Registration & Credits FAQs

 Using study abroad credits to meet UAlbany's requirements

1. When should I talk to my academic adviser and the Office of International Education about planning for study abroad?

As soon as possible! You can get advice about how to fit study abroad into your schedule from your academic adviser in the Advisement Services Center or from your major department. You can get help in selecting a program that meets your needs at any time from the Office of International Education (Science Library G 40). It is possible to have specific overseas classes approved for inclusion in your major or minor in advance. Once you know which courses you can take overseas that will satisfy your requirements here, you can plan your semesters more easily.

The most important thing is to make your choice wisely and be sure the program you pick meets your needs. See our detailed descriptions of each UAlbany sponsored program at

2. Can I study abroad if I’m a transfer student?

Yes! Study abroad coursework can be used to meet your graduation requirements, and as long as you complete either your junior year or senior year on campus (technically, any 30 of the last 60 credits counted towards your degree must be done physically at UAlbany).  You can even go for a full year as long as any 30 of the last 69 credits are taken at UAlbany. Be sure to speak with your academic adviser to discuss specific overseas course approvals.

3. How do I find the right program and apply for study abroad?

Come to the Office of International Education (Science Library G 40) or check out our web site at for detailed program descriptions. There's no "best" program - only the one that best fits your plans. Our staff can help you find options that work best for you. 

4. I have been accepted into a SUNY study abroad program! What do I do next?

If UAlbany is administering your program, you will have instructions in your acceptance packet or email and your online study abroad application will guide you through the post-acceptance process and paperwork. If another SUNY is administering your program, you will find instructions about how to confirm your participation in your on-line application.  You may also stop by the Office of International Education (Science Library G 40) to get any forms or other help you might need.





The rules below apply to UAlbany students who are or will be registered at UAlbany under course numbers beginning with G INS for programs run by UAlbany or another four-year SUNY campus.

1. How do I register for my first semester of study abroad?

The Office of International Education will register you for study abroad here at UAlbany in a course with a G INS prefix.  Therefore, regardless of which four-year SUNY campus is administering your program, you will pay your SUNY tuition to UAlbany.  However, you will be paying other fees as explained by the SUNY that is administering your program.

2. How many credits should I register for?

For short-term study abroad (less than a full semester), you will be registered for the number of credits you are expected to be earning on the program. For a semester-length program, you will usually be registered for 15 credits.

3. What happens if I earn a different number of credits than what I originally registered for?

  • When your grades are actually submitted to the Office of the Registrar at UAlbany, your registration will be adjusted to show the actual number of credits you have earned.
  • As long as you were registered for at least 12 credits during a semester, your tuition charge will not change.
  • If you earned more credits than you have actually paid for on any program, you will be billed for the cost of the additional credits.
  • If you have not completed the minimum number of credits required by your program, you will not receive a tuition refund.

4. How should I register if I'm not sure I will study abroad?

  • If, at the time of advance registration, you are not certain that you will study abroad, register for UAlbany on-campus classes as you normally would. Once you are certain of your plans, adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • If you have registered for regular classes, the Office of International Education will not drop your classes and register you for study abroad without your permission. As long as you are registered for regular classes, your UAlbany e-pay bill will show all the customary fees that on-campus students are charged. Once your registration has been changed to study abroad (and you are registered for a G INS class), you will be billed only for SUNY tuition and the University Fee.

5. How do I register for my second semester of study abroad?

If you are enrolled in an academic year program, the Office of International Education at UAlbany will register you for the appropriate G INS course number for your second semester. However, you will have to register for classes yourself using myualbany for the semester you plan to return to UAlbany.

6. How can I extend or shorten my study abroad program?

If, once you are overseas, you would like to change from semester to academic year or academic year to one semester, contact the Office of International Education at UAlbany for assistance. These changes require approval from UAlbany, the administering SUNY, and the host university.

7. How do I register for the specific classes I will be taking at the host university?

You will also be registered for the classes you take overseas according to the instructions from the SUNY that is administering your program and the rules of the host university overseas. It is possible that you will not know exactly what you will be taking until you arrive at the host university.

8. How are the credits and grades that I earned at the host university converted into SUNY credits and grades?

The SUNY which is administering your program determines how the credits and grades of the HOST university will be converted into SUNY credits. UAlbany will award the same credits and grades that the administering SUNY assigns. If UAlbany is running your program, then the Office of International Education in Science Library G 40 will determine how the credits and grades of the host university will be interpreted.

