Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session MyCIPE

Fulfilling Requirements Abroad

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It is possible, but not guaranteed to fulfill major and/or distributional requirements on a Year or Term Abroad or Non-Yale Summer Abroad program. (See How Credit Works for Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad.)

Major Requirements

Using courses abroad to fulfill major requirements is determined at the discretion of the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the relevant department. The DUS usually will want to see evidence of work completed before approving the use of courses toward the major. Talk to your DUS the semester before going abroad to make sure you understand the departmental approval process.

Some majors have requirements that include courses offered in a different Yale department. If you would like to use a course abroad to fulfill such a requirement, then you will also need to get approval from that relevant DUS.

Distributional Requirements

The course review process varies by requirement. Please refer to the specific requirement you would like to fulfill so that you know the steps to take before you leave, while you're abroad, and once you have returned. 

Foreign Language (L)
Humanities & Arts (Hu)
Social Sciences (So)
Sciences (Sc)
Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
Writing (WR)

Foreign Language Requirement

  1. Beginning language courses on Year or Term Abroad or Non-Yale Summer Abroad programs are eligible for general transfer credit only and may not be applied toward the satisfaction of the foreign language requirement.
  2. Intermediate or advanced language courses on Year or Term Abroad or Non-Yale Summer Abroad programs 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.
  3. Email the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the relevant language for more information about this process.   
  4. When there is no relevant DUS for the language, email the Center for Language Study with the petition request.

Humanities & Arts (Hu) Requirement
Social Scien​​ces (So) Requirement

Before selecting the course:

  • Students MAY seek limited guidance in advance as to whether or not a particular course might fulfill a distributional credit requirement.
  • Guidance is "limited" - and credit cannot be granted in advance of taking a course - because the petition for such credit can only be declined or approved after the course is over and related course materials have been sent for review (see below).  
  • Email the following materials to Pamela Schirmeister, Senior Associate Dean (pamela.schirmeister@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (Hu and/or So) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. Course Syllabus / Syllabi

After the course is over:

  • E-mail the following materials to Pamela Schirmeister, Senior Associate Dean (pamela.schirmeister@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (Hu and/or So) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. Official Transcript(s)
  2. Course Syllabus / Syllabi
  3. Examples of Assignment/Test Questions (essay prompts, quiz questions, etc.)
  • After review, you will be notified of the decision by e-mail (with a cc: to your Residential College Dean).  
  • If the petition is approved, you must then see your Dean to complete a form, which is then shared with the University Registrar.

Scien​ces (Sc) Requirement

Please see: Award of Sc Credit for Coursework Outside of Yale. Additional information about Sc requirements is found here.

Before selecting the course:

  • Students SHOULD seek guidance in advance as to whether or not a particular course might fulfill the Sc distributional credit requirement.
  • The petition for such credit can only be declined or approved after the course is over and related course materials have been sent for review (see below).  
  • Email the following materials to Sandy Chang, Associate Dean (s.chang@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (in this case, Sc) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. Course Syllabus / Syllabi
  2. Course Prerequisites

After the course is over:

  • Email the following materials to Dean Chang (s.chang@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (in this case, Sc) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. Official Transcript(s)
  2. Course Syllabus / Syllabi
  3. Course Prerequisites
  4. Examples of Assignment/Test Questions (essay prompts, quiz questions, etc.)
  • After review, you will be notified of the decision by e-mail (with a cc: to your Residential College Dean).  
  • If the petition is approved, you must then see your Dean to complete a form, which is then shared with the University Registrar.

Quantitative Reason​ing (QR) Requirement

Please see: Award of QR Credit for Coursework Outside of Yale.  Additional information about QR requirements is found here.

Before selecting the course:

  • Students SHOULD seek guidance in advance as to whether or not a particular course might fulfill the QR distributional credit requirement.
  • The petition for such credit can only be declined or approved after the course is over and related course materials have been sent for review (see below). 
  • Email the following materials to Dean Chang (s.chang@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (in this case, QR) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. Course Syllabus / Syllabi
  2. Course Prerequisites

After the course is over:

  • Email the following materials to Dean Chang (s.chang@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (in this case, QR) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. Official Transcript(s)
  2. Course Syllabus / Syllabi
  3. Course Prerequisites
  4. Course Materials (including course exercises, problem sets, projects, exams)
  • After review, you will be notified of the decision by e-mail (with a cc: to your Residential College Dean). 
  • If the petition is approved, you must then see your Dean to complete a form, which is then shared with the University Registrar.

Writing (WR) Requirement

Additional information about WR requirements is found here.

Before selecting the course:

  • Most decisions can be made on the basis of the original course description, and students who can should send this description in the initial email (see below).
  • No course in creative writing is eligible.
  • Most courses approved for the WR will have “writing” or “composition” in the course name.
  • Email the following materials to Alfred Guy, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs (alfred.guy@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (in this case, WR) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. The original course description
  2. If the course description does not mention writing skills, you may want to include the syllabus, if you have it already.

After the course is over:

If you checked with Dean Guy in advance, and he reported that the course is a good fit for the WR:
  • Send him back a copy of his email to confirm that you have taken the course.  
  • Dean Guy will notify you of the decision by email. If the petition is approved, he will write your Residential College Dean, and you will then take your official transcript(s) to the RC Dean to get your course credit.
If you did not check with Dean Guy in advance:
  • E-mail the following materials to Alfred Guy, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs (alfred.guy@yale.edu), indicating the type of distributional credit being sought (in this case, WR) and the name(s) of the course(s) for which you seek distributional credit:
  1. The original course description
  2. Course syllabus / syllabi
  • If the course description does not indicate a clear focus on writing skills, other materials may be needed to assess the course. Be prepared to give the Writing Center more detailed information, such as if there were drafts, how you received feedback, if you ever work-shopped the papers with other students, etc. Your word about these features will not be enough—the practices must be substantiated by the syllabus or other course materials.
  • Dean Guy will notify you of the decision by email. If the petition is approved, he will write your Residential College Dean, and you will then take your official transcript(s) to the RC Dean to get your course credit.