With careful planning, students can make full academic progress by studying abroad. It is important that you take your course planning seriously prior to departure as making changes at a later date involves a more challenging process and course equivalency may not be determined until after you are well into your study abroad semester. Note that study abroad courses and credits are treated by MU as transfer credits/courses (they follow the same policy as transferring credits/courses from another U.S institution).
ROLE OF YOUR ADVISOR(S)/ACADEMIC ADVICE: You will need to discuss the courses you take while abroad with your academic advisor(s) prior to departure, as well as possibly during your study abroad if any changes occur. Global Education & Partnerships cannot provide academic advice. Academic advisement can only be provided by your academic advisor(s) and your home department(s). To ensure your academic progress, we will assist you with the process, but are unable to determine course selection and course equivalents.
Per MU transfer policy, to receive an MU degree, there is no limit to the number of overall transfer credits accepted as long as a minimum of 30 credits and 50% of the major / 50% of the minor / 50% of the option are completed in residence at MU (University Governance Manual). Please discuss this policy with your academic advisor(s) during your preparations to study abroad.
Minimum/Maximum Study Abroad Credits
- Minimum Credits: Students studying abroad are required to be full time students while abroad, meaning students must be registered for a minimum of 12 academic credits per semester. (Special permission is required to be part time.) Individual academic departments and Non-MU Programs may have their own policies regarding maximum transfer credits allowed – you will need to check with these individuals regarding their policies. Failure to maintain and complete the study abroad minimum of 12 credits can affect other areas of your academic study such as financial aid, visa requirements, and medical insurance policies.
- MU Programs (maximum credits)– Each MU Program is assigned a maximum number of credits per semester, 12 or 15. This is the maximum number of credits a student may take and it is also the number of credits a student pays for, according to MU tuition rates, regardless of the number of credits a student earns.
- Registering For MU Courses – Participants may register for additional MU courses (example: honors theses, online classes, independent studies, etc.) in addition to courses he/she is taking abroad. Students are required to pay MU tuition and fees for all MU courses registered for in addition to the tuition & fees specific to your MU partner program’s maximum credit allotment.
- NON-MU Programs (maximum credits) – You pay your Non-MU program directly for tuition and fees. The maximum number of credits you can earn is determined by your program.
- Registering For MU Courses – You will ONLY pay Millersville for tuition and fees if you register for MU courses. (example: honors theses, online classes, independent studies, etc.)
- Summer/Winter Study – There is no minimum/maximum MU credit requirement
- Registering For MU Credits: Students participating in summer and winter study abroad programs (MU or Non-MU) pay tuition and other fees directly to their program (rather than to MU). If registering for MU credits (example: honors thesis, online course, etc.) in addition to classes you are taking abroad, you will need to pay MU tuition and fees for these MU credits.
COURSES: Equivalencies & Academic Progress
Studying abroad in the fall or spring semester fulfills the perspectives ("P") and diversity ("D") requirements as well as summer participation in a professional experience abroad program such as internships, student teaching field placements, or social work field placements. Successful completion of an outcomes paper by a summer study abroad participant will fulfill the D requirement.
Students may not transfer credit into MU for any course taken at another institution that is the equivalent of a course previously taken at Millersville; this policy applies whether the course was passed or failed at Millersville University (courses failed at MU cannot be re-taken while studying abroad). Students may repeat courses at Millersville for which they have received transferred credit, but they will forfeit the transfer credit.
Neither the Office of Global Education nor the international institution you are attending will manipulate or change courses so that they will count toward your academic program. Only your home department and advisor can authorize course equivalencies and how your courses will apply toward your academic progress.
How Courses Transfer Back to MU: Undergraduate students complete a Transfer of Credits Form during the Pre-Departure phase of the study abroad process to be used for academic planning purposes. This form is also used to ensure pre-approval has been given for courses listed on the student’s academic transcript from abroad. Note: the form is NOT used for registering for classes at the student’s host institution.
Students meet with their academic advisor(s) and provide their DARS and course descriptions for the courses they are planning to take while abroad.The advisor assists the student with selecting courses and reviews the descriptions to determine suitable MU equivalents and to ensure academic progress is made. Always pay close attention that courses taken abroad will fit into your major(s), minor(s), option(s) or General Education requirements.
The advisor assists the student with selecting courses and review the descriptions to determine suitable MU equivalents and to ensure academic progress is made. Always pay close attention that courses taken abroad will fit into your major(s), minor(s), option(s), or General Education Requirements.
If you require MU equivalents for courses offered outside of your home department, you may be requested to seek further approval from the specific department to which the course belongs before the Transfer of Credits form is officially completed (example: You are a History major taking a Psychology course abroad. History may require you to get the course equivalent from the Psychology Department).
- When reviewing a course description, advisors, and students first determine if there is a similar course here at MU. If so, it is considered a “direct equivalent” and the MU course number/title is what is written on the Resident Credits Form. If there is no equivalent course here at MU, the course is an “XX” course. See below for details.
- Direct Course Equivalents: Example: if you take International Law abroad, it would transfer back to Millersville as GOVT 351: International Law. GOVT 351 is not a G3, so you would not be able to count it as a G3. If a direct equivalent is listed as a General Education course, General Education credit will be issued.
- “XX” Course Equivalents: If a course description does not match any courses offered at MU, the course is an “XX” course. The adviser determines what department the course falls under, the level of the course, and if it meets any General Education requirements. Example: A Study of Australian Aboriginal Culture course could be assigned as “ANTH 2XX: A Study of Australian Aboriginal Culture G3, D”. The advisor and academic department of the student can determine if the course can be a General Education course.
- If you take any courses while studying abroad that were not listed on your Transfer of Credits Form, meaning it was not approved by your advisor, nor do you have a course equivalent to know how it will transfer back to MU, you must notify your academic advisor and the Office of Global Education immediately, to determine how your academic progress will be impacted and so that your Transfer of Credits Form can be revised.
- Language Students should be aware that if a student's language placement test abroad places them into a level already completed at MU, or is the same as one that as previously transferred into MU, then these courses will not transfer.
For graduate students: The above instructions do not apply to graduate students. In order to receive academic credit for graduate level study abroad, students are required to get approval through the Graduate Studies Office before they apply. Graduate students will complete the Graduate Studies form titled, “Request to Take Course at Another University for Transfer of Credit Back to Millersville University,” instead of the Transfer of Credit form mentioned above. You will receive this form during the Study Abroad 101 Meeting.