Academic Policies for Tufts Global Education

Tufts Global Education does not have authority to approve individual courses taken abroad to count in any specific way toward degree or major requirements here in Medford. All determinations about how and/or whether a course may count toward specific requirements are made by the academic departments here at Tufts, so you should consult your academic adviser regarding which major requirements (if any) you might try to take abroad and which courses offered at your target program/institution might satisfy such requirements. Formal approvals may be requested in SIS, per the processes and policies outlined below.

Academic Policies for Tufts Programs Abroad

General Information

All courses taken on Tufts Programs Abroad, including host-country university courses, will be awarded Tufts credit in the corresponding department (or as "All-College” credit if there is no corresponding department at Tufts). The program Director supervises and monitors your progress in order to ensure that you obtain full credit for courses taken in each program.

Grades

Grades are given by professors according to the grading system of each country. Because different systems of grading are sometimes used, your grades might then be converted into the equivalent Tufts grades. Typically, you are able to obtain approximately sixteen semester hour units (SHUs) of Tufts credit for each semester of study abroad, which is equivalent to the typical load at Tufts.

Degree Requirements 

While all courses taken on Tufts Programs Abroad will count toward to the total number of credits required for graduation, it is up to each department to decide which courses will count and how they will count toward the major. You should consult with your major department regarding specific courses you wish to take on a Tufts Program Abroad to fulfill major requirements.

Course Approval

You may request formal approval for a course taken through a Tufts Program Abroad to be designated either as a direct equivalent to a Tufts course or as upper- or lower-level major credit by submitting an 'Equivalence Request for Tufts Programs Abroad' in SIS.

Find a Departmental Transfer of Credit Representative Submit an 'Equivalence Request for Tufts Programs Abroad' in SIS

 

Academic Policies for External Programs

Courses taken on an approved external program are eligible for transfer credit towards the Tufts degree but must be approved by an academic department at Tufts. The following is a summary of Tufts transfer credit policies, but the comprehensive transfer credit policies are outlined on the Registrar's website.

External Programs (Semester/Year)

General Information
  • Courses taken pass/fail are not eligible for transfer credit (and transfer-credit courses are not counted as pass/fail and thus do not count towards your pass/fail allotment here at Tufts).
     
  • Any courses that take place before the semester begins (e.g., pre-session courses, orientation courses, and introductory seminars) are not eligible for transfer credit.
     
  • You will not receive transfer credit for any courses similar to those for which you have already received credit at Tufts or taught through a department that does not have a corresponding department here at Tufts.
     
  • If courses are not pre-approved, it may be possible to gain course approval after completion of your program. Please note that this practice is strongly discouraged as Tufts Global Education cannot guarantee transfer credit. Be sure to save course descriptions, syllabi, assignments, reading lists, or exams — enough material to show what you learned in the course.
     
  • Due to the wide variety of academic schedules, course loads and credit systems in use at colleges and universities throughout the country and abroad, Tufts does not automatically transfer credit on a course-for-course basis. Therefore, the total number of transfer credits you may count toward your Tufts degree may not equal the number of courses taken abroad. All students, in order to earn a full semester’s credit at Tufts, must take a full semester’s course load as defined by the foreign institution. It is recommended that engineering students consult with the Assistant Director for External Programs
Degree Requirements
  • Courses receiving transfer credit may count towards degree requirements (such as major, minor, distribution, and foundation, per the Registrar's policies), but departmental policies regarding transfer credit will vary. You should consult with your major department regarding specific courses you wish to take on an external program to fulfill major requirements. 
     
  • If you wish to receive credit toward your major for pre-approved courses, you must discuss this with your major advisor before going abroad.
Grades
  • You must receive a grade of C- or above in order for a course to be eligible for transfer credit.
     
  • Transfer credit grades will not appear on your Tufts transcript, calculate into your Tufts GPA, or count towards Latin honors. However, professional and graduate school admissions committees and employers may require submission of your study abroad program transcripts along with your Tufts transcript so they can calculate a composite GPA. (If you are planning to apply to medical, dental, veterinary, or other health professions graduate programs, those schools will require transcripts from study abroad programs. Therefore, it is safest to choose a program sponsored by an accredited U.S. college or university.)
Transcripts
  • You are solely responsible for requesting, and ensuring receipt of, your official transcript upon completion of the program; do not assume that your program will automatically send it. Tufts University accepts transcripts by mail and electronic delivery.  
     
