Office of International Programs

Credit Transfer Policies for Semester/Year Programs

Credit Transfer Policies

  • Students studying abroad must register for a full course load at the foreign institution. For Brown/CASA Programs, course load requirements are outlined in the program materials. For Approved or Petition programs, students should register for a standard full course load through the overseas insitution or provider.
  • All abroad courses must be taken for a grade; credit will not be granted for any courses taken S/NC (pass/fail).  On the Brown transcript, "S" will appear in lieu of the grade issued by the host institution.
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better (a C- will not transfer) in order to transfer a course back to Brown.
  • Brown does not grant credit for practicums or internships.
  • Save all course materials (syllabi, exams, papers, notes, projects) and bring them back with you to Brown. Some departments will want to see your completed work prior to granting credit.

Language Credit Requirements

  • If you are studying in a country or on a program with a Brown language requirement, you must take all of your coursework in the local language.
  • If you are taking courses in English in a country where the host language is not English, you must take one course in the local language (e.g. a Danish language course while studying in Denmark).
  • If you are on an Approved Program that allows you to take regular university courses at local institutions, at least half of your courses must be taken at the local institutions in the local language.

Evaluation of Work

Some institutions abroad do not evaluate student work at the end of every term. If a student's period of enrollment ends at a time when the host institution does not normally provide assessment, students may need to make individual arrangements for evaluation of their work. This exemption does not refer to special arrangements allowing students to deviate from a normal program or calendar of the host university.

Graduation Credit from Study Abroad

Due to differences in credit-counting stystems, the number of credits you complete in your program abroad may not equal the number of credits you receive for such work on your Brown transcript. 


1 Brown Credit Equivalant

Total Semester Requirement


4 semester hour credits

16 semester credit hours 


6 quarter hour credits

At least 24 quarter hour credits


For systems that are not easily comparable, students must demonstrate that they complete a standard full-time course load in order to receive 4 Brown credits.  It is important to note that a "normal course load" may not equal a "full" credit load.  Students are encouraged to meet with a study abroad advisor to ensure requirements are met.  

Students who complete more than a standard full-credit load abroad receive a maximum of 4 credits per semester on their Brown transcripts, as mandated under Brown's Guidelines for Foreign Study.  The only exception to this policy is for students who successfully complete a Global Independent Study Project (GLISP) in addition to a standard full load of study (equivalent to 4 Brown credits) while abroad. 

Enrollment Changes on Site

If you make changes in your course enrollment while abroad, especially in the courses you plan to take for concentration credit, you should email your concentration advisor with information about the new course(s) to ensure that you will receive the necessary credit for course(s) when you return.

Enrollment Credit from Study Abroad

In order to earn a Brown degree, students must accumulate eight semesters of enrollment credit, signifying the completion of eight semesters of full-time study. Students studying abroad receive one semester of enrollment credit for each fall or spring term they complete abroad. 

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