Credit Approval For Study Abroad

Academic Plan and Approval Form (.pdf.) - please print before completing the form.

Designated Undergraduate Departmental Approvers (.xlsx.)

CLAS Graduate Departmental Approvers (.xlsx.)

Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) works closely with academic departments to ensure students who go abroad are informed with what steps they need to take in regards to credit approval. 

Faculty-Led Programs: Students on faculty-led programs will enroll in pre-approved courses and do not need to complete the credit approval process.

All Other Programs: 

Your academic advisor (undergraduate students) or director of graduate studies (graduate students) is the best person to ask about which classes you should take abroad to ensure that you do not fall behind in your degree when you study abroad. Many students take classes abroad that fulfill major or minor requirements, the KU Core, language classes, or internship credit. Your academic advisor or director of graduate studies is also the best person to determine when you should study abroad and whether there is any flexibility in your course sequencing.

Knowing which classes you need to take or what type of credits you would like to earn will help you find a program. Peer advisors in the Study Abroad Info Center can help you find programs that offer the credits you need.

  • Please note: it can be more difficult to find classes during the summer than during a fall or spring semester.
  • Not all classes are offered in both the fall and spring semester.
  • Use the Course Equivalency Database to find specific classes you need abroad. (Not all available classes are listed.)
  • Use host institution course catalogs. 

Once you have found a program that interests you, start an application for that program on our website. You should also schedule an appointment to meet with a study abroad program coordinator, especially if you have any specific questions or concerns about the application process. 

As part of your online application, you will be asked to submit an Academic Plan and Approval Form (.pdf). Work with your academic advisor or director of graduate studies and study abroad program coordinator to select appropriate classes. List the classes you plan to take on this form, choosing from the list of courses available at your study abroad institution.

  • If you are studying abroad for a semester, you will need to be sure to take the equivalent of 12-18 credit hours (undergraduates) or 9-12 credit hours (graduates).
  • It is a good idea to list more classes on this form than you plan to take because class schedules can change or there might be limited class availability at your host institution.

Once you have listed all the classes you are interested in taking on your Academic Plan and Approval Form, you will need to get them pre-approved for equivalent credit at KU.

  • Many programs have classes that have already been pre-approved by KU faculty. If you are interested in taking one of these classes, you will simply need to indicate that the course has been pre-approved on your form. You can search for these pre-approved classes using the course equivalency database
  • If you want to take a class that has not been pre-approved, you will need to meet with the appropriate academic department and have them sign your form. For example, if you are interested in taking a history course that has not been pre-approved, you will need to meet with the history department and have them sign off on your form indicating that the course has been approved for KU credit. 
  • If your plans change and you end up taking a course that you did not get approved prior to departure, you will need to get the course approved while abroad (preferred) or when you return to campus. Ideally, when you enroll in the new course and have the syllabus, you should contact the departmental study abroad approver by email to start the approval process. Copy your program coordinator on all emails related to the approval of study abroad coursework.
  • If you are interested in dropping a class or if you have any academic concerns while abroad, please contact us immediately. Dropping courses can have a negative impact on your visa eligibility in your host country, academic progress at KU, financial aid eligibility, etc. 
  • For information on taking a class for credit/no credit or pass/fail, please see the KU Study Abroad Academic Policies.
  • Keep copies of all of your syllabi, academic work, reading lists, and other course materials to show your academic progress abroad.
  • Complete all necessary steps and check with your host institution to ensure your transcript will be sent to Study Abroad & Global Engagement upon completion of your study abroad program.
  • After we have received your official transcript, we will generate a credit worksheet comparing your Academic Plan and Approval Form with the courses/credits you actually earned abroad. If the two match, your grades will be posted to your official KU record within two weeks.
  • If there are any discrepancies (you changed courses, earned more/fewer credits than you expected, the course changed name, etc), you will receive an email notifying you to pick up your credit worksheet from our office. You will need to meet with departmental approvers to determine appropriate KU equivalent courses for each course on your credit worksheet where there is a discrepancy. 
  • Once all discrepancies have been resolved and you return your completed worksheet to Study Abroad & Global Engagement, your grades will post to your official KU record within two weeks. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact our office.