    • To send by mail: Office of the Registrar, Attn: Transfer of Credit, Dowling Hall, Tufts University, 419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155 
       
    • To send electronically: List studentservices@tufts.edu as the email recipient for the transcript. We will only accept official transcripts sent electronically via a verified vendor. 
       
  • Transcripts handed in by students, even in a sealed envelope, are not acceptable for awarding transfer credit.
     
  • Once the transcript from your study-abroad program arrives at Tufts (presuming that you have already received transfer-credit approvals for each of the courses that appears on that transcript), it may take up to 3 or 4 weeks for the transfer credits to appear on your Tufts transcript. 
Transfer of Credit Requests
  • It is your responsibility to submit transfer of credit requests for each course through SIS and have them approved online by the appropriate departmental transfer credit representatives.
     
  • Once you have selected the courses you will take abroad, you may submit transfer of credit approval requests via SIS. It is recommended to obtain approval for alternate courses as program changes are common. 
     
  • The Registrar’s Office has an instructional video that explains where to locate the request form and a step-by-step tutorial on submitting the course for review.  
     
  • You should make every effort to get your courses pre-approved prior to going abroad. However, we realize that you may not receive final course listings and descriptions until shortly before the program begins and occasionally not until your arrival abroad. (This is most likely to happen if you are enrolling directly in a foreign university.) In such cases, you should discuss the types of courses you plan to take with your advisor and the department from which you will request credit, even though you do not yet have exact descriptions and numbers. As soon as you obtain the final listings, you should submit your requests for approval online via SIS.
     
  • Under no circumstance can Tufts Global Education approve courses for transfer credit if you are not able to find an academic department to do so.

Find a Departmental Transfer of Credit Representative Submit a Transfer of Credit Request in SIS

External Short-Term Programs (Summer/Winter)

To be eligible to receive transfer credit from a short-term program, the following credit transfer policies apply. There are other transfer credit stipulations (e.g., minimum grade required to render a course eligible for transfer credit) not listed below that mirror our guidelines for semester- and year-long external programs; these also apply to short-term study abroad. Refer to our academic policies for external programs section above and see full transfer credit policies on the Registrar's website for more details. 

General Information
  • You may not transfer more than three courses earned in one summer. 
     
  • You may transfer a maximum of five summer courses toward a Tufts degree.
     
  • Summer internship programs must offer a minimum of two accompanying academic courses to be eligible for credit; the internship component yields 4 SHUs and the coursework yields a total of 4 SHUs. 
     
  • January-term study abroad programs must end prior to the start date of spring semester classes at Tufts (for students who plan to take classes at Tufts in the spring semester). Tufts will not approve a student to participate in a January-term study abroad program if the dates conflict with Tufts classes.
     
  • Courses must be taken at institutions of higher education that are recognized by the government of the country in which they are located or accredited according to the U.S. system of accreditation.
Distribution Requirements 
  • Short-term courses may be used, with approval, to satisfy foundation, distribution, and concentration course requirements. In some of these cases, upon receiving course approval in SIS, an additional petition must be submitted. You can verify which courses may require that additional step under the Degree Requirement Petitions page of the Registrar’s site. 
Transcripts
  • To be eligible for transfer credit from short-term study abroad, you do not need to take courses at institutions or programs on our list of approved programs; however, your program must provide a transcript by a degree-granting institution of higher education that is recognized by the government of the country in which they are located or accredited according to the U.S. system of accreditation.  
     
  • You are solely responsible for requesting, and ensuring receipt of, your official transcript upon completion of the program; do not assume that your program will automatically send it. Tufts University accepts transcripts by mail and electronic delivery.  
     
    • To send by mail: Office of the Registrar, Attn: Transfer of Credit, Dowling Hall, Tufts University, 419 Boston Ave, Medford, MA 02155 
       
    • To send electronically: List studentservices@tufts.edu as the email recipient for the transcript. We will only accept official transcripts sent electronically via a verified vendor. 
       
