While on a Boston University Study Abroad Program, students continue their academic progress earning BU credits towards their undergraduate degree while abroad. Students who enroll in a BU Study Abroad program do so with the understanding that these are academic programs with scheduled class meetings, internship placements and program-wide activities and excursions. Attendance is expected and required. Personal travel and visits from family and friends will not be considered excused absences while on a BU Study Abroad program. Students are expected to adhere to the local attendance policies as stated in course syllabi.
Students must make every effort to be on time for all scheduled meetings and class sessions and should notify the appropriate persons by phone or written message of extenuating circumstances that result in tardiness.
Absence for Religious Reasons
According to Chapter 151C of the General Laws, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day, shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement that may have been missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examinations or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said students such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to students because of their availing themselves of the provisions of this section. Students who have questions about practicing their religion while abroad should contact Boston University Study Abroad.
In non-English-speaking programs, students are expected to speak the host language exclusively in the classroom, at the university, at their internship site, in the program office, and on excursions. Students should also speak the host language when in public places and as much as possible when with other students. Speaking in the host language will improve students’ abilities as well as ease cultural adjustments.
Course Load Policy
The Study Abroad course load policy is as follows:
16 Credit Semester-Long Programs
Study Abroad students are expected to enroll for 16 credits in the Fall and Spring semesters and must maintain full-time status while abroad. Student visa requirements for some overseas programs may not allow for a reduced course load below 16 credits. Any request to withdraw from a course must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and on-site program director.
Most study abroad students do not enroll for greater than 16 credits. Any request to overload must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and on-site program director.
In all cases, students must be registered full-time: a minimum of twelve credits.
16-20 Credit Semester-Long Programs
While most study abroad programs require students to enroll in 16 credits, some require up to 20. Students should review the credit load for their specific program. Any request to withdraw from a course must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and on-site program director.
Students may not enroll for more than 20 credits.
In all cases, students must be registered full-time: a minimum of twelve credits.
Note: CAS IP 101: The Global Learning Experience carries one credit but is not considered an overload.
For Boston University students, grades earned on your off-campus program will appear on your Boston University transcript and will be averaged into your grade point average as normal.
For non-Boston University students, you should check with your home campus to determine whether or not the grades you earn will appear on your home institution’s transcript, or if the coursework will be transferred as pass/fail grades. Regardless of whether the actual grades you earn will appear on your home institution’s transcript, you should keep in mind that you will have a permanent record at Boston University. Should you apply to graduate school at a later date, you most likely will be required to submit an official transcript from each institution you have attended.
Students are expected to turn in all course assignments on time; turning in assignments late will have a negative effect on your grades. All academic commitments must be completed before students leave the program site; no incompletes are permitted. Students who do not complete a course on time will earn an F (failing grade). All courses must be taken for credit; students are not permitted to audit courses or to take courses on a pass/fail basis. For students on internship programs, unsuccessful completion of any course preceding the internship period may make them ineligible for placement in an internship.
Students enrolled in an internship program must complete the internship and all the academic work related to it, regardless of the transfer credit policy of their home institutions. The internship is a serious academic endeavor, requiring the completion of all assignments. Students are expected to fulfill all the requirements of the program, including the internship and the academic component attached to it.
Students will be informed at the program site of additional academic policies, such as deadlines for adding or dropping a course.
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:
||College of Arts & Sciences
||College of Fine Arts
||College of Communication
||College of Engineering
||Questrom School of Business
||School of Education
||School of Hospitality Administration
Boston University applies the following numbers and subject designators to its courses offered overseas:
||Introductory or general undergraduate
||Advanced undergraduate, graduate
||CAS, Archaeology; CFA, Art
||CAS, Chinese Language (Mandarin); COM, Mass Communication, Advertising & Public Relations
||Film & Television
||Interdisciplinary International 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-BU 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.