Academic Credit Considerations

The process for obtaining academic credit varies depending on whether or not you are going through a U-M study abroad program or a program not affiliated with UM.

U-M Study Abroad Programs: In-Residence Credit

UM Study abroad programs are programs administered and supported by the University of Michigan. With some exceptions, these programs allow you to obtain in-residence credit (rather than transfer credit) and maintain any type of scholarship or financial aid that currently applies.

Non-UM Study Abroad: Transfer Credit

If you choose to study abroad through a non-UM program, you must go through a specific process in order to make sure credits will transfer back to U-M from a non-UM program. Additional steps must be taken to see if credits will count towards a concentration or minor. The process should be completed before you leave for study abroad. Below are the recommended steps in the process, though these steps may vary by school/college. Be sure to touch base with your academic advisor if you have any questions.

  1. Find out whether credit from the program can be transferred into credit at the University of Michigan and what degree requirements the credit may be used for
    • Discuss your study abroad plans with your academic advisor. Your general academic advisor can discuss with you how your study abroad program fits into your U-M academic plan and advise you on which courses would fulfill your remaining graduation requirements (e.g. Are you able to fulfill any of your remaining distribution requirements abroad?). Prepare for the meeting and be ready to share information about specific courses of interest to you, including syllabi. LSA students should begin this conversation with their general LSA academic advisor at the Newnan LSA Academic Advising Center.
    • Check the Transfer Credit Equivalency Database to see courses that have previously transferred into the University of Michigan.
      • First try searching for the program through which you’ll be studying abroad and then find the class you want to take. If the class is there, you can see whether or not it was accepted as transfer credit by U-M in the past.
      • If you’re unable to find a course in the database, don't be discouraged. This just means that a U-M student has never tried to transfer over that course before. You can submit these courses for pre-evaluation through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions’s Transfer Credit Equivalency Request Form. This form is quick to complete, but it takes time to receive the results. We recommend not waiting until the last minute, as this cannot be completed while abroad.
    • Transfer students should also check with their academic advisors to ensure that they have not already transferred in the maximum amount of credits allowed by their school/college.
  2. Find out if credit can be transferred to a specific concentration or minor
    • Contact your concentration advisor to have the courses pre-approved.
    • Be clear to say whether or not the program is sponsored by U-M or is a non-UM program.
    • Bring any materials and/or information about the course to the advisor for pre-approval. Note: most study abroad programs post course syllabi online.
    • Some departments require an additional review of the course when students return so it is suggested to keep coursework and syllabi
    • Many U-M departments place a cap on the number of hours of transfer credit allowed to count towards the major.
  3. After you return, submit an official transcript to Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA). In some cases, the official transcript must be directly sent to OUA by the school that you attended. Transcripts should be submitted to [email protected] or the following address:
    Credit Evaluators, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
    300 Student Activities Building
    515 East Jefferson
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316

Direct Enrollment in Overseas Universities: U-M and Non-U-M

Direct enrollment means that you would be directly enrolled into another university. Credit transfer is similar to U.S.-sponsored study abroad programs; however, academic systems differ around the world so it is important to check with your academic advisors to ensure credit will transfer.

Note: Many U-M and other U.S.-sponsored programs provide the option of taking courses offered by host-country universities, but with the advantage of extra support services and a U.S. transcript (U-M programs provide “in-residence” credit for U-M students). Contact the International Center to discuss this further.

Language Institutes: U-M and Non-U-M

Language institutes are useful for intensive study of a foreign language. Courses tend to be less expensive than other study abroad programs. The language program should be offered by an accredited, degree-granting university. Even so, credit is often difficult to obtain. We recommend speaking with advisors from the corresponding language department at U-M in order to determine whether credit will transfer.