Q. Credit from Other Universities
A student may not employ course credits earned at another college or university to reduce the expected number of terms of enrollment in Yale College. Under the conditions described below, a student may apply as many as two course credits earned at another college, university, or academic program toward the 36 course credit requirement for graduation from Yale College. Before undertaking such outside study, the student should consult the residential college dean about both the institution to be attended and the course to be taken there.
- Approval of credit In order for credit to be given for courses taken elsewhere, all of the following conditions must be met:
- The Director of Academic and Educational Affairs must approve the award of credit at Yale for the course.
- A student who has studied at an American university, or abroad on a program sponsored by an American university, must provide the office of the residential college dean with an official transcript of the work completed. A student who has enrolled in a program that is not sponsored by an American university should supply an official transcript if the sponsoring institution issues transcripts; if it does not, then the student must furnish an official certificate of enrollment, showing if possible the course or courses completed.
- Students seeking outside credit should be prepared to furnish a copy of the course syllabus, as well as essays and examinations written in the course. In some cases, a letter from the instructor of the course may be required, or the student may be asked to pass an examination on the material of the course. Such information may be particularly necessary in the case of study at a foreign university.
- Study undertaken in the United States must be at a four-year accredited institution that grants a bachelor’s degree in the arts and sciences. Extension schools usually do not meet these requirements, and so courses taken at extension schools normally do not qualify for credit. Foreign study must be completed at a university or other approved institution. Credit may be awarded only for work done while a student was officially enrolled at such an institution, and cannot be given for any work completed independently of such formal enrollment.
- A grade of A or B is expected; a grade of C is acceptable. Credit cannot be given for a mark of Credit on a Credit/D/Fail option, or for a grade of Pass on a Pass/Fail option, if the student had the choice of taking the course for a letter grade.
- In order for credit to be given for a course completed at another college or university, the course must carry a value of at least three semester credit hours; if the course is taken at an institution on the quarter system, it must carry a value of at least four-and-one-half quarter units.
- In order for credit to be given for a course completed at another college or university, the number of contact hours for the course must equal or exceed the number of contact hours for an equivalent course offered in Yale College during the fall or spring term, and the length of term (from the first to the last day of classes) must be at least four consecutive weeks.
- Year or Term Abroad Yale Study Abroad oversees credit transfer from approved Year or Term Abroad programs. Credits earned on a Year or Term Abroad count toward the 36 course credit graduation requirement and appear on the Yale transcript with the mark TR (“transfer credit”). Courses in Yale Summer Session are not considered outside courses, and there is no limit on the number of such courses that a student may offer toward the requirements of the bachelor’s degree; see section K, Special Academic Programs, “Courses in Yale Summer Session.” Similarly, courses taken in the Yale College program at the Paul Mellon Centre in London are Yale courses and do not count as outside credit. Students who wish to receive credit for summer study abroad with outside programs must meet the eligibility requirements and apply for approval through Yale Study Abroad. No more than two credits earned at another institution may be applied toward the 36 course credit graduation requirement. While Year or Term Abroad courses are not bound by this limit, any graduation credit earned through approved non-Yale summer abroad programs count toward this two course credit limit. For more information, see section K, Special Academic Programs, "Year or Term Abroad."
- Non-Yale Summer Abroad Students who wish to receive credit for summer study abroad with non-Yale programs must apply for approval through Yale Study Abroad. Students should note that the application process for Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad differs and often has an earlier deadline than the Non-Yale Summer Abroad credit application. Information about the application process, including a list of designated programs, is available on the Yale Study Abroad website. Students receiving credit for summer study abroad may also apply such credit toward the distributional requirements for the bachelor’s degree or toward a requirement of the student’s major program (see paragraph 7, “Distributional requirements” and paragraph 9, “Major requirements”).
- Residential College Seminars Residential College Seminars are, by definition, courses that extend beyond the Yale College curriculum. They are not used as comparables for credit for outside courses, whether in Year or Term Abroad or for other considerations for outside credit.
- Work done while in secondary school Course credit or distributional credit cannot be given for any college or university course taken while the student was still enrolled in secondary school. Work done after graduation from secondary school but before matriculation at Yale may be accepted on recommendation from the Director of Academic and Educational Affairs. As a regular exception to this rule, students who earned credits while still enrolled in secondary school as members of the Non-degree Students program in Yale College or as students in Yale Summer Session may apply such credits toward the requirements of the bachelor’s degree.
