Education Abroad Credit Equivalency Guide
 

This guide helps advisors determine the NAU equivalent for courses taken abroad.  Each country in which NAU has a program can be found on the left-hand side of this document. Note that many programs, such as those through USAC, have course information and transcripts issued using the US system and do not require credit conversion. 

Things to remember:

  • Liberal studies/general education and minors are not a part of degree programs in most countries.  This brings several considerations:

    • Typically, the 1st year of study in a foreign university will consist of a full time academic years’ worth of course work related to the student’s specific field of study (equivalent of 30 NAU credits). The second year of courses corresponds more closely to an upper division course in our system.  A 3rd or 4th year course is far more advanced than a 3rd or 4th year course in our system.  Students should only attempt 3 or 4th year course work if they have a considerable background in that field and should be aware it will be more work than they are used to in the US.

    • Interdisciplinary study is not the norm in most countries.  Students usually study only within one college or within one department for the duration of their studies.  Usually it is still possible for our students to take courses across disciplines but not always.  Program information on the NAU or ISEP website should make this clear.

  • The ECTS system is used throughout Europe and the tabs for many countries will refer you to the ECTS tab.

  • Approvals may be logged in the NAU Education Abroad website.  Instructions on how to do this are available at NAU Education Abroad website in Approving EA Courses (under the Resources for Faculty & Advisors tab).

  • Students participating in non-NAU programs as well as USAC programs will earn transfer credit rather than NAU credit.

ISEP programs: 

ISEP programs are managed by the ISEP Central Office.  This office maintains a separate site to which we refer students and advisors for program information: http://www.isep.org/students/Directory/members_outside_usa.asp

From this page, select the school of interest and look for the “Academics” tab.  This tab will provide an overview of options and considerations at that school as well as a link to that university’s course information.  This will often be a better, more specific source of information than using the broader “country” information listed here.  

European Transfer Credit System (ETCS)


The European Transfer Credit System (ETCS) is used throughout Europe.

2 ECTS credits = 1 NAU credit (In the case of a 5 ECTS course students may receive 3 NAU credits)

Liberal studies course-work is not usually part of degree programs in Europe and most undergraduate degree programs are completed in only 3 years.  A second year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  Therefore a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course is equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd year course is equivalent to a 400 level course at NAU.

Argentina

Undergraduate programs are 8 to 12 semesters in length, leading to a degree of licenciado or a professional title.  General education requirements are not used.  Therefore a 2nd year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  This means that a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.  Undergraduate courses at the 4th 5th or 6th year level are generally not recommended for US undergraduates.  Standard course-load is 4-6 courses per semester depending on the degree program.  Credit hour information is generally not listed in course descriptions or information.  Because programs are studied in set cohorts enrollment is measured only as “full-time” (taking the standard cohort) or not.  Most courses are worth 3-4 NAU credits.  Students will not be able to ascertain the credit hour value of their classes until arriving, registering, and finding the number of class hours required per week.  English course options are very limited.  Generally speaking, unless a student speaks fluent Spanish study options include either full Spanish language immersion at the intermediate or higher level or half-time intermediate language immersion and 1-2 courses taught in English.  As offerings vary students choosing the second option will simply have to work closely with their academic and study abroad advisor to craft a customized program.

Australia

There are several different credit systems in use in Australia:

  1. 10 credits = 4 NAU units (examples are Newcastle and Charles Darwin U)
  2. 4.5 credits = 3 NAU credits; 3 credits (rare) = 2 NAU credits; 6 credits = 4 NAU credits (examples include U South Australia and Flinders U)
  3. 3 credits = 3.5 NAU credits (it is acceptable to round up or round down based on the credit hour value of the NAU equivalent; if the total NAU units are shy of the total equivalent hours that should be received, additional hours of study abroad elective credit can be given.
  4. Curtin Tech: 6 CTU = 1 NAU; 25 CTU = 3-4 NAU credits

Grade equivalence:
 

Final Marks Australian Vice-Chancellor’s Credit  Equivalent NAU Equivalent
8-10 High Distinction A
7 Distinction A
6 Credit B
5 Pass C
F Fail F


Course levels:

Students should have access to the degree program information in which the course is offered.  Course level is determined by its placement within the degree scheme (e.g., a course taken in the 3rd semester is a second year course).
Liberal studies course-work is not part of degree programs in Australia and most undergraduate degree programs are completed in only 3 years.  Therefore a 2nd year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  This means that a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.

