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Academic Planning & Studying Abroad
Start planning your academics abroad early.
Having a conversation with your professional or faculty advisor(s) prior to studying abroad will help you make better-informed decisions about which courses to take—as well as provide you with a record of their equivalencies. Make progress towards your degree by being aware of how your study abroad coursework will fulfill degree requirements.
Academic Planning Form
You'll use this form to plan and figure out courses you'll take abroad and understand how they'll transfer back.
How should I start?
- Meet with your professional or faculty advisor to get started.
- You'll use the Academic Planning Form to obtain and document the official study abroad course approvals prior to departure.
- Check the Study Abroad Course Database to see if a course has been reviewed by UMD. If it’s listed, you don’t need to get it reviewed, and you can just list the course on your planning form.
- If a course is not listed or is expiring—don't worry! Check out the foreign university's website to look for courses you're interested in taking. Then get those courses reviewed by downloading and following instructions on the Academic Planning Form. Refer to the UMD Department directory to identify which department should review your course.
- To request a syllabus for a course you would like reviewed, complete the Syllabus Request Form. The Study Abroad office will request the syllabus from the foreign university and forward it to you. This process can take some time, so please plan accordingly.
Study Abroad Course Database
Use the Study Abroad Course Database to find courses that have already been reviewed and approved at UMD. This can aid in finding locations that may have courses to suit your major without having to get the course reviewed by your department at UMD. You can sort by country, university, city, or UMD department to find courses. Reminder: if a course you're interested in taking at the foreign university is not listed, then get it reviewed (see Academic Planning Form section above.)
NOTE: World Languages & Cultures (WLC) majors/minors: Due to nature of language course placements abroad and specific courses you’ve completed for your degree prior to, most WLC courses taken abroad will be reviewed on an individual basis and not found in the Study Abroad Course Review Database. Complete the Academic Planning Form to have your WLC courses officially reviewed by the department to identify how courses may work towards your degree.
Study abroad courses transfer back in one of the following ways:
- Direct UMD course equivalent (e.g. Intro to Psychology Abroad = PSY 1003 General Psychology)
- UMD major or minor requirements (e.g. lower/upper-division electives or requirements for your major or minor)
- General elective credit towards graduating (e.g. FORS XXXX)
- Transfer credit (for Non-Affiliate programs or another UMN campus program that awards transfer credit)
Liberal Education Global Perspectives Category
Successful completion of one of the following Study Abroad Programs fulfills the Global Perspectives category within the Liberal Education Program:
- UMD, co-sponsored, or affiliate semester or year-long program
- UMD short-term program
- Affiliate short-term program that includes a Global Perspectives Liberal Education course listed in the UMD Study Abroad Course Database
*Note: you cannot fulfill both the Global Perspectives category and the Sustainability category during your semester or year abroad. If you would prefer to fulfill the Sustainability category, you may petition to do so. To complete the Sustainability category you will need to submit a petition request to override the fulfillment of the Global Perspective category.
Petition a Course
Want to petition a study abroad course to fulfill a UMD liberal education requirement? Look for the course in the Study Abroad Course Database and make sure that it hasn’t already been approved to fulfill a liberal education category then:
- If the course hasn’t been reviewed at UMD, you must have the course reviewed. See academic planning form information above.
- If the course has been reviewed but is not equivalent to a UMD course you may submit a petition (see the instructions below)
Liberal Education Petition Process Instructions
- If a study abroad course does not fulfill a liberal education category, make note of and/or print the study abroad course review result
- Download and complete the Academic Petition form
- Complete section A – “Student Information”
- Explain your request and indicate that the course you are petitioning has already been reviewed and include the result of the original review and the syllabus
- State the liberal education category/categories you are petitioning the study abroad course to fulfill
- Leave the ‘add and cancel classes’ section blank
- Complete section C
- Bring the completed form, a copy of the syllabus, and the original review results to your collegiate unit’s Advising and Academic Services office as indicated on the form. (Your collegiate unit is the college that your major is housed in. e.g. College of Liberal Arts or School of Fine Arts.)
- Your collegiate unit will complete section B of the petition form and send your petition and any additional documentation to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education for review. The result of your petition will be sent to you by either the Office of the Registrar or your collegiate unit.
- This process can take up to 2 weeks or longer, depending on the time of year
- For petitions that are approved, the Office of the Registrar will make the adjustment to your APAS. The Study Abroad office will be informed and the result will be added to the Study Abroad Course Database.
To petition a course for reasons other than liberal education requirements, contact your respective collegiate unit.