Study Abroad

Credit conversion

As long as you complete all post decision requirements and registration materials prior to your departure, you were enrolled by our office in a FSTDY 300 placeholder course. Upon your return, this course will be converted to regular UW resident credits (as opposed to transfer credits), which will reflect the actual course names and numbers that you completed during your study abroad program.

It is important to note that all grades earned abroad will be transferred to your UW transcript, regardless of the final mark or need for credit, and will be calculated into your UW grade point average.

If you are looking for a record of courses taken at foreign institutions and their UW equivalents – look no further!  Visit our Course Equivalency Database.

Credit Conversion Process

You should complete the credit conversion process – changing the generic FSTDY placeholder course into the actual and relevant UW course names and numbers – by the end of the quarter following your time abroad.  You will not be able to graduate with FTSDY on your transcript. If you will be receiving Federal Financial Aid for the year after your study abroad program, it will be put on hold if your credits are not converted in a timely manner.

The credit conversion process will vary depending on the type of study abroad program that you attended. Please note that our office is unable to convert your credits until all of the courses taken abroad have been assigned a UW course equivalent.

For purposes related to registration, graduation, and financial aid, we recommend that this credit conversion process be completed by the end of the quarter following your study abroad experience.

For more information on specific credit conversion processes, see below:

Credits for UW Programs

Credits for Exchanges, UW Partner Programs

Credits for Independent Learning/Internships

Credits for UW Programs

When you return

  • Once your program has ended and all coursework has been evaluated by your program director, the courses and grades will be reported to the UW Study Abroad Office. Then, we will transfer these credits onto your UW transcript, usually within a week or two of receipt of the grade report. Early fall coursework is reported at the end of autumn quarter.

Some important considerations

  • It is mandatory that students attend and participate in all courses abroad and entirely complete the coursework included in the program. Students are not eligible to drop courses on UW faculty-led programs. In certain instances, they can take courses Satisfactory/Non-satisfactory (S/NS).
  • Students on UW Programs earn UW credit for academic work completed abroad. All grades and credits for courses completed abroad will be reported, regardless of the final mark or need for credit.


Credits for University Exchanges and UW Partner Programs

When you return

  1. Be sure to have a copy of your official transcript mailed to the UW Study Abroad Office after you complete the term abroad.

UW Study Abroad

459 Schmitz Hall   1410 NE Campus Parkway

Box 355815  Seattle, WA 98195-5815

  1. Once the transcript has arrived, our office will prepare a Credit Evaluation Form, which will provide a preliminary evaluation of the number of credits and grades for each course, using country/university-specific grading scales.  We will then send you an email once this form is ready to pick up. This form is usually complete within two weeks of receiving the foreign transcript.
  2. You will then take the Credit Evaluation Form – along with course syllabi and coursework completed while abroad – to the appropriate UW Departments in order to have UW equivalent courses assigned to each foreign course.
  3. Once all courses have been assigned UW Course Numbers, return the Credit Evaluation Form to the UW Study Abroad Office and we will transfer the credits to your UW Transcript, usually within one week of receipt of the completed form.

Some important considerations

  • Because credits from study abroad programs are not considered transfer credit, your advisor may not award courses with XX in the course number (e.g. BIOL 2XX).
  • The number of credits is suggested by the UW Study Abroad Office but is ultimately decided by the departmental advisor and subject to change.
  • It is mandatory that students complete all required academic work for each course taken abroad and submit a transcript to the UW Study Abroad Office in order to receive credits upon their return.
  • Although credit is guaranteed, the type of UW Credit awarded is not determined until after the exchange or program has ended and the appropriate UW Department has evaluated the coursework completed abroad.
  • Not every university abroad has a process for withdrawing from a course – be sure to document any changes (such as adding or dropping a course) you may have attempted to make while studying abroad to your transcript.
  • In general, undergraduate students earn the equivalent of 20-25 UW credits/semester, 36-45 UW credits/academic year for coursework completed on exchanges, but it is your responsibility to manage the number of credits you wish to acquire or may need for full time status.  Ask your study abroad advisor if you need help!
  • In the unfortunate case that you do not maintain your full time standing upon your return to the University of Washington, FSTDY 299 will be included permanently on your official UW transcript. The amount of FSTDY 299 credit appearing on a transcript is the difference between the credits earned and the UW full-time status requirement (Undergraduate = 12 credits, Graduate = 10 credits). This course will not impede your graduation, nor have an effect on your GPA. However, this is a permanent course on your transcript. This course may have an impact on your financial aid, so be sure to consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA).
  • If you are on exchange in the term you hope to graduate, you may find that the receipt of your foreign transcript and the timing of credit conversion may not allow for adequate time to turn in credits earned abroad to the registrar, and may delay your graduation by a quarter.  Please plan accordingly.
  • Remember, all grades for courses completed abroad will be reported to your UW transcript regardless of the final mark or need for credit.


Credit conversion for IE3 Internships and Independent Learning

When you return

  1. Upon your return from abroad, you will work with your sponsoring faculty and departments to have your academic performance evaluated on your independent study/internship. The sponsor will then complete the “upon return” section of the credit verification form.
  2. Return the completed form to the UW Study Abroad Office and we will post the grades to your transcript.
  3. It is important to note that all grades for courses completed abroad will be reported, regardless of the final mark or need for credit.