Austria

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Austria use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Belgium

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Belgium use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Botswana

One credit at the University of Botswana is roughly equivalent to one NAU credit.  Standard full-time course-load is 15 UB credits.  Bachelor’s degrees at UB require between 8 and 10 semesters (120-150 units) of study.  Undergraduate courses will number 100-599.  Many degrees do require some elective and general education components.  Therefore 100-400 level UB courses are similar to 100-400 level NAU courses.  500 level course, while technically undergraduate at UB, are equivalent to 500 level courses at NAU.

Brazil

Course offerings at FAAP in English are extremely limited.  Unless a student speaks fluent Portuguese, study options include either full Portuguese language study or half-time language study and 1-2 courses taught in English.  Most courses are worth 3-4 NAU credits.  Students will not be able to ascertain the credit hour value of their classes until arriving, registering, and finding the number of class hours required per week.  As offerings vary, students choosing the second option will simply have to work closely with their academic and study abroad advisor to craft a customized program.  Contact the Education Abroad Adviser for Latin America for more information.

Bulgaria

Courses and credits at American U Bulgaria works like a regular US University on the semester system. One AUB credit is one NAU credit

Canada

Most Anglophone universities in Canada use a course and credit system that is very similar to that in the US.  Credit hour equivalency is 1:1.

Chile

Undergraduate programs are 8 to 12 semesters in length, leading to a degree of licenciado or a professional title.  General education requirements are not used.  Therefore a 2nd year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  This means that a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.  Undergraduate courses at the 4th 5th or 6th year level are generally not recommended for US undergraduates.  Standard course-load is around 40 units per semester depending on the degree program.  Credit hour information is generally not listed in course descriptions or information.  Because programs are studied in set cohorts enrollment is measured only as “full-time” (taking the standard cohort) or not.  Most courses are worth 3-4 NAU credits.  Students will not be able to ascertain the credit hour value of their classes until arriving, registering, and finding the number of class hours required per week.  English course options are very limited.  Generally speaking, unless a student speaks fluent Spanish study options include either full Spanish language study at the intermediate level or higher or half-time intermediate + language immersion and 1-2 courses taught in English.  As offerings vary students choosing the second option will simply have to work closely with their academic and study abroad advisor to craft a customized program.

China

The BISU program is a set language immersion program of 16 credits per semester.
Course-work at JUFE and PLU-Sichuan U is taught in English and in a manner very similar to the US in terms of course-load and course level.
Course-work taught in English at Southwest University is offered primarily in the Chinese Language and Literatures department.  Offerings vary a great deal from one semester to another.  Credit hour information is based upon contact hour information (15 class hours per credit) and students must be prepared to be flexible and the program of study will necessarily be customized based on that semester’s offerings.

Costa Rica

The NAU in Costa Rica program is administered by NAU and all course-work includes offerings already included in the NAU catalog.  Please consult the programs track sheet for more information.

Cuba (USAC)

USAC course offerings are offered/taught in a manner equivalent to US semester system universities in terms of  credit hours and course level.

Czech Republic

Masaryk U courses are offered in the ECTS credit system.  Please see the ECTS tab for further information.
The USAC program course offerings are offered/taught in a manner equivalent to US semester system universities in terms of course-load and course level.

Denmark

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Denmark use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Estonia

NAU’s partner institutions in Estonia use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Fiji

The Fijian educational system is very similar to that of the UK.  Most classes are worth 15 credits each and are equivalent to 4 NAU credits.  Please see the UK tab for further recommendations.

Finland

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Finland use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

France

All of NAU’s partner institutions in France use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Germany

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Germany use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Ghana

Students attending the University of Ghana must be prepared to be flexible with course choices, particularly if they plan to study in more than one discipline.  Courses at the 300 or 400 level are equivalent to 200 level courses at NAU.  Some 400 level courses may be more advanced.  500 level courses can be considered upper division, 600 level courses are quite advanced.  Applicants should access the guide to course selection for U Ghana from the ISEP web page.  It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and read this document.  Credit hour values for classes can vary a great deal but are roughly the same course load as US credits.  1 and 2 credit classes are common and students may find themselves taking a greater number of classes than they are used to at NAU.

