- Course Load
- Independent Study and Individualized Readings
- Pass/Fail Option
- Withdrawal from an Overseas Study Program
- Dropping and Adding Courses
- Course and Credit Requirements
- Course Approval and Course Equivalencies
- Grading Policies
All students accepted to a semester or academic year overseas study program meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss the courses that are appropriate for them to enroll in abroad.
An advising form signed by the student, the advisor(s) in the major(s) and minor(s) and, in most cases, the study abroad advisor reflects the common understanding by all signers of what course work the student will take abroad. It is understood that enrollment patterns abroad may require some last minute changes.
All students, but especially those on co-sponsored programs, must contact Overseas Study directly regarding any changes to their schedule to ensure IU credit for course work overseas. Any correspondence between the student and the home-campus advisors must be shared with Overseas Study which must approve any changes to the original schedule.
Students participating in summer programs are required to take a fixed number of credits offered, even if they do not need all the credits for degree requirements.
15-16 credits are the minimum course load each semester required by most programs [the few exceptions are outlined in program-specific handbooks and will be discussed at Overseas Study advising sessions.] Students should not drop below full-time status as stipulated by each program policy.
Exceptions are considered only in cases of illness or similar extenuating circumstances.
Graduate students accepted to graduate semester programs must take a minimum of 9 credits and a maximum of 12 credits per semester.
If a student drops below the minimum required hours, an F is awarded for the remaining number of credit hours.
Students participating on co-sponsored programs must adhere to the co-sponsor's minimum course load requirement, but Indiana University may impose additional academic requirements.
Students are not permitted to include IU or on-site independent study courses as part of their minimum course load abroad. On-site independent study courses may be arranged with permission from the home campus, but only in addition to the minimum course enrollment requirement.
Instead, Overseas Study encourages students to arrange ahead of time with an IU faculty member to do research while abroad but register for the independent study credit for the semester of their return.
Overseas Study strongly discourages students from taking online or correspondence courses during their stay abroad. Such courses cannot form part of the term’s minimum course load.
Overseas Study does not permit the declaration of P/F for IU-administered summer or semester programs or on co-sponsored programs.
Overseas Study permits students on IU-administered academic year programs in mainstreamed foreign language environments to take two courses during the year P/F with the exception of pre-session courses, required language courses and courses used to complete degree requirements. P/F policies for your individual school still apply.
Students must declare a course P/F by each program's published deadline and never after receiving a final grade.
If a student withdraws from the program shortly after arrival at the program site (typically during the orientation period), enrollment in the Overseas Study program is deleted from the student's record instead of recording W's in all courses.
We cannot guarantee that students who complete a pre-session before withdrawing from a semester or academic-year program will receive credit for that portion of the program.
Resident directors monitor students on IU-administered programs to ensure that they do not fall below required minimum enrollment levels. It is the student's responsibility to keep the program's administrators and the Office of Overseas Study informed about their enrollment.
Reasonable deadlines for dropping classes are established at each program site based on the host country's academic calendar.
Students are encouraged to attend more courses initially than they expect to enroll in so they can drop the least appropriate courses before the registration deadline.
Students are expected to complete all course work before they leave the study abroad site. They are not permitted a grade of Incomplete in order to complete an assignment after their return to the U.S. (An exception is made for short-term field school programs in which the analysis of field research is completed by a deadline shortly after return to the U.S.)
If students do not complete course work prior to departure from the program site, they receive an F for that course.
If a student has completed all course work abroad, but no grade is reported due to an oversight or delay by the host country faculty or the program administrators, the Office of Overseas Study temporarily enters an Incomplete until the correct letter grade is determined.
In circumstances beyond a student's control (e.g., closure of the program) the Office of Overseas Study is permitted to award a permanent Incomplete (one that does not become an F at the end of a year).
In awarding credit for course work taken abroad, Overseas Study assumes that the contact hours are comparable to those at IU (i.e.12.5 contact hours per credit hour).
Courses taught by IU faculty abroad are expected to include required reading, written course work, examinations and, when possible, term papers. Field study programs typically incorporate journal writing into the assessment process.
