Summer Course Approvals

Summer Course Approvals

How to Obtain Your Summer Course Approval

The process of getting summer courses approved is fairly simple, but it does require that you pay attention to details. Please read the FAQ’s below, download and read the approval form, and contact Dr. Lazen, or Dean Stirk if you still have questions. If you are planning to take a summer course abroad, all of the materials below need to be submitted to the Office of International Programs in the Louis A. Simpson International Building, not to the Butler College Office.
  
What’s the process?
1)    Do some web research and find a class that looks promising (see below for details about this, and read the approval form very carefully before you start looking). Dr. Lazen or Dean Stirk would also be happy to consult with you at this stage about the general approval procedures and specific departmental standards.
 
2)    Fill out PART ONE of the approval form fully.  Then print out the course description, the course schedule, and the summer session calendar stating the first and last days of class. Some departments (such as Chemistry or Economics) will also want to see a full syllabus. The Math Department also has some additional procedures.
 
2)    Take the form and supporting information to the Department Representative of the relevant department (e.g. the Chemistry dep rep for a chemistry course). He or she will decide if the course may be approved and will sign your form. If the course will fulfill a requirement in a different program or department, you must also get a signature there (e.g. if you’re trying to use that chemistry course in Mol Bio). BSE students, you also need a signature from Dean Bogucki.
 
3)    After the approval form is signed, bring the form and supporting materials to the Butler College Office, if you are taking a course in the U.S., or to the Office of International Programs in the Louis A. Simpson International Building for courses outside the U.S.
 
FAQ’s
 
Where can I get a summer course approval form?
You can stop by the Butler College Office or download the Summer Course Approval Form from the Office of the Dean of the College website.
 
When is the deadline?
You must submit your signed approval to the Butler College Office (or OIP for courses abroad) by Dean’s Date of spring semester.
 
What kinds of courses may be approved for credit?
A course you take elsewhere must “fit generally within the range of course offerings in a Princeton department or program.” This means that a course on the sociology of gender might well be approved; a course on underwater basket-weaving would not. Business school and communications courses are unlikely to be approved—you may well want to go ahead and take them for your own enrichment, however!
 
Courses must be offered by a four-year accredited University, and must meet for a minimum of four weeks, and 30 hours of in-class time.
 
Will I get distribution credit for my summer course?
A maximum of two outside courses may be used to fill AB distribution requirements. You may use only one course each in two of the three following areas: LA, ST, SA.  Courses taken as an ST can only fulfill the STN requirement, whether they have a lab component or not. 
 
Can I use a summer course for a prerequisite or department requirement?
If you are planning to take a class as a prerequisite or required course in your department, be very sure to make this clear when you ask for departmental approval. Most departments require that the content of outside courses be “substantially similar” in order for them to qualify as prerequisites or requirements.
 
What about language courses? Can I fill my language requirement with a summer course?
Credit for a language course is not conferred until after you return to campus and the department determines that you have placed beyond that level.  If you place beyond the 100-level sequence on the departmental placement test, you will fulfill your language requirement. 
 
Will my summer grade show up on my transcript?
No. In order to get any credit, you must get a grade of C or higher (a C- is not acceptable for credit). After we receive your summer transcript, your summer grade will be turned into a “T” for transfer credit when it appears on your Princeton transcript, and it will not go into your GPA. (Note that many grad schools and scholarship applications require transcripts from every school you attend, so these summer grades won’t really disappear!)