Prospective Transfer Students

Getting into Clemson University as a freshman is very competitive. If you do not get in as a freshman do not become discouraged, there are many opportunities to transfer into Clemson University and the Animal & Veterinary Sciences Department. We have prepared a handout explaining the process of transferring into the AVS department and suggest that you consult this first. If you still have questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

 Animal & Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University
Transfer Student Frequently Asked Questions

(This Fact Sheet was compiled by Dr. Glenn Birrenkott ( and Mrs. Roxanne Bernard for undergraduate transfer students in Animal & Veterinary Sciences programs at Clemson University. We have tried to assure that the information is accurate, but the student is ultimately responsible for meeting their degree requirements as listed in the Undergraduate Announcements at the time of their admission. Use or modification of this document without the expressed permission of the authors is prohibited. (May 15, 2008)

    Thanks for choosing the Animal & Veterinary Sciences Department in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University. We ask for your patience as we go through this process. Each transfer student is very unique. You come to us with a variety of courses from a diversity of institutions and have a wide array of career and educational goals. We are committed to working with you to maximize the credits from your previous school(s) and to getting you a class schedule for your first semester at Clemson.

    First, some general rules. The rubric for Clemson University courses is an indication of the level of difficulty. In general, 100-level courses are for freshman, 200-level for sophomores (and freshmen), 300-level courses are considered junior-level, and 400-level are senior-level. Courses at the 200-, 300- and 400-levels often have prerequisites that must be satisfied before the course can be taken. Any prerequisites would be indicated in the “Undergraduate Announcements”.
    Remember, 300- and 400-level courses are considered junior and senior-level. So, Clemson University will NOT allow any student to transfer in a course at these levels from a 2-year school or from an institution that does not award baccalaureate degrees.
    Students transferring into one of our undergraduate degree programs will usually come in with a minimum of 30 credits and a 2.5 GPA. These are Clemson University requirements and are checked and evaluated by admissions and records & registration, not by our department. Your acceptance to Clemson University is outside our control.
Only courses that you received a grade of “C” or higher will transfer to Clemson University. These courses will transfer to fulfill degree requirements or as electives but will not affect your Clemson GPA. Transfer courses satisfy degree requirements, much like high school AP credits, but do not transfer a grade to Clemson. So, even if you transfer 60 credits to Clemson University your Clemson University GPA starts at 0.00  Your Clemson GPA is determined by the total number of grade points (grade * credits) divided by the total number of credit hours taken at Clemson.

General Education Requirements (GenEd)

    All undergraduate students at Clemson University must satisfy certain basic “General Education” (GenEd) requirements before graduation. This is to make sure that you are a well-rounded / educated individual. Here is a rundown on these GenEd requirements:
Freshman English (3 credits) = English 103
    Presently, transfer students with the equivalent of Clemson’s (old) English 101 & English 102 or English 102 are given credit for English 103. If you only have credit for English 101 it is considered an elective.
Cross Cultural Awareness (CCA, 3 credits)
    Usually students will not take a course that only satisfies this GenEd requirement. Many of the Humanities and Social Sciences requirements (see below) will also satisfy this requirement. Students should, in consultation with their advisor(s), try to choose courses that “double dip” – i.e. satisfy more than one GenEd requirement. The Cross Cultural Awareness requirement may also be satisfied through an approved study abroad / international experience.
Science, Technology & Society (STS, 3 credits)
    Animal & Veterinary Sciences students will meet this requirement with our AVS 315 or AVS 415 course(s).
Humanities Non-literature (3 credits)
    This GenEd requirement is usually satisfied with courses in Music, Philosophy, Religion or Theatre. If you have more than 3 credits of basic humanities courses, the excess will be considered electives.
Humanities Literature (3 credits)
    This GenEd requirement is usually satisfied by a sophomore-level English literature course. The equivalent Clemson courses are English 202  English 215.  Please note, all 200-level English courses do NOT satisfy this requirement, only the literature courses. The Humanities Literature requirement can also be met by many of the 300-level language courses. Again, if you have more than one 3-credit sophomore-level English course, the excess are considered electives.
Social Sciences (6 credits, in 2 disciplines)
    This includes certain courses in Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. As noted above, you must have two 3-credit courses from two different disciplines. Therefore, if you come to our department with 9 credits of History, only one of the courses would count towards this GenEd requirement and the rest would be elective credits.
Mathematical Sciences
    All students, including transfers, must take the on-line Clemson Math Placement Test. You must take this even if you are getting credit for math courses taken elsewhere. You can only take the test once and the score is good for one year. See the above website for more information. Please note that MTHSC 104 (College Algebra), MTHSC 105 (Pre-calculus) and MTHSC 199 (Problem Solving in Mathematics) are considered preparatory classes for college math classes. Credit for these three classes would count only as elective credit.
    A certain level of mathematical competency is required to do well in Chemistry. In order to register for freshman chemistry (CH 101, L 101) you must have a CMPT score (see above) of at least 3 or have successfully completed one of the non-preparatory math classes.
    The 120-series of Clemson’s Biology courses are designed for non-science majors and will not count towards our requirement for either BIOL 103/104 (two 4-credit biology courses with labs) or BIOL 110/111 (two 5-credit biology courses with labs).
Advanced Writing (3 credits)
    This Clemson requirement is met by taking, and passing, a 300-level English course that focuses on writing (i.e. Technical Writing, Business Writing, see GenEd list in the Undergraduate Announcements). Because it is a 300-level course, Clemson does not consider any English writing course from a 2-year school or college as being equivalent.
Oral Communication (3 credits)
    There are several ways to satisfy this GenEd requirement. Most students will take a 3-credit speech or (oral) communication course (for a list see GenEd requirements in the Undergraduate Announcements). Many of these are 100- and 200-level courses that have Clemson equivalencies. Students may also opt to combine an AVS evaluation class (i.e Livestock, Dairy, Equine or Poultry evaluation) and AVS 406, Senior Seminar to satisfy Clemson’s oral communication requirement. You may need to check to make sure that any professional school (Veterinary, Medical, Dental) that you plan to attend will accept this Clemson option.

