Putting aside the special cases of incoming transfer students, Carleton rarely and only under very specific circumstances transfers credit from other institutions. The most common situations in which credits are transferred are on non-Carleton, non-affiliated off-campus programs that are approved by the Off-Campus Studies Committee. According to the Rules and Regulations of the College: “A matriculated student may apply toward the Carleton degree a total of 54 credits earned while off campus (Carleton faculty-led off-campus seminars are excluded from the 54-credit maximum) unless, as in the case of certain transfer students, this would result in a total number of transfer credits exceeding the 102 overall maximum.” In addition to the credits, students may petition the chairs of their departments/programs to apply these courses to major requirements. In these cases, departments determine how many such courses from non-Carleton programs may be applied toward the major.
Other situations involving the transfer of credit must be approved by the ASC. Normally, these refer to cases of students who have been placed on academic probation or suspension and must take courses elsewhere either before returning to Carleton or as part of an approved plan when they resume their work at Carleton.
The preceding refers to transfers of credit from other institutions after a student has first matriculated at Carleton. Students may have pre-matriculation credits applied to their Carleton transcripts (e.g., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, summer programs and other college-level courses from approved sources). These appear at the bottom of the Progress Towards Degree (a.k.a. the degree audit) page. These credits may not be applied to general education requirements. In most cases, advisers ought to tell advisees to think of these additional credits as a reserve that may be used later in their Carleton careers as they consider taking lower course loads to accommodate comps work or non-credit activities such as internships and certain types of service.
The Transfer of Credit Policy includes clarification regarding where credits can come from, how they are evaluated, and how those credits work toward the degree. The Pre-Matriculation Work section of the catalog lists how credits from AP, IB, and Cambridge exams, as well as credits earned in college-level courses as a high school student, will apply toward the student’s Carleton record.