This is perhaps the most important academic concern you should have as a study abroad participant. Please pay close attention to the following issues:
Who is responsible for credit transfer?
YOU are ultimately responsible for the courses you take, providing proper transcripts to MSU for evaluation, and for any other documentation needed for the proper transfer and placement of credits earned abroad. It is an important responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. All courses successfully completed at the host institution for academic credit can be transferred into your degree at MSU. Whether it is an elective credit or a specific course substitution is up to you and your advisor(s). If you want to use any courses toward your core curriculum requirements, you should contact the Registrar. This is where general education determinations are made for transfer courses and where transfer credit is ultimately recorded on your MSU transcript.
Study Abroad Course Approval
Before you leave you must complete a Study Abroad Course Approval Form with your advisor. The Office of International Programs in Culbertson Hall provides this form. It is the same form that needs to go to the Financial Aid office if you are receiving financial aid. This form needs to be signed by your advisor and needs to be signed by the Registrar's Office. This form does not guarantee anything. It simply allows you to plan your courses while leaving room for unexpected events. This means getting as many courses pre-approved as possible, even though you may not be sure if you will take all of them.
Who needs a copy of the Study Abroad Course Approval Form?
- Your academic advisor
- Office of International Programs
- Financial Aid Office (if receiving Financial Aid)
- Office of the Registrar (if receiving credit for Core Courses)
- Take a copy with you
Credit and Grade Transferability
- Only those courses that have been passed according to the host institution's grading policy (whether it be numbers, letter grades, or simply pass/fail) will be considered for transferability.
- Total credits awarded will usually not be greater than what you would normally take in the same time period at MSU.
- If a course taken abroad is viewed to have the same course content as a course previously taken at MSU, your original MSU credits for the course will be deleted.
- BE AWARE OF MSU GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS! Check the MSU catalog on the MSU web page or see the Registrar's Office if you have questions or concerns.
- Keep copies of course descriptions, syllabi, and any other records you feel may be important for the proper evaluation of your courses.
Use of credits in major, minor and core curriculum requirements
- For courses to be used in your major they must be approved by your advisor and the department head or chair. This approval should be indicated in writing on your Study Abroad Course Approval Form and a copy kept in your file at the Office of International Programs.
- For a course to be used to satisfy one of the core curriculum requirements, it must fulfill the spirit of the MSU requirement. Courses may be pre-approved for general education requirements by meeting with the Registrar.
Before you leave your host institution, make sure that you make arrangements for an official copy of your transcript to be sent to the Registrar's Office. Make certain that you fill out the transcript form for the Registrar's office that can be picked up at the Office of International Programs. Many students assume that a transcript will automatically be sent. This is most often NOT the case, so check with OIP about the correct procedure for receiving a transcript. You may also want to obtain two or more personal copies of your foreign transcript. Obtaining official copies in the future may be difficult, and these would be needed if you transfer to another school for graduate or undergraduate work. MSU will not make copies of your international transcript. This transcript along with all others in your file (except MSU’s) is destroyed five years after your last course is taken at MSU.