Academic Credit

General Liberal Arts Credit:

All courses taken while studying away must be in the liberal arts and similar to those offered here at Williams.  We will not accept credit for any business or pre-professional courses. In order to receive credit toward your Williams degree for your study away, you must take the full course load of the program in which you are studying and fulfill the credit requirements stated in your formal CAS approval email letter. Students are required to take a minimum of 15 U.S. credits. This is usually 5 courses per semester (equal to 4 courses at Williams), although at some programs it is 3 or 4 courses or even as many as 6. Most departments will accept between l and 3 credits toward your major, with prior approval. All work successfully completed on an approved program will apply toward the Williams degree. Unless you are attending a Williams Program in this country or abroad, grades earned on study away are not factored into your GPA.

A student must obtain a “C-” or above in order for the general course credit to transfer toward the Williams degree. Courses taken on an approved program will not appear on a Williams transcript or factor into the Williams GPA. Courses taken on the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford or Williams-Mystic will appear on the Williams transcript and factor into the Williams GPA. We do not give credit for internships or practicums without prior approval.

Williams requires that each course meet for at least 12 weeks. One term out of a three-term calendar (e.g., in the UK) is not a sufficient period of classroom instruction. Students should plan to attend two terms in spring or choose a program on a semester calendar. Final assessment must be by examination or a final paper. You must sit all examinations at the same normally scheduled time as those host country students working toward the degree. Special exam arrangements are not acceptable unless the same options are offered to host country degree candidates.

*NOTE: As soon as you are officially enrolled in courses on your program, email your courses to [email protected] for approval for Williams credit toward the degree.


In 2016, the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA) approved internships for credit. Not all internships qualify. Here are the parameters:

The internship must be offered as part of an approved study away program and transcripted for credit by an accredited institution. The experience must be graded and there must be on-site faculty oversight.

The internship must be substantive with at least 120 hours per semester of placement. This must also accompany a reading list and research project/paper in order for credit to be awarded. Academic work must be done in tandem with the internship placement.

The internship cannot be the only component of the study away experience. The student must also engage in an intellectually challenging classroom experience in addition to the internship.

The internship and program approval is always at the discretion of the Director of International Education and Study Away.

Difference, Power, & Equity (DPE) Credit (formerly Exploring Diversity/EDI Credit):

Beginning with the class of 2022, DPE replaces the EDI requirement.  Students studying away in fall 2018 or later may fulfill this requirement with a course taken away from campus. Students must petition the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA) upon their return providing a clear and detailed explanation of how the course fulfills the Williams DPE requirement.  The petition form can be found here.

Major Credit:

Students can get major credit when they study away. Approval for major credit happens at the departmental level once a student knows the classes they will be taking when they are away from Williams. See the chart below to see more information about study away within the major. If your major/concentration is not listed, that means we have not found any information online about study away credit for that particular major, and you should contact the department/major advisor directly.

American Studies Art Asian Studies Biology Chemistry
Chinese Classics Economics English Environmental Studies
French Geosciences German Global Studies History
Italian Japanese Jewish Studies Latino/a Studies Maritime Studies
Political Economy Political Science Psychology Public Health Religion
Russian Science and Tech. Studies Spanish WGSS

Winter Study:

If you are studying away for a full year, in two different countries and programs, at Williams-Mystic, or if there is a conflict in the dates of your program and Winter Study, you will automatically be granted credit for Winter Study as part of your study away semester. Since you are granted credit, you are not allowed to enroll for Winter Study on campus except by petition.

If you have questions about short-term, faculty-led International Winter Study programs, please consult with the Registrar’s Office. More information can be found here.

Williams-Mystic students may accept credit for Winter Study as part of their study away semester or they may enroll in a Winter Study on campus. Inquire at
[email protected] for details regarding this option.

Study Away Program Transcript: 

It is your responsibility to request a transcript from your program and see that it is sent to:

Office of International Education and Study Away
Christina Stoiciu, Director
Williams College
PO Box 518
Williamstown, MA 01267

You are strongly urged to request a transcript for yourself for future references for graduate school and/or employment at the same time. You will not be able to retrieve the Williams copy of your transcript.