Summer Policies

Princeton Faculty-led Summer Courses Abroad

Non-Princeton Summer Courses Abroad

Princeton Faculty-led Summer Courses Abroad


To enroll in a Princeton summer course, students must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing. Students who have graduated before the program begins are not eligible. Students will not ordinarily be admitted if they are currently on disciplinary probation. Students on leave of absence in the spring who would like to apply for Princeton summer program may ask their residential college dean if they can be readmitted for the summer term to enable them to participate should they be selected.

Please note that participating in a Princeton summer programs means being present from the beginning to the end. It is not possible to reschedule or hold exams in distance mode to accommodate students who want to attend a Princeton summer program whose schedule conflicts with other summer commitments (e.g., summer internships, work, etc.). 

A faculty-led international program is considered to be a “full time activity,” meaning that the student is not allowed to engage in additional activities, and/or accept Princeton funding for additional activities, during the same time period. For this reason, a student cannot combine, for instance, a faculty-led international program with either an internship (whether online or in-person) or with another credit-bearing program (whether offered by Princeton or outside of Princeton) at the same time. Additionally, students are not allowed to participate in two Princeton faculty-led programs (incl. PIIRS Global Seminars) in the same summer – even if the two programs do not overlap.

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Withdrawal from Summer Courses

For students withdrawing from courses abroad in the first full 7 (seven) days on location, there will be no transcript notation of the course. Students withdrawing after the 7th day on site (regardless of the day of the week), but before the end of the course, will receive a “W” for the course. Students may not withdraw from a course after the final day of class has taken place. We advise that students discuss their options with the course instructor(s), the Study Abroad Program and their other advisers as needed before withdrawing from a summer faculty-led program.

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Deadlines for Course Work

All final work for a summer course must be submitted no later than one week after the last class session. If final work is scheduled to be submitted after the course disbands, instructors must make provisions for students to submit the work by the deadline. Instructors must confirm with the student that the work has been received. Students who do not receive such confirmation must follow up with the instructor. Students are responsible for submitting the work on time; travel plans and logistical issues are no excuse for non-submission or late submission of final assignments.

From time to time, serious illness or other emergencies may make it difficult for students to comply with the deadline. Instructors who receive requests for extensions must check with the Office of International Programs to approve these requests. Without formal approval, missing work must be counted as a “zero” or an “F” and averaged into the final grade for the course.

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Grades and Transcript

Course titles and grades earned in Princeton summer courses appear on the Princeton transcript automatically (if the course was passed successfully), so students do not need to request pre-approval of the credit. Courses may fulfill distribution areas or other requirements as would a course offered on campus, as per the distributions assigned to the course on the Registrar’s website. A course cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis. 

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Non-Princeton Summer Courses Abroad


Students who wish to earn credit for a summer course not offered by Princeton must be admitted into a rigorous summer program and have the course preapproved prior to the start of the program if they intend for the course to count for credit.

Please note that it is not possible to move or administer exams at distance to accommodate students who want to attend a summer program whose schedule conflicts with Princeton’s exam schedule (e.g., for external summer programs starting so early that the spring semester at Princeton is still ongoing, or ending so late that the fall semester at Princeton has already started). Students who have conflicting exams will need to choose a different summer program, arrive late on the host program, or find a way to return to Princeton to take their exam. Moreover, you should not be paying any non-refundable deposits or fees to the host non-Princeton summer program until the approval process outlined below is completed.

Summer non-Princeton courses taken abroad are considered to be a “full time activity,” meaning that the student is not allowed to engage in additional activities, and/or accept Princeton funding for additional activities, during the same time period. For this reason, a student cannot combine a non-Princeton credit-bearing program with either an internship (whether online or in-person) or with another credit-bearing program (whether offered by Princeton or outside of Princeton) at the same time.

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Course Approval

If you are enrolling in a non-Princeton summer program, you must obtain pre-approval of the courses from the Study Abroad Program and the relevant departmental representative to receive Princeton credit for your summer studies.

To obtain pre-approval, you must 1) create an application in the Global Programs System (GPS) for “Non-Princeton Summer Study Abroad” AND 2) submit an application form, via TigerHub, for a “Summer Course Pre-Approval”, which you can find under the “Academic Tasks” title.

As part of the approval process, the course description/syllabus must be reviewed and approved by the Study Abroad Program and the relevant departmental representative.

Note: Before you put down a non-refundable deposit for the non-Princeton program, you should receive official confirmation that the approval process was successful and that the courses you plan to take are approved for credit by Princeton.

The guidelines for approval are as follows:

  1. The course must be offered or backed by a four-year accredited institution that will provide an official transcript. Online, blended or hybrid courses are ineligible for transfer credit.

  2. A one-term course must meet for a minimum of 4 weeks and 30 hours or more; a two-term course must meet for a minimum of 8 weeks (and 60 contact hours). A course or set of courses proposed to substitute for a course in a foreign language must meet for a minimum of 4 weeks and a total of 60 hours. These figures do not include out-of-classroom excursions or activities.

  3. The content of an elective course should fit within the general range of course offerings in a Princeton department. In the cases of courses proposed as substitutes for prerequisites or required courses in a Princeton department, the content should be substantially similar.

  4. The Study Abroad Program and the departmental representative may request information about the course beyond the catalog description, such as the reading list or titles of required texts, and the kinds of examinations, reports, lab projects, or papers used to test the student’s mastery of the course material.

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Transfer Credit

The full description of the regulations concerning credit for courses taken at other institutions can be found in the “Academic Policies for Non-Princeton Summer Programs” document in the GPS but below are essential points to keep in mind.

  1. In any one summer, only a maximum of two courses can be taken for academic credit.

  2. An A.B. student can count no more than three courses at other institutions in their entire undergraduate career toward the Princeton degree; a B.S.E. student can count no more than four courses taken elsewhere toward the Princeton degree. These courses are exclusive of any courses taken as a participant on term-time study abroad.

  3. Credit will be granted only if the student earns a grade C or higher. A course cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis.

  4. A maximum of two outside courses may be used to fulfill A.B. distribution requirements and only one per distribution area, in the following areas: LA, SA, STN (non-lab).

  5. While you are welcome to take a beginning language course at another institution, please note that you may transfer it as a specific language equivalent (e.g., SPA 102, ITA 107 etc.) only provided the course is preapproved by the department that teaches that language. If a beginning language course is needed to fulfill the Princeton language requirement (requiring the achievement of the 107/108 level for A.B. students), or if a student wants to continue to learn the same language upon return to Princeton, the student will need to take a placement test upon return to ensure the level achieved. Credit for language courses beyond 102 may be granted if preapproved by the department and the department determines that the student has progressed beyond the expected language level for that course. All language courses must have minimum 60 contact hours and run for a minimum of four weeks to be eligible for credit.

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Grades and Transcripts

Students are responsible for having an official transcript sent to the Study Abroad Program as soon as possible after the conclusion of the abroad program. If the pre-approved course was passed with a grade of C or better, the following will appear on the Princeton transcript: the name of the program or university attended, its location, and the credit awarded. In place of a course grade, a “T” will be entered to indicate transfer credit.

Official transcripts should be sent directly from the host institution (no transcripts delivered by students are acceptable) either via a secure e-mail to [email protected] or mailed to the following address:

Dr. Gisella Gisolo
Office of International Programs
Louis A. Simpson Building
20 Washington Road
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544 

Most universities/programs do NOT send transcripts automatically, so it is very important to check the policies with your program and request the transcripts as promptly as possible. 

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Read more about Princeton University's Undergraduate Travel Policies