Course Approvals & Equivalents

SUNY students participating on any study abroad option sponsored by a 4-year SUNY school will earn automatic general elective credits towards their degrees AND:

  • May fulfill specific degree requirements at UAlbany with proper pre-approval from your academic advisor (for major/minor requirements) or the Undergraduate Dean’s Office (for general education requirements).
  • All students should check with their home campus for policies regarding overseas credits, course equivalents, and grades.

UAlbany students must discuss their study abroad plans with their academic advisor and have their advisor sign the Preliminary Approval of Courses Form prior to departure, in order to gain approval to count specific courses towards their major or minor. A copy of this form should be submitted to the UAlbany Office of International Education. At UAlbany, only the Undergraduate Dean’s Office can approve study abroad courses to count as general education requirements. Non-UAlbany students should find out what similar kind of paperwork their own school uses and follow those procedures.

If detailed information about the courses offered overseas is available in advance, you can have course equivalents determined by your academic advisor at your home campus before beginning your program. If full course descriptions are NOT available in advance, then course equivalents can be determined by your academic advisor after you’ve begun the program overseas, after you return to your home campus, or at any point later up until graduation.

It is very important for you to talk with your academic advisor before going overseas to see what types of courses you should try to take and which courses may be most beneficial to your progress towards your degree. You may decide to take an extra course in your major when you come back rather than trying to get a particular course overseas. You may find out that you have room for electives in your program, and therefore, you can take what you like. Or, you may find that you must take a certain course while you are overseas, in which case, you want to be sure that your study abroad program offers that course. Essentially, you want to have as much flexibility as possible to select the most interesting courses available overseas, but you also need to be aware of what you must do in order to graduate on schedule. 

Overseas Enrollment Report Form

Once the program has begun overseas, all UAlbany program participants AND all UAlbany students on other programs should submit an Overseas Enrollment Report Form to UAlbany showing the actual courses they are taking overseas.  Follow the instructions on the form and attach proof of your registration or have your enrollment verified by on-site staff.

UAlbany students must submit course descriptions and syllabi along with their Overseas Enrollment Report Form if they want their academic advisor to consider additional courses for inclusion in their major or minor. 

Remember, the credits from an overseas course will not always be the same number of credits as the equivalent course at UAlbany. UAlbany (or the administering SUNY campus) will determine the number of credits each overseas course will carry based on conversion rules that apply to your specific program. Be sure that you understand the credit conversion rules so that you do not drop below the equivalent of 12 SUNY credits or the mandatory minimum credit load for your program.  When your grades have been processed, your audit will show the number of SUNY credits assigned to each course by the Office of International Education.


Last modified 2/6/2015