Getting Academic Credit
Ideally, study abroad will be an integral part of your BSU experience! If planned carefully it will enhance your education significantly without increasing the number of semesters required to graduate. While studying abroad through BSU's Office of Study Abroad, you remain registered at BSU and thus receive BSU transfer credits or BSU graded credit. As early as your first semester in college, discuss study abroad with your academic advisors, specifically how it fits into your overall academic plan.
BSU Study Tours
- All BSU study tours are faculty-led programs and receive BSU course
numbers, 3 credits, and grades which appear on your transcript.
- All grades are factored into your GPA.
- Work with your academic advisor to determine if course substitutions are
Semester and Summer Programs
- For all semester programs, including BSU exchanges, affiliates, and
direct enrollments, BSU students receive transfer credit for all courses
taken abroad at host universities or programs.
- Students receive an official transcript from the host institution. That
transcript is used to process the BSU transfer credit.
- For all summer affiliate or direct enrollment programs, BSU students
receive transfer credit for all courses taken abroad at host universities or
- Grades earned abroad as transfer credit are not factored into the
- Courses taken on all BSU study abroad programs need to be signed off on
for transfer credit pre-approval using the Transfer of Credit Request for
BSU Students Form (officially a Registrar form called Request for the
Transfer of Undergraduate Credit Taken After Admission)
- Each class taken abroad must be approved for transfer credit by the
department in which it is taken
- Each department/school reviews course descriptions, course syllabi and
other course material in order to approve and assign appropriate BSU
equivalencies or course numbers. The process should be completed before your
program or semester abroad starts
- If your courses are not pre-approved before you leave BSU, then you
should get them approved during your course registration at the host
institution or within two weeks of starting your courses abroad.
- To receive credit for an internship, the internship experience has to be
part of a graded course listed on the transcript from the foreign
institution; and before you leave BSU, you must have approval for that
internship credit or directed study from an academic department faculty
The Transfer Credit Pre-Approval Process
Transfer credit approval is a collaborative effort by the student, Office of Study Abroad, Registrar, Academic Departments, faculty from the departments awarding credit and the host universities and affiliates.
- Pre-Select courses at your host campus before you depart BSU (ideally
before the end of the semester before studying abroad - your application
- Select more courses than you will actually take in case any of your top
courses are full, not offered, or not appropriate for you.
- Obtain a syllabus and/or course description for each course. The course description or syllabus should contain a list of topics covered in the course, and if possible required readings (including page numbers or chapter headings), assignments (including papers), and exams (including information about the exam format).A course description alone may suffice and if the instructor's syllabus does not include the above information, please ask him/her to help you append the specifics.
- Most affiliate providers now have a broad range of course syllabi on their websites; if they do not have your proposed courses, you may also contact them to ask if they have that university's syllabi.
- If the syllabus and the course description are in a foreign language and you want to get the course approved by a department other than the foreign language department (e.g., history, political science), you must translate them into English, or have someone else translate them.
- Please be very sure to retain all notes, exams, papers, handouts, and any other course materials until the course has been finally approved by the BSU Faculty Evaluator. The evaluator may wish to examine these items to assess the work you've done and the credit you received. Download or print out the Transfer of Credit Request for BSU Students Form (also found under Forms on our website).
- Submit the syllabus and form to the appropriate department chair for each course you plan to take (i.e. if you take a sociology course abroad, you must submit the course documentation to the sociology Chair/evaluator). You may submit in-person, email, mail, or fax all the information to the evaluator.
- If you are using email, you should address faculty appropriately by introducing yourself, politely making your request and offering to meet with them and provide any additional materials they may need. Once the evaluators have approved your courses, you should ask them to email, mail or fax the completed form to the Office of Study Abroad and send a copy to you. For each course approved, you will need a separate form. It is up to you to verify that the Registrar and Office of Study Abroad has received all course approvals. This process should be done before you leave or as soon as you have a syllabus; at the latest within two weeks of starting a course.
- If you did not get your courses approved before leaving campus OR while abroad, then you may submit the forms for approval upon your return. Please note: courses not pre-approved before departure or participation are not guaranteed approval, so you run the risk of taking a class that does not get approved for transfer credit.
Once you have the Transfer Credit form completed for all of your proposed courses plus some extras, then submit the Transfer Credit form to the Registrar. Keep a copy for your records and give a copy to the Office of Study Abroad.
- Have your official host university or program transcript sent to the BSU Office of Study Abroad, Bridgewater State University, Maxwell Library, Room 303, Bridgewater, MA 02325.
- For most Affiliate or third party programs, your transcripts or grade reports will be automatically sent to the BSU Office of Study Abroad at the end of the semester. If you are studying at a foreign university as an exchange or directly enrolled student, you will need to ask your host institution to send your study abroad transcript to the Office of Study Abroad. The Office of Study Abroad will then forward your processed grades to the BSU Office of the Registrar where they will be entered on your BSU transcript.
- Once received, BSU Office of Study Abroad copies your transcript and sends the original to the BSU Office of the Registrar.
- The BSU Registrar matches the courses on the host transcript to the Transfer Credit approval forms and processes all credits that are approved for transfer credit.
- If the Registrar does not have a course approval form for any classes, they email the student and the BSU Office of Study Abroad to see if they have a copy.
- Any course credits that the Registrar does not have Transfer Credit approvals for are not placed on the students BSU transcript.
Check out "getting academic credit" article posted by director of Study Abroad, Lisa McAdam Donegan
Presentation about getting academic credit
Last Modified: March 20, 2012