Credit from Away: European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

European institutions are moving quickly to standardizing units of academic credit under the European Credit Transfer System. Because approximately 60% of W&L's undergraduate students study abroad at some point during their academic careers, it is important that we standardize transfer of credit.

The National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Academic Credentials has provided the following information on the ECTS system.

"ECTS credit has the following characteristics:

  1. One ECTS credit represents between 24 and 30 hours.
  2. ECTS credits are awarded only upon the completion of work and the assessment of that work.
  3. Work may be completed through a variety of methods and is not expressed solely in terms of contact hours.

Council recommendation:

One ECTS credit is comparable to one half (.50) semester credit [.75 quarter credit] at a regionally accredited post-secondary institution in the United States."

W&L's faculty has approved establishing a permanent conversion rate for credits transferred from consistent with practice at many colleague American institutions and as recommended by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the National Council on the Evaluation of Foreign Academic Credentials.

Two (2) ECTS credits will be credited as one (1) W&L credit. Since W&L doesn't award fractional credit in transfer, a 5 ECTS course abroad will only receive 2 W&L credits and will thus often not meet FDR or other similar requirements.