Academic Credit - Off-Campus Study Skip Navigation

Academic Credit for Off-Campus Study

Course Approval

Colgate students take notes on a geology field courseCourses Taught by Colgate Faculty
Colgate Study Groups normally include at least one previously scheduled course taught by the Colgate faculty director. Confirmed Study Group courses are listed in the course preregistration booklet published by the Office of the Registrar. Prior to the start of the study group, the registrar will register students for the study group. No further action is required to clear or receive credit.

Courses Taught at a Host University or Approved Program Center
Courses taken at a host institution as part of a Study Group or Approved Program do not automatically earn credit. Elective courses should be in the liberal arts; courses in marketing, business, journalism, or other subjects beyond the scope of Colgate’s curriculum are not eligible for credit. Major credit must be pre-approved by the department chair, as must all credit (elective or major) in natural sciences and English.

Colgate Study Group students must provide the study group director and Colgate’s registrar’s office with a list of elective courses in which they have enrolled at the beginning of the semester. Note that individual study groups may have specific registration policies that limit the types of courses a student may receive credit for. When in doubt, students should consult their study group director, the Office of the Registrar, or Off-Campus Study.

Colgate students pose for a photo in Paris, France, with the Eiffel Tower in the background down the street.Approved Program students should submit an application for transfer credit with all applicable approvals and signatures to the Office of the Registrar prior to departure (by April 15 for Fall programs, or November 15 for Spring programs). If your schedule changes on arrival at your program, contact the Office of the Registrar to approve your new courses prior to finalizing enrollment.

Repeating Courses
Courses taken off-campus may not be repeated on campus. Courses taken on campus may not be repeated off-campus.

Grades and the S/U Option
Students are expected to take courses off-campus for a grade. Courses taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory or pass/fail basis will not be awarded credit.

Semester Course Load

A normal course load on a Colgate Study Group or Approved Program is 4.00 course credits (the equivalent of four regular Colgate courses), unless additional course work is a required part of the program.

Students may be required to enroll in more than four courses while on their off-campus program in order to receive 4.00 credits. Since credit systems are different at many foreign universities, students should not assume that one course at a host university or program—whether taken through a Colgate Study Group or an Approved Program--equals one credit.

You can be assured, however, that upon successful completion of a full semester’s approved credit on a study group or approved program, you will earn 4.00 credits toward the Colgate degree.


Course titles, credits, and grades from all approved courses taken on a Colgate Study Group or Approved Program are recorded on the Colgate transcript. Grades from courses taken at a host university are converted to the U.S. equivalent by the director in the case of Colgate Study Groups, or by the program provider in the case of Approved Programs.

All approved courses taken on a Colgate study group, including those taken at a host institution, are awarded Colgate credit and factored into the student’s GPA.

All approved courses taken on an Approved Program are awarded transfer credit. Although grades are recorded on the transcript, they are not factored into the student’s Colgate GPA.

Additional Information
Questions regarding credit or approval not answered here should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.