Transfer of Credit

Guidelines for Transfer of Credit

  1. These guidelines are meant to help students who intend to take courses at other Universities, both abroad and in the US, and to transfer credit toward their History major or minor.  They are also designed to help the Dean’s offices of the College and SFS and the Office of Global Education in advising students who plan to take courses away from Georgetown.  Finally, they are intended for the use of Faculty members in the History Department who are asked to approve the transfer of credits for specific courses.  These guidelines apply to courses taken abroad, to courses taken by students transferring to Georgetown, and to transfer summer courses.
  2. International History majors in SFS should approach the School deans for help in transferring courses, but the broad parameters of this document apply to those transfers as well.  College and SFS deans will consider transfer requests for core requirements in History and consult the Department in any dubious cases.  Please keep in mind that HIST 099 – which fulfills one of the two core requirements in History for College students – cannot be transferred and must be taken at Georgetown.
  3. The History Department encourages study abroad opportunities for students in University-approved programs.  The Department will be flexible in approving courses taken abroad, including at institutions and in countries where academic life and traditions may be very different from Georgetown’s.  At the same time, the integrity of the History major program requires that general guidelines be observed.
  4. Students can transfer a maximum of four courses numbered 100 or above (for a maximum of twelve credits) toward the History major in the College.  At least five courses numbered 100 or above (for fifteen credits) must be taken at Georgetown.
  5. For the History minor no more than two courses numbered 100 or above (for a maximum of six credits) can be transferred.  Moreover, at least three of the six courses required for the minor have to be taken at Georgetown; therefore, students with six AP credits for both European and World History who wish to count those credits as part of a History minor can only transfer History credits for one course taken abroad or at other universities.
  6. Students wishing to obtain transfer credit toward the History major or minor must consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in the History Department before they leave Georgetown and provide all available information about the courses they intend to take.  Students should keep in mind that often it is impossible to evaluate the actual content and level of courses based on the information available from catalogs and that therefore preliminary approval cannot be definitive.
  7. The Department will only evaluate courses that have been accepted by Georgetown University for transfer credit.  The Department’s decision is on whether to accept the credits for the major or minor, not whether the credits should be counted at all.
  8. On their return, students should contact the DUS and provide materials on the courses they took.  The DUS will evaluate the materials and make a decision.  In some cases, the DUS may also ask Faculty members whose expertise most closely matches the subject of the courses to approve the credit transfer.  The DUS will then inform the student and fill out the required forms.  All requests will be answered in a timely fashion.
  9. Students should bring back all relevant materials.  These materials should usually include a syllabus or detailed course description, a reading list, and if possible copies of written assignments completed for the course.  The syllabus or course description should outline course requirements, main topics covered, assignments, and the course format.  If any materials cannot be obtained, students should submit a written statement explaining why the materials are unavailable and offering information about the course.
  10. In seeking opinions on courses taken abroad, the DUS will ask Faculty members who are not only experts in the subject area of the course, but who are also familiar with the academic traditions of the countries where the course was taken.  Faculty members will be flexible in assessing the quantity and quality of readings and assignments required in courses taken at other institutions and will not expect a perfect equivalence to Georgetown standards.
  11. Courses will not be accepted for credit transfer if their content closely matches and overlaps with the content of courses the student has already taken or is taking at Georgetown.
  12. Courses will not be accepted for credit transfer if their content is limited in its historical elements (for instance if the course falls primarily in the areas of international affairs, contemporary politics, literary studies, art history, etc.).  Ordinarily, courses not taught in History programs will not be accepted.
  13. Courses will not be accepted for credit transfer for the major or minor unless their requirements include at least some writing assignment (other than in-class examinations); exceptions to this standard will only be granted for courses taken abroad in semester programs when the academic tradition in the country where the course was taken is not to include writing assignments in University-level courses.
  14. If students take year-long courses abroad for which the University grants six Georgetown credits, these courses, if approved by the Department, will also receive six credits towards the History major or minor, and one such course may count for two courses, as determined by the DUS.
  15. If a course closely parallels a Georgetown course, the credit will be transferred for that specific Georgetown course.  If a course does not match any offered at Georgetown, credit will be given for electives in the region in which the course falls.
  16. The Department only grants credit at the 100-level for any transfer courses.

[April 2017]