Academic Policies for Study Abroad

Credit Recognition:

Different credit recognition rules apply depending upon the program administrator. See the full credit explanations below for Binghamton Programs, other SUNY Programs, SUNY Community College Programs, and Non-SUNY Programs.

Credit for the major or minor must be determined by the appropriate department, regardless of whether your program is offered by Binghamton, another SUNY school or a non-SUNY school.

While you are still researching program options, you should take the materials, especially course descriptions for several courses from your top choice programs, to the director of undergraduate studies in your major or minor department(s). This faculty member will determine whether or not major or minor credit can be granted. Course descriptions or other documentation may be needed. You may be required to bring back syllabi or copies of papers you write.

If you change your schedule from the courses that were pre-approved, you will need to communicate directly with the department director of undergraduate studies to modify the approvals.

There are often significant delays in the arrival of grades from abroad. These delays can occur due to the different semester schedules of our partner universities abroad, the slower pace of international mail, any delinquencies or debts owed by the student to the foreign university or the home university, the failure to complete a program evaluation, and the need to seek course approvals from faculty, schools, and departments after the semester abroad.

All BU students studying abroad, and all students participating on a BU program will be required to complete a Program Evaluation before the study abroad grades will be released: you will receive an email after your time abroad inviting you to complete the online Evaluation form.

Note about Transfer Students

Transfer students need to pay particular attention to the limits on the total number of transfer credits if they are considering other SUNY or non-SUNY programs.

Pass/Fail Policy

Students who study abroad in Binghamton programs may choose to take one class on a pass/fail basis, providing the class is not a requirement for their major or minor, and providing they have not exceeded the limit allowed by Binghamton University. Non-Binghamton students are responsible for ascertaining that they are following the procedures established by their home universities. Students must notify the Office of International Programs of their intention to take a class on a pass/fail basis no later than the mid-point of the semester at the host university (not at Binghamton University).

Academic Advising Offices

The following individuals will answer questions related to the recognition of credit from study abroad according to the Binghamton school in which you are matriculated.

How Credit Works for Binghamton Programs

Binghamton programs provide Binghamton credit. The program name and each course, along with the number of credit-hours and the grades earned are listed on the Binghamton transcript. The grades are averaged into the cumulative grade point average.  General credit toward your undergraduate Binghamton degree is usually guaranteed for Binghamton programs.

While abroad, all students participating in Binghamton programs are registered for placeholder credits. Once the grades from the semester abroad have been received and processed in our office, they will be sent to the registrar and will become part of your Binghamton transcript. 

Students on BU programs should use the Credit Recognition form to record approvals for major and minor requirements.  Complete the top portion of the Credit Recognition form.  List several courses you plan to take while abroad. It is an excellent idea to list one or two alternate courses in case you cannot take one or two of your first choice courses.  To gain approval for major and minor requirements, bring the Credit Recognition form and course descriptions (available online for most programs) to the academic advisor for your major or minor department or the academic advisor for your School. The advisor will complete the Binghamton Course Equivalent section, and sign where appropriate.  Return the completed Credit Recognition form to the Office of International Programs before you go abroad. If you do not complete this step now, you will need to gain the approvals after your return from abroad, which will increase delays in the processing of your grades. If you do not know exactly what classes you will be taking while abroad, or if there are changes in your proposed course schedule, you will need to obtain approvals during your time abroad or once you return to Binghamton.  Alternately, email approvals, together with course equivalencies, from your department advisor can be forwarded to your program advisor in the Office of International Programs.

Students who would like to receive credit toward general education requirements for Binghamton programs should file a petition in the Office of International Programs.

How Credit Works for SUNY Programs

Credits are treated as SUNY transfer credits. Although the grades are not averaged into your Binghamton grade point average, a "Transcript Supplement" created by the SUNY campus sponsoring the program includes the name of the program, each course with the corresponding credits and grades earned. The transcript supplement becomes a part of your permanent Binghamton record. It's automatically included with your Binghamton transcript every time it is issued. Graduate schools (including law schools and medical schools) will look at the grades you earn on study abroad and may average them with your other grades.

General credit toward your undergraduate Binghamton degree is usually guaranteed on Binghamton and other SUNY programs.

Normally you will receive the amount of credit for each course that is designated by the SUNY campus sponsoring the program. If the courses are listed as worth 2, 3 or 5 credits, Binghamton will recognize 2, 3 or 5 credits for each course.

Participants in other SUNY programs need to discuss the possibility of recognition of credit toward general education with advisors in their school's academic advising office.

SUNY Community College Programs

Special regulations apply to the administration of the community college programs. The rules for non-SUNY programs described in the paragraphs below apply to all programs sponsored by SUNY two-year and/or community colleges.

How Credit Works on Non-SUNY Programs

All credit is viewed as transfer credit. You should be particularly careful to obtain pre-approval of the program from your school (Harpur, SOM, etc.) before you make a commitment to the program; credit is not automatically guaranteed. Once accepted into the program, you are on a temporary "leave of absence" and must complete a simple re-admission procedure in OIP. In the future you will request transcripts from Binghamton and from the program sponsor to represent completely all of your undergraduate work. Graduate schools (including law schools and medical schools) will look at the grades you earn from study abroad and may average them with your other grades.

Normally you'll receive the amount of credit for each course that is designated by the U.S. campus sponsoring the program. If the courses are listed as worth 2, 3 or 5 credits, Binghamton will recognize 2, 3 or 5 credits for each course.

Participants of non-SUNY programs need to discuss the possibility of recognition of credit toward general education with advisors in their school's academic advising office.

Last Updated: 8/19/14