Transfer of Academic Credits in a Study Abroad Program A semester or summer abroad is a large investment of time and money for most students studying abroad. For this reason you want to make sure that you take the right steps to earn academic credit at your home institution for your study abroad experience.
What Should You Do?
It is important that you first understand the transfer credit process to ensure that you can take the right steps to earn transfer credit.
While the transfer credit process varies from institution to institution, the outline below is a relatively standard guide for schools that pre-approve credit for study abroad:
Your home institution (university) makes the final decision regarding how many credits will transfer from your study abroad program and how they will be treated (e.g. major credit, elective credit, etc). The following three-part process will help guide you through the process of securing your transfer credit approval.
1. Before The Program (Pre-approval)
• As early as possible, speak with the study abroad program sponsor (your study abroad office or a third-party provider) to learn about potential course options on the program that you are interested in. The program sponsor should be able to provide the syllabi and course descriptions that you might need to receive course pre-approval.
• Make an appointment with your study abroad office and academic advisor to review your course options. Make your appointment early as advisor schedules are often very busy as deadlines approach.
• Receive a signed pre-approval form from your home university. We strongly recommend that you receive pre-approval for more courses than you plan to attend (as in the United States, courses schedules at host universities can change, scheduling conflicts might occur or you might change your mind about which courses you would like to attend)
2. During the Program
• Your home institution will require a minimum standard of academic performance in order to grant transfer credit (typically, a “C” equivalent or above), so it is important that you attend class and perform according to the host university’s standards and expectations. Your grade is solely determined by your professors and the host university.
• At some home institutions, while credit does transfer, grades from study abroad do not transfer and study abroad courses are not counted toward GPA calculations. You should ask about the transfer credit policies and procedures of your home institution.
3. After The Program
• Ensure that the program sponsor has the name and address of the appropriate person at your home institution who will receive your official transcripts.
• Take all course material back with you, including syllabi, work completed, essays and examinations, in case it is ever needed.