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Taking Remote Courses Through Institutions Outside of the U.S.

In response to the unprecedented circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Northwestern and GLO have adjusted policies and procedures related to taking courses remotely through institutions outside of the U.S. In Summer 2020 and Summer 2021, students will be permitted to earn credit for remote courses taken through institutions outside of the U.S. but only under certain circumstances. Please refer to the sections below for specific information regarding Summer 2020 and Summer 2021 policies and procedures.

Summer 2020 & Summer 2021

Due to COVID-19, some foreign universities and study abroad program providers have transitioned summer course offerings to remote instruction. Students who wish to enroll in these remote courses, including students who had previously submitted a Northwestern Study Abroad Application to participate in an Unaffiliated Program for Summer 2020, must review the Important Considerations and then follow the steps below.

Important Considerations

  1. You will only be permitted to take course(s) offered by a foreign university or study abroad program provider listed on GLO's Suggested Unaffiliated Summer Programs list. These institutions have been reviewed by Northwestern and, assuming all other transfer policies are met, award credit that is accepted by Northwestern.
    1. If you are an international student on a F1/J1 visa, you may take courses through any foreign university or study abroad program provider listed on GLO's Suggested Unaffiliated Summer Programs list, not just those in your country of permanent residence/citizenship.
  2. All standard transfer credit policies apply to these courses.
  3. Since you are not "studying abroad," you must make all of your own arrangements for your remote study with the foreign university or study abroad program provider directly. This includes registering for your course(s), making payments, etc.
  4. GLO can help students verify whether foreign universities and/or study abroad program providers are approved, and your academic advisers can give you some general guidance on course transferability. However, no credit is guaranteed.


Students will follow the process for transferring credits earned at other U.S. institutions after matriculation to Northwestern University, outlined on the Registrar's Office website and adapted below, rather than the "study abroad" transfer credit process.

  1. Obtain appropriate supporting documents, such as course descriptions or syllabi, for the course(s) you propose to take. Links to web materials are acceptable.
  2. Verify that the course(s) you intend to take are offered by a foreign university or study abroad program provider listed on GLO's Suggested Unaffiliated Summer Programs list.
    1. Email Karey Fuhs ( in GLO with a list of the course(s) you intend to take, the institution that offers the course(s), and the webpage where course information is available. She will provide you with documentation that you will need to supply in step 4, which verifies that you are eligible to follow this process and your institution is approved.
  3. Consult with your academic advisers regarding your academic plans. They will advise you regarding policies and procedures for fulfilling major, minor, distribution, or other requirements. Note: Since these courses are not considered "study abroad," the transfer credit rules for courses taken at other U.S. institutions will apply. Refer back to the Important Considerations above.
  4. Submit a Request for Credit for a Non-Northwestern Course Taken After Matriculation form for each course you intend to take. The form routes electronically to appropriate approvers based on the information you submit. Each form should be submitted prior to taking the course. Note the following:
    1. You must indicate which department at Northwestern might offer a similar course in order for that department to review the proposed transfer course's content.
    2. You must indicate how you plan to apply the course to your degree requirements. Once the department reviews the course, the appropriate major/minor/school official(s) will determine whether the course can be applied to your requirements as you have requested.
    3. You must upload the documentation from GLO received in step 2 under "Other Supplemental Document (optional)."
    4. If approved by all school officials, the form will be sent to the Office of the Registrar. The form will be held—and no action taken—until steps 5 and 6 below are complete.
  5. Upon completion of the course, have a final, official transcript sent from the offering institution to:
    Northwestern University
    Office of the Registrar
    Attn: Transfer Credit
    633 Clark St.
    Evanston, IL 60208-1118
  6. Once the transcript is received and matched to the approval form, the credit will be articulated to your record. You may then view the entry on CAESAR.


If you have general questions about this process, you can email Karey Fuhs in GLO (

For academic questions, contact your academic advisers.

For questions about transfer credit policies or steps 5 and 6 above, contact the Office of the Registrar.