Greece

The American College of Greece’s credit system and course level designations match NAU standards.

Guatemala

Undergraduate programs are 8 to 12 semesters in length, leading to a degree of licenciado or a professional title.  General education requirements are not used.  Therefore a 2nd year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  This means that a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.  Undergraduate courses at the 4th 5th or 6th year level are generally not recommended for US undergraduates. Most courses are worth 3-4 NAU credits.  Students will not be able to ascertain the credit hour value of their classes until arriving, registering, and finding the number of class hours required per week. 

Hungary

NAU’s partner institution in Hungary uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Iceland

NAU’s partner institution in Iceland uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

India

The typical course load a U Hyderabad is 4 classes each worth 4 US credits.  Credit equivalency is 1:1.  The Academic Calendar is very different and students should be sure their intended semester of study will mesh with their needs.  Registration does not take place until after arrival a U Hyderabad and final information on course offerings is not available until shortly before the term begins, so students should be prepared to be flexible. General education requirements do not exist.  A second year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  Therefore a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.
Students on the USAC program at Christ’s College will find their classes, course load and course levels similar to the US system. 

Indonesia

Students generally take 4-6 classes per semester.  One BINUS credit is just shy of one NAU credit.  Generally students may count 1, 2 or 3 credits on a 1 to 1 transfer back to NAU but 4 credit classes should only transfer as 3 NAU credits. General education requirements do not exist.  A second year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  Therefore a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.

Ireland

Course-work in Ireland is usually listed both in ECTS and Irish educational system terms.  Wherever both are listed NAU will use the ECTS information for transcript evaluation purposes.  Please see the ECTS table for more information.

Italy

The NAU program in Siena includes course offerings but an NAU faculty member in residence that are part of regular NAU catalog offerings.  Those courses taught at/by the Siena School for Liberal Studies are offered in a manner very similar to that in the US.

Japan

Courses in Japan are usually worth 3 Japanese credits which are the equivalent of 2 NAU credits each.  Course-work can be either combined or split out to craft 3 credit equivalencies.  For example Japanese History I for 2 credits can be combined with Japanese History II for 2 credits. This would create a 4 credit class that could be used for both a 3 credit History of Japan class at NAU plus one “orphaned” credit channeled into another course combination or into study abroad elective credit.

Latvia

NAU’s partner institution in Latvia uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Lithuania

NAU’s partner institution in Lithuania uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Luxembourg

NAU’s partner institution in Luxembourg uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Malaysia

Students typically enroll in 5-8 classes per term which is the equivalent to 15-18 units (credit equivalency is 1:1).  Many courses are offered as only 2 credits.  Course-work can be either combined or split out to craft 3 credit equivalencies.  For example World History I for 2 credits can be combined with World History II for 2 credits. This would create a 4 credit class that could be used for both a 3 credit World History class at NAU plus one “orphaned” credit channeled into another course combination or into study abroad elective credit.

Malta

NAU’s partner institution in Malta uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Morocco

AUI does have a general education curriculum and 4 year degree structure.  Hence course levels at AUI are very similar to those at NAU.  In the course numbering structure the 1st number of the course indicates level and the final number indicates credit hours.  Hence BIO 1234 is a 1st year course worth 4 AIU credits.  Students generally take 5 classes per semester and a standard course-load is 17 AUI units.  One AUI credit is just shy of one NAU credit.  Generally students may count 1, 2 or 3 credits on a 1 to 1 transfer back to NAU but 4 credit classes should only transfer as 3 NAU credits.

Netherlands

All of NAU’s partner institutions in The Netherlands use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab for more information.  It is common for classes to be worth only 1-2 NAU credits.  Course-work can be either combined or split out to craft 3 credit equivalencies.  For example Cross-cultural Communication for 2 credits can be combined with Interpersonal Communications in the Netherlands for 2 credits. This would create a 4 credit class that could be used for both a 3 credit Intercultural Communication class at NAU plus one “orphaned” credit channeled into another course combination or into study abroad elective credit.

