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  1. Admissions

Transfer Students

The grass is greener in San Francisco.

Transfer Students and Credits

Students transfer to SFCM for a number of reasons. Some outgrow the offerings of their first institutions, some want to study with specific faculty members, and some want to be in the cultural hub that is San Francisco and take advantage of the world-class music organizations just down the street from the Conservatory. No matter your reasons, we’re happy to consider you as a prospective student and work with you to bring you into our family.

Life in San Francisco


Undergraduate students who want to transfer to the Conservatory must show evidence of a satisfactory academic record at all institutions of higher education and secondary schools attended, and are required to submit official transcripts from all previous and current institutions.

How to Apply

Course Transfer Credits

The class level of an undergraduate transfer student is determined by the Office of Academic Affairs at the time of acceptance into SFCM.

Undergraduate students can receive transfer credit for courses in the Humanities and Sciences (HMS) area, provided the student received a grade of C or better and the course is ruled an appropriate substitute for a SFCM course, as determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

SFCM does not grant transfer credit for music-related classes. However, the student’s performance during academic placement exams may exempt them from some required coursework. Unlike first-time, non-transfer students, credits from that exempted coursework will be applied towards the credit total/degree requirements for a transfer student’s program.

Credit from completed Bachelor's degrees cannot be applied towards your SFCM undergraduate credit load. Credit from completed Associate's (A.A.) degrees can be applied, following the guidelines described above. SFCM does not accept transfer credit for, or from, post-baccalaureate programs (e.g., M.M., etc.).

The musical level of a transfer student is determined by the faculty at the time of the student's audition (e.g., sophomore, junior, etc.). The academic level is determined by the Office of Academic Affairs based on transfer credits and placement exam results. The student’s expected graduation date is determined by the lower of the two class levels. (Required credits per class level.)

AP and IB Credits

SFCM also grants credit for certain AP and IB exams. AP scores must be 4 or 5 for College Writing and 3 or better for other HMS requirements (specific degree requirements). AP English, including AP English Language Composition and AP English Literature Composition, can substitute for HMS 110-111 College Writing. Passing one of these with a 4 or 5 will substitute for HMS 110; passing both will substitute for HMS 110 and 111. IB scores of 5 or higher will also be accepted, according to the policies described above. AP and IB scores in music-related subjects are not accepted as transfer credits. In order to receive credit, an official AP and IB score report, as well as a final official transcript, must be sent to SFCM by July 1.

Financial Aid Consideration

All transfer applicants are equally considered for merit- and need-based scholarship as first-year applicants. Accepted applicants should be in touch with the Office of Financial Aid with any questions regarding their financial aid.


Get in Touch.

Office of Admission

SFCM students performing