Transfer Credit and Graduation Checks

Evaluation of Transfer Credit

You’ll need to go through two steps to  evaluate your transfer credit.

First, you’ll need to determine whether your course merits college credit, and then determine how it meets your degree requirements, if at all.

The first step requires you to arrange to have official documentation (a transcript) sent from your college or university to the Admissions Office. You  may not hand this to someone in the Admissions Office. If the Illinois computer database recognizes your courses, it will match them automatically against your degree requirements.

If they are standard courses – for example, math and physics sequences  –  the Dean’s Office within the College of Engineering will match them up with requirements in most cases.

If they are non-standard, the burden is on you to show that they meet degree requirements. To do this, you may bring in a syllabus, as a course description will not be enough,  as well as a copy of the table of contents of the textbook.

For humanities and social science classes that don’t match up to Illinois courses, you must submit your course syllabi to the office of the Dean of the College of Engineering (206 Engineering Hall) to complete the evaluation of your courses for purposes of General and Liberal Education credit. We suggest contacting a dean or college advisor before the orientation session or going in at off-peak times of the year so you don’t have to wait in line.

Regarding advanced technical courses, we will have to make a decision, so please send a copy of the course syllabi to the Dean’s Office and bring a copy with you.  We will try our best to resolve most of the issues before you get here, but you may be asked to wait until school starts to complete the process.

Proficiency Exams

Several exams are available to give credit for classes that have not transferred. Subjects that you studied in high school but did not take AP tests for are particularly relevant. For more information, please visit these subject-specific websites:

Math 220 and Math 221 are substantially the same.  The Math 220 proficiency exam will give you credit for Math 221, which is required for both the EE and CompE curricula.

Your Adviser-Generated Report

This report, also known as the DARS Audit, includes a complete evaluation of your credit so far. This is a complicated document, but it is worth some effort to learn what it means.  Degree audits are updated every night.  For enrolled students, DARS is accessible from My.ECE under Student Tools. Or, you can search for DARS on the Illinois website.

The top message on your report indicates whether you have satisfied the requirements of your degree. When you are in your very last semester, your degree audit should indicate that you have fulfilled all requirements. Note, though, that the DARS Audit assumes you’ve completed all the classes you have registered for at your previous institution.

For the degree requirement categories, you’ll see required courses; Probability and Statistics; technical electives; general education classes, starting with social science and humanities; and credit counting toward total hours but not counting towards any other requirement (free electives). Looking at Illinois ECE’ curricula will give you information about undergraduate degree requirements.

For each category, your report will show a summary of earned hours, more details on specific requirements, and what is needed (specific classes, or subcategory). Different codes are used, and you will find a table of all codes and their use on the very last page.

Tips on Your DARS Audit

  • Of particular interest to you is the category, “Credit counting toward total hours, but not used in any other requirement,” as it includes all classes for which no specific credit has yet been assigned (classes will be counted as your free electives if you do not send a syllabus for each class and request evaluation). We might have added comments on that portion of your grad check. It will help to understand that each time a graduation check sheet is run, the computer program starts all over again.  It proceeds in chronological order with your courses and places them in the most restrictive category, even after that category is satisfied.  For instance, any course could be a free elective, but for electrical engineering majors, upper-level ECE courses are put in the ECE elective category.  Only courses that cannot be counted in a required category show up in the “Hours Counted Towards Graduation.”  All “Hours Counted Towards Graduation” are free electives.  Extra hours in other categories also count as free electives.
  • For social science and humanities classes, carefully check your “Engineering Liberal Education Electives” item.  Often, you are better off if your transfer hours are certified as meeting the General Education requirements, in which case they are listed immediately under “1) Campus Humanities and the Arts” or immediately under  “2) Campus Social and Behavioral Science.” You need six hours of each from approved lists.  If they are listed under “3) Liberal Education Electives,” they are not certified as GenEds, but can be used to finish the 18 hours of Liberal Education courses required by the College of Engineering. This is better than having them listed under “Hours Counted Towards Graduation.”  If you think one of your courses should be upgraded,  talk to one of the College of Engineering Deans or advisers in 206 Engineering Hall.
  • For Advanced Composition, this requirement must be taken at Illinois, no exceptions.
  • For Cultural Studies, check “Cultural Studies.” The requirement is for one Western and one non-Western Cultural Studies class. If you think one of your courses should be upgraded in this category, talk to one of the Engineering deans.
  • For Foreign Language, look for “University Foreign Language requirement.”  If you do not see it, you must have started college before Fall 2000 and you do not have to meet this requirement.
  • If you notice that some of your courses aren’t used in  your DARS Audit, it’s because they don’t qualify or they might be classes for which transfer equivalency is in doubt.
  • When looking at your credit hours summary, do not worry too much about the totals of credit used. You’ll probably have more hours than you can use. Concentrate on making sure that you get as much of your credit as possible applied toward specific degree requirements.
  • Your Illinois GPA will be zero until you’ve taken a class at Illinois – only classes here count toward it.
  • The 2.25 GPA rule is used for freshmen and sophomores at Illinois, to check their eligibility to register for junior-level classes.
  • The technical GPA is the average of all ECE classes taken at Illinois. If you haven’t taken any, your TGPA is OK.
  • Residency means that Illinois students must earn at least 60 semester hours of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign credit, of which at least 21 hours must be 300- or 400-level courses at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus location. This applies to you.

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