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Grades and Transcripts

Direct Credit

For study abroad programs offering direct credit for Northwestern (-SA) courses:

  • Courses appear individually on your Northwestern transcript.
  • Letter grades for each course (no "pass/fail" option permitted) appear on your Northwestern transcript and count toward your term and cumulative GPAs.

Transfer Credit

For study abroad programs offering transfer credit:

  • The name of your program or university will be noted on your Northwestern transcript.
  • Course grades will *not* appear on your Northwestern transcript or figure into your cumulative GPA.
  • If a grade of the equivalent of a C- or lower is earned, or a course was taken pass/fail, the Northwestern transcript will note "0" credit and an accompanying statement will be posted stating: "Study Abroad Credit: No credit given for non-transferable grade."
  • If a course converts to less than 1 unit at Northwestern, the Northwestern transcript will note "0" credit and an accompanying statement will be posted stating: "Study Abroad Course: No credit given for non-transferable semester hour."
  • If other types of non-transferable courses were taken, the Northwestern transcript will note "0" credit and an accompanying statement will be posted indicating that no credit was given for the non-transferable course or subject.
  • Courses that are transferred to your record are recorded initially as 100-level general elective credit (GEN_LA 1XX). If approved by your department of school as specific credit, courses may be denoted as either:
    • General departmental credit (e.g. PHIL 2XX, denoting general Philosophy credit at the 200 level), or
    • Northwestern-equivalent courses (e.g. PHIL 110-0, intro to Philosophy or ECON 311, Intermediate Macroeconomics)

Graduate Schools and GPAs

While grades from some coursework completed abroad do not affect the Northwestern GPA, it is important to remember that graduate schools (including medical, business, and law schools) generally instruct applicants to provide study abroad transcripts and then recalculate GPAs so that they include study abroad grades.

Study Abroad Transcripts

Contact your study abroad program or host institution for an official copy of your study abroad transcript. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the Northwestern University Office of the Registrar cannot release or issue one.

We recommend that you request multiple official transcripts for future use from your study abroad program soon after completing the program. Unofficial copies of study abroad transcripts from Summer 2018 on are saved to the Northwestern Study Abroad Application. Click “View Full Application” under the "My Application" tab and choose "Application Status & Requirements,” the second to last option from the list on the left. Unofficial copies are saved under “Student Document(s)” at the bottom of the page.    

Please note: If you log into the Northwestern Study Abroad Application and receive an error message asking you to complete registration information, a required field is blank. Review the "My Profile" section including Demographic and Passport Information. You can access your application after completing and saving your changes.

To request unofficial copies of transcripts from study abroad programs prior to Summer 2018, email Laura Barron at l-barron@northwestern.edu.