P. Acceleration Policies

Acceleration by the Early Accumulation of Thirty-Six Course Credits All Earned at Yale

A student may accelerate progress toward graduation by accumulating thirty-six course credits in fewer than eight terms of enrollment. Such a student must earn all thirty-six course credits at Yale and may not offer course credits earned at another institution in order to reduce the number of terms of enrollment at Yale.

  1. Study abroad  Terms spent on a Year or Term Abroad count as if they were terms of enrollment in Yale College, but course credits earned therein may not be applied to acceleration by the early accumulation of thirty-six course credits because all such credits must be earned at Yale. A spring term at the Yale College program at the Paul Mellon Centre in London is, in fact, a term of enrollment in Yale College, and credits earned in that program may be applied to such acceleration. Attendance at Yale Summer Session or the summer program at the Paul Mellon Centre in London does not count as a term of enrollment, but course credits earned in these summer programs may be applied toward acceleration by the early accumulation of thirty-six credits all earned at Yale. See “Courses in Yale Summer Session” and “Yale-in-London Summer Program” in section K.
  2. Patterns of attendance  While students employing acceleration credits in order to acquire an accelerated degree are required to attend Yale in certain patterns of attendance (see point 4 under “Acceleration by Use of Acceleration Credits”), no particular pattern of attendance is required from a student accelerating by the early accumulation of thirty-six course credits all earned at Yale.
  3. Six or seven terms of enrollment  Either a six-term degree or a seven-term degree may be acquired by the accumulation of thirty-six course credits earned at Yale; graduation after fewer than six terms of enrollment in Yale College by such an early accumulation of course credits is not permitted.
  4. Notification by the student  A student intending to accelerate through the early accumulation of thirty-six course credits all earned at Yale must notify the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing through the residential college dean of that intention by the day on which the student’s course schedule is due in the final term of enrollment. Such notification must include written certification from the student’s director of undergraduate studies that the student will have completed all of the requirements of the major program, and from the residential college dean that the student will have fulfilled the distributional requirements at the conclusion of that term. Failure to do so will result in the student’s being charged a fine of $100.
  5. Deceleration  A student may subsequently decelerate and take an eight-term degree. A reversion to an eight-term degree will not affect a student’s academic good standing or eligibility for eight terms of financial aid.

Acceleration by Use of Acceleration Credits

For the definition of acceleration credits and the criteria for their award, see the Freshman Web site or appendix A of the Freshman Handbook. For the sake of equity and fairness, no exceptions can be made to the regulations governing the use of acceleration credits. Inquiries about acceleration may be addressed to the residential college dean or to Chair of the Committee on Advanced Placement and Acceleration, University Registrar’s Office, 246 Church Street, 432-2331.

  1. Eligibility  The following charts list the number of total credits needed to accelerate by one or two terms during a given term of enrollment:
Acceleration by One Term Minimum Total Credits Minimum Yale Course Credits Activated Acceleration Credits
In the third term1284
In the fourth term16124
In the fifth term21174
In the sixth term26224

Acceleration by Two Terms Minimum Total Credits Minimum Yale Course Credits Activated Acceleration Credits
In the third term1789
In the fourth term21129
In the fifth term26179
  1. Application deadline  Application to accelerate is made by submission of the required form to the office of the residential college dean. The deadline for applying for acceleration is the last day of classes in the respective term of enrollment given in the eligibility charts above. As a special exception, a student accelerating by one or two terms who wishes to complete a term of study abroad as early as during the third term of enrollment would have to petition to accelerate before the third term of enrollment. Such a student should consult with the residential college dean. The absolute and final deadline for applying for acceleration by one term is the last day of classes in the sixth term of enrollment. The absolute and final deadline for applying for acceleration by two terms is the last day of classes in the fifth term of enrollment.
  2. Course credit requirement for graduation  A student accelerating by two terms must earn at least twenty-seven course credits at Yale, and a student accelerating by one term must earn at least thirty-two course credits at Yale. Therefore, with the exception of credit earned through enrollment in the Year or Term Abroad program, a student accelerating by use of acceleration credits may not apply any credit earned at another college or university toward the 36-course-credit requirement for the bachelor’s degree.
  3. Enrollment requirements, including required patterns of attendance A student intending to accelerate by two terms must complete six terms of full-time enrollment in Yale College. Those six terms may be in any pattern of enrollment as long as the student’s sixth and final term of enrollment is a spring term.
    A student intending to accelerate by one term must complete seven terms of full-time enrollment in Yale College. Those seven terms may be in any pattern of enrollment as long as the student’s seventh and final term of enrollment is a spring term.
    A student accelerating by two terms may not combine acceleration credits and course credits to graduate in fewer than six terms; six terms of enrollment is the minimum as well as the maximum requirement for acceleration by two terms. Likewise, a student accelerating by one term may not combine acceleration credits and course credits to graduate in fewer than seven terms; seven terms of enrollment is the minimum as well as the maximum requirement for acceleration by one term.
  4. Deceleration  A student accelerating by two terms or one term may subsequently apply to decelerate by submitting the required form to the office of the residential college dean. A student who is considering whether to decelerate should consult with the residential college dean as soon as possible. A student accelerating by two terms who subsequently decides to accelerate by only one term must meet the requirements for acceleration by one term. A student accelerating by two terms or one term may subsequently decide to decelerate completely and take an eight-term degree. Since by definition an eight-term degree is not an accelerated degree, such a student will lose the use of acceleration credits. A reversion to an eight-term degree will not adversely affect a student’s academic good standing or eligibility for eight terms of financial aid.
  5. Reacceleration  A student who has declared an intention to decelerate and to relinquish the use of acceleration credits is permitted to accelerate again through the use of acceleration credits as long as the student meets the eligibility requirements and application deadline for one or two terms of acceleration given in points 1 and 2 above.

