Policy on Credit for Courses Taken at Other Institutions
Note: This policy applies to summer sessions at other universities, study abroad, and a semester out of residence for students already enrolled at Vanderbilt. A different policy applies to students who have done pre-freshman college work and those who are transferring to Vanderbilt from another institution; they should consult the History DUS (Director of Undergraduate Studies). All students should be familiar with the general rules governing transfer credit for their respective schools within the University (Arts and Science, Blair, Peabody). See the Undergraduate Catalog for Arts and Science College, p.10.
Students who wish to obtain Vanderbilt credit for history courses taken at other institutions must obtain the approval of the DUS prior to registration and payment of fees and should observe the following guidelines:
1. In order for the History Department to assess the course, students should submit a copy of the current syllabus or other documentation clearly indicating the reading and writing requirements, as well as the format and thematic content of the course. If a syllabus is not available when advance approval is requested, the DUS may give provisional approval pending review of the syllabus, which may be mailed or faxed once the course has begun. In such cases, the student assumes responsibility for making sure that the course satisfies the requirements for transfer credit before s/he registers and/or pays tuition for it.
2. Approval will be given only to college-level history courses that include significant reading assignments beyond a textbook. In addition, the course must include a formal essay or essays totaling at least 1,800 words (about 6 typed double-spaced pages). Take-home examinations and essay-style examinations are not sufficient. If the course does not normally include a formal paper, students may make special arrangements with the instructor to assign and grade an essay; the instructor's response to this request should be submitted as part of the application for advance authorization. It may be possible to waive the writing requirement in certain extraordinary cases, such as courses taught in a language other than English at universities where the course grade is normally based on a final examination alone. But the student must request this exemption when applying for advance authorization and before registering for the course.
3. The History Department will not ordinarily count more than 12 hours of credit from other institutions for the major, or more than 6 for the minor. This rule may be waived for certain programs in which students are expected to do extensive work in their field of specialization, such as the Vanderbilt program at Leeds, but all such exemptions must be requested when applying for advance authorization and before registering for the courses.
4. The Department encourages students to take advantage of opportunities available at other institutions in the U.S. or abroad that are unavailable in Nashville. For example, the Department no longer offers courses on Spanish history or on German history before the twentieth century. It also recognizes that there may be valid reasons for taking a course elsewhere that duplicates or substantially overlaps a course offered at Vanderbilt, particularly for students enrolled in Vanderbilt sponsored overseas programs. For example, a student might wish to study the history of modern Italy in Italy, or even take a survey course on American history in Italy to get the Italian perspective. Where there is a Vanderbilt equivalent, the student should very briefly indicate in the application for advance authorization his or her reasons for wishing to take the course at another institution.