Credit Transfer Procedures

Study abroad transfer credit policies mirror those of The College. Following is information specific to transferring credit from study abroad.

Any course taken abroad must be comparable in content to what is offered at the University of Rochester. Students are required to take the equivalent of a full Rochester load while abroad. Credits may be transferred for elective, major, minor, and cluster credit. Electronic course approval forms can be found here. Refer to the transfer credit policy for more information. It is important to meet with your college advisor and adhere to the transfer credit policy of your intended department of major. All courses must be signed by an authorized faculty member. Submit the signed course approval forms to the two email addresses listed on page two of the course approval form.

For any Non-Rochester programs, on completion of the program, it is your responsibility to see that the college that sponsored your program sends an official transcript to the Center for Education Abroad. Credit will be granted for approved courses in which you have earned a C or better. Please email with your transcript. 

Be aware that grades and transcripts are often issued by education 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. 

Financial aid recipients: If you receive financial aid, your grades from the program will need to be reviewed to confirm that you are maintaining satisfactory academic progress before aid can be disbursed for the semester following your education abroad program. If it is determined that you are not meeting those requirements, you will be notified by the Financial Aid Office. It is important to request your transcript as soon as possible from your program, and to have a Course Approval Form on file so that this review can be conducted in a timely manner. Until this review is completed, your financial aid will not disburse to your student billing account.

International students: Due to Federal regulations, it is imperative that you register for and maintain a full course load while studying overseas. Failure to do so will jeopardize your immigration/visa status. Information is available from the International Services Office.

Credit for Language Courses

Credit cannot be awarded to students who enroll in a class that is at the same or a lower level as a class they have taken before their semester abroad. In order to avoid credit transfer confusion or problems, it is imperative that each student consult with the appropriate Authorized Faculty in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures or the Department of Religion and Classics before departure and registration.

Elective Credit

Courses intended for elective credit can be approved by an advisor in the Center for Education Abroad or the College Center for Advising Services and follow the course approval process. Send the course approval form and a copy of the syllabus to or to your college advisor.  
Bring or send an official catalog description or syllabus of each course to the Center for Education Abroad, before you leave for your semester abroad. Courses that are comparable to those offered at the University of Rochester can be approved for elective credit.
In some cases, you may be asked to submit the description to a faculty member for approval. All foreign language courses need approval and UR equivalency from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures or the Department of Religion and Classics.

Credit for Cluster Courses

It is possible to transfer an education abroad course toward a Cluster. Read the policy here.

Determining the Number of Credits Awarded

Many American colleges and universities are based on a 120-credit system, in contrast to the University of Rochester, 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. For programs that employ the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), the University of Rochester awards credit at a rate of 0.5 UR credits for each ECTS credit.

In most cases, a full semester (or year) of study completed elsewhere is worth a full semester (or year) at the University of Rochester. In any event, students abroad must complete the equivalent of 16 Rochester credits per semester. Neither underloads nor overloads are permitted during study abroad. If you are studying at a university whose academic year is broken into three terms, e.g. University of York, you must complete both the spring and summer terms for the equivalent of the University of Rochester's spring semester.

Internships and Independent Study

With the exception of the University's Internships in Europe program, independent studies, research, some internships and service-learning taken on education abroad programs cannot receive pre-approval for transfer credit. Discuss your interest in pursuing such opportunities with an Education Abroad Advisor before going abroad.  You will need to discuss your plans with Authorized Faculty before going overseas because some departments do not grant transfer credit for independent studies or internships, even for elective credit. See here for details.

If your internship or service-learning has an associated credit-bearing seminar, you do not need to seek faculty approval unless you want to use it toward a major or minor. Examples of associated credit-bearing seminars include IES Abroad SL/IN 395 Internship and Service Learning Seminar; CIEE INSH 3003 Internship.

For independent study, research, internships and service learning requiring faculty approval: While completing the independent study or internship, be sure to keep documentation of all academic work and keep in touch with the Authorized Faculty member. When you return, you need to submit this documentation to the faculty member in order for transfer credit to be granted.


Grades for courses graded by University of Rochester faculty appear on the transcript and are calculated into the grade point average (GPA).

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

Grades earned on Non-Rochester programs do not appear on your University of Rochester transcript and do not count in your GPA.