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Education Abroad Office

Academic Credit

Students receive credit for courses taken abroad as long as they earn passing marks. The information on this page can assist you as you work with students through the course approval process. 

Students and advisors can find course equivalencies on the Registrar's website in the course equivalency table. Any course that is not listed in the table should be sent, along with a course description (which can be provided by the student), to the Registrar's Office to be evaluated. The Registrar's Office will consult with the appropriate subject-matter experts to determine course equivalents, add those equivalents to the table, and update the student and advisor on how the course was evaluated.

For the purpose of evaluating international transfer credit for students, the Registrar's Office will consider 15 contact/instructional hours at a foreign institution as equal to 1 UofSC credit. As outlined in the SACS compliance table standard 3.4.6:

The credit value of each course is determined by the amount of formal instructional time per week for one semester. UofSC follows the definition of a credit hour identified by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, as spelled out in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System Glossary: "CREDIT HOUR: A unit of measure representing an hour (50  minutes) of instruction over a 15-week period in a semester...It is applied toward the total number of hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, or other formal award."

Due to the high variation in the work completed by students in different courses and at different institutions, both in the U.S. and abroad, credits will be evaluated based solely on contact hours and not on difficulty, workload, or experiential learning.

Before students leave their host institution, they are responsible for ensuring that their transcripts will be sent to the UofSC Education Abroad Office. Once the Education Abroad Office receives the transcript, which typically takes about 6-8 weeks, the Study Abroad Enrollment Manager will upload it to BDMS. After the transcript is uploaded, the Registrar's Office posts the work to the student's record.

Regardless of whether students receive a foreign or domestic transcript from their program, the work they complete abroad will not be calculated in their GPA. Transfer work will post as pass/fail for foreign transcripts and as letter grades for domestic transcripts. The performance of the student will be evaluated based on the grading scale of the institution that they attend. Students must earn a grade considered passing by the foreign institution in order to be granted a passing grade at UofSC.

All students earning transfer credit must meet with their academic department to complete the Education Abroad Approval Form (EAAF), which lists intended requirements to be fulfilled while abroad. Once students and advisors have consulted the transfer table and/or the Registrar's Office to determine course equivalency, they can determine applicability of the student's preferred courses. 

Advisors are encouraged to remind students that academic department approval could take up to a week, thus they should not wait until the last minute to submit paperwork.

The Education Abroad Office will enroll all approved students in the INTL placeholder course. Registration for the INTL placeholder course ensures that students maintain their active student status at UofSC and that no application for readmission will be required upon return. Additionally, students must be registered for the INTL placeholder course in order to access scholarships and financial aid. 

Students going abroad for a semester are automatically enrolled in 15 credit hours, which is adjusted once the transcript is received at the end of the program. Students going abroad for a summer are automatically enrolled in 3 credit hours; they are provided with instructions on how to adjust this if it doesn't reflect their actual number of credits.

It is not unusual for a student's schedule to change while abroad. In the event that this happens, the student is instructed to contact you, their academic advisor, to get approval of any new courses they will be taking. The Education Abroad Office needs a new Education Abroad Approval Form (EAAF) or verification via email of new course approvals, if the new courses are not already listed on the initial EAAF. You can consult the transfer equivalency table to determine the equivalent for any new courses that the student adds to his or her schedule. Furthermore, you can contact the Registrar's Office to get a course evaluated if it is not listed in the table.


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