Arrange for Credit to Transfer
Contact your program/provider to find out what college or university will issue your transcript at the end of the program. The transcript might come from a U.S. or foreign institution, but must be an official transcript from an accredited school or university and display letter grades. Once you confirm where your transcript will be issued from, take the following steps to ensure your credit is transferable:
- Check the Credit Transfer Service to see whether the transcript has been already been accepted at IU. You will need to search by the location of the institution providing the transcript, NOT the location of your program. As an additional resource, you may also consult the list of previously approved programs in the Office of Overseas Study.
- Submit a Credit Transfer Agreement form. To access the form, create an account in iStart if you haven't already. Then fill out the CTA. Deadlines for submission: Nov. 15 (spring programs), May 1 (summer programs), May 1 (fall programs)
Please note that there may be a 4-6 week processing time. IU only gives transfer credit based on an official transcript from a recognized or accredited institution of higher education.
Credit from no more than two programs and a maximum of six courses per program will be accepted for evaluation for each semester you plan to enroll. For schools on the quarter system, IU credit hours will be computed as two-thirds of the total quarter hours.
Note: Credits and grades earned will not count in your IU GPA.
Note: Most courses will initially transfer back as undistributed 100-level credit (appears on your returned CTA as DEPT-UN 100). If you only need elective credit to graduate, you can leave these courses as they are. Otherwise, please continue reading below.
If you need courses from your non-IU program to complete requirements such as 300/400 level hours, major/minor requirements, distribution requirements, etc., then you will need to get your courses approved by the respective department at IU. It is up to each academic department or school to determine how they approve transfer credit from study abroad programs. Below are some ways that you can be proactive about taking appropriate classes abroad:
- Consult your Advisement Report on OneStart to find out what types of courses you have left to graduate (elective hours, major/minor requirements, distribution, etc.). Confirm that you will complete the senior residency requirement outside of program credits. Please note that credit from non-IU programs will not count towards senior residency credit.
- Compare course descriptions/syllabi for the courses offered on your non-IU program to course descriptions/syllabi of the course requirements you wish to fulfill at IU. Hint: You can find a full list of approved distribution courses offered at IU in Appendix II of the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.
- Choose courses at a similar level to the ones you are required to take at IU, noting that some institutions may operate on a different system. A general rule of thumb is that if you need to fulfill upper-level requirements at IU, do not enroll in introductory level courses abroad, but rather in more advanced courses.
- Do not take classes Pass/Fail. Transfer credit is only awarded for letter grades of "C" or better.
Once you have done the above research on your own, and gathered information about your study abroad courses, you should meet with your major advisor about the courses you have remaining in your degree requirements, how many elective hours you can afford, limitations to the amount of credit you can complete abroad, or if there are any courses that must be taken on the IU campus. Seniors should check their residency status before committing to a program.
You can also meet with any departments outside your major or school to discuss course approvals and equivalencies. Be sure to have done the above research ahead of time and provide course information such as detailed course descriptions and syllabi from your non-IU program.
While abroad, keep course materials (syllabi, graded coursework, reading lists, etc.) for any courses you have not had pre-approved. Bring these materials home with you to petition for course approvals.
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