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TESS Software Guide - Open each step to learn more as needed.

To use TESS, you simply need to know which college/university and the subject/course numbers.  It's easy to use and available 24/7.  Best if viewed in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Safari.

General Transfer Information

  • Developmental classes taken in preparation for college level English Composition or College Mathematics will transfer as zero credits.  These courses will still fulfill prerequisites necessary to enroll for college level classes.  Other "pre-college" classes do not transfer.
    • i.e. MATH 0XX, ENGL 0XX, READ 0XX
  • To meet Essential Learning requirement at CMU, the course must have fulfilled a Essential Learning course at the previous institution or the equivalent is already a Essential Learning course at CMU.
  • Lower division courses (i.e. 100 and 200 level) cannot be accepted as upper division credit (i.e. 300 and 400 level).
  • Overtly Religious classes are generally not accepted, they are evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
  • No more than eight physical activity courses (i.e. KINA 1XX) are accepted for a baccalaureate degree; no more than four for an associate's.
  • Technical trades classes generally do not transfer unless they are applicable to your Colorado Mesa University/CMU Tech program.
  • Colorado Mesa University reserves the right to evaluate classes over 15 years old on a course-by-course basis.
  • Some Colorado Mesa University majors have "age" restrictions on the use of certain courses in those majors. The final approval of how classes are used toward major area requirements is done by the department chair.
    • Applicable Departments: Nursing, Accounting, Computer Information Systems and Computer Science.


A grade of "C-" or higher must be earned in each transferable course. Courses with a "Pass", "Satisfactory" or other non-letter grade will only be considered if the transcript key confirms that it is equivalent to a "C-" or higher on the grade scale.  If a grade of “Pass” or “Satisfactory” is received and is equivalent to a “C-” or higher, but there are no credit hours attached, Colorado Mesa University will not accept the course.  Transfer GPA is not calculated into CMU GPA.

Equivalency Guide

Exact Equivalent

  • CMU Department Prefix with the course number
  • i.e. MANG 201-Principles of Management
  • i.e. SOCO 300-Political Sociology                                   

Departmental Elective - This indicates that CMU teaches the subject, but does not offer the exact same course.  Generally will apply to unrestricted electives. Check with your advisor to see if the class will count in any major-related categories.

  • i.e. CISB 1XX      100-level lower division course in Computer Information Systems (freshman level)
  • i.e. PSYC 2XX      200-level lower division course in Psychology (sophomore level)
  • i.e. KINE 3XX      300-level upper division course in Kinesiology (junior level)
  • i.e. MANG 4XX     400-level upper division division course in Management (senior level)

General Elective - This indicates CMU does not teach the subject.  Generally, these classes will apply to unrestricted  electives.

  • ELEC 1XX     100-level lower division elective (freshman level)
  • ELEC 2XX     200-level lower division elective (sophomore level)
  • ELEC 3XX     300-level upper division elective (junior level)
  • ELEC 4XX     400-level upper division elective (senior level)

Essential Learning - If you completed an Essential Learning (General Education) option at your prior school, but it is not on the list of CMU Essential Learning courses. The course will shows the subject code (ENGL, BIOL, HIST, etc.) followed by a description of the Essential Learning requirement which the course fulfills. The subject code ELTR (Essential Learning Transfer) is for course subjects that are not taught at CMU but will fulfill an Essential Learning requirement.

  • ELEN              Essl Lrng English 111
  • ELEN               Essl Lrng English 112
  • ELFA               Essl Lrng Fine Arts
  • ELHI               Essl Lrng History
  • ELHU              Essl Lrng Humanities
  • ELM10+          Essl Lrng Math 110 or higher
  • ELM13+          Essl Lrng Math 113 or higher
  • ELNL               Essl Lrng Natural Science w/lab (Natural Science with Lab)
  • ELNS               Essl Lrng Natural Science
  • ELSB               Essl Lrng Social Behavioral (Social Behavioral Sciences)
  • ELTR               Essential Learning Transfer course- see the course description to see which requirement the course fulfills.