Transfer Credit Policy

Credit Evaluation Policy

Sonoran Desert Institute will inquire about the previous education and training of each student. Students are required to submit official transcripts from all prior institutions, including all military training, traditional college coursework, and vocational training prior to the start date. Previous transcripts are typically evaluated prior to beginning the program to ensure proper scheduling of necessary coursework with SDI. Failure to submit transcripts prior to the start date may result in cancellation of enrollment, delayed start date, loss of funding eligibility, risk of not receiving credit for prior coursework, and withdrawal from the institution.

Students may appeal a transfer credit decision by submitting the Transfer of Credit Appeal Form to with supporting documentation. All appeals must be submitted within 30 days from the date of evaluation. Appeals will not be accepted beyond 60 days after the program start date. SDI will respond to the student with a final decision within 14 days of the appeal.

Credit Transfer Into SDI

Sonoran Desert Institute may accept transfer of credit for coursework completed at accredited institutions* or coursework evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE) under the following conditions:

  • Students are required to submit official transcripts from the institution awarding the credit hours and/or granting the degree, for all prior coursework.
  • Transcripts that are not in English must be evaluated by a foreign evaluation service agency that is a current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE).
  • SDI awards transfer credit on a course-by-course basis for courses with equivalent content and value as the corresponding SDI course(s). Generally, undergraduate college-level courses completed at accredited institutions Sonoran Desert Institute 39 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) will be eligible for transfer, provided that grades of at least “C” grade (minimum of 2.0 grade points) are earned and the course is similar in content and scope to work offered at SDI, or fulfills a required General Education category.
  • Students who have earned an associate or bachelor degree from an accredited institution as defined above, will be granted transfer credit to fulfil SDI’s General Education requirements at the associate degree level.
  • Proof of coursework validated by ACE must be submitted via official transcript. SDI will review the recommendations made but reserves the right to accept transfer credit based on course objectives.
  • Credit by Examination: Sonoran Desert Institute accepts the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service as listed in The Guide to Educational Credit by Examination. ACE recommends a credit-granting score of 50 for each CLEP exam. These include Advanced Placement Examinations, College Level Examination Program General Examinations (CLEP), and Excelsior College Examinations (ECEs). Semester hours of credit toward graduation earned on the basis of these tests are granted with a grade of P (Pass), and neither raises nor lowers a student’s grade point average. SDI does not offer testing for credit by examination.
  • Students must complete at least 25% of the required credit hours in the enrolled program at Sonoran Desert Institute to earn the credential. Additionally, credits earned after a student’s final term at SDI will generally not be considered for transfer, unless previously approved by the Institute.

Currently, SDI does not grant credit hours for experiential learning, i.e., life experience, training, or employment.

*Note to Applicants: Credits must have been earned at an accredited institution. Accredited means accredited by an agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting commission. No exceptions to this will be allowed.

Credit Transfer Out Of SDI

Students are encouraged to continue their education beyond SDI to align with their personal and professional objectives. Upon request, we will provide official transcripts to the institution(s) students intend to attend at no cost. It is always up to the receiving institution to evaluate credit earned for coursework earned at another institution and it is in their sole discretion to award transfer credit as they deem applicable to the specific program of study. Therefore, SDI cannot guarantee transfer credit or how it may be applied to a student’s future educational pursuits. Recognizing the importance of ongoing education, SDI has established articulation agreements with multiple colleges and universities for various programs at those institutions. A current summary of those agreements is on our website at

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