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Designated (non-Yale) Programs: Year or Term Abroad & Summer Abroad

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How to Get Credit

You can earn general credit toward graduation when abroad on a designated (non-Yale) program. With careful planning in advance, it is also possible to fulfill major and/or distributional requirements. Be sure to review the information below about credit transfer to Yale in advance of applying for programs abroad. 
 

General Credit Transfer 

To receive general graduation credit from a designated (non-Yale) study abroad program, you must:

  • Submit a credit application by the relevant deadline; late applications for study abroad credit cannot be accepted
  • Earn the US equivalent of a C- or greater in your courses
  • Have an official transcript sent directly from your program to the Yale Study Abroad Office after completion of your program

Credit cannot be granted for:

  • Courses abroad that duplicate the content of courses already completed at Yale and for which credit has already been awarded
  • Internships or service
  • Studio or performing arts courses without approval
    • Regardless of your major, the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the relevant department must review and approve your work for studio or performance courses before they can be transferred for general credit
  • Pre-professional courses, such as business, communications, education, and law courses or other courses in disciplines that are not offered at the undergraduate level at Yale
  • Any course in which the grade earned is lower than a C-
  • Any course taken pass/fail

Once transfer credit for designated (non-Yale) study abroad programs has been added to the Yale College transcript, that action cannot subsequently be reversed.

Credit Transfer Amounts

The maximum amount of outside study abroad credit you are allowed to transfer to Yale is nine. This means you can study abroad on designated (non-Yale) programs for a summer plus a semester, but not a summer plus a full year. Below are the possible credit scenarios for study abroad on designated (non-Yale) programs:

Term Abroad Credit Amount
1 Semester 4 general Yale credits (a spring semester at Cambridge or Oxford is worth 5 general credits)
2 semesters on different programs 9 general Yale credits
Full Year 9 general Yale credits
Summer Total of 2 general Yale credits throughout all three summers (this 2 credit limit includes credit received for summer courses taken at another university in the U.S.).
1 Summer + 1 Semester 6 general Yale credits (7 if the semester is a spring term at Cambridge or Oxford)

Course Load Abroad

Semester and Full Year Students

You must take a full course load abroad. Four (or nine) courses abroad may not be the equivalent to four (or nine) courses taken at Yale. Often, semester students must take five courses abroad to qualify for four Yale credits. Check with your study abroad adviser to determine the full course load for your designated (non-Yale) program.

Summer Students

In general, if you enroll in one summer course abroad that meets Yale's credit transfer requirements, you will be eligible for one general Yale credit. If you enroll in two summer courses, you will be eligible for two general Yale credits. Most designated (non-Yale) summer abroad courses follow a credit system that is different from Yale's. You should always confirm what is eligible for credit transfer, and for what amount, with your study abroad adviser.

Grades and GPA

Grades from designated (non-Yale) study abroad programs will not be factored into your Yale cumulative GPA. On your Yale transcript, the Registrar will list your program, course titles and credits, but not your grades. You will, however, receive an official transcript from your study abroad program with your grades listed. Future employers and graduate schools may ask to see your study abroad transcript. Also, some Yale departments may use grades earned abroad in their computations for Distinction in the Major. General Honors (cum laude, etc.) and Phi Beta Kappa only use grades earned in courses taught at Yale.

Major Requirements

Using courses abroad to fulfill major requirements is awarded at the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the relevant department. Each department has its own rules and regulations regarding the use of study abroad courses. All departments will want to see evidence of work completed before approving the use of courses toward the major. Talk to your DUS before going abroad to make sure you understand the departmental approval process.

Distributional Requirements

It is possible, but not guaranteed, to fulfill distributional requirements abroad. For detailed information about this process, please review Fulfilling Distributional Requirements Abroad.

Note: Yale's Language Distributional Requirement

  • Beginning language courses on designated (non-Yale) programs abroad are eligible for general transfer credit only and may not be applied toward the satisfaction of the foreign language requirement.
  • Intermediate or advanced language courses on designated (non-Yale) programs abroad may only be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement at the discretion of the relevant language department. If you plan to take language courses abroad which you would like to use to either fulfill your language requirement or place into the next language level, you must meet with the relevant language department before departure. Upon return, you may need to take a placement exam, or other assessment. Please contact the language department directly for more information about this process.

Retroactive Credit

You must apply for credit by the relevant deadline. Late applications for study abroad credit cannot be accepted, and you cannot petition to earn credit for study abroad retroactively. 

Academic Accommodations

Students who will need disability related accommodations while studying abroad are encouraged to speak with a study abroad adviser and to contact Yale’s Resource Office on Disabilities (ROD). If you haven’t already, you will need to register with the Yale’s ROD. We will work with you to discuss reasonable accommodations abroad and assist you with the planning and pre-departure process.

To be eligible to receive general Yale credit, you must submit all application materials by the relevant deadline.