Credit from Away: 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 at another college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies of the United States or an approved international institution, with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, may be considered for transfer to Washington and Lee to be used as degree credit. Grades for these courses, however, will not be transferred, and a student's cumulative grade-point average will include only work attempted at Washington and Lee.

For courses taken online, no credit will be awarded if the work was begun prior to initial matriculation at Washington and Lee. Up to two courses (6-8 credits) taken online after matriculation 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.

A student admitted as a transfer may receive no more than 60 credits for work transferred. Such credits are assigned by the appropriate department head and the University Registrar at the discretion of the appropriate dean. Transfer students must complete at least six terms of full-time study at Washington and Lee prior to receiving a degree.

Limits on External Credits

  • External credit upon entry to W&L: Entering first-year students may receive a maximum of 30 credits from any and all non-W&L courses (AP, IB, college courses while in high school, etc). Of the 30, 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 60 of the 120 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 60 credits to be taken at W&L.
  • Transfer students: Students admitted as transfer students (after the first year) may transfer up to 60 credits from all sources. Continuing education students, at the point of their admission as degree-seeking students, also have this privilege.
  • 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 submit a First-year Credit Transfer Form with the requested information (course description and syllabus, official college transcript, information on instructor, location and texts) by August 15. 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. All paperwork (transcripts, forms, syllabi) must arrive prior to the last class day of the student's first term of enrollment at W&L

Advanced Standing Credit in Mathematics

At the discretion of the Dean of The College, First-Years in their first fall term may be allowed to take a W&L-administered examination for college credit on work done in approved secondary schools in mathematics.

If given Advanced Standing placement in MATH 102 or 221 (by way of AP scores, IB scores, or the department placement exam) and successfully complete that course in Fall Term with a grade of C or better, full credit will be awarded for any calculus course(s) skipped. This Advanced Standing placement option is available only in Fall Term of the first year.

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.

ROTC Transfer Credit Policy

Washington and Lee grants up to 12 transfer credit hours toward graduation for successful completion of the ROTC courses offered at VMI. These military science credits are transferred upon receipt of the VMI transcript at the end of each term and do not count toward each term's full-time course load or toward W&L grade-point averages. Washington and Lee students may receive credit for their ROTC physical training to a maximum of three 100-level courses. One course (typically for aerobic running) may be used toward the FDR requirement, while two additional credits, if approved by the department, may be used toward elective credits for the degree. See the University Registrar's website at for the policy and declaration form.

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- or 460-level course. A maximum of nine credits of internship, exclusive of student teaching facilitated by W&L Teacher Education faculty, may be used to meet degree requirements. Not all summer-work experiences qualify for degree credit. The value of summer work lies in experience and networking. The requirement of some employers that students must receive academic credit in order to be considered for employment has absolutely no bearing on the academic department or program's decision regarding degree-credit approval. The decision to award degree credit will be based on the educational merits of the internship experience as determined by university faculty or qualified staff. .

Study Abroad

Students interested in study abroad should consult with the Center for International Education (CIE) and the international education policies and procedures website. Pre-approved courses will have credit transferred once an official transcript for the work has been received by the CIE. The approval of credit hours applied to major requirements and the level at which they are applied (100, 200, etc.) will be determined by the appropriate department/program head or dean at W&L. No strict correlation exists between contact hours in courses taken off campus and credit hours awarded by W&L. Students studying abroad in a non-English speaking host culture will be required to study the language of that culture at an appropriate level during the period of their enrollment there. While abroad, the W&L student must maintain a full-time load of courses appropriate to your W&L program. The online application form with complete study abroad policies and guidelines are found at

Transfer Summer 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 accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies of the United States must be secured. Approval of courses is secured from heads of departments or programs 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 course work, it is recommended that they seek the advice and approval of the appropriate department head and dean before enrolling for the courses. However, if students apply for credit during the course or after it has been completed, they will be given or denied credit on the basis of the criteria which would have been applied to their request prior to taking the course. 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 website at

B. A maximum of five courses, not to exceed 15 credits, of summer school work may be offered toward all major, minor, or degree requirements. Other restrictions which apply are listed in the catalog.