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Taking & Transferring Study Away Courses

Please browse through the FAQs below about taking and transferring courses during study away. If any of your questions remain unanswered, please contact the Office of Study Away.

Yes. Courses from study away can fulfill requirements for your major(s) and minor(s). However, only certain courses within a major/ minor can be fulfilled through study away; other courses within a major/ minor must be taken at Oberlin. In addition, each major/ minor has a limit on how many study away courses can be transferred in. So, it's very important to discuss these aspects of transferring credit with your major advisor.
Yes, but only one. Curriculum Exploration requirements include Arts & Humanities, Natural Science & Math, Social Science, Courses Outside of Major Division, Cultural Diversity, Quantitative & Formal Reasoning, and Writing Requirements.

The only Curriculum Requirement you can fulfill through study away is one of your Cultural Diversity courses (students need a total of three CD courses in order to graduate). You do not need to pick specific study away courses to fulfill this requirement; any course on study away will do.
The maximum number of courses you can transfer back from study away is four.
Full-time status for study away students is not the same as full-time status for students on Oberlin's campus. Oberlin defines full-time for on-campus students as 3.5 courses, or 14 credits. In contrast, study away students are required to be full-time based on the policy of their study away program. Each study away program defines full-time differently. Some programs require students to take five courses, others only require three. It's important to research how your program defines full-time status. 
Not always. However, we recommend that you do. 

Depending on your particular academic situation here at Oberlin and the requirements of being enrolled full-time on your program (see above), you might not need to take four courses. In some cases, students can maintain their standard degree progression at Oberlin and remain full-time on their study away program while only taking three courses. 

Do not take any less than three courses.
Full Courses on Study Away 
Most Oberlin courses are worth four credits. However, courses on your study away program might be worth different amounts of credits. In some cases, different credit units might be used to measure course credit (such as ECTS in Europe, or credit points in New Zealand). This is all very normal, but can be confusing. So, please remember this simple phrase; "a full course away equals a full course at Oberlin." A full course in Spain that's worth 3 credits will transfer to Oberlin as a full course. A full course in New Zealand that's worth 15 credit points will transfer to Oberlin as a full course. 

Half Courses on Study Away
Courses that are considered half courses on your study away program can also transfer to Oberlin. 
No. While nearly all of your courses during study away will be graded, the grades from those courses do not transfer to Oberlin. All study away courses transfer into Oberlin as Pass/No Pass. In turn, as long as you earn a grade of "C-" or better in your study away course it can transfer to Oberlin, and will appear on your Oberlin transcript as "P". If you earn a grade that is lower than "C-" the course does not transfer to Oberlin. 
Start by researching the courses offered on your study away program to be sure the type of courses you need to transfer to Oberlin are available. After you find the right courses, you'll need to complete a Transfer of Credit Request form via the Registrar's website. The Form is a fillable-PDF; so, you may complete it electronically, or print it and complete it by hand.
First Page
Complete this page with your personal details and the name of your study away program. Please be sure to indicate if you're participating in an Affiliated or Non-Affiliated program.

Second & Third Page
Please list all the courses you plan to take while studying away, even if you'll actually end up taking fewer. For example; if you know you'll only take four courses on your program, you should list seven or eight courses on the form. Just in case your first-choice courses are not available (i.e. there is a scheduling conflict; a course is cancelled; etc.) you'll have all the courses that you'll potentially take listed on your form. Then, the courses that are listed on your final study away transcript can all be found on your Request form.

Also, please be sure to indicate for each study away course if you intend to transfer it to Oberlin as a major, minor, or general elective course. Once the form is completed, please follow the steps below in order to get approval for your study away courses.
Major/ Minor Courses
For courses you wish to transfer into your major/ minor, you must seek approval from the relevant Dept. Chair (or the faculty member inside the Dept. who has been designated to approve courses from study away). You'll need to provide that faculty member with your completed Request form and the relevant course descriptions/ syllabi.

The Dept. Chair or designated faculty member can provide approval for each major/ minor course either by signing the form (electronically or by hand) or by sending you an email in which they clearly state that they approve the course for your major. Whether your program is Affiliated or Non-Affiliated, you must seek approval for study away courses to transfer into your major/minor.

General Elective Courses
If you take a study away course that will not transfer into your major/ minor, it can transfer to Oberlin as a general elective course. ‚ÄčIf your program is Affiliated, you do NOT need to approval for general elective courses. These courses only need to be listed on your Request form. 

However, if your program is Non-Affiliated you WILL need to seek approval for general elective courses. Obtaining approval for general elective courses can be done via the same process described above for major course approval; you'll seek approval for general electives from the Dept. Chair (or designated faculty member) into which that course would best fit. For example; if you’re a BIOL major taking an ECON course, approval for the ECON course needs to come from the Economics Dept.
Even though you can only transfer a maximum of four courses to Oberlin, you should seek approval for six - eight courses. Due to scheduling conflicts, available space, prerequisites, etc. you may not be able to get into your first-choice courses. So please seek approval for more than four courses.
If you end up taking a course that was not listed on your original Request form, you'll need to complete a new form and, potentially, seek approval for it. If you plan to transfer that new course for a major/ minor requirement, please seek approval for it via email from the relevant faculty member. If that new course is a general elective course, you will only need to seek approval for it if your program is Non-Affiliated.

You may seek approval for new courses as described in the section "How do I get approval for Study Away courses?"
You do not need to complete the Request form until after you've been accepted into your program. However, you should complete the form before the end of the semester prior to your study away experience. So, if you're studying away in the Fall your Request form should be completed before the end of the Spring semester.

Once the Request form has been completed and you have received all the necessary signatures (or email approvals), please email the completed form to the Registrar at
Your final transcript from study away will list all the courses you completed on your program along with the grades for each course. While those grades do not transfer to Oberlin, if you apply to graduate school your grad program will most likely want to see your Oberlin transcript and your study away transcript. So, while study away grades do not appear on your Oberlin transcript and do not factor into your Oberlin GPA, the transcript from your study away program will list your grades.