Credit Review Process

Credit Review Process & Requesting Credit

Courses will be reviewed to determine the most appropriate credit decision for the course. This may include awarding a UNC equivalency, a departmental elective, general education credit, and/or general elective hours.  
Keep in mind that the university policy on repeated courses will apply. Review the repeat policy.

Types of Credit

Type of CreditWhich courses?How will it appear on my transcript?Satisfies which requirements?Example
UNC EquivalencyAssigned for courses that have an exact match in the UNC curriculumWill appear as equivalency on transcripts and in Connect Carolina (Course History, Tarheel Tracker, etc) with study abroad grading basisSatisfies any associated general education and major/minor requirements and functions as prerequisite if neededHIST 226 History of Rome
Departmental ElectiveAssigned for courses that do not have an exact match in the UNC curriculum, but do fit within a UNC department Will appear as departmental elective on transcripts and in Connect Carolina (Course History, Tarheel Tracker, etc) with study abroad grading basis If assigned with a level, will satisfy any associated major/minor/supplemental education requirements (when possible). May need additional discussion and/or adjustment with your major/minor department to fulfill additional requirements HIST ---- History Elective or HIST 2--- History 200-level Elective
General EducationAssigned for courses that do not fit within a specific department at UNC, but do satisfy "Making Connections Curriculum” general education requirements Will appear as assigned GENR for associated general education requirement on transcripts and in Connect Carolina (Course History, Tarheel Tracker, etc) with study abroad grading basis Satisfies any associated general education requirement(s) GENR 180 Visual or Performing Art
General ElectiveAssigned for courses that do not fit within a specific department at UNC and do not fulfill any general education requirements Will appear as GENR ---- on transcripts and in Connect Carolina (Course History, Tarheel Tracker, etc) with study abroad grading basis Satisfies general elective hour requirements GENR ---- General Elective
No CreditCredit cannot be awarded for courses focused on alcohol (i.e. wine tasting) Course will be posted as GENR ---- with a study abroad grading basis of ‘SN’ indicating no credit is being awarded No credit hours or requirements can be fulfilled with courses designated as no credit

Course Review and Credit Evaluation

Most newly submitted courses will first be routed to and reviewed by UNC Academic Departments to determine if a UNC equivalency exists, or if the course can be awarded departmental elective credit (leveled or non-leveled). 

When UNC Study Abroad receives a decision from a department for a new course, the decision will be loaded into the Study Abroad Credit Portal Pre-Approved List and onto the student My Course List. If a course is not awarded a UNC equivalency or departmental elective credit, it will be reviewed for general education or general elective credit. 

Note: Experiential Education (EE) credit is automatic for students on UNC Study Abroad programs! 

If a course is not found to have a UNC equivalency and cannot receive departmental elective credit, it will be reviewed for general education credit. Some courses awarded a departmental elective credit decision may also fulfill general education requirements; you can view this in the course notes by clicking on the course within the Pre-Approved List or when you receive a credit decision in My Course List. 

You can find descriptions of each Foundation, Approach, and Connection in the UNC Catalog. A course can be approved for up to 2 General Education Requirements in the Making Connections curriculum. This can include: 1 Approach + 1 Connection or 2 Connections.

Gen Ed decisions will be re-evaluated for the forthcoming new IDEAs in Action curriculum.

Criteria to Fulfill a Gen Ed Requirement

Course Content  
  • 2/3rds of the course must cover the specific Gen Ed content 
    • e.g for World Before 1750, 2/3rds of the course must focus on history before 1750 
Writing Requirement  
  • The course must have 2,000 words of writing or an equivalent amount of work 
  • This can include the final assessment, however the writing must be completed outside of class 
  • An equivalent amount of work may include presentations, portfolios, or a well-documented project outside of class 
  • Please note: class notes do not satisfy this requirement. Work should be academic, graded coursework. 
Final Exam  
  • Courses must include a final exam or assessment 
  • Further definition: final test, paper, presentation or project which signifies a cumulative assessment of gained knowledge from a course 
At least 2 UNC credit hours  
  • The course must be the equivalent of at least 2 UNC credit hours at the host institution. 
  • See the Credit and Grade Conversion Guide for credit hour equivalencies. 

In the event a course is not awarded a UNC equivalency, departmental elective, or general education credit, it will be considered for general elective credit. Almost all courses offered through approved UNC Study Abroad programs can earn general elective credit.  

Some courses may receive a UNC equivalency or departmental elective but may include additional hours of general elective (i.e. GENR —-) to ensure all credit hours from a course are awarded. 

Steps for Requesting Credit

Step 1: Upon approval/acceptance to your study abroad program, and within 30 days of your program start date

Login to the Study Abroad Student Credit Portal (link provided upon approval/acceptance) and review the list of pre-approved courses on the Request Pre-Approved Courses tab. You can filter by your program to help narrow the list. Note: this is not an exhaustive list of available courses or programs, and courses listed here are not guaranteed to be available at the host institution in the term you intend to study. This list will update as new courses are reviewed and approved. 

  1. These pre-approved courses have already been reviewed by the department and show the UNC credit that you would receive, provided you earn the equivalent of a UNC “C” or better. 
  2. If you see a course you wish to take, please click the green plus sign (+) for Add to My Course List. You will now see the course on the My Course List tab. Please allow time for the Study Abroad Office to process your request. 

If your intended course(s) are not listed on the pre-approved course list, select the Request New Course Review tab and click the button to Request Course Review. 

  1. Follow the steps to enter your program name and course information. Please make sure to upload a syllabus and provide a weblink and/or any additional documentation, if available.  
  2. Your course will be routed to the appropriate department for review. 

Review the status of your pre-approved courses and courses under review on the My Course List tab. 

  1. Pre-approved courses will show as ‘pre-approved’ and will update to the listed pre-approved credit after the Study Abroad Office processes your request. 
  2. New courses submitted for review will show as ‘pending’ and will update with UNC course credit once a department has issued a decision on the course. 

Step 2: Upon program completion

Review the My Course List tab in the Study Abroad Student Credit Portal and ensure it only includes courses you completed. 

  1. You can use the Remove From Course List minus button (-) to request that a course is removed. Please allow time for the Study Abroad Office to process your removal requests. 

Your host institution will issue an official transcript for the term you are enrolled. In some cases, you must request the transcript – check with your on-site contacts or your study abroad advisor for more information. Transcripts are required in order to process any credit for your term abroad (including elective hours!). Note that it can take anywhere from 1 to 4 months (or more) before a transcript arrives to the Study Abroad Office. You will receive an email notification when we have received your transcript. If you have NOT received a notification within 4 months of completing your program, please contact credit_abroad@unc.edu.