Skip to main content


Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Regulations (04-test) > Undergraduate (04-test) >

Off-Campus Activities

Dartmouth offers a variety of opportunities for studying off-campus through Dartmouth-sponsored programs, exchange programs, and transfer terms. The Off- Campus Programs Office administers Dartmouth-sponsored programs and exchange programs. The Office of the Registrar administers transfer term approv-als. To be eligible to begin a Dartmouth-sponsored off-campus program or exchange program, accepted students must be in good standing, must not have the temporary standing of Incomplete in any course, and must have completed the First-Year Seminar requirement. The rules for approval of exchange courses are the same as for transfer courses. See 3) below, Transfer Credit from other Institu-tion.

Dartmouth College does not investigate the issues of safety and security in the various transfer programs students may consider: it is the students’ responsibility to investigate these issues. Dartmouth urges students to explore with their parents all issues of safety and security.

Only programs taught by Dartmouth faculty, i.e. D.L.S.A. and D.F.S.P., carry Dartmouth course credit. Other off-campus coursework activity, exchange pro-grams or otherwise, may be eligible for transfer credit.

Each student may transfer a maximum of four (4) credits to their Dartmouth record. Complete information about transfer credit may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar, 105 McNutt Hall.

A student enrolled in a Dartmouth off-campus program pays full tuition and is eligible for normal scholarship aid. No Dartmouth scholarship aid is available to students enrolled in an academic institution with which Dartmouth has no formal exchange agreement.

The Committee on Off-Campus Activities (COCA) is charged to review and supervise all off-campus academic programs and activities. Students may transfer no more than four course credits from other institutions toward the degree at Dart-mouth without prior, special approval by the COCA (see 3 below). Transfer credits received for courses taken at other institutions prior to matriculation count toward the maximum permissible total of four.

1. Dartmouth Off-Campus Academic Programs: Officially recognized programs are administered and taught by Dartmouth Faculty. Students receive specific course credits and grades. A list of programs for 2004-2005 appears on page 111.

The brochure Off-Campus Academic Programs describes all programs in greater detail. Note: The Beijing and Tokyo programs serve in satisfaction of the summer residence requirement.

Candidates for a Foreign Study Program apply at the Off-Campus Programs Office; selection is made by the sponsoring department or program. Candidates for a Language Study Abroad Program also apply at the Off-Campus Programs Office. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Off-Campus Programs Office to find out the deadlines for application. Although the Language Require-ment is, by regulation, to be completed by the end of the seventh term, the Regis-trar can grant an extension to permit D.L.S.A. study at a later time if a student’s program of study prevents earlier enrollment.

Specific Dartmouth course credit and grade can be given only for a course taught or directly supervised by a Dartmouth faculty member. Students must elect a three-course load; two-and four-course loads are not allowed on Dartmouth Off- Campus Academic Programs. Courses taken on such programs are out of bounds for the use of the Non-Recording Option. Students are expected to be at their pro-gram for its full duration.

For Foreign Study programs in the English language, elective courses must be closely related to the subject of the program and an integral part of an officially defined undergraduate Arts and Sciences curriculum. Thus, pre-professional, tech-nical, business or graduate courses are not acceptable. The elective course does not satisfy distributive or world-culture requirements unless such requirements have been assigned by the Committee on Instruction at the time the foreign study pro-gram is authorized.

For Foreign Study and LSA+ programs in a language other than English, elective courses in the language of the program can be in any course which is an integral part of an officially defined undergraduate Arts and Sciences curriculum. Thus, pre-professional, technical, business or graduate courses are not acceptable. The elective courses do not satisfy distributive or world-culture requirements unless such requirements have been assigned by the Committee on Instruction at the time the foreign study program is authorized.

A senior who participates in an off-campus program must obtain special permis-sion from his or her major department or program; such approval is strongly advised for juniors as well. A senior may, with the permission of the chair of the major department and the Registrar, replace one of the required residence terms by a term of off-campus study in the principal field of the major, provided such will be of great benefit to the student’s program and will in no way interfere with proper completion of the major or other requirements.

No Dartmouth student may participate in more than three terms of Dartmouth- sponsored Off-Campus Programs (i.e., D.L.S.A. and/or D.F.S.P.) for academic credit, except by special permission by the COCA based on a written petition pre-senting valid academic reasons and strongly supported by the student’s major department or program.

