Global Brown
Undergraduate Study Abroad

Study Abroad Transfer Credit Guidelines

Learn more about transferring credit from your study abroad program.

  • Students studying abroad must register for a full course load at the foreign institution. For Brown/CASA Programs, course load requirements are outlined in the program materials. For Approved or Petition programs, students should register for a standard full course load through the overseas institution or provider.
  • All abroad courses must be taken for a grade; credit will not be granted for any courses taken S/NC (pass/fail).  On the Brown transcript, "S" will appear in lieu of the grade issued by the host institution.
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better (a C- will not transfer) in order to transfer a course back to Brown.
  • Brown does not generally grant credit for practicums or internships. If you have questions regarding the eligibility of credit for these experiences, please ask your study abroad advisor.
  • Save all course materials (syllabi, exams, papers, notes, projects) and bring them back with you to Brown. Some departments will want to see your completed work prior to granting concentration credit.

Language Credit Requirements

  • If you are studying in a country or on a program with a Brown language requirement, you must take all of your coursework in the local language.
  • If you are taking courses in English in a country where the host language is not English, you must take one course in the local language (e.g. a Danish language course while studying in Denmark).
  • If you are on an Approved Program that allows you to take regular university courses at local institutions, at least half of your courses must be taken at the local institutions in the local language.

Evaluation of Work

Some institutions abroad do not evaluate student work at the end of every term. If a student's period of enrollment ends at a time when the host institution does not normally provide assessment, students may need to make individual arrangements for evaluation of their work. This exemption does not refer to special arrangements allowing students to deviate from a normal program or calendar of the host university.

Graduation Credit from Study Abroad

In the chart below, you’ll find course credit equivalencies, which will help you understand how your approved coursework taken abroad will translate to Brown course credits.  Please note that these are the minimum course-credit equivalents, and that transfer credits may only be assigned in Brown half-course credit equivalents. For example, eligible transfer courses worth a total of 28-31 ECTS would generally transfer as 3.5 Brown course credits; whereas 32 ECTS would transfer as 4 Brown course credits. It is also important to note that full-time enrollment in an academic semester at Brown is enrollment in 3 to 5 Brown course credits, and regardless of courses taken, no students may earn more than 5 course credits in a single semester. This 5-course-credit maximum limit per semester includes courses taken abroad as well as courses taken remotely through Brown such as independent study projects or remote-accessible courses. Based on the credit system on your study abroad program, you may take more than 5 courses, however, you will not be able to transfer more than the equivalent of 5 Brown course credits.


1 Brown Course Credit 

4 U.S. semester credit hours 

6 U.S quarter credit hours (or units)

8 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)

16 UK Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points*

*UK credit equivalencies outside of the CATS points system can vary due to the unique academic structure. To understand how your credits will transfer on other UK programs, such as the Oxford and Cambridge tutorial models, please reach out to your study abroad advisor. 

Enrollment Changes

If you make changes in your course enrollment while abroad, especially in the courses you plan to take for concentration credit, you should email your concentration advisor with information about the new course(s) to ensure that you will receive the necessary credit for course(s) when you return.

Enrollment Credit from Study Abroad

In order to earn a Brown degree, students must accumulate eight semesters of enrollment credit, signifying the completion of eight semesters of full-time study. Students studying abroad receive one semester of enrollment credit for each fall or spring term they complete abroad.

Additional Topics

Information on transferring credit for study abroad programs and concentration credit.