Transfer Credit

Transferring Credit for Biology Courses from U.S. Institutions

Credit for biology courses taken at other universities may be transferred to Duke, subject to University guidelines and limitations. In general, no more than 2 course credits can be transferred from a US institution while a student is enrolled at Duke or during the summer. Courses must be taken at an accredited four-year institution. Note that courses taken in Beaufort at the Duke Marine Lab are not considered to be transfer credit. 

See T-reqs for Trinity College guidelines on transfer credit and info on the Tentative Approval of Transfer Courses Form.

Transferring Credit for Biology Courses from International Institutions

Biology credit may be transferred from approved Study Abroad programs, subject to University guidelines and limitations. Note that credit for "Duke in ..." programs, such as Duke in Australia BIO 288A, is not considered to be transferred credit. 

Procedures for Transferring Credit

Before enrolling, email the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies (Eric Spana) in Biology with a complete description of/link to the Biology course information (syllabus or bulletin description) and a completed copy of the "Tentative Approval" form. Be sure to list all courses that you are interested in, even if you don't take them all.  If you are looking to transfer credit for a non-Bio course (chemistry, physics, etc.), that Department will be responsible for reviewing and approving transfer courses for credit. Follow the directions provided by the relevant Department.

Your courses will be reviewed for equivalency, and then the approved form will be forwarded to appropriate dean for final approval. Forms are available online for domestic transfer or from the Global Education Office for International programs.

Applying Transfer Credit to the Biology Major

Transfer credit for biology courses may be applied to the requirements of the biology major, as determined by the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. The Associate Director may assign credit as follows:

Duke Equivalent Course number:

Will meet the following major requirement:

BIO 100(L) = lower-level <200 course, not equivalent to a specific Duke course. 

Will NOT satisfy any major requirement

BIO 300
= upper-level (200-level or above) course, not equivalent to a specific Duke course. 

BIO Elective course only
**(unless specifically approved for Core Area requirement)

BIO ###
= equivalent to Duke course BIO ###

Will meet all requirements for the major met by the equivalent Duke course. Does not meet modes of inquiry credit.

BIO 300L or ###L
= laboratory course (>36 hours of lab) 

Will meet laboratory requirement of the major

**Your request must specifically note if you are requesting that a course satisfy a specific Menu Area requirement. Note that you will need to provide a detailed course description (syllabus) if it does not closely correspond to an equivalent Duke course. Approval of credit for the menu area requirement, if granted, will be noted on the student's advisement report in DukeHub. 

Transfer Limits

No more than half of the courses used to fulfill the BIO major can be transfer courses (max of 5 for the major) and no more than half for the minor can be transfer courses (max of 2).

Transferring Credit for Physics

The B.S. degree in Biology requires proficiency in the material covered in a standard introductory course such as PHY 141L or equivalent. Some students satisfy this requirement by taking physics at another university and transferring the credit to Duke. In order to meet the biology major requirements, transfer credit for introductory physics courses must be approved according the following guidelines.

Approval for the transfer of a physics course must be obtained in advance from the Department of Physics. They will determine if credit will be recorded as equivalent to PHY 141L (for calculus-based courses) or PHY 100L for non equivalent or non-calculus based courses. If credit for the course transfers as Physics 141L, DukeHub will automatically use that to fulfill the Biology major requirement for Physics.

If you'll be awarded PHY 100L credit, you must petition the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biology for permission to use the 100L credit towards Biology major requirements. To be approved, provide the Associate DUS with information indicating that the Physics course is the one required of Biology majors at the other institution. Note that DukeHub cannot be preprogrammed with these approvals, so you should reach out to the Biology Dept after the approved PHY 100L course has been posted to your Duke record to request updating in DukeHub.

The following courses at local Universities are pre-approved for use towards Bio major requirements, however you still need to fill out transfer or Inter-institutional paperwork and receive Physics Dept approval prior to taking the course. If you're taking Physics for transfer credit (summer), contact Jill Foster ( once the approved PHY 100L appears on your Duke record so we can arrange for your requirement in DukeHub to be satisfied. If you're enrolling through the interinstitutional agreement (typically fall/spring), DukeHub will automatically count the course towards your requirement once you are officially registered in the class.

NCCU: Physics 2110

UNC-CH: Physics 114 or 118

NCSU: Physics 211 or 205&206

Premed students might consult with the Office of Health Professions Advising to understand any implications of taking Physics away from Duke.