  • Transcripts handed in by students, even in a sealed envelope, are not acceptable for awarding transfer credit.
Transfer of Credit Requests
  • It is your responsibility to submit transfer of credit requests for each course through SIS and have them approved online by the appropriate departmental transfer credit representatives. 
     
  • The Registrar’s Office has an instructional video that explains where to locate the request form and a step-by-step tutorial on submitting the course for review.  
     
  • Under no circumstance can Tufts Global Education approve courses for transfer credit if you are not able to find an academic department to do so.

Find a Departmental Transfer of Credit Representative Submit a Transfer of Credit Request in SIS

Internships

  • You may earn a total of 12 SHUs for internship programs listed below. All coursework, as well as the internship component, must be pre-approved by the appropriate departmental representative for credit to be transferred. Once pre-approved, the internship component yields 4 SHUs; the coursework yields a total of 8 SHUs.
     
  • Summer internship programs must offer a minimum of two accompanying academic courses to be eligible for credit; the internship component yields 4 SHUs and the coursework yields a total of 4 SHUs.
     
  • Other programs which offer an internship opportunity in addition to or in lieu of a class, such as IES and CIEE, yield no credit for the internship or for courses that frame or support the internship. The same policy applies for volunteer opportunities.

 

A&S Students: Foundation and Distribution Credits

World Civilization Credit 

If a course has been approved as the equivalent of a specific course at Tufts, it will count for World Civilizations credit just as the Tufts course would count. This information is available on the SIS class search. Otherwise, the petition for World Civilizations credit is available on the Registrar website. The completed petition and supporting materials should be submitted to the Student Services Desk in Dowling Hall.

Culture Option Credit 

If a course has been approved as the equivalent of a specific course at Tufts, it will count for Culture Option credit just as the Tufts course will count. This information is available on the SIS class search. For other courses, the transfer credit representative will determine the culture area for the course at the same time the course is approved online for transfer credit or you may need to submit a petition.

Distribution Credit

Please keep in mind the following:

  • Courses approved for credit by the departments of History or Religion will count for Humanities distribution.
  • Courses approved for credit by the departments of Art and Art History, Drama and Dance, or Music will count for Arts distribution. Please note: Dance performance and Music performance courses are not eligible for transfer credit.
  • Courses approved for credit by the departments of History or Political Science will count for Social Science distribution.
  • Courses approved for credit by the departments of Astronomy, Chemistry, or Physics will count for Natural Sciences distribution.
  • Courses approved for credit by the departments of Mathematics or Computer Science will count for Mathematical Sciences distribution.

 

Course Approval Guidelines for Engineering Students

There are two considerations in making sure that a course taken abroad will transfer to your degree sheet as needed:

  1. Obtaining approval for university credit for the course via a transfer of credit request on SIS; and
     
  2. Slotting the course on your degree sheet. This may require a second approval via a Petition. Please review information about Transfer Course Considerations for special considerations about using transfer courses on your degree sheet.

More Information About Course Approval for Engineering Students

 

Honors at Graduation

Students who think they might be eligible for degree honors at graduation (see Tufts Bulletin) should consider a Tufts Programs Abroad program. Grades earned on a Tufts program will count toward degree honors (such as cum laude), while transfer credit (available through external programs) will not.

 

Standards of Conduct

When you participate in a study abroad program, you must agree to comply with all rules, standards, and instructions relating to student behavior that are promulgated by Tufts and the host institution. It is assumed that you will conduct yourself with the same standards of academic and social responsibility that are required on the Tufts campus and be a responsible representative of your country.

For participants of Tufts Programs Abroad: The on-site directors of Tufts Programs Abroad represent Tufts University, and each student, when accepted to a program, agrees to the supervision and authority of its director. Accordingly, each student is expected to conform to the regulations of the program in which they are enrolled. The director has the authority to recommend the withdrawal of any student whose academic standing or conduct warrants dismissal.

Tufts Student Code of Conduct

 

Global Privacy Statement

Tufts University's Global Privacy Statements provide information for students from the United States and from countries outside the United States, including in the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom. Those statements include information about how we collect and use personal information and about data rights under privacy laws.

Tufts Privacy Statements