New Zealand

Students normally take 4 “papers” per semester which are equivalent to 4 credits each for a total of 16 units.  Taking only 3 is permissible.  General education requirements do not exist.  A second year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  Therefore a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.

Nicaragua

Students studying on the ISEP program in Nicaragua are more likely to find themselves taking a CUSE class which is where the majority of course-work taught in English is offered.  CUSE uses a program structure similar to that in the US. The majority of classes are 3 or 4 credits, and this information can be found on the CUSE website.  For non-CUSE courses, students will not be able to ascertain the credit hour value of their classes until arriving, registering, and finding the number of class hours required per week.

Norway

NAU’s partner institutions in Norway use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Poland

NAU’s partner institution in Poland uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Portugal

NAU’s partner institution in Portugal uses the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

South Africa

Courses at UJ are called modules. Module information is listed in each college’s (faculty) “yearbook.”  Modules are often year-long but exchange students may take one semester of the course with permission.  Students generally take 5 classes per term which are generally worth 3 credit per semester.  Credit hour equivalency is 1:1.  General education requirements do not exist.  A second year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  Therefore a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.

South Korea

Students will find the courses taught in English in South Korea to be very similar in terms of course-load and level to the US.  Credit hour equivalency is 1:1.  However, it is not uncommon for classes to be worth only 2 credits.  Course-work can be either combined or split out to craft 3 credit equivalencies.  For example World History I for 2 credits can be combined with World History II for 2 credits. This would create a 4 credit class that could be used for both a 3 credit World History class at NAU plus one “orphaned” credit channeled into another course combination or into study abroad elective credit.

Spain

Regular university course-work in Spain follows the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab. Students can register for courses in the “licenciado” or the “grado” level.  
Special course-work for foreigners often indicates contact hours and course level is either determined by proficiency for language courses or can be assumed equivalent to lower division for non-language courses.  Occasionally a course will be offered in a specialty program that has content that is clearly upper division level.  In this case it is acceptable to allow an upper division equivalent.
Students taking USAC course-work will find coursework the same as in the US in terms of workload and course level.

Sweden

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Germany use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Switzerland

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Switzerland use the ECTS system.  Please refer to the ECTS tab.

Thailand

Courses offered at Thammasat University are very similar in terms of course-load to the US.  Credit equivalency is 1:1.  Instruction style is very different and students should aim for a lower course-load to allow for adjustment.  General education requirements do not exist.  A second year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  Therefore a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.
Students taking USAC course-work will find instruction very similar to the US.

United Kingdom

Courses, called modules, are generally offered as 10 credits, equivalent to 3 NAU credits, 15 credits, equivalent to 4 NAU or 20 credits, equivalent to 5 NAU.  Modules are often year-long but exchange students may take one semester of the course with permission.
Students should have access to the degree program information in which the course is offered.  Course level is determined by its placement within the degree scheme (e.g. a course taken in the 3rd semester is a second year course).
Liberal studies course-work is not part of degree programs in the UK and most undergraduate degree programs are completed in only 3 years.  Therefore a 2nd year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  This means that a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.

Uruguay

Undergraduate programs are 8 to 12 semesters in length, leading to a degree of licenciado or a professional title.  General education requirements are not used.  Therefore a 2nd year course is usually preceded by a full year’s worth (approx. 30 NAU credits) of coursework in the discipline.  This means that a 1st year course is usually considered lower division; a 2nd year course equivalent to a 300 level course at NAU; and a 3rd course would be equivalent to a 400 or 500 level course at NAU.  Undergraduate courses at the 4th 5th or 6th year level are generally not recommended for US undergraduates.  There is no system of credits used in Uruguay. A full workload per semester for international students is four to five courses. Courses from the regular curriculum average about 45 hours per semester. Spanish language for foreign students is more intensive and is 67.5 hours per semester which would equal roughly 4.5 credits at NAU. English course options are very limited.  Generally speaking, unless a student speaks fluent Spanish, study options include either full Spanish language immersion at the intermediate or higher level or half-time intermediate language study and 1-2 courses taught in English.  As offerings vary students choosing the second option will simply have to work closely with their academic and study abroad advisor to craft a customized program.