2. Transfer Credit from Dartmouth Exchange Programs: A student may partici-pate in one of Dartmouth’s established Exchange Programs by applying through the Off-Campus Programs Office by the appropriate deadline. Grades received in courses transferred from other institutions are not recorded on the Dartmouth tran-script or included in the Dartmouth cumulative average. Credits earned on Exchange Programs are transfer credits which are included in the maximum of four allowed toward the degree. Information regarding procedures for approval of transfer credit from exchange programs is available from the Off-Campus Pro-grams Office and the Registrar’s Office.

3. Transfer Credit from other Institutions: Students desiring transfer of course credit from any other institution not part of a formal exchange program apply to the COCA through the Office of the Registrar. A twenty-five dollar ($25) applica-tion processing fee is assessed for each transfer term. To initiate the process, stu-dents should make an appointment to see the Associate Registrar for approval of the transfer term, place, and credits, and for Dartmouth College transfer applica-tion forms. Following are procedures for application for transfer of such credit:

a) Prior Dartmouth approval required for the program and the courses. Each stu-dent must obtain prior approval for transfer terms and courses according to the deadlines below. Deadlines given by the transfer institution are independent of the Dartmouth application process. On behalf of the COCA, the Associate Registrar reviews the proposed transfer term, place, and possible number of credits. Dart-mouth departments then review each course for equivalency, and distributive or world culture attributes, and possibly major credit, if appropriate. The Interdisci-plinary attribute can never be transferred to Dartmouth but must be taken at Dart-mouth.


Foreign Study (D.F.S.P.)

Program. Department. Term

Argentina — Buenos Aires. Spanish and Portuguese (Spanish). S

Brazil — Salvador. Spanish and Portuguese (Portuguese). F

China — Beijing. Asian and Middle Eastern X

 Languages and Literatures.

Costa Rica and Jamaica. Biological Sciences. W

Czech Republic — Prague. Geography. S

England — London. Government. F

England — London. History. F

England — London. Music. S

England — London. Theater. F

France — Paris (three offerings). French and Italian (French). F,W,S

Germany — Berlin. German Studies. F

Greece. Classics. F

Ireland — Dublin. English. F

Italy — Rome. Art History. S

Morocco - Fez. Asian Studies. S

New Zealand — Auckland. Anthropology and Linguistics and Cognitive Science. W

Scotland — Glasgow. English. F

Scotland — Edinburgh. Philosophy. F

Scotland — Edinburgh. Religion. F

Spain — Madrid. Spanish and Portuguese (Spanish). F

Southern Africa. Environmental Studies. F

West Indies — Trinidad. English. F

Western U.S. Earth Sciences. F

Language Study Abroad (D.L.S.A.)

Program. Department. Term

Brazil — Salvador. Spanish and Portuguese (Portuguese — Advanced). F

France — Lyon (three offerings). French and Italian (French). F,W,S

France — Toulouse (two offerings). French and Italian (French — Advanced). W,S

Germany — Berlin (two offerings). German Studies. W,S

Japan — Tokyo. Asian and Middle Eastern X

 Languages and Literatures — Advanced.

Italy— Rome. French and Italian (Italian — Advanced). F

Italy — Rome (three offerings). French and Italian (Italian). F,W,S

Russia — St. Petersburg. Russian — Advanced. X

Spain — Barcelona (three offerings). Spanish and Portuguese (Spanish). F,W,S

Mexico — Puebla (two offerings). Spanish and Portuguese (Spanish). W, S

Domestic Off-Campus Program

Program Department. Term

Washington, D.C. Government. S

Exchange Programs

Bocconi University, Milan F

Keble College, Oxford F,W,S

Killam Fellowships Program, Canada F,W,S

McGill University, Montreal F

Morehouse College, Atlanta F

Spelman College, Atlanta F

Stanford University, Stanford F

Twelve-College Exchange: Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut F,W,S

 (also National Theater Institute), Mount Holyoke, Smith,

 Trinity, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Wheaton, Williams

 (also Mystic Seaport Program), Vassar

University of California, San Diego (Muir College) F,W,S

University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen F

German Universities Exchange Program F,W,S

Keio University, Japan Exchange Program F,W,S

b) Potentially acceptable programs and courses. Courses offered by accredited four year colleges or universities are potentially acceptable for transfer credit pro-vided the courses are an integral part of an officially defined Arts and Sciences cur-riculum; those given by extension programs, junior or community colleges or internship programs are not allowable. Other than by approval of the COCA, no course will be considered for transfer credit unless the program is offered and administered and controlled by or through an accredited four-year degree granting academic institution. Students are strongly encouraged to propose non-introduc-tory courses.

