Transferring Credits

Once you've successfully applied to a program and have been granted a leave of absence, you must arrange for the transfer of credits.  If you are petitioning for study abroad approval, you must complete the transfer credit petition as part of the petitioning process.

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guidelines for transferring credit

  • Credits that students receive from a non-Hamilton study abroad program are considered transfer credits.  They are not Hamilton credits.
  • Students must petition to have the credits transfer back to Hamilton.
  • In order for credits to transfer, a course must be completed with a grade of C or higher.
  • Courses earning numeric or other non-letter grades such as “credit” or “pass” will not be accepted for transfer unless the school or sponsoring institution can provide the Registrar with documentation stating that those grades are equivalent to C or higher.  
  • Independent study projects completed abroad will not receive transfer credit until they have been reviewed by the Hamilton College associate dean of students or faculty members upon your return.
  • Generally, the College does not award credit for internships and service learning courses. Students may petition the Committee on Academic Standing for pre-approval of these courses.  This applies particularly to SIT internship courses.  Students should be prepared to submit a complete syllabus for the course.  
  • The quantity of transferred credit you receive is determined by a proportionality between the 32 Hamilton units required for a Hamilton degree and the number of units the transferring institution requires for a degree.  For example, if a school requires 120 semester-hours for a degree, a course worth three semester-hours at that school is .025 of the total required to graduate.  By proportionality, that three-semester-hour course generated .8 of a Hamilton unit, because (.025)(32)=.8.  The registrar uses this rule to evaluate the amount of transferred credit you will receive.  NOTE that you may need to enroll for more than four courses in order to receive four Hamilton units!
  • Please refer to the Hamilton College Student Handbook for further information about guidelines and transferring credits.

How to petition for Transfer credits

  1. When you have a list of courses available at your host university or study abroad program, choose twice as many courses for preapproval as you will actually enroll in. This helps guarantee that you will be able to enroll in a full complement of preapproved courses even if some courses conflict, are over-subscribed or are not offered.

  2. Complete a transfer credit petition for all courses you have selected.
  3. Any course in your concentration or minor must be approved by your department chair, even if you do not intend to count it as a requirement or elective.  The department chairs need to sign your form and will need to see course descriptions or syllabi to approve courses.
  4. Courses that are not in your concentration or minor do not need a department chair signature unless it is a math, physics, computer science, or foreign language course.

  5.  The form also requires your advisor’s approval.

  6. Turn in the completed petition form and course descriptions/syllabi to the Registrar's Office by December 1 deadline for spring study abroad and by April 15 for fall study abroad.

    (Students who are petitioning to go abroad should include a completed transfer credit petition with the study abroad petitioning documents that they submit to Off-Campus Study.  Once your petition is approved, Off-Campus Study will submit your transfer credit form to the Registrar’s Office)
  7. All students attending non-Hamilton College programs MUST preapprove courses for transfer credit. To see what a completed petition should look like, view a sample of a typical transfer credit petition or a petition for an SIT program.

    Students attending Hamilton College programs (China, France, Spain) do not need to have courses approved for transfer credit. Courses will automatically receive Hamilton credit and will appear on the Hamilton College transcript.
  8. When you receive a copy of the approved petition, check to see that ALL courses have been approved. If a course has not been approved, you will not receive credit for it.
  9. Verify the number of credit hours you will need to enroll in to receive four Hamilton credits. This will be specified on the form just below the course list. You may need to take more than four courses.
  10. Make sure you enroll for the proper number of credit hours when you arrive at your study abroad destination! 

What if My Course Schedule Changes?

If you must choose new or additional courses when you arrive at your destination, be sure to follow the guidelines above: liberal arts courses in disciplines taught at the College and that seem substantially similar to Hamilton courses are the ones most likely to be approved.

Notify Gayle Femia (gfemia@hamilton.edu) in the Registrar's Office as soon as possible that you need approval for a new course. Email her the course title, description, number of credit hours and any other information you think is relevant.  You will also need to seek email approval from your advisor or the appropriate department chair and forward this approval to Gayle Femia.

Do NOT plan to wait for approval until you get back to Hamilton! If you wait, you risk not receiving Hamilton credit for your courses abroad.

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