Academics & Credit Transfer


When choosing your courses abroad, it is important to keep your academic advisor in the loop. The Study Abroad Center cannot determine for you how the classes you take will impact your plan of study. We can, however, help you find the courses offered at your intended university abroad and help you get syllabi for those courses to show your academic advisor. You should show your advisor more courses than you actually intend to take.  This way, if something goes wrong with a course you hoped to take, you have pre-approved back-up courses to draw from. 

This works much better than waiting until you get abroad, discovering a class isn't going to be offered, and trying to communicate with your advisor back home to figure out an alternative. Some programs, like the College of Engineering, require students to meet with their advisor and fill out a course of study approval form prior to being accepted into their study abroad program.

Credit Transfer

This is the way transfer credit generally works for study abroad at ISU. [These instructions are for students who go abroad on programs through the Study Abroad Center (SAC).  If you are going through a program run by your college's international programs office, substitute that office’s name where you read 'The SAC']

  1. Your transcript from the host university (where you studied abroad) comes to the ISU Study Abroad Center (SAC) office [3226 Memorial Union].
  2. The SAC will make an approved copy of the transcript and send it to the ISU Office of Admissions credit transfer unit. You come to the Study Abroad Center and pick up the original to keep.
  3. Admissions looks at the classes you took at your host university and does what is called the Credit Transfer Evaluation (CTE.) Once complete, you can see this CTE on your Access+ login student tab, under Transfer Credits.
  4. This is an example of what it will look on your student record: Biology 300 4 A (4 credits of 300 level biology that you got an A in.)
  5. You should have a letter grade, if you intend to transfer credit to ISU. Pass/Fail courses generally do not transfer back. The letter grade will appear on your record but will not impact your ISU GPA.
  6. If you just need the credits, then this is where the process ends.
  7. If you need one of more of the courses to satisfy a particular requirement specific to your degree audit, then you and your academic advisor (and sometimes a professor from the department that teaches the same subject at ISU, or a degree audit committee) work together to apply that transfer course to your degree audit on Access+. They will usually need to complete a waiver form that gets submitted to your college. Then, to continue with the same example, it would be more than just 4 credits of 300 level biology, it would satisfy your specific need for Bio 321. If you or your advisor need assistance, you'll find the college contact list here.

There is no charge for the transfer credit process. 

It is always a good idea to bring back your syllabi and examples of major work you did in your classes abroad. This may make your advisor’s job easier when it comes to completing the waiver form, and you can add them to your professional portfolio when the time comes for job or internship interviews.

Don't forget to pick up your original transcript from the SAC.  If you apply to a graduate school you will need it.  A future employer may also want to see it.