Summer Policies

Princeton Summer Courses Abroad

Non-Princeton Summer Courses Abroad

Princeton 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.). 

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Withdrawal from Summer Courses

A designation of “W” for withdrawal will appear on the transcript if a student voluntarily withdraws after the midpoint of the course. 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 Study Abroad program to approve these requests. Without formal approval, missing work must be counted as a “zero” or an “F” and averaged into the 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. Courses may fulfill distribution areas or other requirements as would a course offered on campus.

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Non-Princeton Summer Courses Abroad


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

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. Students who have conflicting exams will need to choose a different summer program, arrive late on the 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 summer non-Princeton program until the two-step approval process outlined below is completed.

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Course Approval

If you are not enrolling in a Princeton summer program, you must obtain pre-approval of the courses from the relevant departmental representative and the Study Abroad Program to receive Princeton credit for your summer studies.

To obtain pre-approval, you must complete the Approval Form for a Course Taken at Another Institution, available in our Global Programs System (GPS). As part of the approval process, the course description/syllabus must be reviewed and approved by the relevant departmental representative and the Study Abroad Program. Courses that are pre-approved must be passed with a grade of C or better to qualify for credit.

Note: Before you put down a deposit of any kind, you should receive official confirmation that the two-step approval process here outlined 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 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 departmental representative and the Study Abroad Program 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 on the Approval Form for a Course Taken at Another Institution in the Global Program System (GPS), but below are essential points to keep in mind.

  1. In any one summer, only 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. One course credit can be granted for a beginning language course provided the course/s are pre-approved by the department and the department determines that the student has progressed beyond the 102 level at the end of the course. Credit for 100-level language courses beyond 102 may be granted if pre-approved by the department and the department determines that the student has proceeded beyond the expected language level for that course. Credit will be given for the final course in an introductory sequence only if the student passes the appropriate department placement test. All language courses must have 60 contact hours for a minimum of four weeks.

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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) in a secure way 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