Transfer Credit Information

Many students choose to take an introductory physics course at another institution over the summer. To ensure you get credit for these courses, the safest option is to enroll in our own summer offerings at SU, which can be done remotely. If you choose to enroll in a course at another institution and plan to transfer the credits here, you must approve the course with the Physics Department beforehand, preferably in the Spring Semester prior to the summer course, by contacting  phyacademics@syr.edu.

We provide the following guide for you to understand what courses may transfer to which course numbers at SU. Please use this as a starting point, and direct any questions to phyacademics@syr.edu.

PHY101 (4 cr.): first semester of algebra-based introductory physics, consists of a lecture + lab*; this is sometimes called "college physics 1". If your institution teaches a separate 3-credit lecture and 1-credit lab, you should take both to receive Syracuse credit for PHY101.

PHY102 (4 cr.): second semester of algebra-based introductory physics, consists of a lecture + lab*; this is sometimes called "college physics 2". If your institution teaches a separate 3-credit lecture and 1-credit lab, you should take both to receive Syracuse credit for PHY102.

AST101 (4 cr): introduction to astronomy within the solar system including a lab*. If your institution teaches only one introductory astronomy course, this course can transfer as either AST101 or AST104 as you choose. This course must have an in person lab to transfer credit.

AST104 (4 cr): introduction to astronomy beyond the solar system including a lab*. If your institution teaches only one introductory astronomy course, this course can transfer as either AST101 or AST104 as you choose. This course must have an in person lab to transfer credit.

PHY211 (3 cr.): first semester of calculus-based introductory physics covering classical mechanics; this is sometimes called "general physics 1" or "university physics 1". Must have a calculus corequisite. This is the lecture component.

PHY221 (1 cr.): Lab* to accompany PHY211. If your institution teaches a 4-credit course that combines lecture and laboratory, this course will earn you Syracuse credit for both PHY211 and 221.

PHY212 (3 cr.):  second semester of calculus-based introductory physics covering electricity, magnetism, and related topics; this is sometimes called "general physics 2" or "university physics 2". Must have a calculus corequisite. This is the lecture component.

PHY222 (1 cr.): Lab* to accompany PHY212. If your institution teaches a 4-credit course that combines lecture and laboratory, this course will earn you Syracuse credit for both PHY212 and 222.

*All lab components must be in-person if taken at another institution to receive Syracuse University credit for PHY101, PHY102, AST101, AST104, PHY221, or PHY222. Students may pair an online lecture course (equivalent to PHY211 or PHY212) taken at another institution with the counterpart lab course taken at Syracuse (PHY221 or PHY222).


Courses in algebra-based physics that do not include an in-person lab will transfer as three credits of PHY100. This will not fulfill a "lab science" requirement or the specific requirement for PHY101 or 102 for degree programs that require students to study physics, but will count as a non-lab science elective.


Likewise, courses in astronomy that do not include an in-person lab will transfer as three credits of AST100. This will not fulfill a "lab science" requirement, but will count as a non-lab science elective.


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