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Transfer Credit in Physics

 

The College of Arts & Science only awards transfer credit for courses taken at accredited four-year institutions.  Consistent with this policy, the Department of Physics & Astronomy will only award transfer credit to current Vanderbilt students for courses taken at accredited four-year institutions.  This policy applies to students in all four undergraduate colleges at Vanderbilt, since the credit earned would be awarded by the College of Arts & Science.

Work done at two-year (community or junior) colleges cannot be taken to earn equivalent credit for a physics course taught in the College of Arts & Science.

Lecture Courses

Physics 1601 – to earn three credit hours of equivalent credit for this course, students seeking transfer credit must provide evidence that the content and level of mathematical rigor used in the the course they wish to take matches the content and level of the course at Vanderbilt. Specifically, the course materials must state that the level of mathematics includes calculus. If the catalog description says ‘prerequisite Math ###, it is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence that Math ### is a calculus course. In addition, the course description must state that the content covered includes mechanics, heat, and sound. If the course does not cover all three topics, it is not equivalent to Physics 1601 and cannot earn full transfer credit.  If the course only covers 'mechanics,' for example, it might earn partial credit but not full credit for Physics 1601.

Physics 1602 – to earn three credit hours of equivalent credit for this course, students seeking transfer credit must provide evidence that the content and level of mathematical rigor of the course they wish to take matches the content and level of the course at Vanderbilt. Specifically, the course materials must state that the level of mathematics includes calculus. If the catalog description says ‘prerequisite Math ###, it is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence that Math ### is a calculus course. In addition, the course description must state that the content covered includes electricity & magnetism, optics, and modern physics. If the course does not cover all three topics, it is not equivalent to Physics 1602 and cannot earn full transfer credit. If the course only covers E&M, for example, it might earn partial credit but not full credit for Physics 1602.

Physics NOEQ - Non-equivalent credit: if a calculus-based course at another institution covers different content (e.g., mechanics and heat; mechanics, heat, and modern physics; electricity & magnetism and optics), credit will be awarded at Vanderbilt for Physics NOEQ.

Special note to Engineers: Students taking an algebra-based physics course will be awarded transfer credit for Physics 1010. Physics 1010 is not acceptable for credit in the College of Engineering at Vanderbilt.

Special note to pre-medical students: Students taking an algebra-based physic course will be awarded transfer credit for Physics 1010. Pre-medical students are strongly advised by the Health Professions Advising Office at Vanderbilt to take calculus-based physics.

Laboratory Courses

Physics 1601L-1602L - Students taking laboratory courses that accompany calculus-based physics lecture courses will be awarded credit for the appropriate laboratory course at Vanderbilt. Students are strongly urged to take the lecture and laboratory components at the same time, as they likely will learn better in both courses that way; however, a student may choose to take only the lecture or only the laboratory course(s) in the summer and pick up the other course at Vanderbilt.

Physics 1010L - Students taking a laboratory course that accompanies an algebra-based physics lecture course will be awarded credit for Physics 1010L.