Requesting Credit for Non-Stanford Courses

How can I earn Ways credit for a course taken outside of Stanford?

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Ways program will consider petitions for both in-person and online (not normally allowed) transfer credit from non-Stanford institutions, for Spring and Summer of 2020 only. It cannot guarantee that a transfer course will be approved.

For Spring 2020, a post-course completion Ways evaluation request process will replace the pre-approval request process. The post-course request must be submitted no later than December 1, 2020. Otherwise, the below standard transfer guidance applies.

For Summer 2020, you can submit a Ways transfer evaluation request for up to three (not the typical five) Ways evaluation reviews (e.g. one course submitted for both SI and ED will count as two reviews) for pre-approval or post-course completion review. Otherwise, the below standard transfer guidance applies.

  • Pre-Approvals - Ways transfer evaluation requests submitted no later than May 22,2020 will be reviewed on a first in, first out basis based on receipt of the Ways Transfer Evaluation Request eForm. The Ways program will be as responsive as possible; we cannot guarantee that you will receive a decision prior to enrollment, but you will receive a decision notification no later than June 30, 2020. Late submissions will not be accepted for pre-approval evaluation; however, you can submit a post-approval Ways transfer evaluation request.
  • Post-Course Completion – You can submit a Ways transfer evaluation post-completion request no later than December 1, 2020. After completing the course, you will be more knowledgeable about whether the course meets a particular Ways category. Also, you will probably have a more detailed syllabus along with any supporting documentation demonstrating your experience using the Ways skill/capacity.


Courses taken at a non-Stanford institution must be pre-approved for Ways credit prior to enrollment in the course. Courses that have not been pre-approved prior to enrollment, or were taken prior to matriculation, are not eligible for Ways credit.  Frosh cannot apply for any courses taken prior to enrollment at Stanford. 

You may fulfill a maximum of five of the eleven Ways breadth requirement courses from non-Stanford institutions. These courses may be certified in any of the eight Ways categories but no more than one course in any one Way (i.e., up to one course in Way-AII, Way-SI, Way-SMA, which have a two-course requirement; one course in Way-AQR, Way-ED, Way-ER, Way-FR; and 2 units in Way-CE). No more than 45 units in total transfer credit may count toward the undergraduate degree and is cumulative over that period. Please review the Ways Guidelines to identify the most appropriate Way for a course and to check that the syllabus contains the elements needed in a Ways-certifiable course.

So how do you submit a request?  Complete and submit the Request for Transfer Credit Evaluation eForm including the Ways Transfer Credit Request section.  After the Ways program receives your request, it will take approximately 4-6 weeks to process your Ways transfer request and you will be notified of the decision via email. You may request a maximum of five courses for pre-approval per quarter and you must provide a comprehensive syllabus for each proposed course. A course description is unacceptable and will be denied.  It is your responsibility to acquire the syllabus from the non-Stanford institution.  If the current syllabus is unavailable, you may submit a syllabus for the same course, taught by the same instructor, and dated no more than one year prior to the course term. 

Online and independent study courses are not eligible for Ways credit, although they may be eligible for standard university credit. No more than one non-Stanford transfer credit course may count towards any Ways category requiring two courses, which include AII, SI, and SMA. 

Pre-approval quarter term deadlines

Pre-approval quarter term deadlines for submission of Ways transfer courses are eighth week of the prior term for enrollment in the requested transfer term at an institution on the quarter schedule system.

  • Winter 2020: November 15, 2019
  • Spring 2020: Submit post completion request by December 1, 2020
  • Summer 2020: Submit pre-approval request by May 22, 2020 or post completion request by December 1, 2020
  • Autumn 2020: May 22, 2020

Pre-approval semester term deadlines 

Pre-approval semester term deadlines for submission of Ways transfer courses to be taken in transfer at another institution on the semester schedule system:

  • Spring semester 2020: November 15, 2019
  • Summer semester 2020: Submit pre-approval request by May 22, 2020 or post completion request by December 1, 2020
  • Fall semester 2020: May 22, 2020

Once Ways transfer credit has been posted to the student’s record by the Registrar's Office, it is final and may not be changed.  

So how do I submit a request?   

If you plan to take a course in the U.S., please complete the Transfer Credit Evaluation Form.

If you plan to take a course overseas, please complete the Request for Non-Standard Study Abroad Transfer Credit Evaluation form.  

What else will I need?

The Pre-Approval Ways Transfer Credit Evaluation Request is part o the standard Transfer Request Form.

As part of the transfer request, the student must submit a comprehensive syllabus with elements as described in the Ways Guidelines, in English, from the instructor and/or institution to demonstrate that the course fulfills the Ways criteria.  In most cases, it should include a reading list, assignments, and grading structure. Partial or incomplete pre-approval requests, including substituting a course description for a full syllabus, will not be considered for review. 

Once you have submitted the eForm request, it will take approximately 4-6 weeks after the Ways program receives the transfer request before you will be sent a decision notification via e-mail. Please note that the Registrar's Office will evaluate the transfer request before it is forwarded to the Ways Office.