Students should be aware that some departments and programs have restrictive policies toward transfer credit. Some approve transfer credits only for students in their own majors.

c) Length of term. For each potential transfer course, students must be enrolled for a minimum of three weeks and thirty contact hours per Dartmouth course credit.

d) Credits, grading, and general education attributes. A minimum of three semester hours or four quarter hours are required to earn one Dartmouth course credit. A minimum grade of C quality or better must be earned. Grades received in courses transferred from other institutions are not recorded or included in the Dartmouth cumulative average. A pass/fail course is not accepted in the absence of proof that the grade is a minimum C quality. Courses elected under such a grad-ing option do not carry distributive or world culture attributes.

e) Deadlines. Application forms for prior approval for transfer terms and courses are available in the Office of the Registrar. The deadline for filing these forms, completed and signed by the appropriate department chair or designate, in the Office of the Registrar is the tenth class day of the Dartmouth term immediately preceding the first day of the intended transfer term, e.g. October 5, 2004 for win-ter term 2005. Students are notified of approval or denial of both the transfer term and courses. Students are strongly urged to file early in order that they have Dart-mouth approval before enrolling elsewhere. Oral approval does not serve in place of written approval.

f) Course changes. A student with approved plans for an exchange or transfer term at another institution, who finds after enrollment that an approved course is not available, must apply for approval of a substitute course. After the transfer term starts, it may be possible to substitute a course for one that was approved appropriately, but such approval is not guaranteed. Students must obtain late approval for any course addition or substitutions by the end of the second week in the transfer term.

g) Retroactive course and term approval. Retroactive approval of a course is not normally granted if the transfer term does not have prior approval filed with the Registrar’s Office by the appropriate deadline. Students who have not obtained prior approval of the transfer term have often been denied retroactive departmental approval for transfer credit.

Students who have not obtained prior approval of the transfer term must peti-tion COCA. COCA will not hear a petition for retroactive approval later than the third term prior to graduation.

h) Transcripts. All transcripts must be on file in the Registrar’s Office by the end of the term immediately following the transfer term. No credit is entered on the Dartmouth record until an official transcript has been received from the transfer institution.

i) Limits of transfer credit. Students admitted as first-year students may transfer a maximum of four course credits toward the thirty-five required for the Dart-mouth degree, whether such credits have been earned prior to matriculation or subsequently. Advanced Placement credit does not count toward the limit of four transfer credits. Students with special academic plans may petition COCA for transfer study up to a total of one academic year (i.e., nine credits).


Normally, because of residence requirements, the option of studying during the fall, winter, and spring terms at another institution for transfer credit is not open to first-year students or to seniors. Students on probation or withdrawn on proba-tion, or those suspended or withdrawn with prejudice, are also ineligible except in the following instances:

1. Probation. Students on probation (or withdrawn on probation) may, with the strong support of a dean, and prior to enrolling at another institution, petition COCA in advance for permission to take courses at that institution for credit toward the Dartmouth degree; the resulting credits are included in the maximum of four allowed toward the degree. Students whose academic standing changes to probation after approval of the transfer term are then on probation, and permission for the transfer term is automatically revoked. Such students may not enroll in another institution without further petition to the COCA as indicated above.

2. Suspension. Students who have been suspended for a definite period and who take courses after the period of suspension ends but before they have been offi-cially readmitted to Dartmouth may, with the strong support of the Dean of the College, petition COCA to be allowed to apply for transfer credit. Students sub-mitting such petitions should present convincing reasons for transferring the desired courses and be aware that (a) only courses taken after the period of suspen-sion has ended may be considered for transfer credit (for students withdrawn with prejudice, no courses taken during the first three terms after leaving Dartmouth will be considered for transfer credit), (b) in no case will COCA grant permission to transfer more than four courses taken prior to readmission, and (c) those trans-ferring courses under such circumstances ordinarily must return to Dartmouth for at least one term in residence before graduating. Students whose academic stand-ing changes to suspension after approval of the transfer term are then on suspen-sion, and permission for the transfer term is automatically revoked. Such students may not enroll in another institution without further petition to the COCA after the period of suspension ends but before they have been officially readmitted to Dart-mouth, as indicated above.

