Information for Students Seeking Transfer Credit in Physics

Transfer credit will only be awarded for courses taken at accredited four-year institutions. Work done at two-year (community or junior) colleges cannot be taken to earn equivalent credit for a physics course taught in the College of Arts & Science. Information on courses that have already been approved for credit can be found here.

Lecture Courses

Physics 116a – to earn three hours of equivalent credit for either of these courses, students seeking transfer credit must provide evidence that the content and level of the course they wish to take matches the content and level of the course at Vanderbilt. Specifically, the course materials must state that the level of mathematics includes calculus. If the catalog description says ‘prerequisite Math ###, it is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence that Math ### is a calculus course. In addition, the course description must state that the content covered includes mechanics, heat, and sound. If the course does not cover all three topics, it is not equivalent to Physics 116a and cannot earn full transfer credit.

Physics 116b – to earn three hours of equivalent credit for either of these courses, students seeking transfer credit must provide evidence that the content and level of the course they wish to take matches the content and level of the course at Vanderbilt. Specifically, the course materials must state that the level of mathematics includes calculus. If the catalog description says ‘prerequisite Math ###, it is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence that Math ### is a calculus course. In addition, the course description must state that the content covered includes electricity & magnetism, optics, and modern physics. If the course does not cover all three topics, it is not equivalent to Physics 116a and cannot earn full transfer credit.

Physics NOEQ - Non-equivalent credit: if a calculus-based course at another institution covers different content (e.g., mechanics and heat; mechanics, heat, and modern physics; electricity & magnetism and optics), credit will be awarded at Vanderbilt for Physics NOEQ.

Special note to Engineers: Students taking an algebra-based physics course will be awarded transfer credit for Physics 110. Physics 110 is not acceptable for credit in the College of Engineering.

Special note to pre-medical students: Students taking an algebra-based physic course will be awarded transfer credit for Physics 110. Pre-medical students are strongly advised by the Health Professions Advising Office at Vanderbilt to take calculus-based physics.

Laboratory Courses

Physics 118a-b - Students taking laboratory courses that accompany calculus-based physics lecture courses will be awarded credit for the appropriate laboratory course at Vanderbilt. Students are strongly urged to take the lecture and laboratory components at the same time, as they likely will learn better in both courses that way; however, a student may choose to take only the lecture or only the laboratory course(s) in the summer and pick up the other course at Vanderbilt.

Physics 111 - Students taking a laboratory course that accompanies an algebra-based physics lecture course will be awarded credit for Physics 111.

Copyright 2010, Vanderbilt University