When enrolling in courses taught by host country nationals, students are expected to select courses that require work that can be assessed for a grade or to arrange for special assignments that can be evaluated. If no such academic work can be arranged, the student will not receive credit for the class.
Courses on Indiana University Overseas Study programs are reported to the Registrar with IUB course titles and numbers wherever feasible. IU faculty evaluate foreign course descriptions and syllabi in order to determine what their department's equivalent IU level and number should be. This sometimes takes place before students go abroad, but more often occurs when students return from abroad with course material to substantiate their request for credit. The Registrar has developed a flexible equivalency system (e.g., undistributed courses with the original course titles on the transcript according to a numerical ranking, HIST-OS 100, 200, etc.) to facilitate accounting for courses with no exact equivalent in the IU system. Please note that course equivalencies are based on the content of the course and not the language they are taught in.
The Office of Overseas Study keeps a record of courses that have approved IU equivalents. Students are given guidelines for selecting courses abroad when there are no pre-established equivalencies. Students are guaranteed credit for all IU study abroad course work, but the amount and level of the credit for each course is determined by campus departments with the assistance of the Office of Overseas Study.
The Registrar allows courses taken abroad to be reported as 1 credit more or 1 credit less than is listed in the IU bulletin.
Once the IU grade and course equivalency information has been verified, Overseas Study produces grade reports for the Registrar and, in some cases, the recorder. Overseas Study lists the unequated courses as 100-level undistributed course work. When a department decides that those courses should be listed as upper-level undistributed credit or as an IU course, Overseas Study needs the department to submit documentation to that effect via the Course Approval Memo.
It is important to note that until the equivalent IU courses and grades are posted, the student's OneStart degree audit will not be a reliable indicator of the student's requirement or credit situation. Therefore, since the OneStart report may be temporarily inaccurate, it is required that students check with Overseas Study to verify actual standing vis-a-vis requirements and degree completion.
Study abroad courses may count towards major, minor or elective requirements, based on departmental policy. In addition, participation in a program in and of itself may satisfy a requirement as is the case for 1) IUB majors in the College of Arts and Sciences who can satisfy one component of the Global Civilizations and Cultures requirement by participating in a semester or year-long program and 2) IUB International Studies majors who are required to study abroad for six weeks or longer.
The IUB General Education Requirements, instituted during the summer of 2011, include an international experience option as part of the World Languages and Cultures requirement. An international experience may satisfy the World Languages and Cultures requirement only if it meets specific criteria. For detailed information about how to satisfy this requirement, see: http://gened.iub.edu/requirements/genedrequire.html as well as our website.
For IUPUI students, study abroad programs may count as International Experience courses for the RISE initiative. For more about the RISE course approval process, visit http://uc.iupui.edu/Academics/Procedures/RISECourseApprovalProcess.aspx.
Most departments are flexible in permitting courses taken overseas to count toward degree requirements. However, Overseas Study respects a department's requirement that students who study abroad still need a number of actual home campus credits (typically 10 for the major and 6 for the minor) before they receive a major or minor from that department.
All students on Overseas Study programs are registered at IU-Bloomington. However, credits earned by students who reach senior standing (usually 86 credits) on Overseas Study programs satisfy the senior residency requirement on their home campus (e.g., IUB, IUPUI, IPFW, etc.). This policy facilitates study abroad for students unable to go abroad until their fourth year of college.
When a transfer student to IU decides to go abroad after only one or two semesters on an IU campus, the student's school reserves the right to re-evaluate the student's "senior residency" credits from abroad so that the transfer student will have enough on-campus credit to justify a degree from that school.
Students from an IU campus other than Bloomington are registered administratively as special non-degree students on the IUB campus for their time abroad, but they earn credits toward the home campus degree. Consequently, if a student wishes to pursue an IU-Bloomington degree after the study abroad program, the student will have to fulfill the senior residency requirement on the Bloomington campus before qualifying for the degree. The student may have to satisfy the major department's residency requirement in Bloomington as well.