9. How many classes do I have to take overseas? How many credits can I earn?

  • It is important that you are registered for at least the minimum number of SUNY credits that you will need to be considered a full-time student or otherwise satisfy your requirements.
  • You may register for as many credits as your program permits, but you cannot earn more than 19 credits in any semester without obtaining special approval from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in advance.  The only exception to this rule is if your program has a pre-session. In that case, the Dean’s permission for a credit overload is not required.

10. Will the courses I take overseas count toward my graduation requirements?

  • All courses that you take overseas and pass will count toward the 120 credits that you need to graduate.
  • Specific courses can also fulfill requirements within your major, minor, or the general education program with approval from the appropriate office. Courses can be approved in advance if you have adequate descriptions. Courses that have not been approved in advance can be approved while you are overseas or after you return, with the course syllabi and descriptions. Your major department can approve courses counting toward your major and can also approve classes counting toward your minor. 
  • Only the Dean of Undergraduate Education at UAlbany can approve General Education courses.  However, the International Perspectives and Foreign Language requirements can be satisfied via study abroad and the Office of International Education can assign those equivalents for you.

11. Do I need to earn a minimum grade for my courses to count toward UAlbany's requirements?

All credits earned while you are enrolled in a SUNY-sponsored study abroad program (while you are registered at UAlbany for a G INS course number) will count toward the total number of credits needed for graduation. Only courses in which you earn grades of C or better will be allowed to count in the major or minor or as writing intensive in any subject area. If you earn a lower but still passing grade in any course, regardless of the equivalent originally determined, the course will be reclassified for as a generic 000 course in the subject area and the credits will count only toward overall credits. Courses approved as satisfying General Education requirements will still satisfy those requirements, except for the category of writing intensive. Students whose credits are not included in their major or minor because of this policy may request that specific courses be reevaluated by the major or minor department. The academic department has the authority to assign a different equivalent.

12. Can classes I take overseas count toward my General Education requirements?

Yes. The language requirement and the International Perspectives requirement can be automatically satisfied with appropriate coursework taken abroad.  For other subject-matter areas, if your major adviser assigns an equivalent for an overseas course which is on UAlbany's approved list of courses for a general education category, the course counts. For all courses which are assigned non-specific equivalents at UAlbany, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies must approve each course individually. Your audit will be updated to reflect approved courses after your grades from overseas have been posted to your records at UAlbany.

13. How do I get specific courses approved for inclusion in my major or minor?

You may have as many courses preapproved as you wish. This guarantees that if you take those specific courses, you will receive credit accordingly, as long as you have submitted the proper paperwork to the Office of International Education and earned a grade of C or better in each course. The required paperwork is usually the Preliminary Course Approval Form but it can also be any document signed and dated by your major adviser, including an email. This does not guarantee that the overseas university will offer all the classes you have listed. You are also not required to take the classes that have been preapproved. If, when you get overseas, the courses you had hoped to take are not available or you find other courses of greater interest, contact your academic adviser right away in order to determine if they will be accepted into your major/minor.

14. Can I take courses overseas that don't match any classes offered at UAlbany?

Courses taken overseas do not have to be exact matches for classes offered at UAlbany in order to count. In fact, it's a good idea to take classes overseas that are different from what is offered here. If you only need general elective credits outside of your major or minor, then all coursework counts automatically. If you need credits in your major such as upper level electives, then any overseas classes that are approved as such by your major academic adviser will count. Your major or minor adviser can also agree to waive other specific requirements and substitute different classes that you have taken overseas.

15. How do the grades I earned overseas show up on my UAlbany transcript?

  • The exact classes you took overseas, along with the number of SUNY credits and the SUNY grades you have earned for each, will appear on Transcript Supplement which is included every time you request an official transcript. The grades themselves are not computed into your GPA.
  • As long as you have passed your courses overseas, you will get G INS credits with a grade of S that are equal to the number of SUNY credits earned at the host university. Since you cannot elect S/U credits for study abroad, G INS courses are not counted as part of the two courses that you can opt to take S/U at UAlbany.
  • Failing grades will be reported on your official Transcript Supplement and may also appear on your regular UAlbany transcript as U grades.

