General Education - Liberal Studies Information for Transfer Students

Transfer students must earn a minimum total of 30 semester credits in liberal studies courses. A minimum of six semester credits each (two courses) is required for divisions I through IV. A minimum of three semester credits (one course) is required for each of divisions V and VI. All transfer courses used to meet liberal studies program requirements in divisions II through VI must be introductory or general in nature.

Students who have completed two courses in freshman English and still need partial foundation of communication credit may enroll in EN 298 College Composition Directed Study for one or two credits. Arrangements may be made by contacting the director of freshman English.

All transfer students must earn a "C" or above in the equivalents of EN 111 and EN 211.

Some majors require courses that meet specific liberal studies requirements. These courses are noted in the listings for each major. Students who have not completed these courses at their previous institution(s) are required to complete them at NMU even if they have completed the liberal studies program requirement of 30 credits. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a transfer guide to help students select courses. Information for transfer students, including course equivalents from many colleges and universities is available at

MACRAO Transfer Agreement
Students who transfer to Northern Michigan University from a Michigan community college who have the MACRAO stamp on their transcript have usually completed the first four divisions (or equivalent) of our liberal studies requirements which include foundations of communication (composition I and II), foundations of humanities, foundations of natural science and mathematics, and foundations of social sciences. NMU employs a best fit approach to applying transfer credit which may, to the benefit of the student, apply credit to a requirement other than the four listed above.

NMU applies courses transferred under the MACRAO Agreement in accordance with guidelines established by its faculty. Courses used to satisfy the MACRAO Transfer Agreement will not apply toward NMU’s liberal studies programs if:

  • The grade earned in the course was less than a C-;
  • The course is not accepted for transfer credit by NMU. For example, mathematics courses below the level of college algebra are not accepted. 

In the event that a student cannot transfer individual course(s) included in the MACRAO Agreement due to one of the reasons listed above, the student must complete a course at NMU that meets the specific divisional requirement.

The MACRAO Agreement is designed for freshman and sophomore requirements. It does not cover upper division requirements or graduation requirements not a part of the liberal studies requirements, although with careful selection of courses students may complete these requirements at the community college. NMU does not recognize the MACRAO Agreement if a student has attended a community college outside the state of Michigan, has attended a baccalaureate institution before or while attending a community college, or was originally matriculated at NMU and subsequently took courses at a community college. An exception to this policy is granted to transfer students from Bay De Noc Community College and Gogebic Community College who were dually enrolled at their community college and at NMU in approved consortium degree programs.

Transfers Under the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA)

Students who transfer to Northern Michigan University from a Michigan community college who have Michigan Transfer Agreement Satisfied posted on their transcript will be considered to have met the requirements of NMU’s Liberal Studies/General Education program. Students will still be expected to complete all other degree requirements, including graduation requirements (world cultures, health promotions, and lab) and any courses listed as “Other Required Courses” that may also be Liberal Studies/General Education courses. Transfer students who do not complete the entire block of courses required by the MTA will receive credit for the courses they do complete on the basis of individual evaluation and established transfer equivalencies. 

Bulletin Year: 2014 - 2015 Undergraduate Bulletin