Transferring Courses from Elsewhere into the CS Graduate Programs at Dartmouth

The policies that follow are about (1) substituting courses but without being granted credit and (2-5) being granted credit for courses taken before entering the degree program at Dartmouth.

1. Substituting courses without credit

If a particular course is required for a student's degree, but the student feels he or she already knows this material (e.g., from a previous course somewhere else—even if it was for another degree—or from life experience), he or she may, with the approval of the professor teaching the required course, petition the Graduate Committee to substitute a different course.  (Note that such substitution does not reduce the number of required courses.)

2. Transferring course credit, from external courses

If a student has taken courses elsewhere of rigor and subject matter comparable to or exceeding those of our graduate courses, she or he may petition the Graduate Committee to transfer credit, reducing the number of courses required for her or his graduate degree here at Dartmouth.

To pursue this option, the student should:

  1. Prepare an exhaustive dossier describing the external course (e.g., syllabus, textbook information, assignments, exams, and the student's grade).
  2. Obtain approval from the relevant subject matter experts at Dartmouth.  (E.g., for an advanced OS course, having one of our OS professors say "yes, this equals our 258.")

The Graduate Committee will consider each request on a case-by-case basis, in the context of the student's performance in the previous course, the student's graduate program and the policies established by the Graduate Office. Per Grad Office rules, at most 3 credits may be transferred into the MS program and at most 6 into the PhD.

For approved courses, the student must then obtain and complete a "Transfer Credit" form from the Graduate Office.

3. Course credit, from Dartmouth courses outside the department

Students currently enrolled in our graduate programs may take courses outside the department for graduate credit, provided that they first receive approval from their program advisor.  Normally, the department will allow at most two such courses for PhD students, and at most one for MS students.  (Students are still free to take courses outside the department—but, like additional undergraduate courses, these will not count for graduate credit.)

4. Course credit, from Dartmouth COSC MS to COSC PhD

A PhD student who has completed his or her MS in our department may draw upon the non-research courses he or she took as an MS student to satisfy his or her PhD course requirements.

5. Course credit, from Dartmouth Undergrad

PhD students who were Dartmouth undergrads may count up to 6 courses they have taken as undergrads for PhD course requirements, provided the student earned a B+ or better.

MS students who were Dartmouth undergrads may count up to 5 course that have taken as undergrads for MS course requirements, provided the student earned a B+ or better in three, and earned an A in the other two.

In both cases, the courses must be regular courses from Dartmouth (that is: they cannot be from a different institution and cannot be research credits).