Education Abroad

Returning from Abroad

Credit Transfer Procedures

If you go abroad on a program sponsored by an accredited American college, or if you enroll at an overseas university which issues an American-style transcript, credit is transferred as from any American college. The institution simply sends a transcript to the Center for Education Abroad, and a study abroad adviser evaluates the transcript and applies the credits toward your University of Rochester record, as appropriate. This process usually takes two to four months after you finish your studies overseas, so do not expect your credits to appear instantly on your transcript.

Credits may be transferred for elective and for major credit. Course Approval Forms for this purpose are available at the Center for Education Abroad and at the Center for Academic Support. You may transfer courses toward Clusters if you go on a UR-sponsored study abroad program. Consult with the authorized faculty member in the relevant department.

Credit for Language Courses

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures will NOT grant credit to students who enroll in a class (in particular a language/grammar class) that is at the same or a lower level as a class they have taken before their semester abroad. For example, if a student has taken an intermediate language course at the UR, they may not receive credit for taking a basic or beginning language or the same intermediate class abroad. In addition, courses that duplicate the literature or film or culture content of MLC courses taken before study abroad will not be granted credit.

In order to avoid credit transfer confusion or problems it is imperative that each student consult with the appropriate adviser in MLC before departure and registration.

Elective Credit

Bring or send an official catalogue description of each course to the Center for Education Abroad, preferably before you leave for your semester abroad. Courses that are comparable to those offered at the University of Rochester will be approved for elective credit. An example of an approved course is "REL/AAS 241 African Religions: An Introduction" (from Syracuse University's program in Strasbourg, France). An example of a course not approved is "Viticulture" (from the IES program at the University of Melbourne, Australia). In some cases, you may be asked to submit the description to a faculty member for approval. All foreign language courses need approval from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures or the Department of Religion and Classics.

Major and Minor Credit

Bring a Course Approval Form, along with the description(s) of the course(s) in question, to the appropriate faculty member. The names of the faculty members in charge of approving transfer credit are posted at the Academic Information Counter at the Center for Academic Support and and may be found online at: You must have an officially declared major to do this. If you do not, bring a major or minor form with you when you see the faculty adviser.


The College's Curriculum Committee will allow students to transfer courses from UR-sponsored study abroad programs into clusters. This may be done by proposing an exception to an existing, departmental cluster, or by proposing an individualized interdepartmental cluster. Please note that approval is not automatic. Consult with a study abroad adviser for details.

How You'll Get Credit


On completion of the program, it is your responsibility to see that the college which sponsored your program sends an official transcript to the Center for Education Abroad. Credit will be granted for all approved courses in which you have earned a C or better.

Be aware that grades and transcripts are often issued by study abroad programs several months after you complete your studies overseas. Transcripts from spring semester programs may arrive in our office from July until October. Fall program transcripts normally arrive between February and May. If you go abroad as a first-semester senior, it is essential to request your transcript from the program as early as possible.


Many American colleges and universities are based on a 120 credit system, in contrast to UR, which requires 128 credits to complete the undergraduate degree. Transfer credit is awarded on a proportional basis. If you take five three-credit courses on another school's program, credit will be evaluated according to this formula: 15/120 = x/128; x = 16 credits. In most cases, a full semester (or year) of study completed elsewhere is worth a full semester (or year) at UR. In any event, study abroad students must complete the equivalent of 16 Rochester credits per semester. Underloads are not permitted during study abroad. Even if the program allows for an underload, Rochester students are required to carry a full load.

Internships and Independent Study

With the exception of the University's Internships in Europe program, independent studies or internships taken on study abroad programs cannot receive pre-approval for transfer credit. While completing the independent study or internship, be sure to keep documentation of all academic work. Upon return, you will need to submit this documentation to an appropriate faculty member in order for transfer credit to be granted. It is in your best interest to discuss your plans with faculty before going overseas because some departments do not grant transfer credit for independent studies or internships, even for elective credit.


Grades for courses graded by University of Rochester faculty appear on the transcript and are calculated into the grade point average (GPA). In most cases, study abroad courses are not graded by Rochester faculty. The two most notable exceptions are the "Rochester in Arezzo" program, and the internship portion of the "Internships in Europe" programs.

Grades received on University of Rochester-sponsored programs appear on your UR transcript but do not count in your GPA.

Grades earned on programs sponsored by other colleges do not appear on your University of Rochester transcript and do not count in your GPA.