Steps to Study Abroad


Students who participate in approved Southwestern programs abroad or away will receive academic credit applied to their degree at SU. It is helpful to understand the types of credit and how they apply.

Academic Credit

 Study Abroad/Away Credit Handout
  • The Office of the Registrar will only award academic credit for coursework taken on a program (including virtual programs) with pre-approval from the SU Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services. Credit transfer and financial aid may be jeopardized if prior approval for a program is not granted.
  • Students may not study abroad during a Leave of Absence.
  • Southwestern requires that all students complete a minimum of 15 credits (semester programs) or 3 credits (summer programs).

Type of Credit

Elective credit is approved by the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services (SAISS) and contributes to your overall credit requirement for graduation.

Major, Minor or General Education credits require approval by the Department Chair. Course descriptions and/or syllabi may be required. There are programs for all majors

In-residence credit counts toward the SU GPA and residency requirements. Students must complete 64 credits in residence at SU and complete 60% of major credits and 12 out of 18 minor credits in-residence. In-residence courses may be taken P/D/F or for a letter grade except for “British Life and Culture” on the SU London Fall Semester Program. The following programs are considered in-residence:

Transfer credit is earned if the student received a grade of C- or above in a course on an SU-approved program (program provider or the New York Arts Program). Students must take all courses for a letter grade. The grade does not count toward the student’s SU GPA or residency requirements. Note: graduate schools will require original transcripts.

Transfer students

Transfer students who brought in more than 64 credits to Southwestern University may participate in an approved study abroad program, and transfer in up to 16 additional credits, which will count towards their required 64 in-residence credits. This should allow all students the ability to study abroad at least once during their time at Southwestern.

Credit Approval Process for Transfer Credit

  1. Meet with a study abroad advisor
  2. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss degree requirements
  3. Research programs and courses
  4. Complete the Transfer Credit Form before departure. See. Example Transfer Credit FormObtain course syllabi and take them to department chairs to request credit approval.
  5. Complete the Verification of Study Abroad Enrollment Form after arrival and course registration has been confirmed.
  6. Submit transcripts or grade report to Southwestern after the program.
  7. Receive academic credit at SU.