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KU Study Abroad Academic Policies

Tips to Achieve Academic Success Abroad:

  1. Remember, ALL grades for courses taken abroad will be posted to your KU transcript.  
  2. Be proactive and address issues as they emerge.  
  3. When questions arise, ask a knowledgeable source such as your OSA Program Coordinator, Program Director, or Academic Advisor for help.  Do not rely on information about course attendance and grading provided to you by other students.
  4. Understand the KU academic rules and policies outlined in this section as they apply even when studying abroad.  
  5. If you receive accommodations for a disability at KU, speak with your OSA Program Coordinator and Advisor at KU’s Academic Achievement and Access Center about this as early on as possible. They will help you determine what level of resources and support are available abroad and the necessary steps to access them.
  6. Bring back all course information, including course description, syllabi, texts or reading lists, assignments, and your work.

Academic Policies

Enrollment for Study Abroad Programs

KU students studying abroad through the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) remain enrolled at KU while abroad.  Non-KU students studying abroad through the KU Office of Study Abroad are admitted to KU as non-degree seeking students and are enrolled at KU while abroad.  Enrollment for study abroad follows one or both models described below. If you have questions about which model your program follows, please check with your OSA Program Coordinator.

  • Enrollment in KU Courses Abroad: Certain programs have identified KU courses and credits. These include most faculty-directed short-term programs, internship programs, and a few semester programs.
  • Direct Enrollment at a Foreign Institution: Other programs rely on direct enrollment in a foreign institution, in which case, study abroad students enroll in placeholder (FRSP) hours at KU. The official record of enrollment (transcript) is issued by a foreign institution and KU equivalent courses are determined by KU faculty.  KU equivalent courses and grades are posted on the KU transcript after the receipt of official documentation from the foreign institution. Visit with your OSA Program Coordinator for information on past course equivalencies.

Minimum & Maximum Enrollment

  • Semester & Year programs: Undergraduate students are expected to enroll at the foreign university in the equivalent of 12 to 15 KU credit hours per semester, or fewer in the summer. All students are expected to maintain full-time student status while abroad. Unless special arrangements have been made in advance, study abroad participants will be granted KU credit for no more than 18 hours per semester. Graduate students will usually earn no more than six to nine graduate credits for the semester, although exceptions are possible with prior approval of the student’s academic department.
  • Summer & Short-term programs: These programs vary in the number of credit hours offered. Generally all participants on a specified program will take the same total number of credit hours.

Adding, Dropping, or Changing a Course

Special add/drop deadlines are established by the KU Registrar for each KU Study Abroad program. Your Program Director or OSA Program Coordinator will have the deadlines as well as special add/drop forms. If you wish to add or change a course, consult your program director immediately. The director will send changes to the OSA and the OSA will submit the changes to the Office of the University Registrar at KU.  All participants are encouraged to carefully review and select their courses in cooperation with their academic advisor prior to program departure, as changes to enrollment once you are overseas is not possible in most cases. 

If you wish to drop a course once overseas, consult your program director immediately. In general, it is not possible to reduce the number of credit hours you are taking since all students must maintain full time enrollment. If you are allowed to drop a course, remember that reducing your credit load may affect your financial aid status.  Note that KU add/drop policies will apply. If you drop a course during the designated first drop period, this course does not appear on your academic record. During the KU designated second drop period, a grade of W appears on the student’s transcript. During the third period, a student cannot withdraw from a course. The course grade is determined by the student’s overall academic performance. Retroactive withdrawal from a course is not allowed. Certain courses cannot be dropped, such as orientation or foreign language grammar courses that form an integral part of the program.  Be sure to carefully read the information about your program or consult your OSA Program Coordinator to know which courses fall under this category.

Credit/No-credit Option

Most KU degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate study abroad students may elect to receive one course grade in a non-major subject as Credit/No Credit each semester under the same regulations that are in force at the University of Kansas. Always contact your academic department and academic advisor directly to see if you can elect the Credit/No Credit option as there are many courses that cannot be approved for the Credit/No Credit option. Once you have elected the Credit/No Credit option and it has been approved, you cannot alter your choice.  Non-degree seeking students (including Non-KU students on KU study abroad programs) are not eligible to elect the Credit/No Credit option while studying abroad. For more information regarding the Credit/No Credit policy, visit the University Senate Rules and Regulations which can be found on the KU Policy website, http://policy.ku.edu, under section 2.2.7.

Warning: Certain undesirable consequences may result from exercising the Credit/No Credit option. Some schools, scholarship committees, and honorary societies do not accept this grading system and convert grades of No Credit to F when computing grade-point averages for their specific purposes.    

Special deadlines are established by the KU Registrar for each KU Study Abroad Faculty-led program. Your program director will have forms and deadlines by which you must sign and email or fax your request for the Credit/No Credit option to the OSA.  OSA will then forward your request to your academic department for approval and processing.

Adding, Dropping, or Changing a course at a foreign institution

Be sure to follow host institution rules and deadlines for adding a course, dropping a course or changing your enrollment (for example change of course section).  ALL courses and grades that appear on your transcript for study abroad will be posted on your KU transcript. It is your responsibility to stay informed about the effect of enrollment changes on completion of your KU (or home institution) academic program and graduation requirements.  

