Academic Credit

Will I Receive Academic Credit When I Study Abroad?

Yes! Students who participate in an approved study abroad program will receive UNC Charlotte equivalent credit (not transfer credit). This means that students can stay on track with their curriculum requirements & graduate on time, as long as they plan ahead of time!

How Will I Know Which UNC Charlotte Equivalent Credit I Will Receive?

This will depend on which program type you're participating in. Use the links below to learn more about the academic credit process as it pertains to the following program types:

Students who are looking to participate in an exchange, affiliate provider or direct enrollment program can use the following information to better understand how they will be working with their academic departments at UNC Charlotte who will assign a UNC Charlotte equivalent course to any course the student intends to take abroad:

While researching programs

There are over 1,000 programs to choose from, so the research process is a critical time for students in order for them to identify a program that's a good academic fit for them. The Office of Education Abroad recommends that students do the following as they are researching approved programs:

Meet with your academic advisor

You're encouraged to chat with your Academic Advisor(s) and let them know your plans to go abroad. Keep in mind that there are things your Advisor can and cannot advise on:

What your academic advisor can tell you
  • Which UNC Charlotte courses you have yet to take in order to complete your curriculum requirements
  • Identify a good potential semester for you to go abroad
  • Suggest some courses you have yet to take at UNC Charlotte that you may be able to satisfy abroad
What Your Academic Advisor Cannot Tell You
  • Which study abroad program is the best academic fit for you
  • Which UNC Charlotte equivalent course credit you will receive for the courses you take abroad (see below)

Review Host University Courses Carefully

Some programs may be "tagged" as good program for particular majors; however, it's important to not rely entirely on this information. Students will need to look at the specific list of courses offered through the host university or affiliate provider program. There should always be an "Academics" or "Courses" section on any study abroad program brochure; here you will be provided with a list of courses offered. 

Keep in mind that the title of the host course is important in the sense that it will give you an indicate of what the course will teach; however, the course description or syllabus is most important when the Department Chair determines the UNC Charlotte equivalent course.

Compare Course Descriptions

Once you know what UNC Charlotte courses you need to take in the upcoming semesters to complete your graduation requirements, it's recommended that you search for the UNC Charlotte course descriptions on the academic department's websites, if possible. By having a list of courses and course descriptions you need to take here at UNC Charlotte in front of you while researching programs, it will assist you in using your best judgment on whether or not a host university course may satisfy a curriculum requirement. However, keep in mind that ultimately the Department Chair of the corresponding academic department here at UNC Charlotte will have the final say on what UNC Charlotte equivalent courses can be assigned to any courses taken abroad.

Use Best Judgment

Students should research as many program options as possible and, after completing the suggested steps above, choose a program they believe may be the best academic fit for them (after determining that the program is also a good personal and financial fit). 


During the application process

All students are required to complete an Office of Education Abroad (OEA) application in order to receive approval to go abroad. A requirement of the OEA application will be to complete a "Potential Academic Study Plan." This is where the student will list host university courses that they may be interested in taking at the host university. This will indicate to OEA that the student has researched the program and has identified courses they are interested in taking. This Potential Academic Study Plan will not be used for any official registration and is simply to demonstrate that the student has thoroughly researched the program.


once approved by oea to go abroad

Once students have been approved by the Office of Education Abroad to study abroad, they will be given access to a document called an Advising Agreement.

What is an Advising Agreement?

An Advising Agreement (AA) is a form that the student will fill out with the list of courses they may want to take at the host university. They will then submit this form to the corresponding academic departments at UNC Charlotte. The Department Chair of the corresponding academic department will then assign a UNC Charlotte equivalent course for any course the student listed on the Advising Agreement.

What Other Documentation Does the Student Need to Provide their Academic Departments?

In addition to listing the host university courses on the Advising Agreement, students will need to print out a course description or syllabus for each course they listed on their AA. This is what the Department Chair will use in order to determine what UNC Charlotte equivalent credit the student will receive if they take that course abroad.

Who Determines the UNC Charlotte Equivalent Course Credit?

The Department Chair of the corresponding academic department will evaluated the host course description or syllabus and assign a UNC Charlotte equivalent course. If there is no exact equivalency, the department may assign elective credit or notify the student that they will need to work with another department in order to receive equivalent course credit.

How Long Does it Take to Have the AA Completed?

Students are eligible to begin completing their Advising Agreement as soon as they receive approval to study abroad, which, in theory, will be very early in the semester before they will be abroad. As long as the student is proactive and begins working on it immediately upon receiving approval, the academic departments will hopefully be able to sign off on the AA within a few weeks.


