Credit Approval for Study Abroad

The KU Faculty & Departmental Advisors for Study Abroad are designated by their department to meet with students regarding approvals for study abroad courses.

The KU Faculty & Departmental Advisors for Study Abroad List (pdf) is available to students to help direct them to the appropriate individual for approval of study abroad credit.

Each fall, the OSA provides training to Faculty & Departmental Advisors on the credit approval process:

Students may meet with the Faculty/Departmental Advisor for credit approvals at different stages in their study abroad process.

Course Approval Prior to Study Abroad

All students are encouraged to start the credit approval process as part of their program selection process. Students requesting credit approval at this stage are typically doing so with less information, as they are still exploring their options and attempting to determine if one program is better than another due to the range and type of courses offered and/or that could be approved for transfer to KU. If a student has already selected a program, they will have been advised to do their research on courses available at the foreign institution, to the extent that is possible, so they can provide the faculty advisor with as much information as there is available.

Students should bring the Academic Plan and Approval form (pdf) and all available course information when meeting with the Faculty/Departmental Advisor.

Course Approval While Abroad

Frequently in this scenario the student is seeking course approval from abroad for reasons outside their control, such as when they are studying in a country where pre-departure approval is more challenging, when there are unforeseeable timetable changes at the host institution, or when they are studying at institutions where course information is harder to obtain prior to arrival. Even though obtaining approval from abroad can be more challenging, it is still in a student’s best interest to get approval at this stage rather than upon return to KU.

Procedurally, students should plan to send the faculty advisor an email containing all the relevant course information. If a faculty advisor emails a student approval for these courses, the program coordinator in OSA can use this email as the official approval in lieu of a signature form.

Course Approval After Returning from Abroad

Students who were unable to get their courses approved prior to or during their study abroad program (or had courses conditionally approved) will be required to get their courses approved after they return.

Once the OSA receives the student’s transcript, a Credit Worksheet will be created. The student will then bring this form along with all supporting documentation to the appropriate Faculty/Departmental Advisor for approval. This method can be beneficial for Advisors because they are able to talk with the student about the course content, see the student’s improvement in the language level, or see coursework the student completed while abroad.
For more details on each of these stages, please refer to the Study Abroad Credit Approval Process (pdf) presentation.


Please note: Faculty advisors can only approve credit for courses that would be offered within their own department on campus.

For example, if a design major seeks approval from their departmental advisor for coursework taken in Germany, the design professor/advisor can only approve design courses taken abroad. German language courses should be approved by the German department advisor, even if the student is not majoring or minoring in German.

Interdisciplinary coursework, such as area studies or cultural studies, can often times be approved by more than one department, especially when a course could be cross-listed when offered on campus (History of China could be approved by East Asian Languages and Cultures AND History, for example). In these cases, it is generally decided by the student (in consultation with their advisor) which department to approach for credit approval. This decision is based on which course (History or EALC using the above example) will best fit the student with regards to the necessary requirements still unmet within the student’s degree plan.


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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
17th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
1,357 KU students participated in international study, internship, and research programs in 2011-12
Nearly 25 percent of KU undergraduate students participate in a study abroad program prior to graduation
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 130 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times