Each unit at Bread Loaf is equivalent to three semester hours or four and one-half quarter hours of graduate credit.

The normal summer program of study consists of two one-unit courses in New Mexico and Vermont, and one two-unit course at Oxford, where roughly half of the course is devoted to independent research.

In order to count towards a Bread Loaf master’s degree, all credits must have been earned within 10 years of a student’s initial enrollment at Bread Loaf.

MA candidates must earn a grade of B- or better, and MLitt candidates must earn a grade of B or better, in order to receive course credit. Credits earned at the Bread Loaf School of English are generally transferable to other graduate institutions.

Transfer Credits

Up to two units (the equivalent of up to six semester hours or nine quarter hours) of graduate credit may be transferred from other accredited institutions to count toward the Bread Loaf MA or MLitt degree. Transfer course credits cannot be counted for degree credit elsewhere and must be of a grade of B or better. Transfer credits cannot count toward a Bread Loaf degree after 10 years have elapsed since the course was taken.

Each course must be approved for transfer by Bread Loaf, preferably before the work is done. You should send all requests and supporting materials to Karen Browne at kbrowne@middlebury.edu.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily accepted online courses for transfer credit to BLSE while academic institutions suspended in-person options during spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, summer 2021, and fall 2021. This exception was not retroactive. Please also see Bread Loaf’s Directed Research and Writing program for remote credit options.  

Transfer Guidelines and Forms

Download detailed transfer guidelines.

Download the credit transfer form.


Auditing is available only to members of the Bread Loaf community and is dependent on course enrollments. Enrolled Bread Loaf students may audit courses at any of Bread Loaf’s U.S. campuses with permission of the faculty; staff may audit with permission of the faculty and the Bread Loaf director. Bread Loaf alumni/ae and partners of enrolled students may audit courses at a cost (per course) of one half the tuition charged per course, with the permission of the Bread Loaf director and the faculty. Audited courses are not recorded on a Middlebury transcript. In all cases, faculty will set the expectations of auditors. Auditing is not permitted at the Oxford campus or in creative writing and theater arts courses.