General Rules Relating to the Use of Acceleration Credits

  1. Notification  The chief responsibility for ascertaining eligibility and for meeting the deadline to apply for acceleration rests with the students themselves. However, the University Registrar’s Office will make reasonable efforts to inform students, at the beginning of the third term of enrollment, of their eligibility to accelerate by one or two terms.
    It is not the responsibility of the University Registrar’s Office or Yale College to remind students who have declared an intention to accelerate of the rules on the pattern of attendance stipulated for the use of acceleration credits. Students who are accelerating are themselves responsible for planning to meet these rules, and if a student’s pattern of attendance does not conform to them, it will be concluded that the student has decided to relinquish the use of acceleration credits and not to accelerate. Such a student will be automatically decelerated.
  2. Interruption of studies by leave or withdrawal  Terms of enrollment need not be consecutive. A student accelerating by one or two terms has the same privileges of leave of absence or withdrawal that a nonaccelerating student has.
  3. A third term of leave of absence  A student taking an accelerated degree by use of acceleration credits who has had two terms of leave of absence may receive a third term of leave if it is needed to bring the student’s pattern of attendance into conformity with the pattern of attendance stipulated for an accelerated degree. See “Leave of Absence” in section J; a student who has received long-term loans through Yale or who is receiving financial aid from Yale should particularly note paragraph 8 under “Leave of Absence.”
  4. Withdrawal  If a student withdraws from a term after the date on which course schedules for that term are due, the uncompleted term counts as a term of enrollment, both in the determination of the student’s eligibility to accelerate and in the calculation of the number of terms in which the student has been in attendance at Yale. As an exception to this rule, if an accelerating student withdraws from Yale College on the recommendation of Yale Health without having successfully completed a term, the student has the option of not counting the uncompleted term as one of the six or seven terms of enrollment.
  5. Enrollment in Yale Summer Session or the Yale-in-London summer program  Attendance at Yale Summer Session or the summer program at the Paul Mellon Centre in London does not constitute a term of enrollment. Thus a student accelerating by one term may not offer attendance at Yale Summer Session or the summer program at the Paul Mellon Centre in London as one of the required seven terms of enrollment in Yale College. Course credits earned by attendance at these summer programs, however, may be applied toward the requirements for the bachelor’s degree by accelerating students, provided that such students meet the conditions specified for acceleration by one or two terms. See also “Courses in Yale Summer Session” and “Yale-in-London Summer Program” in section K.
  6. Course credit from outside Yale  A student accelerating by two terms must earn at least twenty-seven course credits at Yale, and a student accelerating by one term must earn at least thirty-two course credits at Yale. Therefore, an accelerating student may not apply any credit earned at another college or university toward the 36-course-credit requirement for the bachelor’s degree. A student, whether accelerating or not, may be permitted to apply course credits earned at another college or university toward the requirements of the student’s major program or toward any of the distributional requirements other than those for the freshman year. See section O, “Credit from Other Universities.”
    (Please note that attendance at the Yale College program at the Paul Mellon Centre in London during the spring term counts just as if it were a term of enrollment at Yale College in New Haven. Attendance at the Paul Mellon Centre during the summer, however, does not count as a term of enrollment. See “Yale-in-London Summer Program” in section K.)
  7. Year or Term Abroad  A Year Abroad counts as two terms and a Term Abroad counts as one term of enrollment in Yale College. Credits earned on a Year or Term Abroad count as the equivalent of Yale course credits.
    Note that after a Year or Term Abroad all students must attend two subsequent terms in Yale College; see “Year or Term Abroad” in section K. In many cases a student must relinquish the use of acceleration credits and decelerate in order to take a Year or Term Abroad. As a special exception, a student accelerating by one or two terms who wishes to complete a term of study abroad as early as during the third term of enrollment would have to petition to accelerate before the third term of enrollment. A student who wishes to accelerate and to take a Year or Term Abroad should consult with the residential college dean and the Center for International and Professional Experience at the earliest opportunity.
    An accelerating student who wishes also to complete a Year or Term Abroad must conform to one of the following schemes:
Terms of Acceleration Total Terms at Yale Total Terms on YA/TA Acceleration Credits Minimum Course Credits Earned at Yale Maximum Course Credits Earned on YA/TA
1614284
1524239
2519234
2429189
  1. Distributional requirements  Acceleration credits may not be employed to meet the distributional requirements for the freshman, sophomore, or junior years, or the distributional requirements for the bachelor’s degree, including the foreign language requirement. With permission, an accelerating student may apply course credit earned at another college or university toward the distributional requirements for the bachelor’s degree and to those for the sophomore and junior years; students should consult with the residential college dean to be directed to the appropriate authority for such approval.
  2. Major requirements  With the permission of the director of undergraduate studies, an accelerating student may apply credit earned at another university toward the requirements of the student’s major program.
  3. Makeup of course credit deficiency  If an accelerating student’s record at the end of a term of enrollment shows a deficiency for promotion, academic good standing, or graduation, the student will be allowed to repair the deficiency without forfeiting the use of acceleration credits only through enrollment in Yale Summer Session if the credit earned is to be applied toward the 36-course-credit requirement for the bachelor’s degree. See section D, “Promotion and Good Standing.”
  4. Enrollment after graduation as a nondegree student  Accelerating students who have qualified for the award of the bachelor’s degree are eligible, as are all Yale College graduates, for full-time enrollment in Yale College as nondegree students. Because such students will have graduated, they will not be eligible for financial aid. See section N, “Nondegree Students Program.”
  5. Transfer students  Students admitted by transfer from other colleges and universities are not eligible for acceleration by the use of acceleration credits.