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External Study

Gallatin graduate students who believe their concentrations would benefit from study outside of NYU may apply for approval to take graduate-level courses at an accredited university while matriculated at Gallatin. All such course work must be approved in advance by both the student’s primary adviser and the Gallatin MA Program.

Through Domestic External Study, students either take one or more graduate-level classes at another US university in the same semester that they take classes at NYU, or they take all their classes outside NYU in a given semester. Students seeking credit for courses taken at another US university should read all of the information below. (Students seeking credit for a non-NYU study abroad should consult the Non-NYU Study Abroad website.)

Application Deadlines

Students who apply after these dates may experience a delay in obtaining a decision.

  • Fall: April 1
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: March 1

NOTE: Students must also apply separately to the external program.

Course Guidelines & Limitations

All domestic external study courses must be graduate-level, credit-bearing courses, taken at an accredited degree-granting university in the United States and offered as part of a degree-granting program at the external institution. The school must be accredited by one of six regional accrediting associations. The courses must fit logically into the student’s program of study at Gallatin.

Courses that will not be approved include some practical skills courses such as physical education, etc. At this time, Gallatin does not grant credit for independent studies, internships, or online courses taken externally.

Because students cannot receive credit for taking the same course more than one time, external courses approved for transfer credit to Gallatin cannot duplicate another course already completed and passed on the student’s NYU transcript. In addition, students who receive transfer credit for an external course will lose the credit if they subsequently register for the identical course at NYU.

Grades & Credit Guidelines

Units earned from external study are considered transfer units and must adhere to the policies applicable to transfer units, as follows. External study must be at the graduate level. Students will not receive transfer credit for independent studies, internships, or online courses. Only courses with grades of B or better will be accepted for transfer, and no units will be given for a course graded or taken pass/fail. Grades for external study will not appear on the student’s NYU transcript, nor will they be included in the student’s grade point average at Gallatin. The amount of transfer credit awarded at NYU will be based on the number of credits/units earned at the external university, as well as the length of that institution's academic term. Graduate students should be aware that they are limited to earning a maximum of 6 units through external study, which will be counted toward the 12-unit maximum of transfer and course equivalency units.

Fulfilling Requirements

External courses approved for credit toward the Gallatin MA will count toward both the 40 units required for graduation as well as the 14-unit classroom requirement. Courses completed at another university will not fulfill Gallatin’s Graduate Core Requirements.

Student Eligibility

Because students entering Gallatin must enroll in courses at NYU/New York in the first semester, students are not eligible for external study in their first semester of study at Gallatin.

To be eligible for external study, students must have a cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher, have no active Incomplete grades on their transcript, and they must receive adviser approval for the study. Students who have been suspended for discipline reasons are ineligible for external study.

Students seeking credit for external study are expected to satisfy Gallatin's residency requirement (a minimum of 28 units must be earned at NYU while the student is enrolled in the Gallatin School).

Students who already have 12 credits/units in transfer and/or course equivalency credit are not eligible for external study. External study credits are considered transfer credits, and Gallatin’s transfer credit limit is 12 credits/units.

Financial Considerations

Students should be aware that they pay the external institution, not NYU, for courses taken externally. Graduate students who are considering Domestic External Study should be aware that studying at another institution can impact financial aid and/or scholarship disbursement. Students should refer questions about financial aid to the Office of Financial Aid. Questions about how external study impacts Gallatin scholarships can be directed to the Administrative Director of the M.A. Program.

The Application Process

Students are strongly advised to contact the Administrative Director of the M.A. Program well in advance of their intended external study to ensure that their plans abide by Gallatin’s policies and procedures.

Students who have read these guidelines and would like to submit an application for external study can do so via this online form: Domestic External Study Application, Graduate. This application will be reviewed by the directors of the MA program, and the student will receive a response in writing.

Transferring Credit

To receive credit on the Gallatin transcript for external study, the student must have the external institution send an official transcript directly to:

Gallatin School of Individualized Study / MA Program
Attention: Gwynneth Malin
1 Washington Place, 8th floor
New York, NY 10003

Credits earned from external study are subject to the policies applicable to transfer credits:

  • Only external courses with grades equivalent to "B" or higher will be accepted for transfer.
  • No credit will be given for courses graded on a "Pass/Fail" basis.
  • Grades for courses taken outside NYU will not be computed into the student's NYU grade point average.
  • A maximum of 12 credits/units of transfer and/or course equivalency units may be applied to the Gallatin MA program.
  • The amount of transfer credit will be based on the number of credits/units earned at the external institution, as well as the length of that institution's academic term.