Skip to content

Courses & Credits


Students studying abroad through AU Abroad receive full credit for their term of study abroad. All courses students complete abroad will appear on their AU transcript and the credits and grades earned will be incorporated into their cumulative G.P.A. Undergraduate students must take 12 to 17 credits each Fall or Spring semester to be considered full-time. Summer programs typically allow for 3 to 12 credits, depending on the site.

AU Abroad Programs

Students attending AU Programs classified as "not direct enrollment" choose from a special selection of courses offered each term which are designed for or chosen specifically for AU students. Classes tend to be small, with emphasis on discussion and student-faculty contact. Usually, these courses focus on local culture and society, history, international politics, topical issues and language. Courses for each AU Program are listed under the "academics" section of each Program's website as well as in the course equivalency database. Generally, these courses have AU course numbers.

AU Abroad Direct and Partial Direct Enrollment - Course Equivalency Process

In all instances, the credit students receive for their AU Abroad experience will appear on their AU transcript as AU credit, with grades that will be calculated into their overall grade point average. In order to determine what AU courses will appear on their transcript, an AU faculty member must equate all the courses that students take abroad to courses at AU. Please note that failure to obtain equivalencies will result in the delay of posting of credits and grades and possible delay dispensing financial aid.

To complete the course equivalency process, students need to:

  • Research course options offered through their study abroad program. They should print course descriptions from the website or course catalog, and discuss these options with their academic advisor.
  • Review the course equivalency database to find out if the courses have already been equated to AU courses. Remember that our partner universities offer many courses that will not yet have an equivalent so students should not rely solely on the list when selecting courses. In addition, not all courses listed in the database will be offered during every term.
  • If a specific course does not have an equivalent, submit an online course equivalency request. Students should be prepared to submit or provide a web link for course syllabi. If a syllabus is not in English, students will be required to provide a translation along with the original version of the syllabus. ONLY submit requests for courses that do NOT appear in the database of pre approved course.
  • The review process can take up to two weeks. After AU Abroad receives the equivalency from the faculty reviewer, the pre approved course database will be updated.
  • Review final course selection and equations with their academic advisors to ensure they receive major or minor credit in their academic department if necessary.
Go to Course Equivalency Database

Credit Values for Courses Taken Abroad

The course equivalency process does not determine credit values. Credit values originate with the transcript provided by the host institution, according to the formula provided in the Credit and Grade Conversion guide for the student's host institution.  Students should consult with the relevant AU Abroad Advisor if they have questions regarding credit values.

Differences in Education Systems Abroad

For more details on the differences between the education systems abroad and those in the United States, please click on the links below:

Course Changes While Abroad

In some instances it is not possible to register for courses prior to arriving on site.  When this occurs, students must contact their academic advisor via e-mail to review the new courses and then submit a course equivalency request to the relevant faculty reviewer.

General Education Courses Abroad

Student are allowed to take up to 6 credit hours of general education credit abroad. In order for a course abroad to be considered for general education credit, it must either be equated to a specific general education course at AU or, if there is no exact equivalent, it must be is deemed to meet the spirit of AU’s general education guidelines by the faculty reviewer.

Taking Courses on a Pass/Fail Basis

Students may receive credit at AU on a pass/fail basis in accordance with current AU undergraduate academic regulation. Students may change a course to pass/fail by completing the online request form. Changes will be accepted through the first eight weeks of classes of the student's study abroad program. Absolutely no changes will be made after the first eight weeks of classes. AU Abroad cannot, under any circumstances, change grades retroactively to pass/fail. Even if a student elects to take a course pass/fail at AU, they MUST take the course for a grade at their host institution.

PLEASE NOTE: SIS courses abroad and courses which are equated to SIS courses CANNOT be taken pass/fail.

On-Line Courses

Students CANNOT take on-line courses at AU or any other institution while they are studying abroad. The ONLY exception are courses for the Business in Europe Program in Brussels and  ECON - 458: Economics of World Regions.

Study Abroad Participation Agreement

All students who study abroad through AU Abroad will be required to sign a study abroad participation agreement. The philosophy of AU Abroad is to provide me with cultural immersion in the context of an engaging and rigorous academic program.

Attendance in all scheduled classes and program activities is expected. On programs that are custom-designed for study abroad students, such attendance is mandatory: this is a requirement for the awarding of academic credit.

Absence from scheduled classes and other required program activities may only be excused for the following reasons:

  1. (1) Genuine illness (i.e. not hangovers or other self-inflicted conditions)
  2. (2) Accident
  3. (3) Other emergency situations

Excused absences may only be granted by Program/host university administrative staff, not by individual faculty members.

Students may not miss classes and required activities for personal reasons such as vacation travel or visits from family and friends.

When traveling independently on weekends or scheduled holiday breaks, students must provide contact information and details regarding their whereabouts to the program/host university administrative staff.

Students are required to complete their full term of study abroad, including sitting any scheduled examinations. They may not end their term of study abroad early unless there is an emergency.

Students are held to the AU Code of Student Conduct at all times during their term of study abroad.

Persistent tardiness or unexcused absences will result in negative consequences, which may include but not be limited to reduced / failing grades in the effected classes, disciplinary action, probation, or dismissal from the program.  In addition, students who take unexcused absences for personal travel may void their coverage through the AU international emergency insurance policy.

Studying Abroad on a Non-AU Abroad Program

AU invests significant resources to offer a wide range of study abroad offerings that reflect the diversity of our students’ interests, meet their academic needs, and coordinate with AU’s curricula.  Because we have over 145 different programs available, many of which are partnerships with top-ranked universities abroad where the entire curriculum may be open to our students, permission to study abroad on a non-AU program is only very rarely granted

In order for a Permit to Study on a Non-Approved program to be granted, the petitioning student must document that the non-AU program:

  1. (1) Meets the student’s academic needs in a way that no AU Abroad program can
  2. (2) Offers a sustained experience directly interacting in a single culture
  3. (3) Meets AU’s academic quality standards and learning objectives

Students studying away on Permit status are not enrolled in AU courses and therefore cannot receive any AU institutional aid during that time.  Students will receive transfer credit for work completed on their program.  AU will charge an administrative fee of $2000/semester; $1000/summer and $500/inter-session to any student who participates on a program abroad via a Permit to Study Abroad when the Permit has been granted and is processed by the Office of the Registrar.