Requesting Ways Credit for Courses Taken at Another Institution
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. Incoming transfer students cannot take additional transfer courses from another institution to fulfill a Way requirement.
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, EDP, ER, FR; and CE). No more than 45 units in total transfer credit can 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 recent and 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 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 pre-approval transfer evaluation request for up to three course evaluations (e.g. one course submitted for both SI and EDP 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 can take approximately 4-6 weeks for the faculty board to review your transfer request, then a Ways transfer evaluation decision notification will be sent via email. 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.
We encourage you to submit your transfer evaluation request as early as possible.
Ways Pre-Approval Transfer Request Deadlines*
Winter Quarter: November 1, 2023
Spring Semester: November 1, 2023
Spring Quarter: February 2, 2024
Summer Semester: April 3, 2024
Summer Quarter: May 1, 2024
Autumn Quarter or Semester (AY 2024-25): May 22, 2024
* Dates are subject to change