Academic Credit

Students going abroad for fall and spring semesters are required to maintain full-time enrollment for the duration of their study abroad program (minimum of 12 U.S. credit hours for undergraduates, 6 for graduate students per semester). Registration for study abroad courses is handled by the study abroad office.

Unless requested otherwise, all students are assigned a letter grade for their academic coursework abroad. These grades do count for the student's overall GPA. A student may request a course to be evaluated for Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) up until 2 weeks after their program begins for semester programs and up until 1 week after their program begins for short-term programs. CR/NC is only an option for transferring courses back on the WMU transcript. All students must receive graded work on the transcript from the host institution.

Students taking classes at a host institution will have their courses recorded at WMU per the equivalencies specified on the course approval form they complete with their academic advisor(s) prior to departure. Any course taken abroad that has not been pre-approved will be transferred as elective credit.

Students going on Non-WMU programs are responsible for ensuring they will receive a transcript at the end of their program from a university accredited by the host country’s Ministry of Education. Alternatively, credits may also be transferred if provided on a transcript from an accredited School of Record from the United States.

Students enrolling in study abroad courses instructed by a WMU professor do not need to ensure they receive a transcript from abroad as they will be enrolled in a WMU course. If you have questions about the requirements for your specific program, please ask your study abroad specialist.

Transcript evaluation can take up to six months after completion of a study abroad program. After conclusion of an overseas program, the host institution must submit an official transcript to the Study Abroad office. Study abroad students are required to request their official transcript from the host institution, which must be sent directly to Study Abroad. The WMU Registrar's Office is unable to process study abroad grades without the official transcript of the host institution. Students are encouraged to handle this transaction in a timely manner to avoid delays in having academic credits posted that may be prerequisites for upper-level classes at WMU, or to avoid delays with graduation audit. At the end of the semester abroad, an incomplete (I) is placed on the student's record until the study abroad transcript is received. The transcript must be processed within one year of the semester of study abroad or the incomplete credits will convert to a failing grade (E). Students who withdraw, depart or are dismissed from a program for any reason prior to its formal completion may not be eligible for any academic credit. The study abroad office transfers credits and grades in accordance with guidelines provided by World Education Services (WES), host universities, and academic departments. A course that appears on the host university transcript must be recorded on the WMU transcript.

Special note to seniors

Seniors should take into consideration the time necessary to receive the study abroad transcript when making post-graduation plans. The WMU degree cannot be awarded until after the study abroad transcript is processed; this is often one or two semesters later than the semester of study abroad. Information about requirements and eligibility to participate in commencement following study abroad can be obtained from the WMU Registrar's Office.

Study abroad course repeat Process

If a student wishes to repeat a course taught by an overseas institution during a WMU-sponsored study abroad program, the WMU equivalent course may be repeated for credit pre-approved by the department. A Study Abroad Repeat Course Permission Form must be submitted to the WMU Registrar's office prior to starting the repeated course.