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Credit Equivalency Guide


Study Abroad Credit Equivalency Guide


Academics Abroad


Enrollment

You will be enrolled in a CIE 299 placeholder course during your terms abroad, holding your full-time student status and financial aid at NAU.

  • Drop NAU courses (except online courses you wish to take while abroad) and DO NOT drop CIE 299
  • The number of CIE 299 units should match the number of units you plan to take abroad
    • e.g. if you plan to take 9.00 units abroad, CIE 299 should be 9.00 units (add online classes for 12.00 – 15.00 units total abroad)
    • If you bring back more than 19.00 units, you may be charged for overloaded credits and will have to complete approval paperwork
    • If you bring back less than full-time status as required by NAU or your scholarships, be aware of impacts to Financial Aid (meet advisor to discuss studyabroadaid@nau.edu) 

You should be enrolled full-time at the host institution for visa status.

  • Total credits (host institution courses, NAU online courses, internship courses) should equal 12.00 minimum NAU credits
  • If you drop below full-time, contact your EA Advisor
    • You may receive a “W” for missing credits
  • Enroll in classes through LOUIE normally for when you return to NAU
    • If you have issues enrolling in NAU courses, contact EA Advisor for further instructions
    • Holds or missing pre-requisites may prevent enrollment 

Course Approvals

  1. Review progression plan with academic advisor
  2. Decide which courses you need to take
  3. Review the academic catalogs of your host university to find similar coursework
  4. Enter potential equivalencies into your “Credit Equivalency Form” (CEF)
    1. List foreign courses as they appear in your host university course catalog
    2. Check the credit system to see if credits need to be converted (as EA Advisor if you are unsure)
    3. STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL: How to Add a Course Equivalency to your EdAbroad account
  5. Contact the appropriate department to approve courses in your CEF
    1. Send request to EA Advisor first, EA Advisor will give contact info
    2. Include course descriptions and syllabi (when available) in the request
  6. Get twice as many courses approved than you plan to take in case of a schedule conflict or cancelled class (preferred classes and back-up classes) 

Requesting Approvals

  • Major classes (specific classes, major electives): Approval by appropriate department (e.g. BIO class from Biology Dept.)
  • Minor classes (specific classes, minor electives): Approval by appropriate department (e.g. JPN class from Global Languages and Cultures Dept.)
  • Liberal Studies (AHI, CU, SAS, SPW): Approval by EA Advisor
  • Global Diversity (U.S. Ethnic, Global): Approval by EA Advisor
    • Course must meet Diversity requirements (study of U.S. ethnic minority culture or non-western culture)
  • General elective à Approval by EA Advisor 

When Credits Post

  • After you finish classes, your host institution will issue an official transcript to NAU
  • It can take up to four months from the end of your program for grades to be processed and appear on your NAU transcript
  • All classes and grades on the host institution transcript will transfer to your NAU transcript, including failed courses
  • Grades may look different abroad; check the WES website for conversion
  • Only courses with completed CEF can be posted
  • If you do not finish the CEF process within one year, the courses will be general elective credit (SA 250/350) for the grade earned abroad 

 

CIE Course Transfer Policy (beginning Fall 2019) for exchange and provider programs

Courses offered abroad through NAU faculty led programs, USAC provider programs, and through NAU programs (such as NAU in Costa Rica), will be processed as direct (graded) credit.
 
Courses that NAU students take abroad at exchange partner institutions and through provider programs (with the exception of USAC) will be processed as transfer credit.

  • Transfer credit is not calculated into students’ GPA.  Transfer courses return to NAU, showing on students’ account as “T”.  While students’ GPA is not affected by transfer credit, the grade of the transfer course will appear on student NAU transcripts.  Additionally, students applying for graduate opportunities will likely be asked to provide the host institution transcript from their time abroad.
  • Failed transfer courses are processed through Education Abroad, but do not transfer to NAU, nor appear on students’ transcript.  Failed courses do remain on the host institution transcript.
  • Transfer courses can count toward students’ degree progression provided the courses have been pre-approved by academic departments.
  • Exceptions may be possible for transfer students who have reached their maximum number of transfer credits to graduate from NAU.   
Please note this policy only takes effect beginning Fall 2019--any previous study abroad terms are not included and are graded as direct-credit.

Pass/Fail Policy (P/F) for USAC or other direct-credit programs

A course abroad can be P/F when:

  • The grading basis of the NAU course equivalency is P/F
  • Only one SA 250/350 course (1.00-6.00 units) can be P/F
  • The course abroad is only offered as P/F 
SA 250/350 can only count towards general elective credit/

 
Students must request that a course be P/F within 30 days of the start of the term at the host institution.
 
