B.1.i. Transfer Courses and Off-Campus Study
At Middlebury's discretion, students may earn academic credit through the following categories of off-campus study: transfer courses, 0555 courses, study abroad, pre-professional combined plans, domestic off-campus programs, and exchange programs. Each category of off-campus study is subject to separate rules, procedures, and financial aid implication, as indicated below. In cases of uncertainty as to the category of a student's off-campus study, a final determination will be made by the dean of curriculum or vice president for academic affairs and dean of the schools.
1. Transfer Courses
Transfer courses are those taken individually on an ad hoc basis (i.e., not as part of a domestic off-campus program, pre-professional combined plan, study abroad, or exchange program) from another institution of higher education. To take such courses during the academic year, regularly enrolled students must normally withdraw temporarily from Middlebury and apply directly to the institution at which they wish to take a course or courses. International students should consult with International Student and Scholar Services, as there may be visa implications for temporarily withdrawing from Middlebury.
Students may transfer course credits from other institutions of higher education only at the discretion of Middlebury College. Students should obtain preliminary approval for any course for which they expect transfer credit before enrolling in it. To apply for pre-approval to take courses at another college or university, students should complete in advance a Transfer Credit Application Form, requiring approval by both the appropriate department chair or program director, whose responsibility is to evaluate the transfer course content and determine whether the transfer course fulfills any degree requirements (i.e., academic distribution, cultures and civilizations, departmental major, etc.), and the dean of curriculum, who ensures that the transfer institution, the course credit value, and other course details adhere to Middlebury College's transfer credit guidelines. The form should be accompanied by a complete course description and a syllabus, if available; further information about the institution may also be required by the chair or dean. For summer transfer courses taken abroad, students must also complete the online summer study abroad application form. Transcripts from approved educational institutions must be official and sent directly to the Registrar's Office at Middlebury from the institution that granted credit. Grade reports, unofficial transcripts, faxed or hand-carried transcripts are not acceptable.
To receive credit the transfer course should carry at least three semester-hour credits or five quarter-hour credits. Only courses that meet for a period of four weeks or longer and at least the same number of class hours as an equivalent Middlebury College course are eligible to receive credit. A student may only transfer two courses per summer session and a maximum of four summer courses over two sessions. Likewise, a student may only transfer a maximum of one course per Winter Term session. Only courses with a grade of C- or better may be transferred from another institution toward the Middlebury degree. Courses graded on a pass/fail basis do not transfer. Transfer credits may be used to satisfy the academic and cultures/civilizations distribution requirements if the transfer credit is considered by the appropriate Middlebury department to be the equivalent of a Middlebury course that would satisfy one or more of those requirements. After students matriculate at Middlebury College, they normally may not take two-year or community college courses for credit towards a Middlebury degree. College courses taken in high school and applied toward a high school diploma or in a college/high school cooperative program are not transferable. Only courses taken on college campuses, taught by college professors, for college students, and for which there are official transcripts may be considered for transfer.
Transfer work from other institutions will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis to determine the fulfillment of Middlebury departmental and College requirements. All transfer courses completed off campus, whether in the U.S. or abroad, must receive final approval by the dean of curriculum. When courses are taken prior to matriculation at Middlebury, during summers, or while withdrawn from the College are transferred, the credit is recorded but not the grade that was awarded. Students on a post-matriculation semester or year-long study abroad program are not completing transfer courses, but rather a study abroad program (see below). Such students must have the program approved by the Programs Abroad Committee prior to their study abroad to receive Middlebury credit. Students will not receive transfer credit for non-approved study abroad programs.
Neither federal financial aid nor Middlebury financial aid may be used in support of transfer courses. Questions about financial aid for transfer courses should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services.
2. 0555 Courses
Students may receive one course credit for highly specialized advanced work (designated 0555) relating to their major field with prior approval and subsequent evaluation by their major department. This work will normally be unpaid, done in the summer or when a student is not regularly enrolled, and will be graded credit/no credit.
The 0555 courses are not summer 0500 projects; they involve high-level research under professional supervision. Research must result in material that can be evaluated by a Middlebury faculty member. All 0555 projects must be approved in advance by the Curriculum Committee. A fee of $100 is charged for 0555 courses.
Neither federal financial aid nor Middlebury financial aid may be used in support of 0555 courses. Questions about financial aid for transfer courses should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services.
3. Study Abroad
Study abroad provides students opportunities to further develop their language skills and to study the culture of another country; or it can give access to academic programs, cultural resources, or natural environments unavailable at Middlebury College. More than half of each Middlebury class studies abroad in the junior year, many at the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, and some 65 percent of these students take courses in their discipline in the language of the host country and/or engage in advanced language study. To ensure a sense of purpose, students should clearly define academic and personal goals, possess adequate competence in language and other pertinent skills, and select an appropriate school and setting. Students who plan to study abroad, whether as part of a language, International and Global Studies, or other major, should consider beginning or continuing language study in their first semester at Middlebury.
