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Transfer Credit Course Review

Information on the evaluation process and policies is available below. For questions regarding the course evaluation process, please contact the External Education Unit at external.education@vanderbilt.edu.

Graduate students seeking transfer credit should contact their adviser and/or Director of Graduate Studies for assistance. Students in the Divinity School, Law School, Owen Graduate School of Management, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing, as well as professional students in Peabody College and the School of Engineering, should contact their school's student services office.

All courses taken elsewhere are subject to the provisions of the Transfer Credit policies (see below).

Newly Admitted Students

The External Education Unit will review previous course work for newly admitted students. Courses that are already listed in the Transfer Credit Search tool will be posted to the student’s Vanderbilt record. For courses taken elsewhere that have not been evaluated by Vanderbilt, the External Education Unit will seek course syllabi and facilitate the evaluation process for the student. In the event that a course syllabus cannot be found, the External Education Unit will send an email to the student notifying them that they will be responsible for obtaining a detailed syllabus. The student can then submit the detailed syllabus and course through the Transfer Credit Submission application in YES.

Pre-Freshman Credit

Pre-freshman credit is subject to the following rules of eligibility. This does not apply to test credit ( AP, IB , and  international exams ).

  1. The course was offered through an accredited college or university. For domestic schools, the school must be regionally accredited; for international schools, the school must have country-specific accreditation. 
  2. The course was taken on the campus of the college/university.
  3. The professor of the course was a member of the institution’s faculty.
  4. The majority of the students in the course were degree-seeking college students.
  5. The minimum grade earned was C- or better.
  6. Credits earned were in addition to the following (one unit is equal to one year of study):
Subject Units
English 4 units
Algebra 2 units
Math above algebra 2 units
One foreign language    2 units
Science 4 units
Social Science 3 units

 

Students who meet these eligibility requirements should submit an  Application for Pre-Freshman Credit  as soon as possible after their admission. Completed applications can be sent via email to external.education@vanderbilt.edu. Students seeking pre-freshman credit should submit their application prior to the first day of class.

Current Students

Current students seeking transfer credit at Vanderbilt must submit courses for evaluation through the Transfer Credit Submission application in YES. A detailed course syllabus is required in order for a course to be evaluated.

Please check the Transfer Credit Course Search tool to find courses that have already been reviewed. These evaluations are in effect until the expiration date listed. NOTE: If a course is listed in the search tool, you still will need to submit the course for review through the transfer Transfer Credit application in YES (see below).

The Office of the University Registrar will review all requests for transfer credit evaluation for undergraduate students to ensure that the student and course meet minimum requirements (e.g., student is in good academic standing, course was/will be taken at a regionally accredited institution). If the minimum requirements are not met, the Office of the University Registrar will notify the student. Otherwise, the course information will be reviewed for course equivalency. 

Typically, evaluators at Vanderbilt are looking for the following information about the course:

  • A course description/overview (usually a few paragraphs in length)
  • Weekly lecture topics
  • Course credit value
  • Course contact hours
  • Course timeline
  • The assessment information (e.g., exams, homework, participation points, how much weight each assignment is worth toward the overall grade)
  • Course bibliography

Evaluators will determine the course equivalency at Vanderbilt, along with the number of credit hours to be awarded. For non-equivalent coursework (see below), evaluators can also determine how a course will count toward degree requirements.

Credits will be posted to the student record upon receipt of a final, official transcript. For future coursework, the Office of the University Registrar will send evaluation results via email to the student’s Vanderbilt email account. This message will detail how the coursework will be articulated at Vanderbilt.

Courses undergo regular re-evaluation by Vanderbilt and new courses are frequently added to the transfer credit database. Each course evaluation will be in effect for five years unless there is a change to the course (title, credit hours, content, etc.).

Please note that Vanderbilt does not accept credit for physical education courses.

Note: Processing time for evaluations is variable and highly dependent on the evaluating department at Vanderbilt. Please allow 30 days for the evaluation process.

Academic Requirements: Students are responsible for working with their academic adviser to ensure courses taken elsewhere will satisfy specific requirements in the degree or major. Questions regarding how coursework might be used to fulfill major, minor, AXLE, or Liberal Arts Core requirements should be directed to the student's academic adviser.

In some cases, a student may need a course to count toward a degree requirement or pre-requisite in a manner different than that in which it was evaluated. For core requirements in the student’s school, the student should contact the Office of Academic Services to request a degree audit exception. For major/minor requirements, the student should request a degree audit exception through either the director of undergraduate studies (for majors/minors offered in the College of Arts and Science), or the school's Office of Academic Services (for majors/minors offered in Peabody College, the Blair School of Music, or the School of Engineering). For pre-requisites, the student should contact the director of undergraduate studies of the department that offers the course.

The way in which credit counts toward your degree requirements is dependent upon policies in your school and department. Please contact your adviser or your school's Office of Academic Services if you have any questions.

