Course Information

All courses offered by Boston University Study Abroad are fully approved by the appropriate curriculum and faculty committees at Boston University. The academic designation for each course is drawn from the following schools/colleges and departments on the Boston University Charles River Campus:

CAS College of Arts & Sciences
CFA College of Fine Arts
COM College of Communication
ENG College of Engineering
SED School of Education
SHA School of Hospitality Administration
Questrom Questrom School of Business

Course Designations

Boston University applies the following numbers and subject designators to its courses offered overseas:

100-199 Introductory or general undergraduate
200-299 Intermediate undergraduate
300-399 Advanced undergraduate
400-699 Advanced undergraduate, graduate
AR CAS, Archaeology; CFA, Art
AN Anthropology
AH Art History
BI Biology
CM CAS, Chinese Language (Mandarin); COM, Mass Communication,
Advertising & Public Relations
CO Communication Studies
DR Theatre Arts
EE Environmental Studies
EK Engineering
EN English
FR Francophone Studies
FT Film & Television
GE German Studies
HI History
HL Israeli Studies
IP Interdisciplinary International Studies
IR International Relations
IT Italian Studies
JO Journalism
LA Hausa Language
LD Zarma Language
LF French Language
LG German Language
LH Hebrew Language
LI Italian Language
LS Spanish Language
MA Mathematics
MG Management Policy
MK Marketing
MU Music
NG Nigerian Studies
PH Philosophy
PO Political Science
PY Physics
QU Ecuadorian Studies
RU Russian Studies
SO Sociology
SP Spanish Studies

Course Credit Information

Upon successful completion of courses taken through our programs, students earn 16–20 Boston University credits per semester, depending on the program. No work can be left outstanding, to be finished after a semester has ended. Thus, no award of “incomplete” is allowed for a course taken on a Boston University international program. Additionally, coursework may not be audited; all students must complete their courses for a letter grade.

The unit of credit at Boston University is the semester-hour. Each 4-credit course represents a minimum of 42 contact hours. Colleges and universities generally accept Boston University courses for transfer credit in their degree programs, provided the student passes each course with a grade of C or C–, or better. Students should check with their home institutions to determine all credit transfer policies.

To make certain students get credit at their home school for their courses abroad, we require the completion of an “Approval of Participation Form” as part of the application process. In this form, we ask the study abroad advisor, dean, or registrar (whoever is responsible for approving transfer credit) to indicate whether the student received approval to study off campus and whether he/she will be permitted to transfer credit for courses taken on our program.

While transfer credit is generally assured, we urge students to obtain approval from their advisors for the courses they intend to take—especially if they want these courses to fulfill specific requirements (divisional, major, minor, concentration, elective). Students should obtain approval in advance for more courses than they will actually take because in rare instances we have had to cancel classes due to faculty illness or lack of demand by students.

Consultation with their advisor beforehand will help students make informed choices should they deviate from their original plan. Students should provide their academic advisor with full information about the course offerings on the program in which they will be enrolled. Students will want to confirm which courses they may take to fulfill major, minor, and departmental requirements and which courses they may take for elective credit. Therefore, should they need to change their course enrollment, they will know which alternate courses they may take. Boston University students should also use this advising session to obtain approval for the courses they will take the semester following their time abroad.


Each student receives an official Boston University transcript upon successful completion of the program. Transcripts are released for fall semester programs starting in January, and for spring semester programs after Boston University’s Commencement date (late May).

Transcripts are sent to non-Boston University students at their permanent addresses. Non-Boston University students will receive an unofficial transcript for personal use and a sealed, stamped official transcript that should be sent or delivered to the appropriate individual at the home institution so credits may be transferred.

Transcripts are mailed only to students whose accounts are paid in full. Arrangements can be made to send the official transcript directly to the student’s home institution.