Non-IU Procedures

If you decide to participate in a Non-IU program, your main source of guidance will be the provider. However, it is critical that you follow each of these steps to ensure you remain in good standing with Indiana University while off-campus.  For a guided version of the procedures, please review the Non-IU Online Procedures Presentation.

  • 1. Research Your Program Options

    For a review of the study abroad process and general information, please check out our "Study Abroad 101" online presentation. Review the Non-IU Academic Policies to determine your eligibility to participate on a non-IU program.

    Researching your Non-IU program is an important step.  Visit the researching section for some ideas on how to identify program options and a list of some examples of providers IU students have frequently studied abroad through in the past.

    Verify that the country where you intend to study is not on Level 3 or Level 4 on the US State Department travel advisories list. Indiana University students may not study abroad with IU approval and support in any country for which there is a Level 3 Travel Advisory unless a program exception has been granted. This means that you may not retain your IU status or apply your financial aid to the costs of the program.  (No exemptions will be considered for any locations under Level 4.) More information regarding IU's policy on study abroad in countries under travel advisories can be found in our Safety and Responsibility section.

    When researching programs offered through external institutions, make sure to check the Big List for all programs that are co-sponsored by Indiana University. If your selected program is on this list, then you must apply to the program through IU. If the program is not co-sponsored by IU, then you will directly apply to the program.  Check with Overseas Study for more information.

    Once you have thoroughly reviewed program materials, if you have further questions please visit the Office of Overseas Study during walk-in hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 2. Arrange for Credit to Transfer

    Check out our "Study Abroad101" online presentation. Review the Non-IU Academic Policies to determine your eligibility to participate on a Non-IU program.  Review our CTS/CTA Instructions Guide to get step-by-step assistance with understanding transfer credit and how to complete the necessary Non-IU form.

    1. 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. Certificates upon completion of program will not be accepted by International Admissions for articulation. 

    2. Once you confirm where your transcript will be issued from, check the Credit Transfer Service to see whether the transcript has already been accepted at IU. You will need to search by the location of the institution providing the transcript, NOT necessarily the location of your program. For more help navigating the Credit Transfer Service, see our online guide to the CTS.

    3. Submit a Credit Transfer Agreement form. To access the form, create an account in iStart. Log in under the Full Client Service window. After logging in, click the Admissions box on the side menu and begin the CTA by clicking the "Credit Transfer Agreement" link.  Deadlines for submission: Nov. 15 (spring programs), May 1 (summer, fall and academic year programs). No submissions will be accepted after the deadline.  Below are a few tips to help fill out the form:

    • If you want credit to count towards the World Languages & Cultures requirement a CTA is required.  Additionally, programs must be at least six weeks in length, and you must transfer back six credit hours or more to fulfill the requirement.
    • The university issuing your transcript is NOT Indiana University. The student must contact the provider if the school of record cannot be easily determined by searching the provider website. To ensure transferability, request a sample transcript from the provider to submit with your CTA.
    • Please fill out the form as completely as possible. All sections (including those without an asterisk) are important to complete in order to receive the most accurate information on how your credit will likely transfer back to IU.
    • 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. Listing all possible course you are likely to take abroad does not limit you to taking all of the courses listed; it does, however, provide you with the most information possible on how credits will transfer back to Indiana University IF you take the courses you listed.
      • Note: Credits and grades earned will not count in your IU GPA.
      • Do not take classes Pass/Fail.  Transfer credit is only awarded for letter grades of 'C' or better.
      • Many courses may 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, no further action is needed. IF the deadline to complete the CTA has passed, credit can still be transferred back.  Refer to the CTS for guidance after the deadline.
      • Any internships abroad must be reviewed and approved by an IU department before the study abroad experience if the student wishes to obtain transfer credit.
    • Expect 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. CTA forms are processed by The Office of International Admissions and not the Office of Overseas Study; questions regarding the processing time, technical assistance, or articulation of credits should be directed to their office.

    4. If you need courses from your non-IU program to equate to specific IU equivalencies (300/400 level hours, major/minor requirements, general education 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 One.IU find out what types of courses you have left to graduate (elective hours, major/minor requirements, distribution, etc.). Confirm that you will complete the residency requirement outside of program credits. Please note that credit from non-IU programs will not count towards 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. Syllabi are generally available on the program provider's website.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    5. While abroad, keep course materials (syllabi, graded coursework, reading lists, etc.) for all courses. Bring these materials home with you to petition for course approvals, if necessary.

  • 3. Apply to the Program

    Since you are participating on a non-IU program, apply directly to the program you've selected.

    When researching programs offered through external institutions, make sure to check the Big List for all programs that are co-sponsored by Indiana University. If your selected program is on this list, then you must apply to the program through IU. If the program is not co-sponsored by IU, then you will directly apply to the program. Check with Overseas Study for more information.

