New Transfer Student Orientation

Welcome to Point Loma Nazarene University!









Transferring to another institution can be overwhelming, but at PLNU, we want to make the process as straight-forward as possible. This site is specifically designed to walk incoming transfer students through the process of registration and to help explain what has transferred toward your degree at PLNU.


Once you have been "confirmed" by Admissions, your transcripts will be sent to the Records Office for evaluation.  If you have been accepted to PLNU, but you are not sure if your status has been updated to confirmed, please contact your Admissions Counselor.  Be sure you have sent all your transcripts to PLNU.  You must send official transcripts from each individual transfer institution you attended.  If you are taking courses currently and have not yet received grades, please also email an unofficial copy of your "in progress" coursework to the Articulation Coordinator in the Records Office to aide in the registration process. Once you have received grades for your "in progress" courses, make sure to send an updated official transcript to the PLNU Records Office so the credit can be applied to your degree.  Also, if you have taken AP exams, you will need to contact the College Board and request that your official score report be sent to the PLNU Records Office.  


We understand that PLNU's requirements are new to transfer students, so the Records Office takes care of registering you for your first semester at Point Loma.  Your schedule is created based on the courses you will need to complete a degree at PLNU; you will not be placed in electives.  After you are registered, we will be contacting you via email to let you know that you may now view your schedule in the PLNU portal.   To access your schedule, select the STUDENTS tab at the top of your portal, then click on the RECORDS link in the column on the right hand side. Since some students may have work or home conflicts, the Records Office opens the registration portal to transfer students so you may make minor adjustments to your schedule, such as switching class section times or dropping units.   If you have a MTH000 placeholder on your schedule, you need to take the placement exam to advance in your major. If you score high enough, you may be able to waive a class instead of taking it at PLNU.  If you are entering PLNU in the fall semester, the Math Placement Exam will be offered online through your student portal.  For spring admits, the math placement exam will be given during New Student Orientation (the day before classes begin).  The test allows you to waive the pre-requisite math courses (MTH099,113,133) upon receiving passing scores.  Your schedule will be automatically updated if you waive a math course through the placement exam.


Set-up Portal and Email
Go to to set-up your student portal.  This will also activate your PLNU Gmail Account, which uses the same password. While in your portal, please double-check that your intended major is listed correctly.  If it is not, contact the Records Office immediately at 619-849-2941.  Once you have received email confirmation about your registration, you will be able to view your schedule by clicking on "Records" and then choosing "Session Schedule". If your schedule does not appear, check to make sure the button in the top right hand corner is set to the semester you plan to start at PLNU.  To view the course descriptions of classes on your schedule, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog and click on "Course Information", which is located on the right side bar.  The minimum registration recommendation is 15 units in your first semester and the maximum allowed is 17.  All schedules within the range of 12-17 units are the same block tuition price.


Advising Guide
Another important tool in the transfer process is the Advising Guide.  This can also be found on your PLNU portal under the Records section.  Please take a few minutes to view our Advising Guide Tutorial.  Your advising guide lists all the GE (General Education) and major courses that are required to obtain your degree at PLNU.  Next to each requirement on the left, there is a slot where your transfer course will appear if it is equivalent to the PLNU course.  Any courses that are not fulfilling GE or major requirements will appear at the bottom of the advising guide under the section labeled "Electives".  Electives are courses that have transferred to PLNU and will count toward the units you need to graduate, but are not fulfilling or equivalent to any specific requirement.  Any transfer courses that are remedial or not transferable to PLNU will not appear on the advising guide.  Please remember, all students should refer to the official PLNU Catalog for fulfillment of graduation requirements.  The Advising Guide is an unofficial representation of degree requirements and should only be used as a tool to aide in your progress.  We recommend comparing your advising guide to the PLNU Catalog as you complete coursework at PLNU.  If you have reason to believe that your advising guide is incorrect, please contact the Records Office to report it - 619-849-2941.  But first, check out our Advising Guide FAQ to see if your question is listed there.



Unofficial Transcript
To view your unofficial transcript (a chronological list of all the courses that PLNU has transferred) please go to the Records section in your portal and click on "Unofficial Transcript".  This is also the place where you can view your total earned units and your cumulative GPA.  If you have not received a grade for your "in progress" coursework, those units will not calculate into your total earned units at PLNU.  Once we receive your official transcript with grades, your unit total at PLNU will be updated to match.



Petition Process
On your Advising Guide, directly after the major requirements section, there could be a yellow highlighted "Courses Pending" comment if the Records Office needs more information in order to process a particular transfer course.  The Records Office determines equivalent courses based on an individual comparison of catalog course descriptions. You can view our general transfer policies in PLNU's Catalog.  Some transfer courses may not match the exact unit requirement or content of a PLNU course.  If you think the content in your transfer course was not accurately represented through the title or course description your transfer institution provided, you may be able to petition PLNU's original decision, provided you obtain a syllabus detailing the course's actual learning objectives and reading material.  Stop by the Records Office with your syllabus to begin the petition process.  First, you will meet with an Academic Records Specialist who will ask you questions about your course and then provide the appropriate petition form.  He/she will direct you to the corresponding faculty department chair who will review your petition and mark favorable, neutral, or unfavorable on the form.  Please bring the completed form back to the Records Office, and we will submit it to the Vice Provost of Academic Administration.  He will make the final decision to approve or deny a petition.  You will be notified of the final decision via email.  



Academic Advisor
Once you begin your first semester at PLNU, you have the chance to get to know your professors better and will be assigned a faculty advisor.  Your advisor can help you map out an academic plan tailored to your major, so that you will finish your coursework at PLNU in an efficient manner. Some courses in your major may only be offered alternate years or during a specific semester.  In this case, you would need to plan ahead so that you can be sure to take the courses you need when they are available. If you are transferring to PLNU as a junior or senior with at least 57 units, you may apply for a "Progress Toward Degree" check with the Records Office.  All students with 70 units or above are required to complete progress toward degree checks.  Also, graduating seniors must complete a "Graduation Application" the semester before they intend to graduate.  Both applications are available in the PLNU Student Portal under the Records web forms section. Once submitted, the application will notify the Records Office to begin the process of scheduling your appointment (to reserve an appointment for a Progress Toward Degree check, you will be asked to fill out and return a template similar to your advising guide).


You've completed the Records Office Transfer Orientation! 
We hope to see all of you at New Student Orientation here on campus. During NSO, the Records Office will be explaining some of PLNU's commonly misunderstood policies and guidelines.  You can view the information ahead of time by reading our Transfer Exceptions & Academic Policies handout.

If you have any unanswered questions before school begins,
feel free to call PLNU's Articulation Coordinator at
619-849-2941 or email

The Records Office