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FAQ: Academic Advisors

Academic Advisor FAQs

If credit is offered for the internship on the program abroad, it means that the internship is accompanied by an academic component with assignments, readings, etc. If students want to apply the credits towards their CU degree hours (or a specific degree requirement) they must get written permission from their major department or college. If they take a for-credit internship but do not get written permission from their college or department, the course will appear on their transcript with a ‘grade’ of NC. Departments/colleges must sign the Education Abroad Internship Credit Approval Form in order to “house” the credit for the student. Note that approval to allow the internship to be housed in a specific department will default to generic department credit that does not count towards an actual major requirement. The department would need to further specify that the internship met a specific requirement.

For all schools/colleges except A&S and CMCI, students can route the Credit/Course Approval for Non-Approved Education Abroad form to Admissions, their school/college and then Academic Advisor. This form is available under the forms section on the Academic Advisors page.

For the Colleges of A&S and CMCI, students are not able to obtain any pre-approvals regarding credit transfer for non-approved education abroad programs (neither Admissions nor A&S/CMCI nor the A&S/CMCI departments). If students bring forms for non-approved education abroad, you will likely inform the student that you cannot sign the form. You can refer them to the Non-Approved Programs information for A&S & CMCI students.  Education Abroad staff cannot sign these forms either.  Once students fill out the brief online registration for their non-approved program, they can print out a form letter that the student can submit it to their program. This form is a proven acceptable substitute for any form that requires a signature. 

The grading policy depends on the type of program. See below.

Letter Grades: Faculty-led Global Seminars and a few internship programs award letter grades. These grades appear on your CU Boulder transcript and are averaged into your CU Boulder GPA.

Pass/Fail: For all other programs, grades abroad are converted to pass, no credit, or fail grades.  The CU Boulder transcript will contain the name of the study abroad program and total credits passed/earned.  Regardless of the grade earned, the official CU GPA will not be impacted.  Based on a conversion formula developed by the Study Abroad Committee, the converted grades are generally defined as the following.  Students' handbooks contain additional details about exact conversions if the program abroad does not use an A-F grading scale.

  • Pass (C- or better)
  • No Credit (D+ to D-)
  • Fail (F)

The pass/fail credit earned on a study abroad program is exempt from college limits on student-elected pass/fail credit and passing grades are eligible to count for various major/degree requirements (per approval from the relevant department). 

Students should keep in mind that they may be asked to provide their original study abroad transcripts in the future (i.e. for graduate/professional school admissions). The actual grades earned abroad will always display on the original transcript from their study abroad program, so they should be aware of this for the future.

Advisors can view the average time frame for receipt of the transcript by visiting the Education Abroad Transcripts page.

  1. Courses/credits are entered directly into DARS by Education Abroad staff. This makes them immediately visible to students and Advisors via DARS.
  2. Original transcript and Education Abroad degree audit print out are sent to the Registrar’s office to be manually posted to CU-SIS. At the same time, the Education Abroad placeholder course is removed.  It typically takes 1-2 weeks for the Registrar to post the courses to CU-SIS and remove the placeholder.
  3. Documents scanned into Singularity by the Registrar’s office.

Handle these requests in the same way you handle regular transfer pointing and exception requests in your college.

You are welcome to send your question to Cindy Kraft (cindy.kraft[at]colorado.edu), the overall liaison to Academic Advisors. If she is not available and your question is urgent, call the main Education Abroad office number, identify yourself as an Academic Advisor with an urgent question, and the front desk staff will try to find an available Advisor or Program Manager for you.

You can view each Education Abroad Program Manager’s program assignments on their staff page (see link at the top of the website). Click on a staff name to view their portfolio. This may take a few minutes, so you are welcome to contact Cindy with all questions to make things easier for you.