You are here

Transfer Credit: Current Students

Courses Taken Elsewhere by CURRENT Students

With prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the appropriate department and the Academic Dean, an engineering student may receive transfer credit for up to four semester courses taken at other institutions either during the summer term, or while on an approved leave of absence from Duke. Transfer credit may not be awarded for courses taken while a student is ineligible to continue at Duke University (such as Academic Dismissal or Suspension).

Click on the Transfer Credit Approval Form.


Institutional Transfer Credit Information 

  • Departments are responsible for approving courses that count toward a major, minor, or certificate and they may have limitations on the number of non-Duke courses that will apply.  If you are uncertain whether a course will apply to major, minor or certificate requirements, you should check the information on the departmental/program website or confer with the DUS or program director.
  • If the institution attended or to be attended is outside the United States, the Global Education Office must approve the accreditation of the international institution before transfer credit will be approved.  There is a place for this approval on the form.
  • You will not receive transfer credit for a course taken online.  This includes courses traditionally taught online, e.g., University of Phoenix courses.  Nor does it include courses taken from a 3rd party, EdX, Coursera, etc, eligible for transfer credit.  Courses must be taken and transcripted by an accredited 4-year university.  Courses may also not be taken from different insitutions within the same summer session.
  • You will not receive transfer credit for a course taken at a junior or community college, or for an independent study course work completed elsewhere. 
  • You will not receive transfer credit for a course if you took the course earlier at Duke, and received a grade of D-, D, or D+, unless prior approval is received by the academic dean and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for your major.  You can repeat a course for credit only at Duke and then only if authorized by your academic dean (see information on Repeating a Course).
  • A 3 or 4 semester-hour course taken elsewhere is equivalent to a 1.0 course credit at Duke.  A course taken at a university on the quarter system--such institutions are especially numerous in California--must be 5 or 6 quarter-hours of credit to transfer as a 1.0 credit coures.  Courses that are less than 3 or 4 semester hours or 5 or 6 quarter hours may on occasion be transferred as partial credit (0.5 credit) courses. 
  • You should have prospective transfer courses pre-approved so that you know if they will transfer before you invest time and expense.  However, if needed, you may have courses approved after completion, but be aware that approval is not guaranteed. 
  • A course taken in the summer must meet for a period of at least four full weeks (at least 17 class meetings, excluding holidays, reading periods and final exams).  See important update below regarding the London School of Economics.  The limitaiton to one course enrollment in an intensive summer term also applies to course work taken at another institution, i.e., you can receive no more than one course credit for enrollment in an intensive term (under 6 weeks in length) at another institution.
  • Courses that transfer to Duke as a specified Duke course will carry the Area of Knowledge code(s) that a Duke course carries.  Transfer courses that are approved as generic courses (e.g. 100 for lower level, 300 for upper-level) for which there is no exact Duke equivalent course can be given an Area of Knowledge code by the Director of Undergraduate Studies who approves the content of the course for transfer.  Final approval of Area of Knowledge is given by the Academic Dean. 
  • No more than 4.0 institutional transfer credits are allowed, whether in the summer while you are an active Duke student or while you are on personal or medical leave of absence.  This does not include transfer credits earned while on a study away program as an active Duke student. Once the limit of transfer credit has been reached, no additional transferred work will be added to your academic record or used as a substitute for a previously transferred course. 
  • No more than two technical courses are allowed to be taken at another institution. 
  • If two courses are taken concurrently, and the lab portion must be taken upon return to Duke, only one such course is allowed to be taken in the same term.  Upon return, students have a maximum of two semesters to successfully complete the lab portion of the course back at Duke. 
  • Students who have been suspended or dismissed may not transfer courses taken during the period of suspension or dismissal.  EFFECTIVE JAN 2023Students who are on academic dismissal beginning January 2023, or later, are able to take institutional credits in their permanent place of residence (i.e., within the U.S. or student's home country), if they do not have any outstanding Incompletes. 
  • You are expected to present a transcript from the four year college or university at which the course work was completed.  Duke does not award transfer credit for so-called "third-party" transfer situations, i.e. when the school attended is not the same as the accredited four-year degree-granting institution that issues the transcript. 
  • Inter-institutional courses taken at neighboring universities are not considered as work taken at another institution, and are exempt from these transfer credit policies. 

Important update regarding summer school at the London School of Economics:    Effective summer 2018, Deans in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering will no longer approve summer school courses at the London School of Economics for "Institutional Transfer Credit" for transfer back to Duke, as these courses do not meet our requirements for transfer.  This change applies to courses taken in summer 2018 and thereafter.  Courses taken up to or in the summer of 2017 will continue to be approved.  If you still wish to study at the London School of Economics in summer 2018 or thereafter, please check the program's status at the Duke Global Education Office ( 



STEP 1:  Submit an electronic Transfer Credit Form.  Click here to access the form.

Complete the top portion of the form indicating which university or college you will attend, the beginning and ending dates of the class, and if the university is on a semester or quarter/trimester system. 

STEP 2:  Global Education Office Approval (if the university is outside the United States).

If you will be attending an institution in the United States, skip step 2.  If you will be attending a university outside the United States, you must request the Global Educuation Office (GEO) approval.  GEO must confirm the accreditation of the international institution you wish to attend. 

STEP 3: Request departmental approval and identification of an equivalent course. 

Submit the necessary information requested on the electronic form, this includes the course description or syllabus for the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) of the department that represents the discipline to be reviewed.  If the DUS approves the content of the course and determines its equivalency to a specified Duke University course, the DUS will forward the form to your academic dean, with their approval--along with the Duke equivalent course (and Area of Knowledge, if appropriate). 

STEP 4:  Request your Academic Dean's Approval

After you receive departmental approval, submit a screenshot or PDF of the printed schedule, showing the beginning and ending dates of when the class is taught, to your Academic Dean.  In addition, a copy of the university's academic calendar for the summer session in question.  If the class is a 3-or 4-hour semester course or a 5-or 6-quarter hour course taught over a period of at least 4 full weeks, your dean will approve the coures as a 1.0 credit course and will give a pre-approval.  He/She will hold the form until the final transcript is received upon successful completion of the course.  If your dean does not approve, he/she will notify you. 

STEP 5:  Complete the course and have the official transcript sent.

Once you know the course has been fully approved, register for the course on a graded basis (do not enroll in pass/fail grading or for a course offered only on a pass/fail basis).  Complete the course.  Request an official transcript from that institution addressed to your Academic Dean and mailed directly to the Office of Undergraduate Education, Pratt School of Engineering, Box 90271, Durham, NC 27708.  Official electronic transcripts are also accepted and can be sent diretly to your Academic Dean's email address from the credit granting institution.  Once received, the Undergraduate Education Office will request the Registrar to add the course to your Duke record.  If a lab is required to be taken upon return, the transfer credit will not be posted until documentation of successful completion of the lab.  You must earn a C- or better to receive Duke credit.  Your grade will not be recorded and will not be included in your Duke GPA; instead the notation "TR" will be recorded on your Duke transcript in place of a grade. 


Last updated: JAN 3, 2023