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Credit Transfer

If you abide by Northwestern’s policies, have your NU Application approved by the Study Abroad Office, and receive course grades of C or better abroad, you will be eligible to earn a range of credit toward the Northwestern degree as follows:

  • Full Year: 9-12 credits
  • Fall Semester: 3-6 credits
  • Fall-Winter or Winter-Spring Quarters: 6 credits
  • Fall, Winter or Spring Quarter: 3-4 credits
  • Summer: 1-4 credits

If you want to know exactly how your credits abroad will calculate into Northwestern credits, consult with your degree auditor in the Office of the Registrar at 847-491-5234 or e-mail This can only be done once you know what courses you plan to take abroad.

Fulfilling major, minor, distribution or other school requirements

Your departmental advisers have the final decision regarding which study abroad credits fulfill requirements for your major and minor. Your school representative must approve distribution or other school requirements.

Steps to take:

  • While no credit can be guaranteed until you return, meet with your advisers during the application process to discuss the courses you plan to take abroad and which requirements, if any, you would like them to fulfill.
  • Keep in touch with your advisers from abroad if your plans change. See Choosing Courses to Take Abroad for more information.

Credit for independent study and research projects

In order to receive general credit for an Independent Study and Research Projects (ISPs), it must cover subject matter taught in its undergraduate curriculum. Learn more about requirements for Research Abroad.

 If you are seeking major, minor, elective or other departmental credit for your ISP, the faculty adviser in the appropriate department will evaluate your paper upon your return.

Credit for internships

If you are seeking credit for an internship or service learning experience, it must be unpaid, work must be substantial, and your work must receive academic evaluation. For details, read Internships and Service Learning.

No retroactive study abroad credit will be awarded

You cannot petition retroactively for credit for study abroad undertaken while at Northwestern.  All students who wish to study abroad must apply through the Northwestern Study Abroad Office prior to the study abroad experience.

If you are a transfer student and studied abroad while at your former university, contact our office to request a transfer application.  This application must be submitted before the end of a transfer student's first academic year at Northwestern.

Next steps