Academic Information

For the most up-to-date information on courses offered, please visit the World Partner’s website as well as checking with the SU Abroad approved course list for your program (available on each program page). You should note that not all courses on the list are offered every semester. You should also review the SU Abroad Academic Policies.

Enrollment Policy

World Partner students must maintain full time student status while abroad. Undergraduates are considered full time at 12 credits and graduate students are considered full-time with 9 credits. Credit is determined by contact hours per week not by the units listed by the foreign university. Undergrads may not enroll in more than 19 credits except by special permission received prior to your departure. Please refer to your World Partner’s website for additional enrollment requirements. Typical enrollment in most programs is 15-16 credits.

Note for International Students: International Students must maintain full-time status or they will lose their active immigration status and will have to re-apply for both SEVIS and their visa.  International students should make sure to meet with the Slutzker Center as part of their preparations for studying abroad.

Course Add/Drop/Withdraw: After your initial registration is complete, any changes in your course schedule must be made in consultation with the World Partner overseas staff, SU Abroad, and your academic advisor/s. Courses may not be added more than one week after the start of classes. Students must follow the World Partner policy for dropping or withdrawing from classes, and must also complete the SU form.

Undergraduate students requesting to drop below 12 credits must first consult a home college academic advisor and financial aid counselor to ensure this would not have adverse academic or financial consequences.

Course Selection, Advising and Registration Process

After acceptance to a program, you must complete a World Partner Student Advising Form listing your intended courses as well as alternate selections. You can download the form from your SU Abroad application under “Materials”. This form will help you determine how courses you plan to take abroad will fit into your academic plan and keep you on track for graduation. You should have this form reviewed and signed by your home college advisor so you know whether and how the courses will count in your degree program. It must be returned to SU Abroad with original signatures prior to leaving the SU campus.

This form does not guarantee enrollment. You will register directly with the World Partner according to their instructions, and your SU registration will be posted once the SU course numbers are assigned by SU academic departments for all of your courses. You will finalize your course registration after arrival on site. You must confirm with SU Abroad immediately after finalizing your courses so that we can register your courses in MySlice. If you have any further changes in your class registration (including adds and drops) please be sure to inform SU Abroad of these changes, and forward the syllabus for each newly added course. Be sure to consult with your academic advisor/s as well. See more below for how new courses are approved.

To help students choose courses, SU Abroad maintains a list of preapproved courses for each program (available on each World Partner brochure page). You will use this list and other information provided by the World Partner to select your courses for your semester abroad. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all courses on the SU Abroad approved list are guaranteed to be offered every semester, and some World Partner course offerings might not confirmed until shortly before you arrive on site.

Every course not already on SU Abroad’s list of approved courses must be approved by the appropriate academic department and assigned a course number (e.g., history courses must be approved by the History Department). SU Abroad facilitates this process, but course approval decisions are made by SU faculty, usually the department chair. A full syllabus is required for final course approval by an SU academic department. Please keep in mind that this process can take time, as SU Abroad has to wait for faculty to respond to our request for a course to be approved.

To fulfill requirements in your major/minor, you MUST meet with the designated academic advisor for course review and approval. For electives, your home college advisor can review and advise if your choices will satisfy your general or core requirements. SU Abroad cannot determine what courses will fulfill your academic requirements. In some cases, you may need to petition a course to fulfill a specific requirement.

It is your responsibility to select courses that do not repeat prior study (even if the course is taught in another language or has a different title or course number). If you do not follow this advice, you run the risk of not earning credit for such a course. If you have any questions about whether a course covers the same or similar material to one already on your transcript, have your advisor review the new course syllabus.

Students enrolling in a language course should be sure to register for the appropriate level. Students who have received credit for prior college-level study, including AP or other transfer credit, should register for the next level course. Students without this prior study should register for the level determined by a placement exam. You should not register for a language course either less or more advanced than the appropriate level without first consulting with your academic advisor.

Grades and Transcripts

Grades: Be aware that the grading systems at World Partners (especially those with courses taught at foreign universities) may differ from the American grading scale. Grades are converted to the A-F system as determined in accordance with established equivalencies. For program-specific information, please consult your World Partner’s website.

You may find that the grades you receive at the foreign institution are lower than those you typically receive at Syracuse. In many countries the grade of “A” is awarded with far less frequency than in the US and the grade of “C” is considered quite respectable. You might earn a lower GPA than you have earned at Syracuse.

All work for registered classes must be completed on or before the degree certification date. Graduating seniors should seek advice from their home college regarding their degree certification date.

Pass/Fail: You must receive a letter grade for each course that you take at the foreign institution. Undergraduate students abroad are allowed to request only ONE course to appear as pass/fail on the SU transcript. Your home college must approve your Pass/Fail request, received at the SU Abroad office no later than two weeks after the start of your classes.

Do not assume that your request for a pass/fail grade will be approved. Late requests will not be honored. Courses graded on a Pass/Fail basis at SU cannot be used to meet any degree requirement and some Schools/Colleges have additional restrictions. These are published in the SU Academic Rules and Regulations.

