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Areas of Study & Credit Transfer > Credit Transfer

The following document contains country- and program-specific information about how grades and credits are transferred back to DU.  If, after consulting the guide, you still have questions about how your grades and credits from abroad will be calculated, please contact your OIE advisor.

Global Grading & Credit Scales

FAQs on Credit Transfer and Transcripts for Undergraduates

How many credits do I earn abroad?

It depends on what type of program you do and what types of classes you take. Just like at DU, classes can be worth different amounts of credits. You’ll want to be sure you understand how many credits each class you take abroad is worth at DU.

For undergraduates, if you plan to attend a semester-long program, it’s likely you’ll earn between 18-24 credits. This is because a semester is 15 weeks, while a quarter is 10 weeks, meaning that you’re earning more credits. If you have questions about credit or grade equivalencies for your study abroad program, please check with your international education (OIE) advisor.

Some departments at DU have restrictions on how many credits you can transfer in for a particular requirement, so please check with your department to find out!

How do I know how my classes will come back to DU?

You will get all of your courses approved to transfer back to DU; please refer to the Course Approvals section of our website.

Study abroad courses are "pass/fail," correct? Will my GPA transfer from abroad?

Study abroad courses are NOT pass/fail. You must earn a letter grade in order for DU to accept the credits. When you participate in a DU Partner Program, your grades from abroad will not be factored into your DU GPA, but they will be displayed on your transcript. No exceptions can be made to this rule. Graduate schools will often refigure your undergraduate GPA to include the grades that you earned abroad. If you have questions about credit or grade equivalencies for your study abroad program, please check with your OIE advisor.

If you participated in a DU faculty-led program, courses taught by DU faculty members will be factored into your DU GPA.

If you participated in an unaffiliated program, your classes will be listed in the transfer credit portion of your DU transcript without the grades.

Do I have to earn a certain grade in order for a course to transfer to DU?

On DU Partner Programs, you must earn a "D" or above for a course to count toward a general elective or as fulfillment of a university requirement other than your major. The department of your major or minor often require that you earn a higher grade to satisfy one of their requirements with a course taken abroad, which is most commonly the equivalent of a "C" or above. Check with your department for their policy.

For all courses taken on an unaffiliated program, you must earn the equivalent of a "C" or above to receive credit at DU for the course. Again, the department of your major or minor may require an even higher grade for the class the transfer.

If I fail one of my courses abroad, can it be omitted from my DU transcript?

No. If you participate in a DU Partner Program, all attempted coursework will be reflected on your DU transcript, including any "F’s." You will not earn credit for failed courses.

If you participate in an unaffiliated study abroad program, you may only transfer courses for which you earned the equivalent of a "C" or above. Courses with grades lower than a "C" will not transfer to DU and therefore will not appear on your DU transcript.

Do I have to get an academic advisor's approval for a course taken abroad to count as a general elective at DU?

It depends on whether the course is taken on a DU Partner Program or an unaffiliated program. You do not need to get explicit approval for courses taken on DU Partner Programs to count towards general electives – they count as electives by default, unless the course content is questionably academic (for example, a class on hiking or tennis is not likely to be awarded academic credit at DU). To get them to be applied toward another degree requirement such as a major elective or a CORE, you must have the approval of an appropriate academic advisor.

If the course is taken on an unaffiliated study abroad program, all courses must be approved by an academic advisor, including courses that you want to count as general electives. General elective credits are approved by the corresponding academic department here at DU.

When will the courses I take abroad appear on my transcript and APR at DU?

For fall quarter programs, most grades for Southern Hemisphere study abroad programs will be posted in January and February, and most Northern Hemisphere grades will be posted in February and March. Generally, it takes 2-3 months after the completion of your study abroad program for the credit to transfer to DU. A few programs may take even longer.

I looked at my APR and noticed that I had 16 credits listed for my study abroad – that isn't the right number of credits! How do I get this fixed?

Remember that the 16-credit Study Abroad course is not a reflection of the actual number of credits that you took abroad. It is merely a placeholder course so we know that you were registered as a full-time student during that term and that we have not yet received your study abroad transcript. When we receive your transcript (which can be several months after the completion of your program), we will remove the placeholder course and replace it with the actual classes you took, their credit value, and the equivalent of the grade that you earned (allow 3 weeks for this process to be completed). For unaffiliated programs, the credit is listed for the courses, but no grades will appear on your transcript.

I ended up taking a class abroad that I did not have preapproved by a DU academic advisor. Is it too late to get an approval now that I’ve completed the program?

It is not too late to get a course approved for a DU requirement; however, remember that the course may not transfer as you were hoping. Check with the appropriate academic advisor as soon as possible so that you can adjust your academic schedule accordingly. Refer to the Study Abroad Course Approval Form for an up-to-date list of academic advisor contacts and the degree requirements that they are in charge of approving.

I’m applying for graduate school; how do I get a transcript from my study abroad program?

If you participated in a DU Partner Program, remember that your courses abroad are reflected on your DU transcript as resident credit, and your grades are displayed; because the courses and grades are shown, many graduate programs will not require the transcript from abroad, but you should still contact them to confirm what their policy is on study abroad transcripts. If you do need an original transcript from your foreign institution, you should contact your foreign institution or study abroad program directly to request it from them. DU will not give you its only original copy of your study abroad transcript as it is needed for the University’s official records.