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Academic Credit for Study Abroad

Planning Study Abroad: Academic Credit for Study Abroad

By College regulation, to receive credit for college level work done elsewhere, domestic or abroad, it must be evaluated upon completion by the appropriate Swarthmore academic department(s) or credit granting program(s) to determine how much Swarthmore credit it may receive. The only exception is work done at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania under the four-college agreement.

Students must take all courses abroad for a grade; pass/fail grades are not permitted. To be eligible for evaluation for Swarthmore credit, a course done elsewhere must receive a grade of straight “C” or better. The grades earned abroad will be entered on the Swarthmore transcript but will not be part of the Swarthmore GPA. The transcript from the program is the official record of the work completed on the program.

Before departure, students must get their proposed courses pre-approved for evaluation and pre-estimated for credit. When selecting a program students must keep in mind that each academic department or program at Swarthmore has its own rules concerning granting study abroad credit. Usually these policies are available on the department or program websites. If not, it is important to consult with the designated department or program representative to understand credit-granting considerations (e.g., total amount of transfer credit allowed, pre-requisites, etc.).

Upon return from abroad students submit their coursework to the appropriate department(s) or program(s) for the final evaluation of their work. With proper planning, most Swarthmore students get full credit for the work done abroad. The Off-Campus Study Office instructs students throughout the pre-estimation of credit and the final course approval process.

When appropriate, credit for work done elsewhere counts toward completion of specific requirements for the degree (e.g., major, distribution, twenty course rule) as well as towards the thirty-two credits needed to graduate.

Students must keep in mind that in almost every case, the academic environment will differ from what students are used to at Swarthmore. Students must comply with the practices and standards for the production and assessment of academic work as specified by the program or university attended. Usually there will be no flexibility regarding extensions or incompletes.