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Credit Approval for Study Abroad

Quicklinks:                 Credit Approval Form                                    Designated Departmental Approvers

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: 

Step 1: Talk to your academic advisor about what classes you should take abroad
Your academic advisor 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 is also the best person to determine when you should study abroad and whether there is any flexibility in your course sequencing.
Step 2: Find a program that fits your needs
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. 
Step 3: Start your online application
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. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 785-864-3742.
Step 4: Choose the classes you want to take
As part of your online application, you will be asked to submit an Academic Plan and Approval Form. Work with your academic advisor 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.
  • 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.
Step 5: Get your classes pre-approved for credit transfer
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 credit transfer.
  • 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 transfer credit. 
    • KU Faculty & Departmental Advisors for Study Abroad are designated by their department to meet with students to advise and approval study abroad courses.
    • Students should plan to get courses approved during their application process to ensure that the courses taken abroad will post appropriately.
    • Students can find designated faculty and departmental approvers using the KU Faculty & Departmental Advisor for Study Abroad List (pdf).
    • Once you have obtained pre-approvals for all your courses, your academic advisor should review your overall plan and sign the front page of your form.
Step 6: While abroad, be sure to complete all the requirements for your courses and contact our office if you have any changes or concerns.
  • If your plans change and you end up taking a course that you did not get approved before departure, you will need to get the course approved while abroad 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 advisor by email to start the approval process. Copy your program coordinator on the emails.
  • 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 things such as your visa eligibility in your host country, financial aid eligibility, etc. 
  • For information on taking a class for credit/no credit or pass/fail, please see KU Academic Policies: http://studyabroad.ku.edu/academicpolicies 
  • 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 KU Study Abroad.
Step 7: When you return, make sure that your official transcript is sent to the KU Office of Study Abroad.
  • After we have received your official transcript, we will generate a credit worksheet comparing your Academic Plan and Approval Form with the 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 earned more or less 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 advisors to determine appropriate courses for each course on your credit worksheet where there is a discrepancy. 
  • Once all these discrepancies have been resolved and you return your completed worksheet to the Office of Study Abroad, 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. 



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.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times