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Transferring Study Abroad Credits

Transferring Study Abroad Credits

While the recognition of credits under the existing partnership agreements is fairly automatic, there are some things to keep in mind.


Business Credits

Be prepared for the fact that while some classes will transfer as the direct equivalent of Washburn business classes (and will therefore show on your Washburn transcript as, say, BU 381 or BU 355), many of them will be converted into upper division business electives, BU 3XX, which can still fulfill your upper division business electives requirements, but will not count toward the “upper core” of required classes.  The Associate Dean of the School of Business makes the final decision on all questions related to transfer of business credits. 

For non-business credits, the decision is made by the appropriate department chair or the associate dean of respective school or college.


General Education Credits

In case you take some classes that you think may qualify for general education credit, a prior agreement with the department that administers the equivalent course at Washburn is required. In the case of no prior agreement, a short written statement from you stating what you have learned in that class may be needed upon your return. Decisions regarding general education credits have to be approved by the Associate VPAA. In any case, we will guide you through this.


General Electives

Some classes you take abroad will fit into neither of the above two groups and will therefore be counted as General Electives. This is no big deal since anyone studying for the BBA degree has to take 11 credit hours of general electives anyway. However, having some room in that category prior to going abroad will give you more flexibility in choosing a study abroad program. 

Overall, the “goodness of fit” between your academic goals and what a study abroad can offer will depend on the institution you choose to go to and your current academic standing and course work, as well as how far in advance you started planning and how well you were advised through this process. That’s why it is important to start talking to study abroad advisors as early as possible.

While devising your plan of study abroad, it is very important to make sure you maintain your full-time status at Washburn. To ensure this, you have to be enrolled in at least 12 US credits, but a workload of 15 credit hours is usually recommended. 

Every country has a different credit hour system; make sure you know what the conversion rate is. For example, institutions in Western Europe use European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).  The most common conversion ratio is 2 ECTS credits = 1 US credit, but on some occasions a more liberal conversion rate of 5 ECTS credits = 3 US credits may be used. Therefore, since you are expected to take an equivalent of 12 to 15 US credits during a semester abroad, you should shoot for approximately 27 ECTS credits to be entirely safe.  For situations when you and your advisor are having trouble picking proper courses for you, there exists a theoretical possibility to enroll for fewer ECTS credits AND take some online classes at Washburn at the same time. Such opportunities are scarce, however.


Things To Do 

Prior To Departure

The university requires that you submit a study abroad credit transfer form for all classes taken abroad (doesn't matter if they will meet requirements or if they are just elective credit).  It is included in the study abroad application that you should pick up at the International House.  Print out the form and meet with your advisor to discuss the selection of classes to be taken abroad.  Your advisor and the Chair/Dean of your academic program must sign the credit transfer form.  Additional signatures may be required if you are taking courses to meet specific requirements; your advisor will be able to help determine what needs to be done.

While You Are Abroad

Retain all copies of syllabi or similar materials you receive from your instructor and bring them back with you. An even better idea is to scan, e-mail, fax, and/or copy and mail it to your parents, your faculty advisor, and even Stacy Woltje (who will keep a copy in your folder in the School of Business office).  The more copies you have, the better your chances that you will have them when they are needed.  If any of the classes you were planning to take get canceled or any other problem arises, try not to take any irreversible actions without consulting with your advisor at Washburn, who will help you make the decision that is in your best interest.  After the completion of your studies, get a copy of your transcript from the host institution clearly showing the classes you have taken as well as the grades earned and bring it to Washburn.

After You Return to the US

Bring a copy of your transcript and the credit transfer form to Tina Williams in the International House.  Normally, your credits will appear on your Washburn transcript approximately 4-6 weeks after your return.

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