Restrictions: Undergraduate students can use up to 24.00 hours of P/F coursework for degrees. No SA course other than SA 250/350 can be taken P/F. A P/F course cannot substitute a major/minor or Liberal Studies requirement unless the equivalency NAU course is P/F.


Credits Abroad

Please note that while most universities follow these general guidelines, some may have alternative credit systems. This guide should be used as reference and does not serve as a final standard for posting grades. If you have questions about your specific university, ask your Education Abroad Advisor.


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 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 U.S. 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:
 
Charles Darwin University and University of Newcastle: 10 AUS = 4 NAU
James Cook University and Murdoch University: 3 AUS = 4 NAU
Flinders University, University of New South Wales, University of South Australia, University of Technology Sydney, and University of Wollongong: 6 AUS = 4 NAU
Curtin University: 25 AUS = 4 NAU
Southern Cross University: 12 AUS = 4 NAU

Level of courses align with NAU levels (e.g. lower division at 1000/2000 and upper division at 3000/4000).


Austria

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Austria use the ECTS system (see above). For courses taught in German, the credit equivalency is 3:2 (3 host institution credits = 2 NAU credit).
 

Belgium

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Belgium use the ECTS system (see above).
 

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 system (see above).
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 (see above).
 

Estonia

NAU’s partner institutions in Estonia use the ECTS system (see above).
 

Fiji

The Fijian educational system is very similar to that of the United Kingdom.  Most classes are worth 15 credits each and are equivalent to 4 NAU credits.  See the United Kingdom section for more details.
 

Finland

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Finland use the ECTS system (see above).
 

France

All of NAU’s partner institutions in France use the ECTS system (see above).
 

Germany

All of NAU’s partner institutions in Germany use the ECTS system.  For courses taken in English, please refer to the ECTS section (above). For courses taught in German, the credit equivalency is 3:2 (3 host institution credits = 2 NAU credit).
 

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 (see above).
 

Iceland

NAU’s partner institution in Iceland uses the ECTS system (see above).
 

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 once per week for 90 minutes for the semester (15 weeks total). While in Japan this is generally considered 2 Japanese credits it is the equivalent of 1.5 NAU credits. Courses should be combined to be equivalent to 3 NAU credits and fulfil an NAU course.  For example  Japanese History I for  1.5 NAU credits can be combined with Japanese History II for 1.5 NAU credits to create a 3 NAU credit class such as History of Japan.
 
While abroad Japanese visas require students take a minimum of 7 Japanese courses (the equivalent of 10.5 NAU credits).  To be considered full time at NAU students would need to take a minimum of 8 Japanese courses (the equivalent of 12 NAU credits).
 

Latvia

NAU’s partner institution in Latvia uses the ECTS system (see above).

Lithuania

NAU’s partner institution in Lithuania uses the ECTS system (see above).
 

Luxembourg

NAU’s partner institution in Luxembourg uses the ECTS system (see above).
 

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 (see above).
 

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 (see above).
 

Poland

NAU’s partner institution in Poland uses the ECTS system (see above).


Portugal

NAU’s partner institution in Portugal uses theECTS system (see above).
 

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.

At NMMU, a credit is a unit of learning including time spent in the classroom and outside preparing for the course.  Thus four (4) NMMU credits are typically equivalent to one (1) US credit.  Each semester consists of at least 14 weeks of teaching. However, it is ultimately up to the discretion of your academic advisor how many credits will be awarded. Courses offered at NMMU typically range from 4 NMMU credits to 12 NMMU credits. You will select between 48 and 60 NMMU credits worth of coursework which will be anywhere from 4 to 8 courses. This equates to 12 – 15 credits within the US semester system. 
 

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 (see above). 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 (see above).  For courses taken in English, please refer to the ECTS tab. For courses taught in German, the credit equivalency is 3:2 (3 host institution credits = 2 NAU credit).
 

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 UK credits = 3 NAU credits, 15 UK credits = 4 NAU credits, or 20 UK credits = 5 NAU credits.  Modules are often year-long but exchange students may take one semester of the course with permission.
Students will have access to the degree program information in which the class is offered. Class level is determined by its placement within the degree scheme (e.g., a class taken in the 3rd semester is a second year class).

Liberal Studies coursework 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 class in the UK is usually equal to a 200-level class at NAU; a 2nd year class in the UK is usually equal to a 300-level class at NAU; and a 3rd year class in the UK is usually equal to a 400-level class 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 U.S. 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.