Credit Transfer

How do I earn credit at UM for classes I took abroad?

  • You earn credit at UM for all of the classes you pass at your host institution.

  • Credit transfer is performed by UM's Enrollment Services office, based on the transcript you receive from your host institution upon completion of your studies.

  • If you enroll in and pass a full-time course load at your host institution, you usually earn 12-16 UM credits for the classes you take abroad.

  • Remember, other universities will have different credit standards for what is considered a full-time course load. If you are unsure about what is considered a full-time course load at your host institution, ask Education Abroad for assistance at

  • Credits transfer back to the UM as general elective credits. However, you can take steps to have abroad credits approved to meet specific graduation requirements (see the next section).

How do I earn credit towards my major, minor, or General Education Requirements?

  • Complete your Study Plan Approval Form. Follow the directions provided on the form to ensure that classes you take abroad will fulfill requirements towards your degree at the UM.

  • Consult the appropriate people to earn approval for credit transfer towards your academic degree:

    1. Your advisor and major department chair approve credit transfer for your major (including electives) and upper-division credit.

    2. Your minor department chair approves the credit transfer for your minor.
    3. Enrollment Services approves credit transfer for General Education Requirements.

    4. The Franke Global Leadership Initiative approves requriements for the certification program.

Helpful Tips

  • Important: the Study Plan Approval Form is your responsibility. You need to be aware of your graduation requirements, and you need to seek approval for credit transfer from the appropriate people before or during your exchange.

  • Your transfer grades will appear on your transcript, but they won't be calculated into your GPA, except for when you apply for graduate school or professional programs, or if you apply for honors. Then your transfer grades will impact your GPA.

  • You must abide by your host institution's requirements if you add, drop, or withdraw from classes. If you make any special arrangements to deviate from normal academic procedures at your host institution, obtain the conditions of your agreement in writing.

  • If you are unsure of any academic advice given to you by your host institution advisor, reach out to Education Abroad for assistance at Remember that your host coordinators can only advise you about the host institution. While their advice is well-intended, they have no knowledge of UM's credit transfer policies.

  • Keep copies of course descriptions, syllabi, assignments, and any other records you think may be important for the proper evaluation of your courses upon your return.

  • After you have completed your program, Education Abroad will automatically receive one official transcript from your host institution or from ISEP. It is highly encouraged that students still check in with their host institution to ensure that the transcript will be correctly sent to the Global Engagement Office c/o Education Abroad. This transcript is the only way that Enrollment Services can give you academic credit for your study abroad experience. Before you leave your host institution, order additional transcripts sent to your home address in the U.S. You might need copies at a later date, for graduate school applications, professional programs, etc.  It is very difficult to order transcripts once you have returned to the US. 

  • Some credits at host institutions can carry more credits than their UM equivalent. Ex. In Wales, Marketing Communications may be worth 5 credits, but the equivalent course at UM may only be worth 3 credits. Ask your advisor if any extra credits can be counted toward other general requirements or toward upper-level electives for your degree.

  • Remember, your Study Plan Approval Form is a work in progress. Once you are abroad, you might decide to take classes that have not been pre-approved. That's okay! However, you must email your advisor/department chair and receive written (via email) approval for the new class. Save this email or forward it to our office ( where we will keep it in your file. Don't forget to take your advisor's email address with you!

  • Important: Students studying abroad during their senior year must have a completed Study Plan Approval Form on file, regardless of whether or not the plan is just to take elective, lower-division credits while abroad or to satisfy graduation requirements while abroad.