Transferring credit is perhaps the most important academic concern you will have as a study abroad participant. Courses successfully completed at the host institution/program abroad for academic credit can be transferred to your degree at Rice upon evaluation and approval by Rice academic departments and The Office of the Registrar. With proper program and course selection, major, minor and university requirements for most degree programs can be fulfilled while abroad.
YOU are ultimately
responsible for the courses you take, providing proper transcripts to Rice
University for evaluation, and for any other documentation needed for the
proper transfer and placement of credits earned abroad. It is an important
responsibility and a major consideration in the application and admission
process for study abroad, as well as during your time abroad and upon return to
BE AWARE OF RICE
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS. Carefully review Rice graduation requirements and
consult with the Registrar's Office if you have questions or concerns.
Study Abroad Course Pre-Approval Process
determine whether courses are appropriate for transfer to Rice via departmental
Transfer Credit Advisors. The Rice Study Abroad Office requires that students
wishing to study abroad have a conversation with these advisors to evaluate potential transfer credit for each course taken
abroad and transferred back as Rice-equivalent credit.
Please note the following
guidelines for course evaluation and pre-approval:
1) Research course offerings
when selecting a program abroad. Collect course syllabi and course descriptions
2) Look at the Rice
University Course Catalog to determine if the proposed course meets major or
minor requirements in your field, either as a Rice-equivalent course or as an
3) Complete the Undergraduate Request for Transfer Credit form listing all proposed courses abroad.
4) Schedule an appointment to
meet with the appropriate departmental transfer credit advisor for each course.
Please see the Academic Advising website for the current Transfer Credit Advisor listing. Bring all course information available
(syllabi, descriptions, sample assignments and exams, instructor contact
information, etc.) to your appointment(s) along with the Undergraduate Request
for Transfer Credit form. Discuss with the transfer credit advisor the classes
you are interested in taking and identify which requirements they may fulfill.
5) Transfer credit advisors may or may not pre-approve courses for transfer
credit on the Undergraduate Request for Transfer Credit Form at this initial
meeting. Official approval is often awarded only after a review of all
available course materials upon the student's return to Rice. However,
transfer credit advisors will offer valuable guidance to students regarding the
likelihood of proposed courses meriting approval. If the form is not signed,
ask the transfer credit advisor to document the conversation on the form.
6) Submit the completed form
to the Rice Study Abroad Office by the application deadline. Keep a copy for
your records as well.
7) This information is kept on file until the student's return from
their study abroad experience, when a final review is completed. The final
transfer credit form along with the official transcript from the program abroad
will be submitted by the Study Abroad Office to the Office of the Registrar.
While it is not a
requirement to obtain pre-approval signatures on the Undergraduate Request for
Transfer Credit Form prior to departure, the assessment by the transfer credit
advisor is essential, as it is the only way for you to make an
informed decision on the program you are considering. Completion of this form
does not guarantee final course credit but rather allows you to thoughtfully
plan your proposed courses while also leaving room for unexpected events, such
as a class being unavailable upon arrival to the host university. The goal of this process is for you to carefully review possible courses that
would meet specific academic goals and requirements, with final evaluation of
the courses upon return.
Credit and Grade Transferability
- Grades: Students must receive a
C- or better for courses abroad. Only those courses that have been passed
according to the host institution's grading policy (numbers, letter grades)
will be considered for transferability. Pass/fail grades will not be accepted.
- Number of Credits: Total
credits awarded will usually not be greater than what you would normally take
in the same time period at Rice. Students must be enrolled in and receive
credit for at least 12 credit hours per semester abroad (6 for the summer term).
- Program Approval: Courses
are to be completed at a Rice-approved study abroad program.
- Records: Keep copies of
course descriptions, syllabi, and any other records you feel may be important
for the proper evaluation of your courses.
- GPA: Transfer course grades do not appear on the Rice record and have
no effect on a student’s Rice grade point average. PLEASE NOTE: Graduate and
pre-professional schools may require your transcripts from all institutions attended, so there is incentive to perform well abroad. These additional
transcripts must be requested from the program or host university or school of record.
- Faculty-Led Programs: Rice
faculty-led programs may allow for course grades to be included in the Rice
transcript and cumulative GPA. Please consult individual faculty-led
program information for specific GPA and transfer credit details.
Types of Credit
Study abroad students studying on affiliate or direct enrollment programs have the AWAY 100 notation posted during the term abroad. Students studying on exchange programs have the XCHG 100 notation. These notations are placeholders and do not post any hours or grade points to your record, nor do they indicate actual transfer hours during the semester abroad. Actual transfer credit will be posted after receipt of an official transcript from the program or institution abroad.
TRAN credit can be awarded as lower-level (TRAN 100) or upper-level (TRAN 300). It can count toward general elective hours required for graduation and upper-level requirements.
Rice equivalent credit satisfies the same university, major, and distribution requirements as Rice enrollment. Rice equivalent credit requires departmental approval. If no direct equivalent Rice course exists, the transfer credit advisor may elect to award Rice elective credit (DEPT XXX) signifying that the coursework was appropriate for the Rice curriculum. Depending on departmental policies, these elective credits may be used for major or minor requirements.
Obtaining a Transcript
Before you leave your host institution, be sure to make arrangements for an official copy of your transcript to be sent to our office:
Rice University Study Abroad Office
MS-539, Ley Student Center, Suite #132
6100 Main Street
Houston TX, 77005
The host university/program transcript should NOT be sent directly to the Office of the Registrar. The Study Abroad Office will send the transcript to the Registrar upon receipt.
Many students assume that a transcript will automatically be sent by the host university or provider. This is most often NOT the case, so you must make arrangements with your host university/provider. You may also want to obtain two or more personal copies of your foreign transcript. Obtaining official copies in the future may be difficult, and may be required if you transfer to another school for graduate or undergraduate work.
School of Record
For students studying abroad through a program provider, Rice requires transcripts from the school of record. Some programs charge an administrative fee for this option.
In order to study abroad during your final semester, you must contact your appointed major advisor and the Senior Associate Registrar in the Office of the Registrar to discuss outstanding graduation and major requirements. Then, you will seek and obtain approval from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduates and the Rice Study Abroad Office.
Please note: If abroad during your final semester, your degree may not be immediately conferred. If the final semester abroad is in the spring, the degree may not be conferred until the following January. If the final semester abroad is in the fall, the degree may not be conferred until May. Contact the Office of the Registrar for further details.
Students with substantial transfer credit should be aware of the general graduation requirements (see General Announcements for more information). Students must complete at least 60 semester hours, more than half of their upper-level degree work, and more than half of their upper-level major work at Rice University. Students are also required to complete four full-time semesters in residence at Rice; semesters abroad do not count as semesters in residence. Students should also check with specific department requirements.
For further details regarding Transfer of Credit and Transcripts please consult the Office of the Registrar's website concerning Study Abroad.