Credits earned on an approved study abroad program are considered Puget Sound credit and will count towards your degree requirements as long as they are approved in advance.

Types of Credit

  • Acceptance of study abroad credit toward major or minor requirements is at the discretion of the academic department
  • Elective, major, and minor credit can all be earned on study abroad program
  • Some courses taught on approved programs will not be granted Puget Sound credit, including:
    • certain applied courses, such as architecture, that are not similar to the liberal arts courses found at Puget Sound
    • courses abroad that have an equivalent at Puget Sound may not be allowed for credit for both courses, as the course content will overlap

Units Earned

  • On semester programs, students typically earn 3.75 – 4.25 units
  • On summer programs, students typically earn .75 – 2 units
  • The number of units earned for each course abroad differs greatly by program and country. Many programs will state the number of credits earned in each course in US semester credit hours:
    • 4 semester credits (or credit hours) = 1 Puget Sound unit
    • 3 semester credits = .75 Puget Sound unit
  • The number of major or minor requirements you can fulfill abroad is determined by each department
    • Many Majors will allow you to fulfill 1 or 2 major requirements abroad
    • Many Minors will allow you fulfill 1 minor requirement abroad – however you will need to plan carefully as some minors have a minimum unit requirement and thus any courses taken abroad that offer less than one full Puget Sound unit can result in the need to take additional units in the minor when you return from abroad

Credit Approval Process

  1. As part of your application to study abroad, you will list the classes you would like to be evaluated. If the program does not have courses listed for the term you plan to go abroad, you can use their most recently offered courses as a guideline. 
    • You must meet with your major advisor prior to submitting your study abroad application. If you have two majors, you should meet with both faculty advisors. If you hope to earn minor credit abroad, please check with the department chair of that minor department to be sure you have selected an appropriate study abroad program. The advisor’s role in study abroad planning is essential to a successful study abroad experience. 
    • You must have all majors, minors, and interdisciplinary emphases that you plan to complete on your academic record. (You can declare or change your academic plans at the Academic Advising Office in Howarth 114. Please also refer to their website.  If you are unsure whether or not you will be able to complete a second major or a minor, you can drop the major or minor at a later date. In order to receive an accurate evaluation of study abroad courses, you will need your academic plan entered in into PeopleSoft on your Academic Requirements (AR) report.
  2. The Office of International Programs will review your proposed courses and determine whether and how each course will transfer to your degree requirements, following university transfer credit policies
    • If a course has not been reviewed previously, the OIP will consult with the relevant academic department in which you hope to earn credit. They may ask you to provide a course syllabus to make a final determination. Upon your return, you may also need to submit course material for review as the basis of the final course evaluation.
  3. After the courses have been reviewed, the OIP will share the completed Study Abroad Course Evaluation form with you, which will indicate how the approved courses apply to core, upper-division, foreign language, major, or minor requirements, or if they transfer as general elective credits. 
  4. You may need additional courses evaluated after you receive your completed Study Abroad Course Evaluation form. If you learn of new courses later, or when you arrive at your study abroad location, email the OIP with the course information (course title, description and/or syllabus, and how you want the course to count). To the extent possible, please do not register for any courses unless you know the course will apply to your degree. 
  5. Be sure to request an official transcript from your study abroad program be sent to the Office of the Registrar upon completion of your program:
    • Office of the Registrar University of Puget Sound 1500 N. Warner Street #1034 Tacoma Washington 98416-1034
  6. After your official transcript arrives, the Office of the Registrar will apply your approved courses to your academic record at Puget Sound. 

Grades and GPA

  • Study abroad grades are included in your cumulative GPA on your Academic Requirements (AR) report. The AR report is a tracking audit to verify students satisfy all degree requirements, and is no longer used following graduation. The cumulative GPA is comprised of grades from all courses included in the 32 units required for your degree, including study abroad courses and courses transferred from other U.S. colleges. Study abroad grades are also included in the major or minor GPA, if applicable, on the AR report, for purposes of degree clearance and departmental honors. You must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA to graduate, and a 2.00 GPA or higher for any major or minor.
  • Study abroad courses, but not grades, are listed on the UPS transcript. Thus, the study abroad grades are not part of the Puget Sound GPA on your transcript. The course title and unit value will be listed on the transcript. The grade is not listed. The transcript is the official academic record that students submit to graduate schools and employers after graduation.

In order to determine the credits a student may receive from a study abroad program, students will work with Office of International Programs. As part of the application to study abroad, students will indicate the courses they plan to take while abroad. This information is then reviewed by International Programs staff who will contact the student to discuss their study abroad credits.

See the Policies webpage for more detailed information on credits and grading.

Students are encouraged to talk to their faculty advisor, and must do so prior to submitting their Puget Sound study abroad application. Students may also contact the Office of International Programs if they have further questions before selecting a program and submitting the Puget Sound study abroad application.