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Transferring Credit

Students must receive a passing grade of C or better in study abroad courses in order to get credit. A "C-" will not transfer. The Registrar has established semester or quarter hour equivalencies to Vassar's unit system.

However, the precise number of units a student receives often depends on how the courses and hours are listed on the transcript and how many credit hours are awarded per course by the host institution.

Due to the nature of the transfer credit process, the Vassar course equivalents listed on the transcript may not correspond exactly to course names listed on the leave transcript. Generally, courses are spread out across departments, depending on the discipline listed on the transcript, unless the student has a particular reason (and departmental support) for placing them under a particular department. If a student wishes to receive more than 5 units of credit per semester for study away work, he/she must petition the Committee on Leaves and Privileges, just as would be required to take more than 5 units on campus. Additionally, credit cannot be given for courses that have substantial overlap with other credited work. Questions of overlap are taken to the Committee on Leaves and Privileges. One term of an introductory language will not transfer for full credit; intensive language study for one term will be considered for transfer. Credit cannot be given for courses credited at only one or two semester hours of work.

Students who enter Vassar as freshmen are allowed a maximum of 10 units of transfer credit, including any Advanced Placement credits awarded. Normally, a year abroad will earn at least a full year's worth of credit--anywhere from 7 to 10 units--and many study abroad participants earn the maximum. Thus, a student who wishes to earn summer credits, or who brings in pre-enrollment credit (including AP) as a freshman, may find that he/she is not able to apply all the transfer credit earned towards graduation--but rest assured that what does or does not get applied can be worked out individually with the Office of International Programs.

All study abroad grades appear on the Vassar transcript, but grades from only Vassar sponsored programs are calculated into the Vassar GPA. For non-Vassar programs, all courses and grades appear, but only grades of “C” or better will be awarded credit. While transfer credit doesn't count toward the total number of ungraded units a student may take, it will reduce the total number he/she is allowed, as one may not elect more than 25% of all work taken on campus as ungraded or NRO. Thus, if a student brings in the maximum of 10 units of transfer credit, he/she would then take 24 units on campus towards graduation, which would permit 6 units of ungraded work rather than the normal 8.5. Students who study abroad should be sure to work this out before the senior year so that they don't run into problems with graduation requirements.