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Courses & Credits on Study Away

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Transferring credit from your study away program back to Oberlin is an essential part of the study away process. It ensures that you remain on track to fulfill your graduation and major requirements. 


The maximum number of courses you can transfer back from your study away program is four.

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 study away program (see below), 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-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.

1. 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 there equals a full course here." A full course in Spain that's worth 3 credits will transfer to Oberlin as a full course. A full course in Amsterdam that's worth 6 ECTS 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.

2. Half Courses on Study Away
Courses that are considered half courses on your study away program cannot transfer to Oberlin. It's only possible to transfer full courses from study away.

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 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 simply does not transfer to Oberlin.


Your final transcript from study away will list all the courses you completed on your program (no matter how many courses you completed). It will also list the grades for each of those courses. 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.

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