Academic Credit

There are many opportunities for students that are looking to study abroad and would like to receive academic credit. The process for obtaining credit varies depending on whether or not the student goes through a U-M study abroad program or a program not affiliated with the University of Michigan.

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 students 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

Students must go through a specific process in order to make sure credits will transfer 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 students leave for study abroad to gain full credit. Below are the recommended steps in the process.

  1. Find out whether credit from the program will be transferred into credit at the University of Michigan and what degree requirements the credit may be used for
    • Go to the student’s school/college’s academic advising center LSA Academic Advising Center and speak to an LSA Advisor adviser. Bring the class name and any information about the course with you. Advisors can tell if the credit will count as transfer credit at UM
    • Students should see what courses they need to take in order to fulfill distribution requirements and gain valuable information about their degree progress and completion
    • See the database of previously accepted courses from various abroad programs. Students are to search for the program they are going on and then find the class they want to take. If the class is there, they can see whether or not it was accepted as transfer credit by UM in the past.
  2. Find out if credit can be transferred to a specific concentration or minor
    • Contact the concentration advisor to have the courses pre-approved
    • Be clear to say whether or not the program is sponsored by U-M or is an outside program
    • Bring any materials and or information about the course to the advisor for pre-approval. Note: many 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. 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.
  3. Submit an official transcript after the student returns to Office of Undergraduate Admissions (OUA). In some cases, the official transcript must be directly sent to OUA by the school that the student attended. Check Requirements by Country for further details.

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

Direct enrollment means that students will be directly enrolled into another university. Credit transfer is similar to US sponsored study abroad programs; however, academic systems differ around the world so it is important to check with U-M Academic Advising to ensure credit will transfer. Students are required to find their own housing and be responsible for their own travels. This option is easier in English speaking countries. There are also universities with services directed towards short term enrollment students. This information is often available through the international student office at the foreign university.

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).

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. Credit is often difficult to obtain. Students need to speak with advisors from the corresponding language department at U-M in order to determine whether credit will transfer.

Note: Some U-M and other U.S.-sponsored programs provide the option of taking courses offered by language institutes, but with the advantage of extra support services and a U.S. transcript (U-M programs provide “in-residence” credit for U-M students).