16. How can I appeal a grade earned on a study abroad program?

  • All students have the right to appeal grades, just as they do at their home campus, but the procedure for appealing a study abroad grade is different. In general, grades will only be changed if the host university so recommends.
  • If the issue is with the actual grade awarded, the appeal for reconsideration must first be made in accordance with the established procedures of the host university. If the professor of record at the host university agrees that a grade should be changed, then the proper officials at the host university can convey the new grade to the administering SUNY which in turn revises the Transcript Supplement. The home campus then revises its own records accordingly.
  • If there are special circumstances related to the assignment of a grade (such as when a student's religious observances conflict with examination policies, or in other situations where students would expect redress or special accommodation in the U.S.) for which an accommodation was not or will not be granted by the host university, the matter should be discussed with the study abroad office at the administering SUNY campus as soon as possible, in advance of the actual relevant date if possible.
  • This timeliness is important since if the reason cited by the student is not considered a sufficient excuse, the student will need to know this as soon as possible. Even if the reason warrants granting the excuse, a student's delay in contacting the instructor or the administering SUNY campus may make it more difficult for the University to assist the student with acceptable options for making up the work that was missed.
  • With the consent of the Dean of Undergraduate Education or the faculty on the Advisory Committee to the Office of International Education, a grade earned overseas may be changed.
  • Appeal Procedures for Study Abroad Credits Awarded: If a student believes that an incorrect number of credits was assigned to a course taken overseas, the appeal for reconsideration must be made to the SUNY campus which administered the program. If the administering SUNY agrees that the number of credits awarded should be changed, the administering SUNY will revise the Transcript Supplement. The home campus will then revise its own records accordingly.
  • Appeal Procedures for Study Abroad Course Equivalents: Course equivalents are only determined by the student's home campus. If a student wishes a course equivalent to be reconsidered, the appeal should be addressed to the Office of International Education at the student's home campus. As long as the faculty in the academic department where the credits will ultimately be credited agree, equivalents can be changed. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies can approve a course for the General Education program.

17. How do the classes I take overseas show up on my audit so that I am eligible for graduation?

After your grades have been processed at UAlbany, the equivalents assigned for the courses you have taken show up on your audit. If the equivalents are actual UAlbany courses, the audit will find them and count them as if you had taken the same classes here. If the equivalents are generic classes such as HIS 010 but they have been approved for General Education credit, they will be coded for that Gen Ed at the time the grades are posted.  Make sure to submit a copy of the email you have received granting approval for a Gen Ed to the Office of International Education so that it is in our files at the time we submit your grades to the Registrar. If courses have been approved for your major, they will count accordingly. If other requirements for the major have been waived because you have taken these classes, the academic department will have to file a DARS exception form. If the credits are only needed to count towards the total number of credits you need to graduate, the courses will appear in the electives area of your audit.

18. What happens if the courses I take overseas carry a different number of SUNY credits than the corresponding classes at UAlbany?

You get the same number of credits for your equivalents as the overseas courses carried on your Study Abroad Transcript Supplement. That might be the same number, or more, or fewer, than the corresponding course at UAlbany. If your major requires that you take a particular class, then the equivalent satisfies the requirements, even if the number of credits is different, but you will still need to complete the full number of credits required for your major. If your major requires a certain number of credits in a particular subject and the overseas course carries fewer, you will need to discuss alternatives (and DARS exceptions) with your major department to see what will be required. If a course overseas carries more credits than the corresponding class at UAlbany, it is also possible for your adviser to divide the credits among several UAlbany courses.

19. Can I study abroad during my senior year?

Yes, you can study abroad during your senior year. The UAlbany residence requirement states that any 30 of the last 60 credits you present for your degree must be completed physically at UAlbany. If you are overseas for a year, then the rule allows you to count any 30 of the last 69 credits toward the residence requirement.

20. Can I use financial aid for study abroad?

Yes. Since you remain registered at UAlbany while you participate in a study abroad program administered by any four-year SUNY, your aid will also be processed at UAlbany. You will have to make arrangements with the Office of Financial Aid to have your aid applied to your bills.

  • Even if you do not know the exact cost of your study abroad program, you should file your FAFSA at the usual time. The figures from the FAFSA will be used to determine how much you and your family must pay toward your educational expenses. Financial aid will be calculated based on the difference between your required contribution and the cost of studying abroad.
  • You must earn at least 12 credits during a semester or 6 in a summer to qualify for aid. 

21. I'm going on a program run by a SUNY Community College. Are the procedures the same for me?

No. UAlbany students who are participating on non-SUNY programs or on programs run by SUNY Community Colleges must transfer the credits they earn overseas to UAlbany. If you are studying for a semester or a year, you must apply for a Leave for Approved Study with the Office of Undergraduate Studies and transfer in the credits. If you are studying for the summer or during a semester break, you do not need to file for a Leave but you still have to follow the procedures for transfer credit and file the proper forms with the Office of the Registrar.


Last modified 2/13/2015