- Limit of two course credits Credit cannot be given for more than two course credits earned at another institution. An exception of one additional course credit may be made only by action of the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing upon the student’s petition, normally after the final term of enrollment, or in cases where a student is thereby fulfilling the language requirement in a language not offered at Yale (see paragraph 8, “The language requirement and courses taken elsewhere,” below). In no case may a student bring in more than three outside graduation course credits, with the exception of an approved Year or Term Abroad.
- Distributional requirements With permission, course credit earned at another college or university may be applied toward the distributional requirements for the bachelor’s degree and to those for the sophomore and junior years whether or not it is counted toward the 36-course-credit requirement for graduation; instructions on applying such credit toward the distributional requirements are available on the Fulfilling Requirements While Away on the Yale Study Abroad website. Credit from outside Yale may not be applied toward the distributional requirements for the first year. Yale also does not award credit toward distributional requirements for courses completed at another college or university before the student graduated from secondary school, nor for online courses completed outside Yale, except in cases where a student is fulfilling the foreign language requirement in a language not offered at Yale (see paragraph 13, “Online courses,” below).
- The language requirement and courses taken elsewhere Students who have taken a course in a language at another institution, either in the United States or through a program abroad, and who wish to offer that course toward fulfillment of the language distributional requirement must secure the approval of the relevant director of undergraduate studies. While the approval process varies across departments, in no case can it be completed until an official transcript of the work has been received and reviewed by the department. Typically, an additional assessment of the student’s work will be necessary, especially with respect to the level (e.g., L3 through L5) that has been achieved by the outside study. Such assessment might include a written or oral examination or both, a review of the course syllabus and written assignments, or other methods of evaluation. Some departments maintain a list of programs that have been previously evaluated, in which case the approval process is often simplified. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to consult the relevant department before undertaking language study elsewhere. For languages not offered at Yale, students should seek guidance from the Center for Language Study about the possibility of fulfilling the language requirement in that language through outside credit.
- Major requirements At the discretion of the director of undergraduate studies in a student’s major, work done at another institution may be counted as fulfilling a requirement of the student’s major program. This may be done whether or not a course is credited toward the 36-course-credit requirement.
- Transfer students and Eli Whitney Program students Transfer students and students in the Eli Whitney Program may receive up to two course credits for work completed outside Yale after matriculation and may receive credit for a Year or Term Abroad according to the guidelines of section M, Transfer Students, section N, Eli Whitney Students Program, and section K, Special Academic Programs, “Year or Term Abroad,” provided that they enroll in Yale College for at least four terms, earning by attendance at Yale a minimum of eighteen course credits.
- Internships, field studies, and the like Course credit cannot be given for such programs as internships, field studies, or workshops, but these experiences may be included as a component of a full, regular, academic course of instruction, certified by a transcript from an accredited four-year institution granting a bachelor’s degree.
- Independent study Course credit cannot be given for independent study courses taken at another university except for independent study courses taken as part of a designated study abroad program with the approval of Yale Study Abroad.
- Online courses Online courses from other universities may be eligible for Yale credit under limited conditions. The course must include regular, synchronous interaction with the instructor, as well as regular feedback. For online courses offered during the summer, such courses may not be comparable to a course offered online through Yale Summer Session. Online courses may not be used by students to repair a deficiency for promotion (see section I, Academic Penalties and Restrictions, “Makeup of Course Deficiencies for Promotion or Academic Good Standing”), and may not be applied toward a distributional requirement, with the exception that online courses in a language not offered at Yale may be applied toward the language requirement (see paragraph 8, “The language requirement and courses taken elsewhere,” above).
- Yale transcript Outside courses may be entered on a student’s Yale transcript only if they are applied to the 36-course-credit requirement, the distributional requirements, and/or the requirements of a major program. Such courses must be entered on the Yale transcript if they are to be applied toward any of these requirements. Except for transcripts of transfer students and students in the Eli Whitney Students Program —on which see section M, Transfer Students, or section N, Eli Whitney Students Program—courses that are applied toward the 36-course-credit requirement are listed by title with indication of the credit units earned, but without grades. Courses that are applied only toward the distributional requirements are listed without grades and with the designation “for distributional credit only.” Courses that are applied only toward the requirements of a major program are listed without grades and with the designation “for credit toward the major only.” Once a course has been entered on a student’s Yale transcript at the student’s request, or as a consequence of reinstatement, the entry may not subsequently be removed at the student’s request.
- Acceleration See section Q, Acceleration Policies.
† Students on promotion hold who employ outside course credits to repair a credit deficiency cannot subsequently have those credits removed from their transcript for any reason and are thus ineligible to take a year abroad.