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Academics Abroad

One great thing about studying abroad is that the courses you take can count toward major, minor, general education, or elective credit.

General Requirements for Study Abroad Enrollment:

  • You must take courses abroad for a letter grade, not pass/fail, at your host institution.
  • You must enroll in the equivalent of 12-18 UNC credit hours per semester. You may transfer a maximum of 18 credit hours per semester abroad.
  • Summer enrollment may be 3 UNC credit hours or more, depending on your program. (Note: 4 credit hours is considered ‘full time’ for summer and we align with UNC summer credit maximums).

Earning Credit for Study Abroad Coursework

Courses taken abroad will be eligible for various types of credit, depending on the program. With careful planning with Academic Advising and your Study Abroad Advisor, you can apply this credit towards your degree requirements at UNC!
UNC faculty-led programs offer graded credit that factors into your UNC GPA.

Students on hybrid faculty-led programs may earn both graded and transfer credit. Please see the All Other Programs drop-down below for information about requesting credit for your transfer credit courses.

Any course taken abroad taught by a non-UNC professor will be eligible for transfer credit that will come back as a UNC equivalent course, departmental elective, or general education/elective course (more information about credit types) with a specific study abroad grading basis

  • Passed credit (courses where a “C” or better is earned) will be reflected on the UNC transcript as a “SA” or study abroad pass and satisfy the approved requirement. The passed credit will not be calculated in your GPA.
  • Failed credit (courses where a “C-” or less is earned) will be reflected on the UNC transcript as a “SF” or study abroad fail AND impact the UNC GPA as the equivalent of an “F” grade
  • Withdrawn credit (courses with a W or withdrawn grade) will be reflected on the UNC transcript as a “SW” or study abroad withdrawal but will not earn credit or impact the UNC GPA.
  • No credit (courses where credit cannot be awarded- i.e. alcohol-based courses) will be reflected on the UNC transcript with a grade of “SN” or study abroad no credit but will not earn credit or impact the GPA.

Steps for Success

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor before applying to discuss academic planning and degree requirements. This is imperative if you have a high number of transfer credit hours at UNC.
  • Research course and credit information for your study abroad program, including online course catalogues. Familiarize yourself with the academic system of the host institution, including credit and grade equivalencies posted on the program brochures.
  • Save ALL course materials and work produced, syllabi, reading list, papers, artwork, et cetera, to support your credit transfer requests.
  • Request ALL credit through the Study Abroad Credit Portal, when applicable, prior to program completion.
Want to know more about the credit transfer process? Explore the Academics Abroad menu on the left.