Study Away from Brown and Transfer Credit

Guidance for Undergraduates Interested in Full-Time Study Away in the U.S. or their Home Country 

Brown offers several study away options to undergraduate students, allowing students the opportunity to study elsewhere full-time and earn up to a semester’s equivalent of course credits and advanced standing when needed toward degree requirements. 

With appropriate advising and permissions, these options enable students to enroll as visiting, non-degree students in their choice of a wide range of regionally accredited U.S. institutions (U.S. Study Away) and equivalent non-Brown institutions in their home country (Home Country Study Away), based on their established legal residency (not citizenship) in their ASK student record. Students also have the flexibility of paying tuition directly to their host institution, instead of Brown tuition, because they are on a Study Away leave. Study away advising and degree completion support deans are available for consultation and advising to help ensure students’ plans support their degree completion plans and academic and personal objectives. Although study away, like study abroad, requires careful planning ahead, Brown’s Study Away option in many instances allows for direct enrollment through a self-directed application process, which may allow students to study away even if they had not started planning more than a semester in advance, as required by many of Brown’s Study Abroad programs.

Full-Time Study Away Advising and Intake Form

Students who are interested in exploring full-time Study Away options can consult with one of several academic deans who advise for study away and degree completion, and request meetings by writing to [email protected]. Prior to meeting with an academic dean, students are encouraged to visit Brown’s Study Away and Transfer Credits webpage, and review the sections and subsections of the Transfer Credits section in ASK, starting with “Information” and “Institutions” sections. The “Information” section contains information on guidelines, policies and procedures. The “Institutions” section allows for filtering by institutions previously approved, international institutions, and institutions in the United States by state to enhance the institution search functionality. After identifying institutions of interest, students will need to make contact with their chosen study away institution and inquire about visiting student application procedures, identify courses they may wish to take, and gather syllabi and submit a “New Transfer Credits Document” in ASK to initiate the process for department review and approval of courses in ASK for transfer credit.  

A thorough review of the aforementioned information assists students in preparing for a productive advising conversation with a dean. After emailing to request an advising meeting via the addresses listed above, students will be sent a Full-Time Study Away Advising Intake Form to complete, which asks about the student’s interest in Study Away and their plan. Within 5-7 business days, the Undergraduate Study Away Committee will review their response to the form, and an academic dean will reach out to them with next steps that they must complete and/or any follow-up questions that they must answer before their Study Away plan and Study Away leave can be approved by the College. 

Full-Time Study Away Committee

The Undergraduate Study Away Committee takes a student-centered approach in its review of student plans and considers multiple factors prior to recommending approval to The College. This approach is used in order to increase the probability of a successful Study Away experience that would be likely to result in the transfer credits and advanced standing that the student desires, and ideally reduce the chances that courses will not transfer after a significant investment of the student’s resources (time, effort, and financial). The Committee therefore includes the following factors in its review: 1) Whether the student needs transfer credits and semester standing to satisfy Brown’s degree requirements and graduate by their expected date of completion; 2) Whether underlying, extenuating circumstances shape the request, necessitating study away from Brown, or the Study Away provides clear academic benefit or a course of study not available at Brown; 3) Whether the student has a solid, high-quality academic plan with the approval of their concentration advisor if intending to use credits for concentration requirements; 4) Whether the student has vetted the institution and specific courses through the ASK transfer credit approval process and identified a full-time load of courses that total a minimum of 12 semester credit hours or 18 quarter units that appear likely to be approved by Brown’s academic departments, if not yet already approved; and finally 5) Whether the student (when studying at Brown on an F-1 visa) has consulted with OISSS regarding any implications for their student visa, CPT, OPT, etc. 

Full-Time Study Away Leave

Final steps in the planning and approval process for Study Away involve formalizing Study Away Leave status through the College after the committee approves the student’s plans and the student has been granted admission to the institution at which they will study. The student's study away advising dean or the Deputy Dean of the College can assist with this. In the meanwhile, students should review Brown's Leavetaking FAQ prior to making a final decision.  Students should note the ways in which access to campus resources while on a leave from Brown would change and be limited. 

Students also should be aware that transfer credits and semester standing advancement take place after Brown’s Registrar’s Office has received the official transcript from their Study Away host institution and verified all required approvals were obtained in ASK for the courses they successfully completed away from Brown.

  

Additional Study Away Options:

Apart from Study Away in the United States at another regionally accredited college or university and Home Country Study Away for F-1 Students at a college or university in their country of permanent residence, students may consider study at Tougaloo College through the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership Semester Exchange Program, study at Wheaton College through Brown-Wheaton Cross-Registration, and study at RISD through Brown-RISD Cross-Registration.  In addition to these domestic study away options, students may explore study abroad options which are offered through Brown's Office of International Programs.  Study abroad options include Brown programs, Brown-approved programs, and other programs by student petition.  Study abroad information is available on the Office of International Programs website.

