Course Approval and Credit Transfer

Because students participating in the International Student Exchange or FIU Approved programs will be receiving transfer credit for the courses taken abroad, they will need to go through the course approval process. *Please note that students participating in FIU Sponsored Study Abroad Programs do not need to get their courses approved, as they take FIU courses while abroad. Below are the steps to ensure that courses are approved:

1) Meeting with OSA Academic Advisor – Students must meet with the OSA Academic Advisor who will explain the course approval process and guide students throughout the process of transferring credits back to FIU. The OSA Academic Advisor will look into student PDAs to determine what courses they have space to take abroad. This is important as the OSA aims to ensure that courses taken abroad contribute to a student’s degree requirements and does not extend their time until graduation. During their meeting with the OSA Academic Advisor, students will also learn about the differences between the American and foreign educational credit and grading systems.

2) Course Pre-Approval Form – Once students have applied to the ISE or have completed the FIU Approved application documentation, the OSA Academic Advisor will provide students with the course pre-approval form. It is the student’s responsibility to have this form filled out by the appropriate advisor(s). The OSA Advisor will approve lower-division courses only. All other courses must be taken to a departmental academic advisor. Along with the form, students will need to provide course syllabi or descriptions that advisors will use to determine the FIU equivalents of courses taken abroad. Courses that are not pre-approved will be transferred as electives. We recommend that students get as many courses pre-approved possible in order to have a larger pool to select from in case first choice courses are not available upon registration at the host institution.

3) Course Enrollment Verification Form – Once abroad, students must provide the OSA Academic Advisor with a Course Enrollment Verification Form, which is an official list of courses in which they are enrolled at their host institutions. The OSA Academic Advisor will then compare this list to the courses that were pre-approved. In the event that students enroll in courses that were not pre-approved, it is their responsibility to communicate that to the OSA Advisor. At that time, the OSA Advisor will reach out to the appropriate departmental advisor and request approval while the student is abroad. It is very important that students confirm their courses to the OSA Academic Advisor. Students that wait until they return from their host country to request course approvals risk delays in posting their credits and receiving their financial aid for the semester following their exchange.

4) Posting of Credits – Once students have completed their semester abroad, official transcripts will be sent directly to our office. *Students participating in FIU Approved Study Abroad Programs are responsible for supplying our office with their official transcript. They may do so by requesting that their transcripts are sent directly to our office or by delivering them in person. In the event that all courses taken abroad and additional courses need not be approved, the OSA Academic Advisor will submit the transcripts for posting to the students’ FIU transcript and PDA. This process can take a few weeks. The OSA Academic Advisor will notify students once their courses from abroad have been posted. *Please note that courses taken on the ISE or FIU Approved programs will appear on the “transfer credit” section of the FIU transcript and students will receive credit for these courses as long as they’ve obtained a passing grade. Although grades appear on the transcript, they are NOT calculated in a student’s FIU GPA.

Accreditation:

All FIU partner institutions are fully accredited in their countries. The process of establishing an exchange agreement is very rigorous and guarantees high quality instruction for our students. For additional information on establishing bilateral partnerships with universities abroad, please contact Magnolia Hernandez, mehernan@fiu.edu.

Transfer Equivalency Course databases:

In addition to traveling and discovering new places, the goal of study abroad, the International Student Exchange in particular, is to allow students to experience a different educational system and learn from new perspectives while earning credits at their home institution. We encourage our faculty to award students FIU course equivalencies when possible. The OSA has developed an internal database of course equivalencies that is accessible to our faculty upon request. Although it is a very useful tool for all academic advisors, this database is intended to be used only as a guideline. We work hand in hand with the university Transfer and Transition Services and we encourage all advisors to please contact us when it doubt. Our in house academic advisor will be more than happy to go over the transfer process with those advisors that request additional support. Grades and credit conversions have been predetermined for all partner institutions and we evaluate new schools on an on-going basis.

Click here to see the credit and grade conversion scales of our partner institutions.

For additional questions or concerns with regards to course approval and credit transfer, please contact the OSA Academic Advisor, Caitlin Dooley, cdooley@fiu.edu