Likewise, if an IUB student who spends a year abroad wishes to complete his or her studies on another IU campus, he or she will have to determine the impact on the residency requirement with the degree-granting campus.
- The Office of Overseas Study includes grades for all IU overseas course work in the student's cumulative GPA.
- On many programs, particularly summer and short-term programs, IU faculty are responsible for assessing the student's work. In these cases, the faculty use the same rigorous, discriminating grading criteria they use at home. In cases of field study experiences, the faculty are necessarily diligent in establishing clear criteria to evaluate non-classroom academic exercises. Overseas Study course work abroad is as rigorous as on-campus course work and Overseas Study assumes its faculty abroad takes special care to devise discriminating criteria to assess students' work.
- When grades are given by faculty from the host country using that country's grading scale, equivalency scales are used to translate the grades to U.S. grades. These scales are not a mere adaptation to the U.S. percentage or letter grade system, but rather are designed to match the spirit of the host country grading system with the U.S. one. The same variation that occurs between the differing demands of professors here at IU is likely to occur with teachers abroad and Overseas Study does not make adjustments to the grading scale on this count.
- In the interest of promoting rigor, Overseas Study does not include A+ on equivalency scales and awards an A+ for courses abroad only in rare circumstances. A+ grades are reserved for exceptional cases and are awarded the same GPA weight as an A.
- After departure from a program site abroad, should students have questions about how a final grade was achieved they may submit an inquiry. Inquiries should be directed either to the co-sponsoring agency or Overseas Study.
The co-sponsoring agency, host university and/or Overseas Study will seek feedback from the faculty member of record and verify that grading procedures that are considered the norm for that particular institution, country and/or program were followed.
Overseas Study recognizes the professors as the primary authorities in matters of grading. Overseas Study will NOT adjust grades; only corrections for calculation or recording errors will result in a grade change.
- Should students believe that there has been professorial misconduct, they should file a formal petition. Evidence about such misconduct must be provided to support such petitions, not hearsay, subjective impressions, or remarks of a personal nature. Dissatisfaction with a grade, based on the student perspective of his or her own performance, will not constitute acceptable grounds for an appeal.
Filing an Inquiry/Petition
- To file an inquiry/petition in connection with a course from a co-sponsored program, the student must follow the specific procedures of the co-sponsoring agency (e.g., IES, CIEE), within the agency’s specified time lines.
- To file an inquiry/petition in connection with a course from an IU-administered faculty led program, the student must write directly to the professor and send a copy of the statement to the Office of Overseas Study.
- To file an inquiry/petition in connection with a course from any other IU-administered program, the student must send a formal statement and any supporting documents directly to the Office of Overseas Study.
- Inquiries must be filed within 2 months of student notification of the final grade. Review/investigation may take up to 60 days to complete.
Appealing the Outcome of a Petition
- Within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the response to a petition, a student may file an appeal.
- The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Office of Overseas Study and should include ample documentation or evidence.
- The appeal is forwarded to members of the Overseas Study Advisory Council’s Appeals Committee along with all relevant correspondence and documentation collected by the Office of Overseas Study in investigating the initial petition.
- The Appeals Committee convenes (in person or by means of virtual technologies), and may uphold the decision of the initial petition or determine an alternate outcome. Alternate outcomes may vary, depending upon focus of the petition and actions permissible within the purview of the Office of Overseas Study. Appeals Committee decisions are final and become effective when the Committee issues its decision.
- The Appeals Committee issues a written decision within seven (7) calendar days after convening. The decision sets out the committee’s conclusions and the findings of fact and reasoning supporting those conclusions. The presiding officer of the Committee sends the decision to the student, with a copy to the Associate Vice President for Overseas Study.
The Appeals Committee of the IU Overseas Study Advisory Council
The Appeals Committee is appointed by the Vice President for International Affairs and includes two current members of the IU Overseas Study Advisory Council and one senior member of the IU faculty.
Our daily lives are so different from people across the globe. To learn about how other people live their lives, it makes you think about how you want to live your life. It’s character building.”-Maggie Brinley, IU Overseas Study Participant, Spain