Transferring non-Bates credits

How to obtain psychology credit for courses taken elsewhere besides Bates College


  1. You may count up to a maximum of three courses taken elsewhere towards the psychology major.
  2. Students may receive credit for either statistics (psyc218) or methods (psyc261/262) if taken elsewhere (with prior approval) but students may not receive credit for both of these courses if they are taken elsewhere.
  3. For a course taken elsewhere to count towards the psychology major it must be approved by the department chair.
  4. Students may receive credit for the Connections course requirement with a course taken elsewhere.
  5. Students may receive credit for the Biological and Diversity requirements with courses taken elsewhere, as long as they are pre-approved by the department chair.
  6. Online courses may be counted towards the psychology major, as long as they meet the requirements for non-Bates credit established by the registrar. For example, credits must be awarded by an official college or university transcript (MOOCs will not qualify, ( Online courses must be pre-approved by the chair. In addition to the registrar requirements, the student should also provide evidence that the school administering the online course has mechanisms to prevent academic dishonesty (for example, in online proctoring of exams, plagiarism detection technology, keystroke recognition devices, etc.).
  7. If you are graduating under the old major requirements, you may only count one transferred course within each focus area (cognition & emotion, biological & health, development & personality, and cultural & social)
  8. If you are graduating under the new major requirements, only two of the three courses taken elsewhere can be counted at the 300-level.

Approval Process:

  1. It is strongly recommended that you have courses pre-approved by the department chair.
  2. You should obtain a copy of the syllabus. You can do this either by emailing the professor of the course you are considering or for some programs you can find the syllabus online. (A copy of the course description will most likely NOT contain enough information for the chair to make a decision.)
  3. Bring a printed copy of the syllabus to the chair for consideration during office hours. (See below for office hours.) Note: If NONE of the office hours work for you (or if you are off campus) then you may email the syllabus to the chair for approval. You should mention in your email that you are not available during the posted office hours.
  4. Please highlight the following three items on the syllabus (or mention these items in your email message) as these details are essential for determining the level at which a course may count (i.e., 200 or 300 level). If these details are not listed in the syllabus then please find the answers to these questions in some other way (e.g., contacting the professor of the course in question).
    • What are the prerequisites for the course? (Be aware that most of the 300-level courses within the psychology major at Bates have a 200-level prerequisite.)
    • What is the assignment structure like and how are grades determined? (Be aware that most of the 300-level courses within the psychology major at Bates do not solely use in-class exams to assess student learning. Instead most of our 300-level courses require some combination of papers, community-based work, presentations, class projects, etc.)
    • How many primary readings are required? (Be aware that most of the 300-level courses within the psychology major at Bates require that students read at least 6 or more journal articles in addition to other reading materials; in fact, some of our 300-level courses require that students read over 30 journal articles.)
  5. Courses taken abroad must have a minimum of 36 contact hours (e.g., lecture hours, discussion section hours, exam hours, etc.). Hours spent in independent study do not count towards the contact hour requirement.
  6. Along with the syllabus please bring a Major Approval Form to your meeting with the chair. This form will need to be completed if you want credit for the course. That form can be found on the Bates Center for Global Education website. For courses taken in the United States (e.g., summer courses), that form can be found on the Bates Registrar website.
  7. If the chair decides that Bates College offers an equivalent course to the one you are considering then the course taken elsewhere will count towards the major at the level of the course we offer at Bates College.
  8. If the chair decides that Bates College does not offer an equivalent course then the chair may still decide to count that course towards the major (at either a 200 or 300 level) as unspecified department credit.

Things to bring to the meeting with the chair:

a. A list of courses you plan to take elsewhere (or have already taken)

b. A syllabus for each course you plan on taking elsewhere

c. Answers to the three bullet-marked questions outlined above (in Step #4).

 The department chair is Helen Boucher.  You should plan to meet with her for 15 minutes during her office hours.