Transfer Credit FAQ

 

Do I need to make an appointment with the Physics Director of Undergraduate Studies to get transfer credit?

No, unless there are very unusual circumstances. Detailed instructions for what you need to do are here.

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Can you tell me if a particular course is OK?

If you want the Physics DUS to evaluate a course, please follow the instructions here. Web links are not sufficient; you'll need to print all relevant materials. Most semester-equivalent-length calculus-based courses with labs at accredited four-year institutions will be accepted for transfer credit.

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Can I take a course at a community college for transfer credit?

No.  In most cases, for Duke transfer credit, you will need to take a course at an accredited four-year institution.

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Is it OK if the materials submitted are for last year's course, or for a semester version of the course I want to take in the summer?

This is usually OK if the materials are not more than a year old and it is clear that they refer to the same course.

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I'm an engineering student.  Can I get credit for 151L/152L instead of 141L/142L?

Yes, in general.  Please indicate on the transfer credit form that you want credit for 151L/152L.

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What do I do if I can't find materials online?

You might contact the instructor to see if she or he can provide them.

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What if the course is not calculus-based?

It can get credit as Physics 100L if it has a lab or Physics 100 if it does not.

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How can I tell if a course is calculus-based?

It will usually say this explicitly in the course description. The textbook must be calculus-based (it will say this in the textbook description). A calculus pre-req by itself is not enough.

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What if the course does not have a lab?

A course without a lab can get credit as Physics 100.

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Is it OK if the lab is a separate course?

Yes, this is usually OK. You will need to take both lecture and lab courses to get credit for the Duke intro physics course.

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Can I take a lecture course at another institution but the lab at Duke? (or vice-versa)

While lab and lecture courses may be decoupled at other institutions, they are integrated into the same course at Duke for either the 141L/142L or 151L/152L sequences. It is not possible to take only the labs associated with these sequences by themselves at Duke.  

The lectures and labs for the Physics major sequence, 161+161L and 162+162L are decoupled; more info here. It would in principle be possible to take a lecture course at another institution for Physics 100 credit, plus 161L or 162L. This would not normally be recommended except in unusual cases (and especially not for non-physics majors), so students considering it should consult the Physics DUS and their major or pre-health advisor.

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Does an online course count?

No, you can only get transfer credit for in-person courses.

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Can I get credit for a quarter-length course?

Usually, no. A quarter-length course does not get credit for a semester-length course. However, often three quarters can get credit for two semesters of introductory physics.

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What course codes will show up for a transfer-credit course?

If a course is approved for transfer credit, it will have the same course codes as the equivalent Duke course.  If it is approved for generic Physics credit (e.g., Physics 100L), the assigned course codes will usually be NS and QS, but it will depend on the specific course.   Most algebra-based university-level introductory physics courses with labs will be assigned Physics 100L with NS, QS course codes.

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Do I need to take a calculus-based course?

Some majors require calculus-based physics courses, but some do not. Please consult your major advisor, or your pre-health advisor.

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What physics courses are OK for pre-health?

It's best to consult your pre-health advisor about this.

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Can I take equivalent of Physics 142L before Physics 141L?

Equivalent of Physics 141L should be taken first.

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What physics courses are available in <some region> or at <some institution>?

You will need to use web or other resources to find courses you are interested in. 

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What if I want to take a physics course in another country?

Transfer credit requests for courses at institutions outside the US should go through the Global Education Office. Physics majors considering Study Abroad should consult the Physics DUS.

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Can I use financial aid for courses taken as transfer credit?

For financial aid questions, please consult your financial support counselor. 

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If the course is at a local NC university (UNC, NCSU, NCCU) is it treated differently?

Courses at some NC universities that are not available at Duke may be taken via interinstitutional registration — please see the link for more information. For other courses, the usual transfer credit process applies.

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