The grass is greener in San Francisco.
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, taking 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.
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 of them.
The level of an undergraduate transfer student is determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the time of acceptance into SFCM.
Undergraduate transfer students can receive 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 Conservatory course. SFCM does not grant transfer credit for Musicianship, Music Theory, Music History, Basic Phonetics, Lyric Diction, or major instrument studies (i.e., private lessons) completed elsewhere. Students may receive credit by examination for these required courses, based upon the results of placement examinations administered at the time of registration. Credit by examination does not apply credits towards degree; these waived credits must still be completed with other courses.
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.
The musical level of a transfer student is based on musical ability and determined by the faculty at the time of the student's audition. The academic level is the student’s class level (e.g., sophomore, junior, etc.) and is determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Required credits per class level can be found in the Lower and Upper Division Standing section of the Academic Regulations.
SFCM also grants credit for certain AP and IB (International Baccalaureate) exams. AP scores must be 4 or 5 for College Writing and 3 or better for other HMS requirements (specific degree requirements can be found in SFCM's Curricular 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 7 or higher will also be accepted, according to the policies described above.
Coming Back for Another Degree
Welcome home. Students who have earned a Bachelor of Music from SFCM and are admitted into a Master of Music degree program may receive course waivers for credits taken during their previous degree if the course is identical to a degree requirement in the new program. This excludes ensemble requirements, PRF 352 (Piano Forum), PRF 402 (Composition Seminar) and PRF 462 (Vocal Performance Lab). Any other exceptions may be approved by submitting a petition to the Academic Affairs Committee.
The Conservatory will not accept any transfer credit at the graduate level.
Alumni who have earned a Master of Music from the Conservatory and are admitted into a different Master of Music degree program may transfer credits taken during their previous degree if the course is identical to a degree requirement in the new program, and up to six credits of graduate seminars. This excludes ensemble requirements, PRF 352 Piano Forum, PRF 402 Composition Seminar, and PRF 462 Vocal Performance Lab. Any other exceptions may be approved by submitting a petition to the Academic Affairs Committee.
Alumni may not apply transfer credits for the Postgraduate Diploma in Vocal Performance or Professional Studies Diploma in Instrumental Performance programs.