Students Studying in their Home Country

International students wishing to either take courses in their home country during the summer or a semester must register their interest with the Office for Study Abroad and complete a registration process before they go abroad. Please note that students studying in their home country are subject to the same credit transfer limits as any student studying in the summer.

Please see the credit transfer page for specifics. You should speak with your school’s advisors for specifics on the credit transfer process.

Transferring Credit

Semester Abroad Transfer Credit Process

Summer Study Abroad Transfer Credit Process

Home Country Transfer Credit Process

 Transferred Credits | Study Abroad Transcripts

All credit transfer for study abroad is processed through the Course Approval Transfer System. This online system replaced the paper Course Approval Form for students studying abroad Fall 2017 and beyond.

Students receive transfer credit for most courses taken on study abroad programs. It is vitally important that students speak with their academic advisor when selecting programs for study abroad. Study abroad advisors can assist in identifying programs that might meet a student’s academic needs, but ensuring that the courses a student will take abroad will keep them on track to graduate is essential.

Academic issues to think about when selecting a program include:

  • What types of courses do you need to take abroad (major/minor, general requirements, electives)?
  • Do you want to take courses in the local language or in English?
  • Are you going to take a language class abroad?
  • How much flexibility do you have in the courses you will take abroad?

Watch this video for Course Approval and Transfer Credit Step-by-Step explanation.

Course Approval and Transfer Credit Process

To receive transfer credit for study abroad courses, a student must:

  1. Apply for and receive GW Study Abroad Eligibility Clearance through GW Passport
  2. Apply and attend an approved study abroad program.
  3. Submit a GW CATS* request for each course.
  4. Take a course for a letter grade and receive a passing grade of C or higher in each course.
  5. Not duplicate coursework (especially language levels) already completed at GW.
  6. Ensure that an official transcript is sent to the OSA by the program provider.

*Please note that GW courses taught at GW Madrid, the GW Paris Business Studies program, GW Short Term Faculty-Led programs, and select courses on the GW Chile Program receive letter grades for their courses and do not need to complete course approvals. Additionally, WID courses must receive approval from the WID exemption process by the University Writing Program. GW policies prohibit undergraduate students from taking online courses in the Fall or Spring semesters. As such, study abroad transfer credit for online courses will not be approved for Fall or Spring semesters.  

Study Abroad Credit Posted on GW Transcripts

Once the OSA transfers credit to a student's transcripts, the courses will be listed under the "Transfer Credit" portion near the top of the transcript, rather than under the semester or term that the student studied abroad. Under the semester a student studied abroad, the transcript will show that they were registered for 15 credits of undergraduate study abroad.

*Please note that the processing time for transfer credit is 4 weeks for those who have submitted all course approvals and official transcripts.

Study Abroad Transcripts

A student’s transcript from study abroad should be sent to the Office for Study Abroad. Upon the student’s return to GW, a student can check to see if the OSA has received their transcript by logging in to the OSA website and viewing their application.

Often, students are asked to provide copies of their study abroad transcripts when applying to graduate school and even for some job applications. The Office for Study Abroad can NOT give students copies of their study abroad transcripts.  If students need an official copy of their study abroad transcript, they should contact their program provider or host institution and follow their procedures for transcript requests. Please note that this process can take several weeks at some institutions, so do not delay in requesting these documents if needed for applications.

Summer Study Abroad & Home Country Study

If you are planning to take courses at any university outside GW, whether in the United States or in another country, please remember the following:

  1. You must have department pre-approval for a course to transfer back to GW.
  2. You are only allowed to transfer the equivalent of  3 GW courses, typically comprising nine credits for transfer to GW,  from universities outside of GW once you have started your studies at GW. This is a rule that applies to credits obtained from foreign universities as well as universities in the United States.
  3. There is one exception to the 3-course limit: credits obtained from a GW-approved Study Abroad curriculum. These programs must be arranged through the Study Abroad office or through the office of your school dean, and must be approved in advance. If you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor in your home school and, if you are an undergraduate student,  please speak to a Study Abroad advisor.