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Transferring Course Credit Upon Return

Each school's credit transfer policy and other credit requirements/restrictions are explained to students before they study abroad and during advising sessions, the application process and pre-departure orientation meetings.

General elective credit

Courses taken abroad will transfer to Northwestern as general elective credit as long as the eligibility requirements are met and only after the following steps are completed:

  1. Students submit a study abroad program evaluation
  2. The Study Abroad Office receives and forwards the student's study abroad transcript to the Office of the Registrar.

Major, minor and/or distribution credit

Students who would like to apply study abroad credit toward a major, minor, and/or distribution requirement will follow their school's credit transfer policy.

  • Generally, students will need to meet with departmental advisers if they wish to use study abroad credits to fulfill specific requirements and often must submit syllabi, course descriptions and/or final projects for review. 
  • Students who are seeking credit from a department outside of their school will need to follow the respective school's transfer policy to do so. For example, a SESP student with a second major in history will need to follow the WCAS transfer process to request that a study abroad course in history count toward a major requirement.
  • Read about credit transfer eligibility for internships and service learning completed abroad.

Study abroad before Northwestern

Students who wish to transfer study abroad credit earned before matriculation into Northwestern must go through the Study Abroad Office. Please contact us for more information or have the student contact our office directly.

Retroactive study abroad credit

Northwestern does not issue retroactive credit for study abroad. Students who wish to earn credit for coursework completed abroad must apply to study abroad by the appropriate Northwestern application deadline and prior to the commencement of the program. This policy applies to international students taking courses in their home country during a summer or any other term.