Acceleration Credits for Advanced Work at Yale

An acceleration credit, the equivalent of one course credit, may be used to complete the bachelor’s degree in fewer than eight terms. Acceleration credits may be earned by completing a designated advanced course during freshman year with a grade of B, B+, A–, or A. Acceleration credits are also awarded for high scores on certain AP tests.

Acceleration credit earned by completing advanced work during freshman year is in addition to the course credit earned. For example, a freshman eligible to take PHYS 260 and 261, Intensive Introductory Physics, who completes both terms of that course with a grade of B, B+, A–, or A receives both course credit for PHYS 260, 261 and two acceleration credits in physics. Courses that can yield such credit are listed in the middle column of the Table of Acceleration Credit under the heading “Acceleration Credit Awarded for Freshman-Year Courses.”

The award of acceleration credit based on advanced course work at Yale is possible only for courses completed during freshman year. For this reason, you should select your freshman-year courses carefully. Do not, however, let the desire to earn acceleration credit override all others in your course selection. It is clearly unwise to sacrifice a potentially interesting course just for the sake of earning acceleration credit. In practice, relatively few students choose to graduate in fewer than eight terms of enrollment. Usually only a fraction of those eligible to accelerate by one or two terms do so.

In brief:

  • Acceleration credit can be earned only during a student’s first two terms of enrollment.
  • Acceleration credit will be awarded only for the first course taken in any subject (except biology, computer science, economics, English, and music).
  • To earn acceleration credit, a student must receive a grade of B, B+, A–, or A in the course. Other grades and marks of CR do not lead to acceleration credit.
  • Although Yale does not award course credit to students who took college courses while they were in high school, a student may earn acceleration credit by satisfactorily completing an advanced course in a number of subjects during freshman year.