Carnegie Mellon University

Transfer Credit

The assignment of transfer credit is one of the critical roles of faculty and advisors in the study abroad process. Faculty will assess course content of the overseas course content and determine course equivalencies and/or whether elective credit can be given – within majors, minors and/or general education requirements. Note that courses which are passed overseas with a “C” average or above may be awarded transfer credit, but the grade does not transfer in or impact the student’s GPA/QPA. 

The assessment of transferability may take place through several processes: 

  • Early assessment of anticipated courses in consultation between student and faculty. 
  • Study Abroad Transfer of Credit (SATC) (pdf) form is an OIE paper form signed by a faculty advisor or several relevant faculty prior to the student’s study abroad experience.   On this form, the student marks anticipated course work, and asks the faculty advisor and/or relevant faculty in other departments to sign off on the courses’ appropriateness. The basic rule for “who should sign?” is -- if specific course credit is to be assigned (i.e., an exact course equivalency), a faculty or advisor in that specific department should sign. Elective and/or general education units can be signed for by the primary faculty advisor, in most cases. 
  • Follow-Up SATC Form (pdf) is an OIE application in which students who are already overseas can update OIE and faculty advisors about course changes. It is common that students will deviate from the course plan that was decided prior to study abroad. Students are requested to send web links so that faculty can access written materials regarding the course content. 
  • Receipt of transcript following completion of study abroad. Students are instructed to have formal transcripts sent to OIE.  OIE will distribute the transcript to the faculty advisor and to Enrollment Services for inclusion in the student’s permanent student record. Faculty advisors will use this information to assign transfer credit for the study abroad experience.  After determining whether and how the courses and units are transferable, faculty advisors place the transfer credit directly onto the student’s S3 record and notify the student. 

There are instances where a student does not pass a class with a “C” equivalent or above, thereby disallowing the assignment of transfer credit. This is particularly difficult when a student’s ability to graduate in a timely manner is impacted. These uncommon situations are considered on a case-by-case basis and may involve consultation with the overseas program and/or a study abroad advisor in OIE.

For additional information on the assignment of transfer of credit, contact Chris Menand.