Info About ▼
Info For ▼

Credit Enrollment

Semester credit requirements

Many programs abroad operate on a semester system. Semester credits are calculated back into credits at Northwestern after you return.

All courses in your full-time course load must allow you to earn at least 2 semester credits. (Courses worth less than 2 semester credits are not transferable and, therefore, cannot be part of your full-time load.)

While abroad, you must enroll in at least the following amount of semester credits, depending on your term:

  • Full Year: 30 semester credits
    This converts roughly to 11 credits at Northwestern; If you need to receive 12 credits for a year abroad, you should enroll in 31-33 credits instead.
  • Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Fall-Winter Quarters, or Winter-Spring Quarters: 15 semester credits
  • Fall, Winter, or Spring Quarter only: 12 semester credits (4 quarter credits)
  • Summer Quarter: 2-10 semester credits (1-4 quarter credits)

If you are not sure of your program's term, please contact your Study Abroad Adviser.

Requirements for different credit systems

The following programs do not use semester or quarter credits. Enroll in the following credit amounts:


 Enrollment Requirement

Budapest Semesters in Mathematics

  • Full Year: 8 courses
  • Fall Semester: 4 courses

Collegium Heironymi Pragensis

  • Full Year: 10 courses
  • Fall Semester or Winter-Spring Quarters: 5 courses

C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in China

  • Full Year: 9 units
  • Fall Semester: 4 units
    • Jan. Term + Winter-Spring Quarters: 5 units
 (January Term is required for Winter-Spring Quarter students)

Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris

(Northwestern-Sciences Po Exchange)

Consult with the Office of International Program Development at Northwestern (847-491-6953)

Internships in Francophone Europe (IFE)

Fall Semester: Full Load of Courses as determined by IFE

Junior Year in France (Sweet Briar College)

  • Full Year: 10 units (inc. orientation)
  • Fall Quarter: 5 units (inc. orientation)
  • Winter/Spring Quarters: 5 units (NOTE: no credit is granted for orientation for the Winter/Spring program)

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

(Northwestern-ETH, Zurich Exchange)

Consult with the Office of International Program Development at Northwestern (847-491-6953)

University of Otago, New Zealand

  • Full Year: 108-144 points
  • Fall Semester or Winter-Spring Quarters: 54-72 points

Victoria University of Wellingotn (Arcadia University)

  • Fall Semester: 55-60 points
  • Spring Semester: 60 points
  • Full Year: 110-120 points

Enrollment for 2 quarters

The maximum number of credits at Northwestern that you can earn for one semester abroad is 6, which is also the minimum full time enrollment for two quarters at Northwestern (3 credits/quarter).

Thus, it is crucial that you enroll in the number of credits listed above for your program to remain fully enrolled at NU during both quarters. If you enroll in fewer credits--or if any of your courses do not transfer back to Northwestern--you will not earn the full 6 credits at Northwestern, and you may encounter serious problems in terms of the Undergraduate Registration Requirement and possibly financial aid.

To do your best planning, we strongly recommend that you discuss your plans with your degree auditor in the Office of the Registrar, once you know which courses you plan to take. To set up an appointment, call 847-491-5234 or e-mail