Students wishing to study abroad should consult with their academic advisor, the appropriate language department and International Programs and Off-Campus Study.
Students who apply to one of the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad have their applications evaluated internally by the International Programs and Off-Campus Study office. The Programs Abroad committee considers student applications for direct enrollment in selected overseas universities that are not affiliated with the Middlebury C.V. Starr Schools Abroad, and the committee also considers applications for certain study abroad programs established by other program providers and American colleges and universities. In granting permission for a study abroad program, Middlebury agrees to grant full equivalent credit on successful completion of the program, provided the student adheres to the policies outlined in Middlebury's Study Abroad Guidelines. Interested students should consult with International Programs and Off-Campus Study for further information.
Students studying on approved study abroad programs are charged an administrative fee. See the College Handbook Student Finances section for the fee for the current year. The purpose of the fee is to help offset administrative costs associated with study abroad, including advising, application to and approval by International Programs and Off-Campus Study or the Programs Abroad committee, assistance with registration and room draw while abroad, coordination with and oversight of study abroad programs, and awarding of credit.
Students approved for study abroad must maintain a satisfactory academic average. Should they not remain "in good standing," permission may be rescinded.
Grades for courses taken on approved programs abroad are recorded on the transcript and are included in the calculation of the grade point average. International Programs and Off-Campus Study is responsible for converting grades issued on other grading scales to the Middlebury A-F grading system.
For more information about study abroad requirements, students can check the guidelines posted on the Study Abroad website, as well as in the catalog entries for individual language departments, and/or they may consult International Programs and Off-Campus Study.
Financial aid is available for all Middlebury Schools Abroad programs and a small number of externally sponsored Middlebury approved programs. Students with questions about the availability of financial aid for specific programs are encouraged to consult the study abroad guidelines, International Programs and Off-Campus Study or the Study Abroad website (see above). Questions about the process of applying for and receiving aid for approved programs can be answered by the staff in the Office of Student Financial Services.
4. Pre-Professional Combined Plans
Middlebury College has agreements with several schools of engineering and nursing to offer pre-professional combined plans. Pre-professional combined plans are those in which students enroll in approved professional school programs and become eligible for a Middlebury bachelor of arts degree upon receipt of a bachelor-level degree in the professional discipline, and completion of all Middlebury degree requirements. A student may propose and arrange a combined plan with another accredited professional school in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine. Interested students should contact the chair of the pre-professional committee early in their college careers and no later than fall semester of the junior year. When credit is awarded for pre-approved pre-professional combined plans, both the credits awarded and all grades earned are included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average on the Middlebury transcript. Further information is available at Pre-professional Programs website. Questions about financial aid for pre-professional combined plans should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services.
5. Domestic Off-Campus Study Programs
Domestic off-campus study programs are full-time niche programs offered by other U.S. institutions of higher education, which the host institution has designed to focus on a particular academic subject area or theme and include a coherent and related set of courses. There are some regularly approved domestic off-campus programs (e.g., Washington Semester Program, SEA Education Association, Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory), but student are also permitted to apply for approval for alternative programs. Students should consult International Programs and Off-Campus Study for more information about these programs.
Students intending to enroll in a domestic off-campus study program must apply for approval and credit transfer through International Programs and Off-Campus Study. When credit is awarded for pre-approved domestic off-campus study programs, both the credits and the grades are recorded on the transcript, and the grades are included in the calculation of the grade point average.
Federal sources of aid, but not Middlebury sources of aid, can be used in support of approved domestic off-campus study programs. Questions about the use of financial aid for these programs should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services.
6. Domestic Exchange Programs
Middlebury maintains exchange agreements with several U.S. institutions, which include reciprocal programs of study for outgoing Middlebury students and incoming students from partner exchange institutions. Middlebury maintains exchange programs with Spelman College, Swarthmore College and the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges (Bennington College, Champlain College, Goddard College, Marlboro College, Norwich University, Saint Michael's College, Southern Vermont College, and Sterling College). Interested students should contact International Programs and Off-Campus Study. When credit is awarded for domestic exchange programs, both the credits and the grades are recorded on the transcript, and the grades are included in the calculation of the grade point average.
Questions about the availability of financial aid for these programs should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services.
7. Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)
Middlebury students completing work in the ROTC program at the University of Vermont are eligible to receive up to three credits towards their Middlebury College degree: one academic credit upon completion of the first two years of ROTC classes and one credit upon completion of each of the third and fourth years of ROTC classes. The credits awarded will be general non-graded credits and will not satisfy any major, minor or distribution requirements. The following University of Vermont courses may count toward the three academic credits:
- For the first academic credit: completion of MS 011, MS 012, MS 021, and MS 022.
- For the second academic credit: completion of MS 131 and MS 132.
- For the third academic credit: completion of MS 241 and MS 242.
Participation in the ROTC program may also satisfy both of the two physical education units required for graduation. One physical education credit will be awarded for completion of the first year of ROTC physical training and the second for the second year.