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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Transfer of Credit

A summary of faculty policies adapted from the University Catalog

W&L's transfer-of-credit policies (established by the W&L faculty) and procedures (administered by the University Registrar and Director of Law Records) are consistent with the Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit (

Only work comparable to that at Washington and Lee in level, nature, and field may be accepted for degree credit. Credits for courses completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, may be transferred to Washington and Lee and used as degree credit. Grades for these courses, however, may not be transferred, and a student’s cumulative grade-point average will include only work attempted at Washington and Lee. Such credits are assigned by the appropriate department head and the University Registrar at the discretion of the appropriate dean. It is expected that a transfer student will complete at least two years of full-time study at Washington and Lee prior to receiving a degree. Courses taken at community (or other similar) colleges after original matriculation at Washington and Lee may not be used for degree credit. Up to two courses (6-8 credits) taken online may be used for degree requirements only with the permission of the department or program head in the appropriate discipline or, if the discipline is not represented at Washington and Lee, from the appropriate Associate Dean of The College.

Limits on External Credits

  • External credit upon entry to W&L: Entering first-year students may receive a maximum of 28 credits from any and all non-W&L courses (AP, IB, college courses while in high school, etc). Of the 28, no more than nine credits may be counted toward the requirements for a particular major with departmental approval; individual departments may set a limit of less than nine credits counted toward the major.

  • Last date to receive credit upon initial entrance to W&L: All paperwork must be in the University Registrar's Office by the last day of fall-term classes.

  • Total external credit toward W&L degree: No more than 56 of the 113 credits required for the W&L degree may be earned elsewhere or by any other means than through courses offered at W&L or through formal exchanges (e.g. VMI, Mary Baldwin Spelman, etc.).  In other words, first-year incoming credits, transfer credits, courses taken abroad, etc. will not count in the 57 credits to be taken at W&L.

  • Last date to receive credit for off-campus study: All paperwork must be in the University Registrar's Office by the last day of the term you return to W&L.

First-year Students' Requests for Transfer Credit

First-years who wish to be awarded credit at Washington and Lee for courses previously taken at another college or university should obtain a First-year Credit Transfer Form and return it with the requested information (course description and syllabus, official college transcript, information on instructor, location and texts). These courses are often prerequisites for work first-years plan to undertake in their first term, so it is important to have the records sent as soon as possible. No college credit will be awarded if it has been used to meet one of Washington and Lee’s entrance requirements. For instance, the first four years of English from high school are required for admission and will not be transferred to meet writing degree requirements. If additional work in literature has been completed, it may be considered next summer. Similarly: three years of math, three years of language, etc.

Advanced Standing Credit

First-years, at the discretion of the Dean of the College, may be allowed to take University administered examinations for college credit on work done in approved secondary schools in computer science, foreign language, or mathematics.

The work on which credit is desired must have been over and above that represented by 16 full units in regular college preparatory subjects, namely, English, history, a foreign language, mathematics, natural and social sciences. Students must have made superior grades in secondary school, including in the course on which the examination is to be taken. Students must be pursuing and must pass, with a C (2.0) grade or better, a course in the subject on which they seek an examination. The examination must be taken not later than four weeks after the opening of the term during which they begin the advanced college course referred to in C.

Credit for Service in the Military

Students who have had two years of active service in the armed forces are, upon completion of all other credits required for a degree, given credit for the physical education requirement for a degree; students who have had six months of active service are given credit for one term toward the physical education requirement for a degree.

Under the Reserve Officers Candidate program of the U.S. Navy, a student who completes the ROC-TWO summer course with grade C (2.0) or better may be granted two elective credits. A student who completes the summer programs for Platoon Leaders of the U.S. Marine Corps may be granted four elective credits.

Internships (see the full policy)

Washington and Lee awards "credit for education, not experience." Credits will be awarded only for internships that contribute toward learning, as specified by departments listing all internship experiences as a 450-level course. A maximum of nine credits of internship may be used to meet degree requirements. Many summer work experiences do not qualify for academic credit. The value of summer work lies in experience and networking. The decision to award academic credit will be based on the educational merits of the internship experience as determined by university faculty.

Summer School Credit

Students who have taken academic work at Washington and Lee, and who wish to count toward degree credit summer work taken subsequently at another institution, must meet certain conditions:

A. Verification that the college or university is a four-year institution accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies of the United States is secured from the appropriate dean. Approval of courses is secured from heads of departments offering the corresponding work at Washington and Lee University. Approval of courses taken for credit at scientific research laboratories and field stations may be granted at the discretion of the department concerned.

In order to assure that students receive credit for summer school courses, it is recommended that they seek the advice and approval of the appropriate department head and dean before enrolling for the courses. No matter when approval is requested, students must submit applications for approval on the Application for Degree Credit for Off-Campus Study form, obtainable from the University Registrar’s office or Web site.

B. A maximum of four courses, not to exceed 14 credits, of summer school work may be offered toward all degree requirements. This total of four courses may be comprised of any combination of the following:

(1) Free electives, up to four courses (14 credits).

(2) Two courses to satisfy Foundation and Distribution (general education) Requirements or to be used as cognates may be taken for the first time. No course may be taken for the first time in the major subject or, in the Williams School, the major group.

(3) No more than two courses may be repeated.

Other restrictions which apply are listed in the catalog.