Sources of Credit

Students must earn more than half of the requirements for a degree or diploma at Peabody as a matriculated student. Any credits that are not earned at Peabody require approval for transfer from faculty and the Office of Academic Affairs or the Advising Office.

In every case, a graduating student must have credits earned at Peabody, transferred from a prior school or test provider or articulated from an approved enrollment at another division or institution as follows:

Degree Credits
BM, BFA 120
MM, MA 30
DMA 60

Academic Credit

Peabody awards credit hours according to the guidelines of the Code of Maryland Regulations and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education For traditional coursework, students receive one credit for one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks in one semester. Enrollment in large ensembles accrues credits under the rubric for laboratory courses. Peabody grants two credits for success in large ensembles and has done so since 1985.

While accredited music schools may award as many as six credits for a semester of major lessons, they often do so if the lessons include the equivalent of a final exam. Peabody awards four credits for major lessons and one to two credits for the exam: the jury or recital. The disaggregation of credits for the lessons and the jury/recital is integral to Peabody’s assessment of student learning, as noted below.

The Conservatory Curriculum and Assessment Committee in cooperation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs assign credit hours for each Conservatory offering as part of the procedure to approve new courses and programs. The same committee is charged with regular assessment of credit-bearing offerings at the course and program level.

Interdivisional and Baltimore Student Exchange Program Credit

Eligible Peabody students may request to take courses at other JHU divisions including: the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the Carey Business School, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and the School of Education.

Credit may also be available through the Baltimore Student Exchange Program (BSEP).  To enroll in these courses, students need approval from the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs or the Director of advising, and, in some instances, from the instructor of the course.

Courses at other divisions and at BSEP institutions follow the grading policies and registration regulations of the host schools.  These courses are recorded in the JHU Student Information System (SIS) with grades that factor into semester and cumulative GPAs.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer credits taken at accredited post-secondary schools or through the accelerated testing of recognized providers (such as the College Board or International Baccalaureate).

Transfer credits are accepted following the submission of necessary documentation to the Office of the Registrar and in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Peabody can only transfer credits for students who have already matriculated into degree or diploma programs. New students are welcome to contact the Office of Academic Affairs before enrolling but will not be able to begin the process of transferring credits until after matriculation.

Like most conservatories, Peabody does not accept transfer credits for lessons, juries, or recitals. For undergraduate transfer students, the year of study (sophomore or junior) is determined after the student matriculates, in conjunction with their progress in major coursework. Peabody does not accept transfer credits for ensembles. Bachelor of Music performance majors must participate in ensembles in every semester of private lesson instruction, and transfer students must participate in lessons and ensembles for at least two years.

Accepted courses taken outside of Johns Hopkins or BSEP are recorded in SIS without grades.


New graduate students at Peabody may transfer a maximum of six credits of graduate study completed at other accredited institutions, pending the review and approval of department chairs and the Offices of Academic Affairs and Advising. All credits transferred to a graduate degree or diploma program must have been earned within five years prior to the student’s first graduate degree registration at Peabody. Only credits that have not been earned in fulfillment of a previous degree may be transferred. Graduate students continuing from a previous Peabody program may transfer up to nine credits.


First-time full-time undergraduate students may transfer a maximum of nine credits through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or dual enrollment to their degree programs. Undergraduate students in the fields of Recording Arts and Music Education may transfer additional credits of a specialized nature with the permission of their faculty advisors. Additional credits will be accepted for transfer students; however, at least half of all requirements must be earned at Peabody.

Transfer credits are only accepted if:

  1. The credits are documented on an official transcript of an approved college.
  2. They were not applied to any prior award (such as a degree or diploma)
  3. The associated courses were completed with grades of B or better.
  4. Faculty chairs and the Offices of Academic Affairs/Advising approve the credits as a substitution for a degree requirement.

Students are encouraged to request approval from the Office of Academic Affairs/Advising prior to taking courses at other institutions.


For undergraduate students, scores of 4 or 5 on select Advanced Placement Examinations,  50 on the CLEP administered by the College Board, or 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate Exam may be accepted for transfer credit. Transfer credits for these examinations are only accepted pending the submission of official documentation to the Director of Advising or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

See more specific restrictions below.


The Department of Music Theory does not accept transfer credits at the undergraduate level. However, advanced placement in music theory is possible based on placement testing at the time of matriculation.


The Musicology Department does not accept transfer credits for Advanced Placement courses in Musicology or Music History. However, the Musicology Department will accept up to six credits of courses taken at other accredited institutions. Students should contact the Chair of Musicology and submit an academic petition for approval. Students must present a syllabus of topics covered in the course. The faculty may request a graded sample of work completed in the course.

UNDERGRADUATE liberal arts

The Liberal Arts Department accepts a maximum of six credits of AP, IB, or CLEP credit to fulfill Liberal Arts elective requirements.


The Music Education department directly oversees the Liberal Arts curriculum for students in the Music Education program. Music Education students should contact the Chair of Music Education about transferring AP or IB credits and consult with the Chair before enrolling in general studies courses at other institutions.

Waived Credits

Like most conservatories, Peabody does not accept transfer credits for the major-lesson enrollments: lessons, juries, recitals, or ensembles. For undergraduate transfer students. The faculty of a department determines the year of study (sophomore or junior).  When a transfer student matriculates, Academic Affairs/Advising waives the major-lesson enrollments that would have been earned before the fall semester of the determined year of study.

Diagnostic testing of first year and transfer students may result in advanced placement in a curricular sequence.  In such cases, Academic Affairs/Advising will waive the credits for the courses that should have been taken before class in which a student is placed. Voice students may petition to take language exams in advance of attempting the appropriate course to place out of one or more of the required foreign languages and have those credits waived.