    If your application includes a form to be completed by a dean or advisor, bring the form to the Office of Overseas Study during walk-in advising hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. If a form for a disciplinary check needs completed as part of your application, please visit the Office of Student Ethics to have the form signed.  No forms will be signed without going through the Non-IU procedures. No forms will be approved if you are on academic probation.

    For questions about housing, arrivals, visas, course registration, etc. contact your non-IU program directly.

  • 4. Arrange to use Scholarships, Grants, and Loans

    Program fee payment will be arranged by your program provider.

    If you have or will have IU financial assistance (scholarships, loans, grants, etc), read the Financial Aid and Non-IU Programs section of our website. If you have questions about what financial aid you receive, you can verify your award status in One.IU. Students who wish to use financial aid other than scholarships to study abroad will need to complete an additional online application by November 15 for spring and May 1 for fall or academic year programs.

    Note that not all financial aid may be available for use on a non-IU program. Students should verify the transferability of specific scholarships and loans with the financial aid office. Review the list of financial aid exceptions on our website for details.

    Should your program have financial forms to be signed, Overseas Study can complete these forms for you. You will need to verify that you qualify to use your aid on a non-IU program first.

    If you plan to apply for summer financial aid, you must also complete a summer aid application with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

  • 5. Complete the Notification of Acceptance

    Once you have been accepted for your program, confirm your participation in a non-IU program by completing the online Notification of Acceptance.

  • 6. Prepare for Departure
    • During Continuing Student Registration, register in the special zero-credit OVST course for which you have been given permission. (Note: there is a modest fee associated with enrolling in the placeholder course.  Please refer to your notification of acceptance for additional details.)
    • Read the Non-IU programs "Getting Started" handbook online.
    • Attend the optional Non-IU program orientation meeting in April (for summer, fall and academic year programs) and December (for spring programs) organized by the Office of Overseas Study.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to make sure you know what classes to enroll in for the semester you return to IU.
    • Update your mailing address in your student center to your home or perminent address where someone can respond if needed.
    • Have courses evaluated for pre-approval when possible.
  • 7. Study Abroad

    Read carefully all electronic updates from Overseas Study, including detailed information about on-campus registration for the semester of your return.

    Have an official transcript from the college or university you attended abroad sent to International Admissions (Office of International Services, 221 Poplars, 400 E 7th St, Bloomington, IN  47405) upon completion of the program. Transfer credit will be awarded only for courses in which the equivalent of a grade of "C" or better is earned (Grades of "C-" and below or "Pass/Fail" will not be awarded credit).  Additionally, any internships abroad must be reviewed and approved by an IU department before the study abroad experience if the student wishes to obtain transfer credit.

  • 8. Follow the Post-Program Procedures

    Credit Transfer Approval

    If you had a CTA approved before program participation and there were no changes in your original course schedule, you can assume that your courses will be transferred as agreed when the official transcript arrives at International Admissions. Please note that International Admissions reserves the right to reassess the credit hours if the actual program dates differ from those listed on the program literature (15-16 weeks constitutes a full semester. Note that quarter credits X 2/3 = semester credits.)

    Courses on Non-IU programs are reported by the Office of International Admissions with IUB course titles and numbers when possible. Most courses will initially transfer back as undistributed 100-level credit (DEPT-UN 100). You can consult the Credit Transfer Service (CTS) to see if a course has already been evaluated by an IU department. If you need a course from your program to complete requirements such as 300/400 level hours, major/minor, or general education requirements, you will need to have your coursework evaluated by the relevant IU academic department or school.

    If you are in the College of Arts and Sciences or if you are in another school but working on a minor or other credit in the College, contact the advisors in the relevant department(s) to ask about having a course equated. You will need to provide them with course syllabi, reading lists and papers or exams you completed. They will then consider approving a match with courses in your major/minor area at the general 300-400 level*. Advisors should complete the Overseas Study online course approval form authorizing the change from undistributed -UN 100 credit.

    If you are not in the College of Arts and Sciences and are not working on a minor or certificate in the College, you will need to contact your advisor in your own school. Once you provide him/her with course syllabi, reading lists and papers or exams you completed, a determination may be made regarding satisfying requirements in your own school.

    If you did not have a CTA approved before you left, you can follow the post-program procedures outlined above (depending on the school in which you are currently enrolled). For courses not addressed by course approval memos, you can assume that if the program is approved by IU you will receive undistributed elective credit for those classes. Undistributed credit can be applied toward graduation and in certain cases can be used to fulfill distributional requirements. It does not automatically count in the major or for 300/400 level requirements.

    If you receive a transcript from your Non-IU study abroad program that is not in English, you will need to get a line-by-line translation of the transcript. Students should direct any questions to International Admissions for further instructions on how to get the transcript translated in order to transfer credit from the study abroad program.

    *For CASE culture studies requirements you will need to complete a petition form and submit materials to the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Assistant Dean's Office, Owen Hall.

    +For General Education distribution requirements you will need to complete a petition form and submit materials to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Maxwell Hall 100. This option is only available to students who have previously sought departmental approval through the process outlined above and have been denied.