Requesting Credit for Non-Stanford Courses

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

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. 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 the Request for Transfer Credit Evaluation form including the Ways Transfer Credit Request Addendum (page 3) and submit it to the Student Services Center.  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 e-mail. 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 2019: November 15, 2019
  • Spring 2019: February 28, 2020
  • Summer 2019: May 22, 2020
  • Autumn 2019: 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 2019: November 15, 2019
  • Summer semester 2019: May 22, 2020
  • Fall semester 2019: 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 form (page 3) must be submitted along with 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. 

After completing the form(s), submit your request packet to the Student Services Center. Approximately 4-6 weeks after the Ways program receives the transfer request, you will be notified of the Ways transfer credit decision via e-mail.  Please note that the Registrar's Office will evaluate the transfer request prior to it being forwarded to the Ways Office.