Credits: Please be aware that credit units may differ among institutions. The credits earned on the transcript of record are not necessarily what the student will receive at Vanderbilt.

Non-Equivalent Credit: Non-equivalent credit is granted when a course has no direct equivalent at Vanderbilt. In most cases, credit will be granted for the course--either toward the major and/or minor, or only for general graduation credit. The title of the non-equivalent course should define how the course is used in requirements. HIST 2061- Non-Equivalent Credit (HIST-United States), for example, means this course has no direct equivalent at Vanderbilt, but may count toward the United States history concentration of the History major/minor.

Log in to YES and click on the Transfer Credit icon. Click on the Add Request link to submit a new course. For further instructions, review the YES Transfer Credit User Guide.

A separate submission is required for each course requested. A detailed and, if necessary, translated syllabus is required for each course for which a student seeks transfer credit. 

  • The class instructor or the department that offers the class at the other institution usually can assist with obtaining a syllabus.
  • If a syllabus for the intended term is not available, it is acceptable to provide a current syllabus or a syllabus from a prior term/year.

Any additional required forms (e.g., Application for Pre-Freshman Credit) must be submitted simultaneously.

Note: Requests for which all required documentation has not been received will be withdrawn administratively after 30 days.

Awaiting Final Transcript: Course has been evaluated and equivalency is listed in the Transfer Credit search tool. Credits will be posted to the student record upon receipt of an official transcript (see Contact Information for addresses).

Does Not Qualify: Course has been withdrawn for insufficient documentation, or submission duplication.

Evaluated: Course has been evaluated and has been posted to student’s Vanderbilt record.

No Credit at Vanderbilt: Course has been reviewed and rejected for credit at Vanderbilt.

Saved: Course has been saved but not submitted for review. Once course is ready to be submitted, please open the request and click Submit.

Submit: Course has been submitted for review.

Under Final Review: Course has been evaluated and is currently being reviewed by the Office of Academic Services.

Under Review: Course has been submitted for review and is currently undergoing evaluation.

  1. Current undergraduate students must submit all courses for evaluation through the Transfer Credit Submission page. Newly admitted students will only submit a course for evaluation if instructed to do so by the External Education Unit.
  2. For coursework in the United States, courses must be offered through a regionally accredited college or university. International institutions must have country-specific accreditation.
  3. Detailed course syllabi are needed for evaluation for undergraduate students. For coursework taken at international institutions, syllabi must be translated into English.
  4. A minimum grade of C- is required.
  5. No course that was taken on a Pass/Fail basis will be credited toward a Vanderbilt degree.
  6. Official transcripts must be sent to the Office of the University Registrar in order for credits to be posted to the student record.

Students who have submitted future course evaluations must have their official transcripts sent to Vanderbilt University by the following deadlines:

For courses submitted for the fall semester: Official transcripts must be received no later than February 1.

For courses submitted for the spring semester: Official transcripts must be received no later than July 1.

For courses submitted for the summer semester: Official transcripts must be received no later than October 1.

If an official transcript has not been received by the deadline, the course request will be withdrawn from the system.

Summer or Semester Work Elsewhere

Current undergraduate students planning to study elsewhere during the summer term or fall or spring semester should be mindful of any school-based policies related to the transfer of credit. Additional school-level approvals may be required. These policies are outlined in the undergraduate catalog. For additional information, please contact your school’s Office of Academic Services.

The College of Arts and Science and Peabody College usually do not award credit for work completed at other colleges and universities in the summer immediately preceding the student’s first semester at Vanderbilt. Students seeking such credit must obtain approval in advance from the appropriate dean. The approval should be uploaded along with the course information in the Transfer Credit Submission application.

Semester work elsewhere is subject to additional review by the student's school, including approval for a leave of absence. Please contact your school's Office of Academic Services for information on how to begin the approval process. Once you have obtained your school's initial approval, submit course information along with the approval form to the Transfer Credit Submission application.

Students enrolled full time (i.e., carrying at least 12 credit hours) during a regular (fall or spring) semester are assumed to be engaged in full-time study at Vanderbilt. Such students are not permitted to take additional course work elsewhere, for transfer credit, during the semester. This includes online courses, as well as courses offered by nearby institutions.

Study Abroad through non-Vanderbilt Programs

Students studying abroad through non-Vanderbilt sponsored programs (e.g., London School of Economics) are required to register through the Global VU website.

For questions regarding the course evaluation process, please contact: external.education@vanderbilt.edu.

For questions regarding academic requirements, please contact your academic adviser of your school’s Office of Academic Services.

Official transcripts should be sent to:  

Vanderbilt University
Office of the University Registrar 
External Education Unit 
PMB 407701 
Nashville, TN 37240-7701 

Some institutions provide secure electronic delivery of official transcripts. These submissions may be made to external.education@vanderbilt.edu.