How long do College Credits last

Between 2000 and 2012, The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that enrollment rates for adult learners age 25 and over are increasing at a faster rate than “traditional students” under 25:

With an increasing number of adult students going back to college each year, a question that comes to mind is, Do college credits expire? or How long do College Credits last? in terms of their application to future (or resumed) degree programs.

How Long Do College Credits Last?

Technically, the answer is “the last a lifetime”.  While credits won’t “expire, ” you may run into some issues when it comes to getting them accepted by your new school. Ability to transfer the credits into another programme might diminish over time due to some of this factors:-

  • Relevance of existing credits
  • Length of time since credit was earned
  • Type of credits
  • College accreditation

Schools all tend to have their own specific policies on credit transfer.They usually have varying acceptance protocols for previously completed college credit.

Credits on Core classes are evergreen, they are the general education courses and they transfer easily between schools.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses have a 10-year shelf-life. Due to the evolution of new practical methodologies . A rule of thumb: Credits on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses are not transferable after 10 years.



Why your College Credits Might not Last a life time

Here are several areas of rules to look into, when considering the expiring dates of your college credits

Relevance of existing credits

whether any of your courses qualify as Core Curriculum/General Education at your target school,

whether any of them are relevant to your proposed area of study.

In many cases, past courses that aren’t necessarily relevant toward your new major could still be useful, as they could count for any electives the program requires.

Length of time since credit was earned

The truth is that some schools do impose “use by” dates for credits for fast-developing fields , limiting the usage of this credit after about 5 to 10 years. This is because the coursework done some years ago might not be relevant today.

Type of credits

Core Curriculum /General education credits in subjects like History, Art and English, forms the foundation of most bachelor’s degrees, they tend to be extremely transferable no matter how old they are

College accreditation

Even if you completed your college credit recently, if your current or former school is not accredited, you will not be able to transfer credit.  Even if they count as Core Curriculum/General Education.


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