Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Requesting Ways Credit for Courses Taken at Another Institution

Main content start

What are the criteria for courses taken elsewhere to count for Ways transfer credit?

Courses taken at an accredited non-Stanford institution must be pre-approved for Ways credit prior to enrollment in the course. Courses that have not been pre-approved prior to enrollment, or were taken prior to matriculation, are not eligible for Ways credit. Frosh cannot apply for any courses taken prior to enrollment at Stanford.

You may fulfill a maximum of five of the eleven Ways breadth requirement courses from non-Stanford institutions. These courses may be certified in any of the eight Ways categories but no more than one course in any one Way (i.e., up to one course in AII, SI, and SMA, which have a two-course requirement; one course in AQR, ED, ER, FR; and CE). No more than 45 units in total transfer credit may count toward the undergraduate degree and is cumulative over that period. Please review the Ways Guidelines to identify the most appropriate Way for a course and to ensure that the course syllabus contains the elements needed in a Ways-certifiable course.

As part of the transfer request, the student must submit a comprehensive syllabus with elements as described in the Ways Guidelines, in English, from the instructor and/or institution to demonstrate that the course fulfills the Ways criteria. In most cases, it should include a reading list, assignments, and grading structure. Partial or incomplete pre-approval requests, including substituting a course description for a full syllabus, will not be considered for review. It is your responsibility to acquire the syllabus from the non-Stanford institution. If the current syllabus is unavailable, you may submit a syllabus for the same course, taught by the same instructor, and dated no more than one year prior to the course term.

Online and independent study courses are not eligible for Ways credit, but they may be eligible for general university credit. Courses taken prior to matriculation are ineligible for Ways credit, so frosh students cannot submit a request for any courses taken prior to enrollment at Stanford. As a reminder, courses must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum of three units, except CE, to fulfill the Ways requirement.

Once Ways transfer credit has been posted to the student’s record by the Registrar's Office, it is final and may not be changed.

Submitting a Request and Deadlines

You can submit a Ways transfer evaluation request for up to three course evaluations (e.g. one course submitted for both SI and ED will count as two requests) per term.

Ways transfer evaluation requests must be submitted no later than the pre-approval deadline date per the below deadlines. It may take about 4-6 weeks for the faculty board to review your transfer request, then a Ways transfer request decision email notification will be sent. The Ways program will be as responsive as possible, but it cannot guarantee that you will receive a decision prior to enrollment. Late submissions will not be accepted for pre-approval evaluation since there are no post-course evaluation reviews.

Since transfer evaluation requests are reviewed on a rolling monthly basis based on faculty board meetings, we encourage you to submit your transfer evaluation request as early as possible.

Pre-Approval Transfer Request Deadlines by Term

Winter Quarter: October 28, 2021

Spring Semester: November 24, 2021

Spring Quarter: January 28, 2022

Summer Semester: March 30, 2022

Summer Quarter: May 1, 2022

Autumn Quarter or Semester (AY 2022-23): May 20, 2022

How do I submit a request for Ways transfer course evaluation?

If you plan to take a course in the U.S., please complete the Transfer Credit Evaluation eForm including the Ways Transfer Request section (page 3).

If you plan to take a course overseas, please complete the Request for Non-Standard Study Abroad Transfer Credit Evaluation form.