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Credit and certification

Earn credit towards your degree with LSE Summer School


Summer School programmes such as those offered at the LSE can be worth college credit at your parent university.

There are plenty of good reasons to enrol in a summer school – you get to meet new people, see a different part of the world, and expand your academic horizons all whilst making the most of your summer break. As well as these benefits, you also have the chance to earn credit towards your degree.

Allowing students to gain credit during the summer holidays was one of the principle motivations for establishing the summer school at the LSE. It is not just the chance to make some headway on their degrees, however, that inspires students to spend their summers studying on intensive academic programs. It’s a desire to learn more around a topic about which they are passionate about, from top academics. Often it is a chance to study courses that are not available in their home institutions. A summer school programme, therefore, can allow you to shape your own learning according to your interests. If you can earn credit doing it – so much the better!

This was the case for Vruti Desai, who studied E-Business in the Digital Age and Strategic Management: “I chose e-business as the course seemed really interesting. Being from the Silicon Valley I am particularly interested in startups. These days, most startups are online and e-businesses. So, I wanted to learn more about how that works. My school, Berkeley does not offer courses like this.”

For Faith Jackman, who studied the Economics of European Integration, it was getting a unique LSE perspective. “It was great learning about European economics and the leading school of economics in Europe. It has impacted what I think I am going to spend a year writing a thesis on at Harvard.”

Get the real deal at Summer School

In order to be worth college credit, the course has to be of a certain standard. This is why reputable summer school programmes such as those offered at LSE are taught by the same professors who teach full-time degrees at the university, covering the same academic content. In order for your course to be recognised by your parent institution – and be sure to check that they do indeed award credit for summer school programmes if this is why you’re enrolling – you also have to complete a final exam at the end of each three-week programme.


LSE faculty facts:

  • 18 Nobel Prize winners have taught or studied at LSE
  • 37 world leaders (past and present) have attended LSE as a student or lecturer

Intense learning; strong support

Accordingly, the level of commitment required from participating students is high – summer school is not an option if you’re looking for an easy ride! If you’re looking to genuinely strengthen your knowledge around a topic about which you’re passionate on the other hand, and return to your parent institution with an extra edge, then it may be worth some investigation.

“The level of study is much more intensive than other courses that I have studied in,” says Lucy Mahaffey, who completed the Political Theory and International Politics programme, “But you can’t not enjoy yourself with all of the knowledge that is being thrown at you, and also the new people that you are meeting; including your professors.”

Indeed, while the courses may be intense, the flipside is you will be enjoying the same level of attention from leading faculty as you would if you were enrolled in a full-time programme. “I really love the faculty,” Mahaffey – whose parent institution is the University of Oklahoma – continues. “I’ve asked lots of questions, the insight and the depth to every single answer that they give me was amazing. They give me the context and how it ties into the history and how it can be applied in the future.”

Summer School credits: what it’s worth?

Again, you must check with the international office of your institution if you will be awarded credit, but many institutions will allow this. In general, you’ll earn 3-4 credits in the US system, and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. The LSE will provide any necessary supporting evidence to help evaluate the worth of the course.

Institutions that have awarded credit for attending Summer School include...

North America

  • Harvard University
  • MIT
  • Princeton
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCLA
  • Yale University
  • McGill University


  • Bocconi University
  • ETH Zurich


  • University of Sydney
  • National University of Singapore
  • University of Hong Kong