Keep a copy of your Academic Advisors contact information, in case you need academic assistance while overseas. KU students who wish to know the KU equivalent of a host institution course (for courses not previously listed on their Academic Plan and Approval form for Study Abroad) must contact the appropriate KU Faculty Advisor. A list of KU Faculty Advisors is available on your JayhawksAbroad portal and the KU OSA web site at www.studyabroad.ku.edu.  

Bring back all course information, including course description, syllabi, texts or reading lists, assignments, and your work. This is critical for establishing any KU course equivalent that was either conditionally approved or that was not listed on your Academic Plan and Approval form.

Note: All students must notify their OSA Program Coordinator, in writing and with copies of their Academic Advisor’s approval, of any changes to their overseas enrollment.

Credit/No-credit option at a foreign institution

Most KU degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate study abroad students may elect to receive one course grade in a non-major subject as Credit/No Credit each semester under the same regulations that are in force at the University of Kansas. Always contact your school and academic advisor directly to see if you can elect the Credit/No Credit option as there are many courses that cannot be approved for the Credit/No Credit option. Once you have elected the Credit/No Credit option and it has been approved, you cannot alter your choice.  Non-degree seeking students (including Non-KU students on KU study abroad programs) are not eligible to elect the Credit/No Credit option while studying abroad. For more information regarding the Credit/No Credit policy, visit the University Senate Rules and Regulations which can be found on the KU Policy website, http://policy.ku.edu, under section 2.2.7.

Warning: Certain undesirable consequences may result from exercising the Credit/No Credit option. Some schools, scholarship committees, and honorary societies do not accept this grading system and convert grades of No Credit to F when computing grade-point averages for their specific purposes.
   
Your program coordinator must be told, in writing, that you wish to take a course as credit/no-credit before 40% of the class is complete. 
 

Transcripts from Foreign Institutions 

For some programs, the foreign university contact or program director will send an official transcript directly to the OSA. However, many students will have to either request that the official transcript be sent to the KU OSA or collect and bring back official documentation of their work abroad.  Check with your OSA Program Coordinator if you are not sure whether you need to request the transcript yourself. Make certain that the official transcript from the foreign university is sent to the KU Office of Study Abroad and NOT to the KU Office of Admissions. Photocopies of transcripts are not acceptable unless stamped with the official seal or mark of the university. Consult your program information to find out approximately when you can expect your transcript to arrive. Foreign transcripts generally arrive one to four months following the end of the study abroad period. You may not eliminate classes and grades from the foreign university transcript to post. All courses and grades will be posted on the KU transcript. Once grades are posted on the KU transcript, changes will not be made.

Posting of credit from foreign institutions

  1. Once the transcript has arrived, the OSA Program Coordinator will match courses on the transcript to the Academic Plan and Approval (completed at the time of application). If all of the courses match, the grades and courses will be posted to the student’s KU transcript. If the student took courses that weren’t pre-approved, the OSA will email him or her a credit worksheet for approval of the remaining courses and any courses taken abroad for which KU equivalents remain to be approved. 
  2. The student will then meet with the appropriate Faculty Advisor, who will review documentation the student has brought back for any course which was conditionally approved before departure or which was not listed on the Academic Plan. The Faculty Advisor will approve KU course equivalents for each course taken in his/her academic department. The student should meet with his or her Academic Advisor to determine how the KU courses will fulfill graduation requirements.
  3. The student will return the signed Credit Worksheet to the OSA Program Coordinator.
  4. The OSA Program Coordinator will send all completed paperwork and documentation to the University Registrar. Coursework and grades will be posted on the KU record within several weeks.

Grades

The course grade is determined by the student’s overall academic performance.

KU Faculty-led Programs and Internships: Students on KU faculty-led programs and internships will be graded by their instructor within the standard KU grading system.

Credit from foreign institutions or student-initiated programs: Students will receive grades within the host institution's grading system. After receiving your transcript, the Office of Study Abroad will evaluate your grades and post the equivalent KU grade based on grade conversion standards. For an example of grading equivalents, please see this guide: https://www.wes.org/gradeconversionguide/ 

Grade Posting

Summer grades are posted at the end of the summer term on the KU Lawrence campus (late July) or at the end of your program.
Semester grades are posted shortly upon the return of the program. In some cases, grades may be delayed pending receipt of academic information from the host institution. If you view your grades, Advising Report, or DPR and a course is listed as WG (waiting grade) or zero credit hours instead of a grade, please do not panic!  Grades will be posted as soon as possible. Your program director or OSA Program Coordinator will be able to tell you whether he or she has submitted grades for your program.
Winter Break and Spring Break program credits are recorded on the Spring semester academic record. Grades and credit will appear on your spring grade report at the end of the spring term.

Within a few weeks after grades have been submitted by the Office of Study Abroad to the Registrar, they will appear on your Advising Report and DPR. You can obtain a copy of your Advising Report and DPR through the MyKU portal.


Announcements

Deadlines extended for selected Winter Break, Spring Break, and Spring semester-long study abroad programs! See below for full list of programs: 

Programs with Extended Deadlines (PDF)

 

Study Abroad Financial Advising
The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-1:30 pm in room 203 Lippincott Hall.  For those that can not attend the weekly Info Sessions, we also offer individualized study abroad financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students.  Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.

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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
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