There are two different scenarios when you might need to complete a course substitution:

  1. Applying a transferred course to your declared program.
  2. Applying for another BSU course as a substitute for a required course.


  1. Begin the conversation with your Academic Advisor. To find out who your advisor is and what they do, visit the Academic Advising webpage.
  2. Complete the Course Substitution Form. You will need to get your advisor’s signature and the signature of the department chair.
  3. The form should then be submitted to the Records & Registration Office and will be processed in 1-2 weeks.
  4. After the form is processed, you will receive a notification and your Degree Audit Report will reflect the changes.

Substitutions vs. Equivalencies

A substitution is accepting a transfer or BSU course (or courses) as a suitable replacement for a BSU degree or program requirement. These are “one-off” actions that apply to a single student on a case-by-case basis.

An equivalency is accepting a transfer course (or courses) as a permanent equivalent course for one offered by BSU, based on a 75% or greater alignment of course topics and learning outcomes. Courses may not be reviewed for equivalency based on course number, level, institution type or instructor credentials alone.

An equivalency works for all students who transfer with that course, and is discoverable in public-facing tools like Courses in Transfer Pathways are always coded as equivalents.

Students appreciate both substitutions and equivalencies, and we prefer to code course equivalencies whenever possible. This is the most equitable way to handle the transfer of credit, and helps reduce discretionary review when faculty, chairs, and deans change roles.

One thing to remember about equivalencies: They live on. A course is considered equivalent until we have evidence that it no longer meets the required 75% or greater alignment based on course changes at the college or at BSU. Faculty and departments are responsible for reviewing the equivalencies in their subject areas on a regular basis to ensure alignment. Equivalencies can be end-dated if it is appropriate to do so. Work with the BSU Transfer Team on that process.