 credit consideration. Please note on your application that you will only be taking one of the courses and are determining which could receive the WR credit you want. The Writing Program will determine which course or courses can be approved for the WR credit you desire. Then you can decide which of those approved courses you will take.

Students who enter Boston University as freshmen are allowed to take an external class for either WR 100 or  WR 150 transfer credit but must take one of the those two (or a WR 100 or WR 150 equivalent) at Boston University.

Can I submit a class that is not a composition course?

You may submit any course that had writing assignments,  but please be aware that WR credit is usually only granted to composition courses or courses that fulfill the other school’s writing requirement. In other words, WR credit is usually given to courses that focus on improving writing skills as opposed to courses that focus more on the study of a particular subject like literature or history.

In most cases, you should submit a class that is not a composition course to the department that offers classes in that subject area at Boston University. For example, literature or creative writing courses should usually be submitted to the English Department to be evaluated for EN transfer credit.

How long will the evaluation process take?

Transfer credit applications submitted to the Writing Program are typically evaluated within five business days, but the process may take longer if you submit your application at the beginning of a semester (a time when we receive many applications). If you wish to check on the status of your application, please email or call 617-358-1500 if you submitted it directly to the Writing Program. If you submitted it through the Registrar’s Office, please contact that office for an update.

How do you determine what credit a course receives?

In general, the evaluator will compare the number of papers, the length of the papers, the goals of the course, and other factors like the amount of reading and research required to Boston University’s writing courses to determine which WR course, if any, is most similar to the external course. For WR 150 credit, the course must contain a substantial research component.

How will I find out what credit I received for my course?

Because the program receives a very large number of applications, we do not notify students of results. Returning students who submitted applications directly to the Writing Program are welcome to email or call 617-358-1500 to get an update on the status of their applications. The Registrar’s Office will handle notification for incoming transfer students who submitted applications through that office.

I received WR transfer credit but also was given a recommended writing placement after I took the Writing Placement Test. What does that mean and what level WR class should I take?

Your recommended placement is the writing class level that the Writing Program strongly recommends you take first to being the writing sequence at Boston University.  It may be a different level than the WR level you qualify to take because of the transfer credit you received. For example, if you received WR 100 transfer credit for an external class you took, you meet the prerequisite to register for WR 150. But if you  have a recommended writing placement of WR 098, the Writing Program strongly encourages you to take WR 098 before taking WR 150 because the program believes that a WR 150 course would be extremely challenging for you and it would be difficult for you to succeed in that level course. You may choose to register for the level you qualify for with transfer credit at your own risk or you may choose to begin with the recommended placement level. Please consult your advisor for assistance in making this decision.

My course was approved. What do I need to do now?

If you are an incoming transfer student, the Registrar’s Office will handle the rest of the process for you. All you need to do is register for the appropriate level WR course if you plan to take WR in the upcoming semester.

If you are a returning student, unless you request otherwise when you submit your application, the Writing Program will send your evaluated transfer credit form to your BU college for processing. Forms are sent to either your college’s records office or your college’s undergraduate advising or student services office depending on the college.

It may take a few weeks for the credit to appear on your record. If it has been several weeks and the credit has not appeared yet, please contact the Registrar’s Office to check on the status of your credit. If the office needs another copy of the approval form, you can request one by emailing

Can I appeal a transfer credit decision or talk to someone about it?

You may contact Christopher Walsh, the Associate Director of the Writing Program, at to schedule a meeting with him to discuss the evaluation results.

Book a Tutoring Appointment

Tutors are available for all CAS WR classes. Appointments can be booked online.

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Fall 2015 Graduate Writing Fellowships

The Writing Program is now accepting applications for Fall 2015 Graduate Writing Fellowships.

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Spring Catalog

The Spring 2015 Writing Program catalog is now available.
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