WHILE ABROAD

Study Abroad placeholder course

Once the student is approved to go abroad, OEA will enroll them in a Study Abroad Placeholder Course for the semester they are abroad. The placeholder course will appear on the student's UNC Charlotte transcript as follows:

  • Undergraduate Students: FRST 3000
  • Graduate Students: FRST 6000

The placeholder course will keep the student active and full-time the semester they are abroad. Because students will be enrolled in this placeholder course, they will still be able to access their financial aid.

Students Participating in an Exchange Program

Students who are participating in an exchange program will be paying full-time tuition & fees to Student Accounts at UNC Charlotte. The Study Abroad Placeholder Course will bill these students for full-time tuition & fees according to the student's residency rate (in-state or out-of-state).

Students Participating in an Affiliate Provider or Direct Enrollment Program

Students who are participating in an affiliate provider or direct enrollment program will not be paying tuition & fees to UNC Charlotte. Instead, they are paying a program fee to the affiliate provider that includes tuition & fees at the host university or they're paying tuition & fees directly to the host university. Because of this, the Study Abroad Placeholder Course will not charge the student for tuition & fees, but will still keep them full-time and active at UNC Charlotte while abroad.

Registration at the Host University

The host university or affiliate provider will communicate with the student directly with instructions on how registration will work. In some cases, students will sign up for courses online prior to departure; in other cases, the student may not register for courses until they arrive on-site during their orientation. Students may or may not be able to choose their own days & times for the courses they take abroad.

Taking a Course Abroad Not Listed on Your Advising Agreement

While students are abroad it's common they will need to make changes to the courses they originally had intended to take at the host university. This could be because, similar to UNC Charlotte, courses can fill up quickly and close, they may not be offered due to low enrollment, or cancelled for other reasons.

If students need to take a new course abroad that they did not originally have listed on their Advising Agreement, they should communicate with the corresponding academic department at UNC Charlotte via email to explain the situation and provide them with the host course title and description or syllabus. Generally they will be able to confirm via email what the UNC Charlotte equivalent course will be. Then, upon return, the student should complete a new Advising Agreement to reflect this new course they took abroad.


RETURNING TO UNC CHARLOTTE

Registering for Courses at UNC Charlotte 

Although students will be in the middle of their study abroad program, they will need to be thinking about the courses they will need to register for for the semester they return at UNC Charlotte. As usual, students will receive emails from their academic departments discussing the registration process and will enroll in courses the same way they normally do; online through their my.uncc.edu account.

At this time, students should be corresponding with their Academic Advisor(s) accordingly to ensure they know what types of courses they should be registering for the subsequent semester at UNC Charlotte based on what they're currently taking abroad. In some cases, students will be taking a course abroad that is a prerequisite course for another courses they need to take that subsequent semester; students should communicate with their Advisor to determine how that process will unfold.

Host University Transcript

It can take anywhere from 1 - 6 months to receive the student's official transcript from the host university or affiliate provider. For this reason, students are not eligible to graduate the same semester they participate in an exchange or affiliate provider program because grades are not received in time to process for commencement. The Office of Education Abroad requires the original transcript to be sent to the office directly from the host university or provider in a sealed envelope. Electronic transcripts or opened envelopes containing the transcript handed in by the student will not be accepted. 

Grade Processing

Once the official host university transcript is received, OEA will check to see that all of the courses the student had approved on their Advising Agreement matches the courses listed on the official host university transcript. Then, OEA will translate all host grades into A - F letter grades using a standard conversion. The official transcript, Advising Agreement(s) and grade conversions will then be sent to the Office of the Registrar, who will then list the UNC Charlotte equivalent courses and A-F letter grades on the student's UNC Charlotte transcript. All A-F letter grades earned from abroad will be calculated into the student's cumulative UNC Charlotte GPA.

Note that, once the official host university transcript is received and if all Advising Agreements are submitted, OEA will only process grades if the student does not:

  • Have a hold on their student account
  • Owe a monetary balance to the Office of Education Abroad
  • Owe volunteer hours to the Office of Education Abroad (for OEA Scholarship Recipients)

UNC Charlotte Course Credit(s)

Because academic departments approve Faculty Led program course offerings before programs open, it is almost never necessary to secure approval of UNC Charlotte equivalencies of courses taken abroad on these programs. Each individual online faculty-led program brochure lists the exact, pre-approved UNC Charlotte course credit(s) you will receive for participating in that specific program. Note that all participants are required to receive academic credit for participating in a faculty-led study abroad - it is not possible to audit the course or participate in a non-credit-seeking capacity.

