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Study Abroad Credit

General Credit:

After the study-abroad period, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering and General Studies assesses the work you have done while abroad and awards credits on your transcript.

Students in Columbia-sponsored programs receive direct Columbia credit and the courses and grades appear on your academic transcript.

For students on programs not run by Columbia, in order to transfer credit to your Columbia record, students must be able to obtain a transcript from their host institution or official School of Record for their program. The transcript must be from a degree-granting institution and must include the notation of earned credits and grades, whether in the U.S. or foreign credit system. Credit is certified as transfer credit toward the degree when you return and send in your transcripts and other supporting materials. Course titles and grades for these programs do not appear on your Columbia transcript and the grades are not factored into your Columbia GPA. However, your work abroad is considered part of your overall academic record at Columbia.

The following guidelines apply:
  • No credit is granted for courses in business, education, journalism, or other subjects that at Columbia are taught only in professional schools.
  • Credit is not given for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis. The minimum grade necessary for transfer of credit is C- for Columbia College students and a C for Columbia Engineering and General Studies for the semester.  The minimum grade necessary for summer transfer credit is a C- for Columbia College students and a B for Columbia Engineering students.
  • For study abroad during the academic year, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering: The last two semesters required for the degree must be taken while enrolled at Columbia on the New York campus or in one of Columbia’s programs abroad. Any exceptions require special permission from the Committee on Academic Standing.
  • For summer abroad CC/GS: Credits for foreign language classes at the elementary and intermediate levels are awarded after the students take a placement exam to determine his/her progress in the language. Advanced foreign language courses are accepted for academic credit upon review by the appropriate language department.
  • For summer abroad CC/GS: Courses can not be taken in English except in some rare exceptions. Credit can be granted provided that the course offers a unique experience in situ (such as an archaeological excavation). These in-situ component courses much also specifically be related to your major. The program MUST be approved by the OGP. Departmental approval is required and the course must satisfy major or concentration requirements.
  • For students on approved programs, please have your program send your transcript to:
          Office of Global Programs
          Columbia University
          606 Kent Hall 
          Mail Code 3948
          Columbia University 
          1140 Amsterdam Ave
          New York, NY 10027 USA
Major Credit:

General credit earned towards your undergraduate degree does not automatically fulfill requirements for your major. If you wish to receive credit towards your major for courses taken abroad, you should discuss the program with your major departmental representative as soon as you have descriptive information about courses prior to going abroad. If you do not know what courses you will take abroad, you should discuss the program and your academic goals in general with your department before you leave.

Every department uses different criteria when assessing coursework taken abroad. It is important to understand what your department expects of you before you go so that you can select your classes abroad with an eye towards these requirements. This is especially important as you plan on doing a senior thesis. Most departments require that you bring all work (essays, syllabi, test) back to campus.