2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Awarding of Advanced Credit

Transfer Credit

Degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits for graduation; BFA degree programs require 123 credits. Students may transfer a maximum number of 90 credits into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and 66 credits into the College of Art and Design. Transfer credits are accepted from regionally accredited colleges/institutions.

We send a tentative credit evaluation to transfer students along with their acceptance letter. Incoming freshmen who provide an official college transcript when submitting their application file will also receive a tentative credit evaluation.  In determining which credits may transfer, every effort is made to match courses with their Lesley degree equivalents.  College-level courses with grades of C or better are eligible for transfer credit. Students who transfer in a full Associate’s degree may receive credit for grades of D or better. Courses taken for a pass/fail grade will be eligible for transfer with a "P" grade.

Your credit evaluation provides an estimate of the number of credit hours and semesters needed to complete your degree program at Lesley. These calculations are the result of dividing the number of credits you have left to complete by the average number of credits taken during a typical semester at Lesley (15). This is an estimate only.  It will take longer to complete your degree if you take less than 15 credits each semester. Course availability, prerequisites, timing of scheduled courses, completion of MTELs for Education majors, and required internships/field placements may also increase the amount of time it takes to complete your degree.


15 credits = 2nd semester freshman

30 credits = 1st semester sophomore

45 credits = 2nd semester sophomore

60 credits = 1st semester junior

Advanced Placement (AP) / International Baccalaureate (IB) Examination Credit

College credit may be requested by students achieving scores of four or five on appropriate College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. AP scores of 3 or better will be awarded credit in the AP Studio Arts Exams. This credit can be applied to either required or elective courses.

Download the AP Courses and Equivalencies PDF.

Lesley recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum as a challenging program of study and takes the rigor of this program into account when evaluating an applicant’s record. Upon receipt of official results, students completing the IB Diploma may receive the equivalent of one semester of work (18 credits) for Diploma scores of 24-29. Students are eligible for sophomore standing (30 credits) for Diploma scores of 30-45. Additionally, students who take IB courses but do not pursue the full IB Diploma may receive three units of credit for each Higher Level (HL) IB exam with a score of 4 or greater; if the score is 5 or greater, six credits will be awarded.

Download the IB Exam Curriculum Mapping PDF.

General Certificate of Education Advanced Level – GCE A-level

Lesley recognizes the GCE A Level as a school leaving qualification offered by secondary schools, sixth form colleges and further education colleges in the United Kingdom, some Commonwealth countries, and at many international schools around the world.

  • Six to eight credits will be awarded for each A-Level subject with a grade of C or higher

  • Three to four credits will be awarded for each AS-Level subject with a grade of C or higher

CLEP Credit

College credit may be requested at the point of admission by students who present scores of 50 or above on appropriate College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams. This credit can be applied to either required or elective courses. Students may transfer up to 30 CLEP credits into their degree program (included in the total allowable transfer credits). CLEP credit may also be considered after admission based on advisor and departmental approval.

American Council on Education Credit

The University supports the awarding of transfer credits to students with college-level learning acquired via professional development programs, training experiences offered by an employer, community based organizations, or military experience. If these non-college experiences have been evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) and college credits recommended, the University may accept these credits towards the student’s degree program.  The recommendation from ACE will be reviewed by the Admissions Counselors in consultation with the Academic Advisors and the Registrar’s Office.  Official ACE transcripts must be submitted in order to be accepted for transfer.


Lesley welcomes associate degree holders from all colleges. Students with an earned associate degree who meet Lesley's admission criteria are eligible to transfer all credits earned toward the associate degree to apply to the Lesley bachelor's degree. Students are still required to meet all major requirements including minimum GPA and required benchmark grades for certain courses in specified majors.

Additionally, Lesley has facilitated the transfer of credits for students entering Lesley from Massachusetts community colleges. Students who have earned associates degrees that include the "MassTransfer" designation are able to transfer all credits earned toward the degree and will be deemed to have met Lesley’s lower division general education foundation requirements through the transfer of the MA general education foundation block. Students may be required to take an additional 6 credits at Lesley (to be determined in conjunction with the student’s advisor) to fully meet Lesley’s general education and depth of study foundation depending on the students' intended program of study.

Additional Placement Procedures

All undergraduate students at Lesley University must meet competencies in writing and mathematics. A review of Accuplacer test scores, college coursework, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) test scores will be used to determine students' placements in writing and mathematics courses. If a student feels the course assignment may not provide appropriate challenge, the student may choose to sit for a writing and/or mathematics exam, administered by Lesley, to determine placement.

We also recognize that students may have had experiences or developed life skills related to their future careers or college-level learning outside formal classroom settings. For this reason, accepted degree candidates may participate at the point of matriculation in the University's Prior Learning Assessment Process (PLA) in order to document and evaluate for academic credit past experiences that occurred between high school graduation and prior to enrolling at Lesley.

Earning a Second Bachelor’s Degree

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution may apply for admissions to a program leading to a second degree of the same level provided the following requirements are met:

  • The major field selected is demonstrably different in curricula and objectives from that of the first degree.
  • The applicant must meet the requirements for acceptance into selected fields (i.e. portfolio review for BFA admission).
  • Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in their original bachelor’s degree.
  • A maximum of 90 credits will be transferable from the first degree; the emphasis in determining transferrable credit is to fulfill General Education requirements. Credits taken at two-year or four-year schools after the first degree was awarded may be considered in the 90 transferable-credit maximum. Official transcripts from all schools attended are required.
  • Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and CLEP exams that meet the minimum score requirements may be counted toward transferrable credits, but only official score reports submitted via the College Board or IB programs will be accepted.
  • Students may not use units gained through Credit for Prior Learning options unless they are earned at Lesley. These units will be counted among the 90 transferrable credits.
  • All new credits toward a second bachelor’s degree at Lesley University must be residential credits. Once admitted to Lesley University, a second bachelor's student may not take course work at another institution and transfer it back to Lesley University.
  • Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree must meet all undergraduate academic standards; second bachelor’s student who fail to maintain minimum academic standards will be subject to academic review.
  • Certain programs may require higher GPAs and prerequisite course work. Please check with the appropriate department for more information.
  • Second bachelor's students must meet major department requirements from the catalog under which they were officially admitted. Students have ten (10) years to graduate under that catalog.
  • Students in a second bachelor’s degree program will be eligible for semester honors and/or Latin Honors if they meet the published criteria.
  • Students in a second bachelor’s degree program are not eligible to apply for a dual-degree program at Lesley University.