Meet with your academic advisor

As you consider study abroad and research program offerings, consult the UNC Charlotte course catalog and with your Academic Advisor(s) about where study abroad might fit well in your degree plan.  Keep in mind that there are things your Advisor can and cannot advise on:

What your academic advisor can tell you
  • Which UNC Charlotte courses you have yet to take in order to complete your curriculum requirements
  • Identify a good potential term for you to go abroad
  • Suggest some courses you have yet to take at UNC Charlotte that you may be able to satisfy abroad
  • How the UNC Charlotte course credit offered by a faculty-led program might fulfill your degree requirements, if you are unsure
What Your Academic Advisor Cannot Tell You
  • Which study abroad program is the best academic fit for you
  • Which UNC Charlotte equivalent course credit you will receive for the courses you take abroad (this is listed in individual faculty-led program brochures on the OEA website)

Once you have an idea of which courses you still need to complete your curriculum requirements, use our website to search for programs that offer those exact course(s). Please note that faculty-led participants may receive credit for the pre-approved credit offerings as specified in the program's brochure only. If you find that the courses offered by a program will not be a good fit for you based on your degree requirements, you may want to continue researching programs.

Course Registration And Grading

Please review the Faculty Led Programs pages for each type (Embedded and Stand Alone) for details.

Students participating in an internship volunteer opportunity or other experiential learning opportunity can obtain credit for their program in one or more of the following ways. Please note that each individual student must work with their academic department(s) to determine which option(s) they will choose. It is ultimately up to the corresponding academic department to decide how the student will obtain academic credit:

OPTION 1: SCHOOL OF RECORD (RECOMMENDED)

Many affiliate providers offer academic credit through a "school of record." The school of record is typically a U.S.-based accredited institution that will offer U.S. course credit and grades. This is credit is optional, however, it is recommended that students who wish to earn credit for an internship or other experience abroad to utilize this service through the affiliate provider. This credit is typically offered for an additional fee to the affiliate provider, however, this fee is often minimal, and is lower in cost than tuition at UNC Charlotte. Although some affiliate providers may advertise this option as providing transfer credit, at UNC Charlotte the credit will be accepted as UNC Charlotte equivalent credit that can be applied to your curriculum requirements (if applicable). Students would follow the same process outlined on the exchange and affiliate academic credit tab in order to earn credit.

Paid to Affiliate Provider
Program Fee
School of Record Fee (if applicable)
Paid to Office of Education Abroad
Study Abroad Fee
International Health Insurance

OPTION 2: ENROLL IN UNC CHARLOTTE ONLINE COURSES

The student's academic department requires the student to enroll themselves in an online UNC Charlotte course (e.g. an online internship course, independent study course, etc.) in order to get credit for the international internship or experiential learning opportunity abroad. This option is only available if this course (e.g. an online internship course, independent study course, etc.) exists in the academic departments course catalog. This option means that:

  • Students enoll themselves in the corresponding online course during registration for the semester they will be abroad
  • The UNC Charlotte faculty member 'teaching' the online course will grade the student
  • Grades will be posted by the UNC Charlotte faculty member just as with any other course taken at UNC Charlotte
  • OEA does not assist in proessing grades
Paid to Affiliate Provider
Program Fee (if student is working with provider)
Paid to Office of Education Abroad
Registration Fee (includes international health insurance) of a rate of $50 per 30 days
Paid to Student Accounts at UNC Charlotte
Tuition & Fees for the course(s)

OPTION 3: SECURE FACULTY SPONSOR(S)

This option means the student will ask a relevent faculty member to assign them credit and grade them for the work they do abroad during their internship or program, without the student receiving a transcript from a school of record and without the student enrolling in a course and paying tuition & fees at UNC Charlotte. The faculty member will work with the student and design a syllabus they must follow in order for the faculty member to grade them throughout the course of the program.

Students will complete an Advising Agreement form, which will list what UNC Charlotte credit they will be receiving for the program they participate in abroad. At the end of the program, the faculty member would then send a memo via email to the Assistant Director in OEA with the letter grade (A-F) that the student earned for the UNC Charlotte course assigned to their program abroad. OEA then processes this documentation and sends the information to the Registrar.

Paid to Affiliate Provider
Program Fee (if student is working with provider)
Paid to Office of Education Abroad
Study Abroad Fee
International Health Insurance