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Courses & Credit

Rome's colosseum

Courses & Credit

Keeping up with your progress towards completing your CU degree during your term abroad is an important element to education abroad. Here are some of the resources you'll need to ensure that you will earn credit you need while you're abroad:


Other academic stuff you should know:



Credit earned on a CU Boulder education abroad program is considered "in residence" credit. This means that your coursework on a CU Boulder approved program counts just like the coursework you complete here in Boulder. In order to determine what degree requirements these courses will fulfill, you will Submit Courses for Evaluation.

All courses will appear on your CU degree audit.  Your education abroad program name and overall credits passed/earned will also appear on your transcript. At minimum, your courses will be elective credit unless you take a course(s) that is not eligible for credit at CU Boulder. Learn more on the Fulfilling Credit Abroad webapge.

If you complete a for-credit internship but do not get written review & approval from your college or department, you will not earn any credit for the internship and it will not appear on your CU transcript. See the International Internships page for more information.

There are two different grading systems depending on your program:

  • Pass/Fail: On your program, the grades you earn abroad will be converted to pass/fail credit on your CU Boulder transcript. None of your pass/fail grades will be calculated into your CU GPA. Based on a conversion formula developed by the Education Abroad Committee, the converted grades are defined as:
    • Pass (C- or better)
    • No Credit (D+ to D-)
    • Fail (F)
  • Letter Grades: For programs where CU Boulder acts as the school of record, including Faculty-led Global SeminarsGlobal Internships, and Global Intensives, students earn letter grades. 
Regardless of which grading policy applies, the following policies hold true:
  • Education abroad pass/fail courses posted with grades of “Pass” can apply towards major, minor, A&S Gen Ed, and other degree requirements, with formal approval from the relevant department.
  • Students cannot choose to have letter grades recorded instead of pass/fail (and vice/versa).
  • Note that even if you only earn pass/fail at CU, graduate/professional schools may request your transcripts from abroad and see the letter grades you earned on your program.

All majors available at CU Boulder are available abroad, though exactly how courses count towards your degree is something you will need to research and plan. To search for programs by general subjects available, used our program search.  The Course Approvals List includes over 20,000 approvals for various CU majors and degree requirements.  Be sure to cross-check the approvals list with your program's current course offerings to ensure that they will be offered while you are abroad. 

You will work closely with your Education Abroad Program Manager and your Academic Advisor(s) to plan the specifics of your courses once you select a program.

For some programs, course offerings/schedules may not be available until shortly before the program start date, or until you are on-site. In this case, work with your Academic Advisor before you leave to develop a plan and for what you hope to fulfill while abroad.  Use the Course Approvals List as much as possible, and then submit courses for review after the formal offerings are posted (the CU course review process is done electronically).

Review the Fulfilling Credit Abroad page to learn how the courses you take on your program can help you fulfill your CU degree requirements.  

Review the Fulfilling Credit Abroad page to understand the course content needed in order for a course to be approved for a specific Gen Ed or MAPS area. Courses already approved for A&S Gen Ed requirements can be found on the Course Approvals List. You can submit the A&S Gen Ed/MAPS Evaluation Request Form found on the Submitting Courses for Evaluation page to have new courses evaluated as well. 

Review the Course Planning page to determine when your Academic Advisor or Ed Abroad staff are your best resource. Both teams are here to support you as you plan for your program!

Yes, although we strongly encourage you to do so prior to departure.  If you can't access course offerings until after your arrival abroad, then be sure to submit classes for review ASAP.  Do NOT wait until after you return - submit courses as soon as you can.

See Transcripts & Post-Program Academics for an estimated time of arrival of your program coursework. Once our office has received your transcript, it will be processed and posted to your degree audit, where it can be viewed by you and your Academic Advisor. It will take up to 3 weeks after your courses are available in the degree audit system before the education abroad program name and overall credit passed/earned will appear on your CU Boulder transcript.

By carefully planning their courses, most students who go abroad still graduate within their intended timeframe. We recommend the following steps:

  • Select as many courses from the Course Approvals List as possible.  Submit additional courses for review as needed (and as soon as you can determine your courses abroad).  Don't make any assumptions about how courses count!  
  • Be sure to cross-check courses between the approvals list and your program website to ensure that they will be offered during your term abroad.
  • Stay in close communication with your Academic Advisor throughout the process.
  • Keep all documentation about all the courses you took (papers, reading lists, etc.) until the courses are posted to your audit and counting towards any pre-approved degree requirements.
  • See Transcripts & Post-Program Academics page to learn when CU will receive your transcript and post the credits to your degree audit 

"Colosseum at Sunrise" photo by Laura Vogel