Tougaloo Exchange Program

Brown's connection with Tougaloo, an historically black college in Jackson, Mississippi, began in 1964, when activists from Brown traveled to Jackson to help in the struggle for civil rights. Since then, the two schools have developed a number of programs designed to expand educational and service opportunities for Brown and Tougaloo students, faculty, and staff. A semester-long student exchange program, which supports study away at the partner institution for a semester is among them.  Interested students should speak with Nirva LaFortune.

Wheaton Cross-Registration Program

Wheaton College is a small liberal arts college located in Norton, Massachusetts, approximately 20 miles from Brown. A cross-registration agreement allows Brown students to take courses at Wheaton that are not available at Brown, such as courses in elementary and secondary education. 

Wheaton's course offerings can be viewed through their online course catalog and schedule. Applications for cross-registration must be submitted by the end of the second week of any given semester at Brown. Interested students should speak with Dean Julie Lee
  

RISD Cross-Registration Program

Brown's cross-registration agreement with RISD offers all Brown students the option of taking studio art courses at the renowned Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), adjacent to Brown on College Hill. 

Transfer Credit Guidelines for Non-Brown Courses (not applicable to Cross-Registration options)

This webpage does not provide comprehensive information on the transfer credit guidelines. As mentioned above, students should thoroughly review the Transfer Credits Information section in ASK as well as review their plans and the transfer credit guidelines with a study away and degree completion dean prior to taking any courses elsewhere with an expectation of transfer credit or advanced standing.  

Students should keep in mind that Brown does not award transfer credits for courses (whether pre- or post-matriculation courses) taken at non-regionally accredited institutions in the United States or the international equivalent. Brown requires the institution to be either a regionally-accredited 2-year or 4-year degree-granting college/university in the United States or international equivalent in a F-1 visa student’s home country (as established by the student’s primary residence and/or country of citizenship).  There are no institutions with which Brown has an established articulation agreement for transfer credit.   To receive transfer credit, the host institution and each course must be evaluated for transfer eligibility per Brown's transfer credit guidelines. Students are responsible for reviewing these guidelines thoroughly before studying away, and must obtain the appropriate approvals in ASK.  Students who study away enroll directly at their host institutions. An official transcript must be sent to the Brown Registrar. Without the aforementioned, courses taken elsewhere will not transfer.  With the exception of transfer students, students may not receive more than one semester of transfer credits and advanced standing, whether from pre-Brown or post-matriculation study, without prior approval for an exception to advanced standing policy from the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS).  Part II of the Writing Requirement can not be completed with a study away course, and under no circumstances can a student earn and apply in excess of 15 course credits via transfer credit towards undergraduate Brown degree requirements.        

Citizens and permanent residents of the United States may seek permission from the College to study at a regionally accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States.  Students studying on F-1 visas may seek permission to study at a two- or four-year institution in their home countries.  

For more information contact the study away advising and degree completion support deans at [email protected].

Concentration Approval for Non-Brown Work

Students and concentration advisors may find instructions for incorporating non-Brown work into a student's concentration course plan in the Information Technology ASK knowledgebase.   

Transfer credit (as defined above) is not required to grant concentration credit; your concentration advisor can recognize outside work that does not appear on your Brown transcript for concentration requirements.   

Approval to use a non-Brown course to satisfy a concentration requirement is not the same as approval of that course for transfer credit. In order to use a study away or a study abroad course as a substitute for a concentration requirement, a student must obtain separate approval from their concentration advisor. This approval should be requested and recorded in the student's concentration declaration as part of their course plan.  Subject to a concentration advisor's approval, students may substitute non-Brown work for concentration requirements, whether that work appears on the student's internal academic record or not.  In addition to courses taken elsewhere, examples might include a summer internship completed as part of a professional track, capstone, or an Engaged Scholars Program practicum.  However, some concentration advisors may make concentration credit approval conditional upon whether or not the work appears on your internal record and/or has been approved for transfer credit, so students are advised to consult with their concentration advisor for concentration-specific policies.    

Additional Information on Brown's Transfer Credit Policies

For more information on Brown's study away transfer credit policies for any Brown student considering taking courses elsewhere, please visit:  https://www.brown.edu/about/administration/registrar/degree-guidelines-0/college#studyelswhere.  For more information on Brown's transfer credit policies for incoming transfer students, please visit:  https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/advising/transfer-students. 

Note: Outside of college courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university by transfer students, Brown does not provide transfer credit for prior learning experiences, with the exception of international certificate programs/exam (https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/degree/policies/advanced-placement/international-exam).  Students who wish to seek transfer credit for pre-Brown college or university courses or international certificate programs/exams may only do so after becoming sophomores and if they need course credits in order to complete graduation requirements.