Transfer Course Approvals

How to Obtain Your Transfer Course Approval

The process of getting transfer courses approved is fairly simple, but it does require that you pay attention to details. Please read the FAQ’s below, download and read the approval form, and contact Dr. Schwalm (first year students and sophomores) and Dean Andres (juniors) if you still have questions. If you are planning to take a transfer course outside of the U.S., all of the materials below need to be submitted to Dr. Gisella Gisolo in the Office of International Programs.

What's the process?

  1. Do some web research and find a class that looks promising (see below for details about this, and read the approval form very carefully before you start looking). Then print out all of the course information, the syllabus, and the course session calendar stating the first and last days of class. Fill out PART ONE of the approval form fully: be sure to note the purpose of the course.
  2. Email the form and supporting information to the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the relevant department (e.g. the history DUS for a history course). If they approve your course, ask them to sign your form and return the form electronically to you. If the course is intended to fulfill a prerequisite in a different department, you must also get a signature there (e.g. if you’d like that history to fulfill a requirement in Comparative Literature). If you’d like to the course to count towards a certificate program, then you must also secure the signature of the program director. B.S.E. students, you also need a signature from Dean Bogucki.
  3. After the approval form is signed, email the form and the supporting documentation to Dr. Schwalm (first-year students and sophomores) and Dean Andres (juniors) or to Dr. Gisolo in the Office of International Programs for online courses abroad.

FAQ’s 

What kinds of courses may be approved for credit?
A course you take elsewhere must “fit generally within the range of course offerings in a Princeton department or program.” This means that a course on the sociology of gender might well be approved; a course on auto repair would not. Journalism, business school, and communications courses are unlikely to be approved for Princeton credit—you may well want to go ahead and take them for your own enrichment, however.

Courses must be offered by a four-year accredited University.  The course must meet for a minimum of four weeks, and include 30 hours or more of real-time (synchronous) class activities or direct, live instruction.

Will I get distribution credit for my transfer course?
A maximum of two outside courses may be used to fill AB distribution requirements. You may use only one course each in two of the three following areas: LA, SEN, SA. 

Can I use a transfer course for a prerequisite or department requirement?
If you are planning to take a class as a prerequisite or required course in your department, be very sure to make this clear when you ask for departmental approval. Most departments require that the content of outside courses be “substantially similar” in order for them to qualify as prerequisites or requirements.

What about language courses? Can I fill my language requirement with a transfer course?
Credit for language courses is approved on a provisional basis. One course credit for beginning language may be granted if the department determines after the class that you have progressed beyond the 102 level in the language. Credit for other language classes (e.g. 107, 108, etc.) is also dependent on departmental assessment after you complete the transfer class. Note that language classes must have a minimum of 60 hours and meet for at least 4 weeks. So if you want to take a language class, remember that your summer course credits transferring depends on you passing the Princeton placement test that you take when you return to campus.

Will my transfer grade show up on my Princeton transcript?
No. In order to get any credit, you must get a grade of C or higher (a C- is not acceptable for credit). After we receive your transfer transcript, your transfer grade will be turned into a “T” for transfer credit when it appears on your Princeton transcript, and it will not go into your GPA. *Note that many grad schools and scholarship applications require transcripts from every school you attend, so these transfer grades won’t really disappear.

Where can I get a transfer course approval form?
Download the form here: Online Transfer Course Approval Form