Transfer Credit or Credit Away

Students transferring to Penn from another institution should first contact the Office of Transfer Credit and Advanced Placement (215 898.6080 or

Transfer Credit or Credit Away Approval Process

The Department of History generally recognizes transfer credit from most four-year liberal arts colleges and research universities. The subject matter need not match course offerings at Penn, though the course must be sufficiently historical in content and approach and suitable in assignments and evaluation. Designated faculty review the syllabus and grant approval on a case-by-case basis.

Complete your credit request following the Department's Instructions for XCAT (External Course Approval Tool).


Courses that will NOT be approved include:

  • online courses that do not meet synchronously
  • those that meet for less than 39 hours. No matter what College you are enrolled in at Penn, all transfer courses must meet the SAS-required minimum of 39 course hours. Be aware that courses taken on the quarter system typically do not reach this minimum and therefore will not receive full credit. Many summer session courses also fall short, so be sure to count the scheduled number of hours-per-week, and weeks-per-session before requesting approval.
  • courses taken at community colleges or junior colleges after you matriculated at Penn. (Students transferring from two-year institutions, or who took junior college courses while matriculated elsewhere may still apply for credit.)
  • study tours without regular methods of evaluation (i.e. papers, exams, etc.). 

Sector Requirements: The Department of History will NOT approve "credit away" courses from elsewhere to satisfy the College’s Sector Requirements. Students who have already matriculated must meet this requirement with Penn courses. If you are a student in Wharton, SEAS or another college: the policies and advisors in your program will establish how these credits count towards graduation requirements.

For additional information, including matters concerning grades, see:

College Transfer Credit Policies 
College Credit Away Policies

Advice for First-Year Students

Incoming first-year students seeking to receive credit for college courses taken before coming to Penn, or for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate examinations, should first contact the Office of Transfer Credit and Advanced Placement (215 898.6080 or

For class of 2019 and later, the Penn History department no longer awards credit for AP, IB, or GCSE History scores.

Advice for Credit Away Students

The Department recommends that you seek approval before you begin a course, but if you are not able to obtain a course syllabus, this may not be possible. You will want to be certain the course meets the basic criteria outlined above before you commit to take the course.

Advice for History Majors

Consult the History Major Requirements to learn how Transfer Credit or Credit Away may be used in the major.

Transfer Credit/Credit Away Course Numbers

All Transfer Credit or Credit Away is assigned a number in the HIST 1900 series. This is a generic grouping of numbers for all transfer courses that indicate only the basic subject of a course, not its level. The Department of History does not award "equivalent" credit for any course number at Penn. Students may receive multiple credits for courses that receive the same number.

  • HIST 1910: American History Before 1800
  • HIST 1915: American History After 1800
  • HIST 1920: European History Before 1800
  • HIST 1925: European History After 1800
  • HIST 1930: African or Middle Eastern History Before 1800
  • HIST 1935: African or Middle Eastern History After 1800
  • HIST 1940: Latin American or Caribbean History Before 1800
  • HIST 1945: Latin American or Caribbean History After 1800
  • HIST 1950: East or South Asian History Before 1800
  • HIST 1955: East or South Asian History After 1800
  • HIST 1960: Transregional History Before 1800
  • HIST 1965: Transregional History After 1800

Numbers Before Fall 2022

  • HIST 191: Europe (including Britain and Australia) pre-1800
  • HIST 192: Europe (including Britain and Australia) post-1800
  • HIST 193: United States and Canada pre-1800
  • HIST 194: United States and Canada post-1800
  • HIST 195: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East pre-1800
  • HIST 196: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East post-1800

Still have questions?

Contact the History Study Abroad and Transfer Credit Advisor.