Transfer Credits from International Institutions

Credit from international institutions is subject to the same requirements and limitations as transfer credit from domestic institutions. For details on the requirements and limitations, please see the GO-21M (master’s level) or GO-21D (doctoral level) forms. 

Student Responsibility

  1. Submission of official transcripts and degree certificates with certified English translations to Graduate Admissions. If the courses were taken prior to PSU admission, these documents should already be on file. If the courses were taken after admission to PSU, the student must order current official transcripts (and any other applicable documentation) to be sent to Graduate Admissions.
  2. If requested by the department, the student must also provide complete course descriptions with certified English translations for their review. 
  3. Work with the adviser to complete a GO-21M or GO-21D form:
    • Only list transfer course work that is actually needed to complete degree requirements. Students must run their DARS reports using the correct catalog year to determine what is needed.
    • If you are not sure how to list grades and credits on the GO-21, list them as they are on the transcript (but note #1 under Department/Adviser responsibility in the following section).
    • When completing the GO-21M or GO-21D, make sure to correctly fill out the "Counting for on DARS audit" field. You must use the DARS report in conjunction with filling out this form to properly identify the requirement each transfer course should be applied to.
  4. If completing a GO-21M and requesting to transfer course work that was taken prior to completion of a graduate degree at that institution, the student must obtain official documentation from the institution’s Registrar that confirms the courses were not used to meet degree requirements at that institution. This documentation must be sent in an original sealed envelope as issued by the originating institution with an institutional stamp or signature on the closed envelope flap.

Department/Adviser Responsibility

  1. If the department would like to specify how many credits they want to request for a transfer course, that should be noted in the “credits” field of the form (even if it’s different from what is listed on the transcript).
  2. The department approvers should only sign off on the GO-21 form if they feel that the proposed transfer credit satisfies graduate course standards at Portland State University.
  3. After the department has reviewed the GO-21 form and all required departmental signatures, the GO-21 form should be submitted to the Graduate School in hard copy.

Review of International Transfer Credits

Official documentation (transcripts, etc.) will be reviewed to ensure that the institution is properly accredited or recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. 

For each international transfer request, the Graduate School must determine the appropriate standard for grade and credit conversion to be used to convert the grades and credits to PSU equivalencies. These scales and conversions can vary from country to country, within a specific country, and even over time within one institution. Therefore, students and departments should not always expect to receive grades and credits as they are listed on the transcript, nor to receive the same conversions as other students who transferred courses from that institution. 

The timeframe for processing GO-21s with international credit is often several weeks longer than domestic GO-21s. 

Note that the Graduate School cannot guarantee that international course work will transfer, or provide any specific information on grades and credits, ahead of submission of a GO-21 form and all official documents.