Transfer Applicants

NEC accepts transfer applications at the undergraduate level. In addition to completing the First-Year Applicant requirements, transfer applicants must submit a short statement (in the online application) explaining their reasons for wanting to transfer to NEC.

Transfer applicants must submit transcripts from all colleges attended. Applicants who have earned fewer than 32 college credits at the time of their application must also submit official high school transcripts. To be fully evaluated for transfer credit, enrolling students must provide course descriptions and official transcripts. Students with transcripts in a language other than English must provide a certified translation and an explanation of grades, class hours, and course descriptions. The full evaluation of all completed college work combined with the results of the audition and music examinations taken during NEC orientation will determine final placement and thus the expected duration of the program of study.

NEC does not accept transfer applications at the graduate level. Master of Music students may request to transfer up to four graduate credits from other institutions but may not use transfer credits to complete their program in fewer than the required minimum number of full-time semesters.

Professional courtesy and ethics

NEC believes that it is important to act with professionalism in approaching your educational and musical life. We therefore advise you to find an appropriate time to inform your current institution of your NEC application for transfer admission. We understand that the timing of this can be delicate; please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions about Transfer Credit

Can I transfer in credit for lessons in my major instrument?
Studio credits transfer according to audition placement. If you qualify for third-year studio status on the basis of your audition, we will grant you two years of studio credit. If you qualify for second-year studio status, you will be granted one year of studio credit.

What about ensemble credit?
Ensemble credits transfer according to studio status. If you are admitted with third-year studio placement, NEC will grant you two years of ensemble credit (no more than four semester hours). If you are admitted with second-year studio placement, you will be granted one year of ensemble credit (no more than two semester hours).

Will chamber music credit transfer?
Chamber music credits must be fulfilled at NEC. However, violin, viola, and cello majors admitted to third-year studio may receive up to two credits.

If I have completed two years of study at another school, will I be a junior at NEC?
That depends. As explained above, your audition will determine your studio placement. However, third-year studio placement does not guarantee third-year academic status, and second-year studio placement does not guarantee second-year academic status.

We will transfer as much academic credit as possible from your previous school. You must transfer a minimum of 28 semester hours of credit to have second-year academic status, or 58 semester hours of credit to have third-year academic status. It is possible to enter with third-year studio status and only second-year academic status, and if there is a discrepancy between studio level and academic level, transfer students may be required to accept a lower studio level or academic level. We cannot determine the exact number of transferable credits until after you have arrived at NEC and taken placement exams. Most transfer students lose some credits when they transfer to NEC, and some need to add extra semesters to their program.

How many total credit hours can I transfer in to NEC?
NEC will accept a maximum of 60 semester hours toward the Bachelor of Music degree, or 36 semester hours toward the Undergraduate Diploma. Guidelines for various NEC departments are listed below.

  • Music Theory: Credits transfer with grades of C or better, after NEC placement testing. If you place out of part of NEC’s theory requirement, we will allow you to transfer in credit you have earned elsewhere to cover the courses you are not required to take at NEC.
  • Music History: Credits transfer with grades of C or better, provided that the work compares to NEC courses, as determined by the department.
  • Liberal Arts: Credits transfer with grades of C or better. Writing courses with grades of B- or better may substitute for NEC’s first-year writing course. The Liberal Arts department chair must approve substitutes for Freshman Seminars. NEC requires students to earn at least 21 semester hours of credit in Liberal Arts to be awarded the Bachelor of Music degree. Courses in history, philosophy, psychology, natural science, writing, mathematics, literature, art and art history, political science, foreign language, and a number of other areas can be transferred to count toward this requirement.

What if I have taken some courses on a pass/fail basis?
NEC does not accept pass/fail transfer credits.

Who evaluates my transfer credit?
Your Academic Advisor handles all transfer credit evaluations. Transcripts generally are not evaluated until after you have made your decision to attend NEC. Incoming transfer students meet with their Academic Advisor during orientation to discuss transfer credit and evaluate individual transcripts. Transfer students should make sure they have submitted their final transcript from their previous school(s) well before orientation begins.