Routine matters that require the support or approval of the DUS include the following:
- Endorsement of a Student’s Request for Credit for Course Work Done outside Yale
- Senior’s Petition to Leave Yale at the End of the Fall Term
- Student’s Petition to Complete the Requirements of Two Majors
- Student’s Petition to Accelerate
- Student’s Request for Double Credit for a Single-Credit Course
Forms for these requests are supplied to students by their residential college deans. Explanatory observations on each of the forms, with links to sample forms, appear below.
A student may generally apply as many as two course credits earned at another accredited four-year college toward the requirement of thirty-six course credits for the bachelor’s degree. In signing this form, the DUS in the subject of a course taken by a student at another university gives his or her judgment that the student’s work is such as to justify its counting toward graduation from Yale College. As the regulations on the form make clear, you may request any information you need to make a decision. Such information may include a copy of the course syllabus, copies of essays or examinations written in the course, or a letter from the instructor of the course. You may on occasion choose to require the student to pass an examination in the material of the course. But usually a brief conversation with the student will answer any questions that you may have about the transcript that the student shows you.
The role of the DUS is only to pass judgment on the substance of the outside course. The student’s college dean will attend to all the other requirements governing the award of outside credit. These are given in full on the form and under Credit from Other Universities in the Academic Regulations in the YCPS.
Note that you may approve a course for credit toward the 36-course-credit requirement for graduation while at the same time not approving it for credit toward the requirements of the major. Conversely, you may approve a student’s work done elsewhere as counting toward the requirements of the major even though the student will not receive course credit for such work toward the 36-course-credit requirement.
Students seeking graduation credit for work done abroad during the summer are required to apply through the Center for International and Professional Experience (CIPE). The Director of Study Abroad coordinates with the relevant DUSes for approval for credit toward the major or for credit toward the 36-course-credit requirement or both.
There is no limit on the number of courses in Yale Summer Session or the Yale Summer Program in London that a student may offer toward the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. See Courses in Yale Summer Session and Yale-in-London Summer Program under Special Arrangements in the Academic Regulations. In every way these courses are to be treated in the same fashion as courses given at Yale in the fall and spring terms. Thus special approval from the DUS is not needed for a course in Yale Summer Session or the Yale Summer Program in London to be counted toward the requirements for graduation.
A sample form (PDF) is available in the Appendix section. See also the sample form for endorsing a student’s request to apply credit for course work done outside Yale toward the distributional requirements.
A small number of seniors each year complete their degree requirements at the end of the fall term. In signing this form, the DUS certifies that a student, if he or she passes all the courses in the major selected for the fall term, will have completed the requirements of the major by the end of the fall term. The bachelor’s degree is not actually awarded to such students until Commencement in May.
The regulations governing fall-term completion of degree requirements are given on the form and in Completion of Degree Requirements at the End of a Fall Term under Special Arrangements in the Academic Regulations. The DUS should note in particular that in order for students to be eligible at the end of a fall term for graduation in May, they must be complete and passing by the end of the fall term in all credit-bearing courses required for the degree, including credit-bearing senior essays or senior projects. If the senior essay or senior project required by a department or program does not carry course credit, then it may be accepted during the spring term when the student is not enrolled. But Yale College discourages such an arrangement unless it is absolutely necessary. If a departmental examination is given only in the spring term, students who have otherwise completed their degree requirements may take it then. But in general the DUS is requested to see that students who complete course requirements at the end of the fall term have fulfilled all of the requirements of the major by that time.
You will want to keep a record of the names of the students for whom you have signed this form. The deadline for the student to submit the form to the residential college dean is the day on which the student’s schedule is due in his or her final term of enrollment. Toward the end of the fall term, the registrar will send the DUS a major completion form for each of these students, and the DUS will be asked to certify that they have in fact completed the requirements of the major; see How to Graduate a Senior.
If a student wishes to fulfill the requirements of two majors, each major must be completed independently of the other, with no more than two courses overlapping. Note that the overlap may not be in the senior essay or the senior project, unless both directors of undergraduate studies certify that the essay or project represents the equivalent of the minimum essay or project requirement of the one major in addition to the minimum essay or project requirement of the other major. Prerequisites in either major are not considered to be overlapping courses. Other than such prerequisites, all courses taken in a major—including those taken in excess of the minimum requirements of the major—are counted in the consideration of overlapping courses unless such courses are in excess of the minimum requirements for both majors.
It is not possible to offer as two majors a combined major with one of its component majors. For example, a major in Economics and Mathematics cannot be joined with a second major either in Economics or in Mathematics. Similarly, a student completing a major that permits the inclusion of a concentration of courses from another major or program cannot also major in that second major or program. For example, the major in Sociology with Psychology cannot have a second major in Psychology. Furthermore, a Special Divisional major may not be offered as one of two majors.
The completion of two majors does not result in the award of two degrees; a student who completes a major that leads to the award of the B.A. degree and another major that leads to the award of the B.S. degree may choose the degree to be conferred. A petition to complete the requirements of two majors should be made only after the student’s plans are definite, but no later than the due date for course schedules in the student’s final term of enrollment.
See also Two Majors under Special Arrangements in the Academic Regulations. Note in particular this warning: “A student contemplating the completion of two majors should bear in mind that doing so will almost invariably limit the opportunities for a wider distribution of studies over different subjects.”
When a student petitions to accelerate by one or two terms, the DUS must certify that the student has been received into the major and that the student can complete the major within the remaining terms of enrollment.
The complicated rules on acceleration are given under Acceleration Policies in the Academic Regulations. They are administered by the residential college deans and the University Registrar’s Office and do not directly concern the DUS, whose chief role is to make sure that the student can complete the major while earning an accelerated degree.
More students accelerate by one term than by two terms. It is important to note that the final term of enrollment for a student who uses acceleration credits to accelerate by one term must be the spring term.
Following is the text of the faculty legislation on this subject, voted in 1972:
Double credit for courses normally carrying single credits may be awarded to students, provided (a) the instructor, the appropriate Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing give permission, (b) each petitioning student makes limited use of this privilege, (c) permission is requested by midterm, and (d) the course assignments represent at least twice the normal expectations.
The procedures to be followed by students who wish to acquire double credit for a course are as follows:
- The student and the instructor of the course should agree on the work to be done and draw up a syllabus showing that the student will be doing twice the normal work for the course.
- This syllabus, along with the double-credit form signed by the instructor, should be presented to the DUS of the instructor’s department.
- The DUS should forward the syllabus, together with the signed form of the arrangement, to the residential college dean.
The faculty legislation stipulates that all this should be done by midterm. The spirit of the faculty’s intentions in setting this deadline assumes early and careful planning of the double work to be done. A later petition would be the nature of post facto or retroactive arrangement for credit, which the policies of Yale College do not permit.