    If you have taken courses at another institution that have satisfactory / pass / fail grading, you must bring an official statement from the registrar’s office of that institution stating that the “S” or “P” grade is equivalent to a “C” or better for it to transfer to Clemson.
    Some of your courses from other institutions may not satisfy any degree requirements in our program or you may have an excess of a particular type of credits – these become elective credits. Do not become too alarmed if all of these do not all appear on your Clemson transcript. Beyond a certain level, just piling on more elective credits would inflate your student academic standing but get you no closer to graduation. This could have a negative impact because Clemson students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA based on the number of credits that they have taken. Excess elective credits would increase the student’s credit level and require the student to maintain a higher GPA for continuing enrollment. If a student wants the excess electives added to their student record (for financial aid or other reasons), they can sign a consent form.

Transfer Credit Evaluation and Transfer Credit Equivalency List (TCEL)

    The following is an example of what a completed Undergraduate Transfer Evaluation form might look like.  It has your name and ID number in the upper left corner with the institution that you attended listed immediately below that.  It then itemizes the courses that you took, with the grade you received, the hours earned (i.e. credits), and the Clemson equivalent. Please note that several of the Clemson equivalent courses were 300-level so this student took these at a four year college or university that awards baccalaureate degrees.
    The evaluator for the first three courses is TCEL. This stands for Transfer Credit Equivalency List. Clemson University maintains a database of courses that have transferred here from other institutions. Obviously, we have the most information from other institutions of higher education in SC and less from out-of-state schools. You can check to see if we have information and courses in the TCEL from your former school by accessing the website:
    If your course(s) is/are not on the Clemson TCEL, then during Transfer Orientation you will go to the Hendrix Center Ballroom to get your courses evaluated. Only faculty from a given subject matter discipline can evaluate courses in that subject area. This means that I cannot evaluate English or Chemistry courses – only the English and Chemistry faculty can, respectively. In the example (below) a faculty member in Sociology evaluated the SSS 203 course from another university and found that it was equivalent to Clemson’s SOC 392. This faculty member initialed the evaluation, and wrote down the number of credits to be awarded for this transfer.


    After you have had all of your courses evaluated (by TCEL or faculty in the various departments) then you come to one of the AVS transfer advisors and we fill out the last two columns. We determine whether the equivalent course(s) fit into our curriculum as satisfying a (R)equirement or as an (E)lective. Once these forms are filed with Records & Registration, room 104 Sikes Hall, they will be processed and entered into our system. Based on the completed form (above) we sit down with you to determine what courses you need to take, help you design a schedule and go on-line with you to get the courses that you need.   

    Finally, nothing is ever (completely) final. It is possible to revisit / re-evaluate the courses that you have transferred to Clemson. It may also be possible to change their designation from satisfying one requirement to satisfying a different one. This would be accomplished with a Course Substitution form in consultation with your advisor and department chair.   

    We hope that this helps you understand the transfer evaluation system at Clemson. If you have any questions give us a call or send us an email.