Getting Credits

General Requirements

The following rules apply for getting credit for work done on off-campus programs:

  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student to receive credit for off-campus study.
  • You may transfer up to 54 non-Carleton credits to your Carleton transcript. Credits from non-Carleton programs will transfer to your transcript upon receipt and evaluation of your official program transcript.
  • Total number of credits awarded for a non-Carleton program may not exceed 22 credits for a 10-week term, 28 credits for a 15-week semester, 14 credits for a summer, and 54 credits for a full academic year. Programs of other lengths may be awarded other credits by the Registrar. Students considering a spring semester non-Carleton program must meet with their academic adviser, Student Financial Services, and an OCS adviser to discuss the credit and financial aid implications of spring semester programs.
  • Transfer students must earn at least 108 credits toward their degree at Carleton and be in residence for at least six terms. Carleton seminars count as “in residence.”
  • Credit is given only for academic work, including independent study, research, lectures, seminars, writing, musical practice, art, foreign language, etc. Credit will not be transferred to your transcript for travel, cultural events, work/internships, or living experiences. Approval of a maximum number of credits is not a promise that the College will grant credit for everything you do on your program.
  • All extensions and/or incompletes must be approved by the Dean of Students at Carleton.

The following circumstances within an approved program could result in credits not transferring to your Carleton transcript:

  • Courses that do not resemble courses taught at Carleton (liberal arts in nature, more theoretical than applied); for example, sociology but not social work, economics but not business administration. Applied music and art courses are accepted under conditions similar to those on campus.
  • Off-campus courses that are similar to a Carleton course you studied on campus. You should also consider whether an off-campus course may affect later enrollment in a Carleton course with similar content.

Credit Approval toward Major, Minor, and Distribution Requirements for non-Carleton Programs

You must complete an Approval of Special Credit for Off-Campus Study form if you want off-campus credits to apply to your distribution or major/minor requirements. You do not need to complete the approval form if you simply want the credits to apply to the 210-credit graduation requirements. The Approval of Special Credit for Off-Campus Study form is available in the OCS office and the Registrar’s office.

For major and minor credit, the approval form must be signed by the appropriate department chair. Discuss approval of these credits with the department chair. Policies vary by department.

The Registrar's Office approves distribution credit. Consult with the Associate Registrar for details.

Courses applied to teaching certification should be cleared with the Educational Studies department, using the Approval of Special Credit for Off-Campus Study form.

Dropping and/or Adding Courses

Carleton seminars are considered a package. No single course may be dropped from the program, and no overloads are accepted. For non-Carleton programs, courses may be dropped or added according to the sponsoring program’s policies. However, you must remain registered for the equivalent of at least 12 Carleton credits and you cannot exceed the number of credits approved. All extensions and/or incompletes on off-campus study programs must be approved by the Dean of Students at Carleton.