3. Suspension or withdrawal with prejudice. Students who have been suspended or withdrawn with prejudice and subsequently readmitted may apply for transfer credit for courses that they take after readmission but before they actually return to Dartmouth. The regular rules and deadlines for receiving transfer credit will normally apply in such cases.

4. Withdrawal in good standing. Students withdrawn in good standing are eligi-ble to transfer credits from another institution; resulting credits are included in the maximum of four allowed toward the degree. A completed application of this kind must be filed with the Office of the Registrar no later than the end of the first term of reenrollment at the College. As retroactive approval is never guaranteed, such students are strongly urged to obtain approval for each course before enrolling in it even though prior approval is not required.


Students who transfer to Dartmouth after one or more years elsewhere may not transfer further credits. This prohibition includes exchange terms and other trans-fer work.

As indicated on pages 74-75, students who have spent one or more years at another institution before matriculation at Dartmouth are subject to various special academic regulations. The eighth of these relates to transfer credit to be granted when students begin their work at Dartmouth. The regulation reads: ‘Course equivalencies are determined by the Registrar or his/her designate. In the event of a question regarding the equivalency or appropriateness of a course, the depart-ment involved will be consulted. Courses applied for major credit must be approved by the major department.’

The following are the procedures for the administration of this regulation. The basic principle is that credit is granted only in circumstances where it is granted for students who matriculated for the first time at Dartmouth. This rules out courses which are more elementary than those acceptable for credit (Pre-Calcu-lus), or which do not meet Dartmouth’s criteria for liberal arts credit (Bookkeep-ing, Computer Programming). Pre-matriculation credits given by the original institution are also evaluated according to Dartmouth standards. One exception to this general principle involves situations where certain departments or programs restrict the granting of transfer credit (for instance, only to majors) or place certain courses out of bounds for transfer credit (for instance, elementary language courses) — such credits will be granted, assuming the courses qualify otherwise, to matriculating transfer students.

Transfer students are notified upon admission that they must submit course cat-alogs and syllabi for all work requested for transfer credit, and official transcripts and CEEB, CBAP, and other scores unless they are available from the Admissions Office. Students may propose credits for their various courses. The Registrar eval-uates credits by the same criteria and procedures as used for presently enrolled stu-dents going away on transfer terms. This includes methods of conversion of quarter or semester hour courses into the Dartmouth course credit system, deter-mination of distributive credit, language requirement completion, Non-Western credit, etc. Once a student has filed a major or minor, any courses in the major or minor field that have already been granted degree credit are submitted for approval for major or minor credit by the appropriate academic department.

If students submit the documentation needed six weeks before registration for their first term at Dartmouth, the decisions regarding credit may be complete when the student arrives. Appeals from the Registrar’s decisions regarding credit go to the chair of the department or program involved, and then, if required, to the Dean of the Faculty.


As indicated in the booklet First Year: Class of 2008 supplied to all first-year stu-dents, many students achieve credits on entrance for college-level courses and pro-ficiency exemptions for others. These may lead, if desired, to early graduation and to greater freedom in the choice of courses.

The evidence that may be used to demonstrate mastery of college-level work is limited to: (1) standardized test scores (Scholastic Assessment and Subject Tests, AP exams, British A-Levels, International Baccalaureate), (2) official transcripts from four-year colleges, and (3) Dartmouth placement exams. The awarding of pre-matriculation credit based on French, Swiss, Italian and German Baccalaure-ate results is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is limited to two credits granted in any one discipline. Students who have mastered material covered in Dartmouth courses without providing the afore-mentioned documentation may receive exemption, but not credit, from such courses if approved by Dartmouth departments. The maximum number of pre-matriculation credits that students may apply toward their degree is nine.

Credits on entrance do not satisfy any part of the Distributive, World Culture, or Interdisciplinary requirements. The awarding of pre-matriculation credit and for-mal requests for exemptions must be made within the first term of study.

 A warning: the taking of a course rated as equivalent to one for which course credit has been granted will nullify the credit received on entrance. In the case of elementary language courses, students may not receive credit for a course below the level at which they have been placed or from which they have been exempted except by prior written permission of the department chair.