UMD: A Globally Connected University

Earning Credit Abroad

Earning Credit Abroad

Take your studies to the next level with global experiences.

Policies Affecting Study Abroad Credit  |  Program and Credit Approval  |  Types of Credit

You will meet with your EA and academic advisors to determine how credits from study abroad will apply to your degree requirements. Please consider the policies below that govern credit for study abroad. In addition, study abroad students are held to UMD's code of academic integrity and policies outlined in the UMD undergraduate catalog


Policies Affecting Study Abroad Credit 

All policies as indicated in the UMD Undergraduate Catalog apply to study abroad unless otherwise noted. 

  • Pass/Fail Rule**: All study abroad courses must be taken for a grade. Credit will not be earned for any course taken pass/fail. 
  • Minimum Passing Grade: You may earn credit courses taken abroad for transfer credit as long as you receive the equivalent grade of C- or better. Grading scales vary across countries and institutions and you should speak with your EA advisor about the minimum passing grade for your study abroad program. 
  • Final 30 Credits**: Study abroad is permitted in the final 30 credits of your UMD degree subject to approval from the dean of the your college (see the UMD Undergraduate Catalog for more details). Speak with your EA or academic advisor about this process. With approval from your academic units, you may also study abroad in your final semester at UMD. Please note that some semesters abroad extend beyond the UMD graduation date for that term and you may not be able to receive your diploma until the following issue date pending the posting of your study abroad credits. Some colleges will permit you to participate in graduation ceremonies if you have been approved for the study abroad credit that term. Speak with your academic advisor about this process and applying for graduation in the semester you will be abroad.
  • Full Time Enrollment**: You are expected to maintain a full time student status when you study abroad for an academic semester or year. This means you must be enrolled in the equivalent of at least 12 UMD credits. 
  • Application & Paperwork Submission Deadlines**:  All materials must be received by EA in accordance with published deadlines to guarantee the transfer of credit, the application of financial aid to study abroad, international insurance coverage, and other EA services. If you miss the EA application deadline but would still like to participate on an affiliate or another approved program, you may consider the retroactive credit approval process.
  • Foreign Language Credit Policy**: UMD credit will only be granted for foreign language courses taken abroad at or above the course level already completed at UMD. Credit will not be awarded for courses at a level lower than that already received at UMD (i.e. if you received credit for SPAN203, you may not earn credit abroad for any 100-level equivalent Spanish language course). Repeated courses follow the repeat policy. We cannot guarantee placement in specific levels. For additional information on this policy, please refer to the UMD undergraduate catalog.
  • Experiential Learning Credit Policy:  You may earn credit for experiential learning (internships, service learning) for resident credits only on select Maryland-in semester programs. No transfer credit will be awarded for internship, externship, practicum, or co-op work experiences that are not supervised by UMD faculty. In addition, transfer credit is not awarded for these types of experience completed through other institutions. See the UMD Undergraduate Catalog for more information. 
  • "Book Exams" or "Credit by Exams":  The ECTS credit system sometimes has courses that are called “book exams” or “credit by exams.” This CANNOT be transferred into UMD for academic credit. 
  • Repeat Policy**: With the permission of your academic college, you may take courses abroad that would be considered repeat courses. UMD's standard repeat policy applies, including any grade replacement if applicable. 
  • Programs that are not approved: Education Abroad maintains a list of programs that have been reviewed and are not approved for transfer credit. Please review the unapproved programs list for more information. 

**Applies to both Resident Credit (RC) and Transfer Credit (TC)

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Program and Credit Approval

  • Program approval: UMD maintains a robust portfolio of approved study abroad options for students across all academic colleges. Should your academic needs require you to pursue a study abroad program you cannot find through the program search, you may speak to an EA advisor about your options for submitting a petition to apply to a non-approved study abroad program.
  • Credit approval: You will work with your EA and academic advisors prior to departing for study abroad to have your courses evaluated and approved for applicability to your degree. This is called the study abroad course pre-approval process. These approvals will be documented on the Study Abroad Course Pre-Approval Form (SACA), where your advisors will indicate the amount of credit and any UMD course equivalents that apply. 
  • Credit evaluation: Upon completion of your study abroad program, your academic record will be forwarded to your EA advisor for evaluation. Your EA advisor will determine the amount of eligible credit and submit to the registrar for posting to your degree. Please note that it can take up to 3 months after the completion of your study abroad semester for these credits to post to your record, depending on when the transcript is received from your host university/program.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your study abroad transcript is received at Education Abroad. Transcripts sent to the UMD registrar will not be evaluated or forwarded automatically to Education Abroad.
  • Retroactive credit approval: If you miss the EA application deadline but would still like to participate on an Affiliate Program or an Other Approved Program, you may consider the retroactive credit approval process. This means that EA cannot guarantee your transfer of credits before you go abroad and you will participate in study abroad as an independent student. If you are going on a fall or spring semester program, you must take a leave of absence at UMD for the semester you will go abroad and apply for re-enrollment upon return. Even though we cannot formally guarantee credits if it is past the deadline, you are encouraged to speak with your EA and academic advisors so you are informed about how studying abroad will impact your 4-year plan. Review the steps for the retroactive process

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Types of Credit

  • Resident Credit:  Courses abroad that carry UMD course names and titles and appear as UMD courses on your UMD transcript. Grades earned in resident credit courses will factor into your UMD GPA.
  • Transfer Credit:  Courses that are taken at an institution abroad and are transferred in to your UMD record. Transfer courses are evaluated before you leave for study abroad and can be awarded UMD equivalent. These classes will but appear on your UMD transcript as a course from an outside institution. Transfer credit courses cannot be taken on a pass/fail basis and you must earn the equivalent of a C- or better for the credit to apply to your UMD degree. Grades earned in transfer credit courses will not factor into your UMD GPA. You can view study abroad courses that have been evaluated for transfer credit through the Transfer Credit Equivalency Database.You can apply no more than 90 transfer credits towards your UMD degree, but you should check with your academic department about their specific transfer credit limits.
  • General Education Credit: UMD requires all students to take General Education courses as part of their degree program. Some courses abroad carry different General Education distinctions and can be used to fulfill these requirements.  

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