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How Credit Works

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Students studying in a Moroccan Courtyard.

Studying abroad often exposes you to a new learning environment. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain hands-on experience and a new academic perspective.

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TOC: Getting Credit by Program Type

Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad

Yale offers unique programming through Yale Summer Session (YSS) Programs Abroad to earn Yale College credit through intensive language study or courses in a variety of disciplines, taught in English. 

Point:Don't forget to check your eligibility!

Yale College Students

Graduation Credit

You will receive Yale College credit for participating in YSS Programs Abroad. Upon completion of the program, your course(s) titles and grades will be entered automatically to your Yale transcript. If a program has more than one course, you are required to complete all program courses. Courses cannot be recorded without the grade. Grades earned on YSS Programs Abroad will be factored into your Yale cumulative GPA and will be included in the calculations of your eligibility for General Honors. 

Distributional and Major Credit

Courses successfully completed in YSS will fulfill the distributional requirements listed on the program page. They may, with permission from your major DUS, be counted toward the requirements of your major program. 


A limited number of Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad have courses which are available for Yale College students to elect to receive a grade of Credit/D/Fail. 

Note:Are you considering taking a course Credit/D/Fail on a Yale Summer Session Program Abroad? Learn more about the Credit/D/Fail policy including course eligibility, Credit/D/Fail limitations, and deadlines.

Yale Graduate Students

YSS does not grant graduate credit. Yale graduate students wishing to apply for graduate credit must make arrangements in writing - prior to the start of the course - with the instructor, the Dean of Yale Summer Session, and the dean of the student's graduate or professional school. YSS does not certify any of its courses for graduate credit, nor can individual instructor do so. 

Students from Other Campuses

Students who wish to transfer Yale credit to other colleges and universities are advised to consult with the appropriate academic authorities at their home institutions in advance. One Yale College course credit is the equivalent of four semester hours.  

Graduate students wishing to be granted graduate credit must make arrangements with their home institution. YSS does not certify any of its courses for graduate credit, nor can individual instructor do so.

For further detailed information or questions regarding a specific credit hour conversion, contact the Office of the Registrar at (203) 432-2330 or

Official transcripts may be ordered at the Office of the Registrar, Yale University, P.O. Box 208321, New Haven, CT 06520-8321. A transcript order must include the Yale Student ID Number and signature of the student requesting the transcript. The charge for each transcript is $7. For more information see the Office of the Registrar's website. Transcripts will not be issued to any student who is financially indebted to the University.

Year or Term Abroad & Non-Yale Summer Abroad Programs

Yale has designated hundreds of Year or Term Abroad (YTA) and Non-Yale Summer Abroad programs around the world for which students may apply to transfer study abroad credit during the academic year or summer. These study abroad credits count toward the 36 needed for Yale graduation. With careful planning in advance, it is also possible to fulfill major and/or distributional requirements.

Point:Don't forget to check your eligibility!

Study Abroad Transfer Credit

To receive transfer credit from a YTA or Non-Yale Summer Abroad program, you must:

Credit cannot be granted for:

  • Courses that are fewer than 4 teaching weeks in duration
  • Courses abroad that duplicate the content of courses already completed at Yale and for which credit has already been awarded
  • Internships or service
  • 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
  • Courses that are not completed
  • Courses that are taken outside of the program (e.g., an independent study with a Yale professor or an online course)

Note:Late applications for study abroad credit cannot be accepted, and you cannot petition to earn credit for study abroad retroactively. 

Likewise, once transfer credit for study abroad has been added to the Yale College transcript, it cannot be removed.

Transfer Credit Amounts

Term Abroad Credit Amount
1 Semester* 4.5 transfer credits (a spring semester at Cambridge or Oxford is worth 5 transfer credits)
2 semesters on different programs 9 transfer credits
Full Year 9 transfer credits
Summer Total of 2 transfer 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 6.5 transfer credits (7 if the semester is a spring term at Cambridge or Oxford)
1 Summer + 1 Full Year 9 transfer credits 

*Effective Fall 2021: Yale Study Abroad has been approved to increase the number of transfer credits students can receive for a semester abroad from 4 credits to 4.5 credits. However, a spring semester at Oxford and Cambridge is an exception to this policy. If you choose to study for a spring semester at either of these universities, you will be completing two trimesters abroad and will be eligible to earn 5 transfer credits. Students who study abroad for a full year on one program, or for two semesters on different programs, continue to be able to transfer up to 9 credits toward the 36 credits needed for Yale graduation.

Note: The maximum number of credits you are allowed to transfer to Yale is 9.

Students who have already transferred in 1 or 2 credits from summer and who wish to study abroad for a full academic year may request that the University Registrar remove such credit from the transcript by petitioning the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing through their dean’s office. If that petition is approved, this prior coursework may continue to be applied toward major and distributional requirements even though it will no longer count toward the number of Yale graduation credits.

Course Load Abroad

Year or Term Abroad 

You must take a full course load abroad. Most study abroad courses follow a credit system that is different from Yale's system. Your study abroad adviser will confirm the full course load for your program once your application for credit is approved, but please contact us if you have questions about your course load before applying.

Credit is not granted on a course-to-course basis during semester study abroad. Depending on your program, you may need to enroll in anywhere from 3 to 6 courses during a semester in order to earn 4 transfer credits (or 9 for the full year). In general, you should expect to take 4 or 5 courses each semester you spend abroad. 

Non-Yale Summer Abroad 

In general, if you enroll in 1 summer course abroad that meets Yale's credit transfer requirements, you will be eligible for 1 transfer credit. If you enroll in 2 summer courses that meet Yale's credit transfer requirements, you will be eligible for 2 transfer credits. Most summer abroad courses follow a credit system that is different from Yale's system. You should always confirm what is eligible for transfer credit, and for what amount, with your study abroad adviser.

Note:Due to the course load requirements abroad, students are not able to take courses outside of the program simultaneously. This includes, but is not limited to, an independent study with a Yale professor or an online course.

Grades and GPA

Grades from YTA or Non-Yale Summer 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, fellowships, 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.

Academic Accommodations

If you are in need of academic accommodations for study abroad, you can learn more on our Disability-Related Accommodations page.

Tip:Major and Distributional Requirements Abroad

It is possible, but not guaranteed, to fulfill major and/or distributional requirements abroad with proper approval. For detailed information about the appropriate process to follow, please review Fulfilling Requirements While Away before you leave campus.