Pass/Fail requests from SU students must be approved by the student’s home school/college, and students are advised to be aware of any college-specific restrictions and implications when requesting to take a course for Pass/Fail grading. Due to the time required for SU Abroad to receive and submit forms on students’ behalf, SU students requesting Pass/Fail grading for any course are strongly encouraged to discuss in advance with their college recorder whether such a request is likely to be approved.

Graduate students cannot convert a letter graded course to a pass/fail.

Audit Requests for Semester & Full-Year Students: Undergraduate students enrolled in graded courses totaling at least 12 semester credits and graduate students enrolled in graded courses totaling at least 9 credits may request to take one additional SU Abroad center course on an audit basis, subject to the approval and restrictions of the instructor and program director. You must submit the Grading Option form by the published deadline and cannot rescind the selection after the deadline. Audited courses are non-credit, do not meet any degree requirements, and aren’t counted toward enrollment status. Instructors may record a grading symbol of NA instead of AU if you don’t meet stated academic or attendance requirements. Some courses may not be audited including courses offered at a local university, studio courses, applied music and ensemble courses, independent research, experience credit courses or internships, and courses required by the program (exceptions may be made for students enrolled in a graduate degree program).

Transcripts: We must receive a transcript from the foreign institution upon your completion of the program. Transcripts sent to any other office on campus, including the registrar, will not be forwarded.  The overseas institution may not automatically send a transcript and it is your responsibility to make that request. Please send to:
Syracuse University Abroad
Attention: Cara Hardy
106 Walnut Place, Syracuse, NY  13244-2650

Transcripts from foreign intuitions can take 6-8 weeks to arrive after the semester has ended. This may delay certification reviews or official graduation.

Keep copies of all work that you submit abroad and bring them back to campus along with any work that was returned to you, as well as a course syllabus or list of textbooks and/or other resources used in your courses.  These documents could prove critical in the event of a grade dispute or if an instructor claims an assignment is missing.  If you save your work on a computer, be sure to make a second copy (on a flash drive) or keep a paper copy.

You are receiving Syracuse University credit. ALL courses are directly registered to your SU academic record. Your grades from the foreign university will be posted to your student record (including grades of C- and D, where applicable) and will calculate into your cumulative GPA.

You will be registered using the “-80”, SU selected topics designation for courses taken at a foreign institution at an appropriate lower-division (180 or 280) or upper-division level (380 or 480). These courses will appear on your SU academic transcript under the sub-heading Program Abroad, followed by the name of your host institution and the country in which it is located.

SU Library Resources

Syracuse University’s Bird Library has extensive online journals, databases, and other resources available to you 24 hours a day while you’re studying abroad. Please visit the SU Library’s website for more information:

Independent Study/Research

An Independent Study course is usually approved only when necessary to meet a degree requirement that cannot be fulfilled by a course abroad or upon your return to campus. Students participating on World Partner programs that require independent projects are exempt. Also, an appropriate faculty sponsor and research materials must be available abroad.

Most independent research projects are registered at the 300- or 400-level. Independent Study Proposals must be completed and signed by you, your advisor at SU, Department Chair at SU, and your SU home college/school. If SU approves, your faculty sponsor may be faculty at the WP program or an SU Faculty sponsor. Please determine this with your academic advisor before you depart.

Once all signatures have been obtained, please return your proposal to Deb Goddard at


Internships are available through some World Partner programs. If you intend for an internship to meet a degree requirement, you should discuss this with your home college or major advisor and SU Abroad staff before you go abroad. SU Newhouse students in communications internships must arrange for a main campus Newhouse faculty sponsor before going abroad; they will then need to petition for approval once the internship is confirmed. Because Internships abroad do not fulfill SU Whitman students’ internship degree requirement, students must discuss any internship plan with Whitman advising staff.

In all cases, students should get preliminary approval for internships or research experiences by their home college advisor prior to departure in order to fully understand their college’s expectations.

Note that approval for internship credit is based on the proposal you submit once your internship is finalized abroad. This form is subject to review by the appropriate academic department and your home school or college.

Online Courses

SU Abroad allows students to take an online class offered by the main campus or University College (UC) during a semester only if it is necessary to stay on track for graduation. Your academic need to take a main campus or UC online course while studying abroad must be confirmed by your home college recorder via an email to Deb Goddard at by May 15 for the fall semester and November 15 for the spring semester.

Obtaining SU Abroad approval in advance for an online course will allow you to count it toward the 12-credit minimum enrollment policy outlined above.

You must also consider whether an online course is practical while studying abroad, taking into account differences in academic calendars, Internet access (if traveling), time of day (for courses requiring synchronous on-line work), and availability of required and supplemental texts. SU Abroad cannot assist with registration for a main campus or UC online course.

Key Program Dates

Program Calendar dates are provided by the World Partner. Students should not make any personal travel plans until they receive more information regarding the program dates from their World Partner program. Academic requirements cannot be waived or changed to accommodate personal travel or activities. Failure to attend a required class or activity due to personal travel, even if made prior to departure, will be treated as an unexcused absence, which may affect your final grade.

Some programs may not have a semester break and many have different break and exam periods and program end dates.