When you participate in an affiliate program or other study abroad opportunities which does not grant University of Wisconsin Colleges credit, your courses can be transferred to UW Colleges at the end of your program. You'll need to get prior approval for your course and credit transfers. Credit transfer is not automatic and UW Colleges equivalencies may be different depending what you study.
When transferring coursework, course equivalencies, credits and grades are recorded on the UW Colleges transcript, but transfer course grades are not calculated into the official GPA. Current course transfer rules at the University do not allow for exceptions to this policy.
Before seeking approval for course & credit transfer, there are a few differences you'll want to understand:
- Only those courses which are the equivalents of UW Colleges courses will transfer to UW Colleges (many courses will transfer in as general education courses or as electives).
- Systems for awarding credit vary from country to country. At UW Colleges, 42 class hours generates three credits. In other systems, credits awarded may vary for the same number of course hours.
Generally, credits taken through programs at other UW System schools or other accredited schools in the United States are transferable. Credits taken through programs which are independent of any UW System campus or other accredited school in the United States may or may not be transferable.
Credit Transfer Process
To secure approval for course and credit transfer, follow this process:
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss how your study abroad experience will fit into your current academic studies, any implications it may have on your graduation date, the types of courses which may be best for you to try to take abroad and the timing of your study abroad program (is fall semester better than spring? is junior year better than senior year?).
- Research course options available through your program and print out any available course descriptions, course syllabi and/or course lists.
- Contact the UW Colleges International Education Director, your advisor or the Transfer Student Coordinator in the Admissions Office to discuss course and credit equivalencies. Bring:
- the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form
- Details about the sponsoring school/organization or foreign institution: name, full address, web address, email address for your contact
- Specific program information, including course names/descriptions and the number of hours spent in class for each course.
- Any other information about the sponsoring organization/foreign institution
The UW Colleges International Education Director, your advisor or the Transfer Student Coordinator will sign the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form and will route this form to the UW Colleges Study Abroad Office. Be sure that you request TWO signed copies; one you will keep for yourself and the other you will submit to the UW Colleges Study Abroad Office as part of your study abroad application.
NOTE: If you are studying abroad on a program sponsored by another UW System institution AND you will receive a transcript from that UW institution, use the credit transfer wizard on the UW System Credit Transfer-Wisconsin to see how courses will transfer back to UW Colleges. Print off the credit transfer information for courses listed in the system and attach it to the Transfer Credit Prior Approval Form.
At the end of this process, you should have answered these questions:
- Will the courses you are interested in transfer as requirements toward your major or minor, will they transfer as electives, or will they not transfer to UW Colleges as anything at all?
- Will you receive the correct number of credits per course so that you don't have too few credits toward a particular requirement for your major, minor or general education coursework?
- Will you receive enough credits to be considered full-time for financial aid purposes?
- If you will be graduating at the end of your semester abroad, what is the deadline that you will have to meet when providing UW Colleges with your transcript from the study abroad institution? Can your host institution abroad meet this deadline?