Academic Planning & Studying Abroad

Start planning your academics abroad early. 

Have a conversation with your academic advisor early in the study abroad process to make better-informed decisions about which courses to take. Make progress towards your degree requirements by knowing how your study abroad coursework will fulfill degree requirements.

Academic Planning Form

You'll use this form to plan and figure out courses you'll take abroad and understand how they'll transfer back to UMD. 

How should I start?

  • Meet with your academic advisor to get started.
  • You'll use the Academic Planning Form to obtain and document official study abroad course approvals prior to departure.
  • Check the Study Abroad Course Database to see if a course has already been reviewed by UMD. If a course is listed and won't expire before your program ends, you don’t need to get it reviewed. You can just list the course and it's equivalent on your Academic Planning Form.
  • If a course is not listed or will expire before your program ends—don't worry! Check out the foreign university's website to look for courses you're interested in taking.
  • To request a syllabus for a course you would like reviewed, complete the Syllabus Request Form.
    • The Study Abroad office will request the syllabus from the foreign university and forward it to you. This process can take some time, so please plan accordingly.
  • Ensure any classes you hope to take abroad are offered the particular term(s) you'll be abroad by checking the foreign university's website.

Study Abroad Course Database

Use the Study Abroad Course Database to find courses that have already been officially reviewed and have UMD equivalents. This can aid in finding locations that may have courses to suit your major/minor. You can sort by country, university, city, or UMD department to find courses. Reminder: if a course you're interested in taking at the foreign university is not listed, then you can get it reviewed (see Academic Planning Form section above.)

Study Abroad Course Database >

NOTE: World Languages & Cultures (WLC) majors/minors: Due to nature of language course placements abroad and specific courses you’ve completed for your degree prior to, most WLC courses taken abroad will be reviewed on an individual basis and not found in the Study Abroad Course Review Database. Complete the Academic Planning Form to have your WLC courses officially reviewed by the department to identify how courses may work towards your degree.

Course Equivalents

Study abroad courses transfer back in one of the following ways:

  • Direct UMD course equivalent (e.g. PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology Abroad = PSY 1003 General Psychology)
  • UMD major or minor requirements (e.g. lower/upper-division electives or requirements for major or minor; MKTG 3xxx)
  • General elective credit towards graduating (e.g. FORS 1XXX)
  • Transfer credit (for Non-Affiliate programs or another UMN campus program that awards transfer credit)

Liberal Education Global Perspectives Category

Successful completion of one of the following Study Abroad Programs fulfills the Global Perspectives category within the Liberal Education Program:

  • UMD, Cosponsored, or affiliate semester, year-long, or summer program
  • UMD Faculty-led short-term program
  • Affiliate short term programs can also satisfy the Global Perspectives requirement if a foreign class is reviewed to count as the direct equivalent of a UMD course listed under the Global Perspectives category.

Petition a Course

Want to petition a study abroad course to fulfill a UMD liberal education requirement? Look for the course in the Study Abroad Course Database and make sure that it hasn’t already been approved to fulfill a liberal education category. I

  • If the course hasn’t yet been reviewed at UMD, you must first have the course review. See academic planning form information above.
  • If the course has been reviewed but is not a direct equivalent to a UMD course (ex. ANTH 3xxx), you may submit a petition (see the instructions below)

Liberal Education Petition Process Instructions

  1. If a study abroad course does not fulfill a liberal education category, make note of and/or print the study abroad course review result
  2. Submit a petition:
    1. Please use this Petition Form Until Further Notice (Updated 6/22/20. NOTE: The previous hardcopy form process below, was put on hold because of campus closure due to COVID-19. This page will be updated should anything change.)
      1. Previous Process (Discontinued, use the online form above): Download and complete the Academic Petition form Complete section A – “Student Information”
        1. Explain your request and indicate that the course you are petitioning has already been reviewed and include the result of the original review and the syllabus
        2. State the liberal education category/categories you are petitioning the study abroad course to fulfill
        3. Leave the ‘add and cancel classes’ section blank
        4. Complete section C
      2. Next Steps (Discontinued, use the online form above):
        1. Bring the completed form, a copy of the syllabus, and the original review results to your collegiate unit’s Advising and Academic Services office as indicated on the form. (Your collegiate unit is the college that your major is housed in. e.g. College of Liberal Arts or School of Fine Arts.)
        2. Your collegiate unit will complete section B of the petition form and send your petition and any additional documentation to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education for review. The result of your petition will be sent to you by either the Office of the Registrar or your collegiate unit. 
  3. For course petitions that are approved as a liberal education equivalent, the Office of the Registrar will make the adjustment to your APAS. The Study Abroad office will be informed and the result will be added to the Study Abroad Course Database.

To petition a course for reasons other than liberal education requirements, contact your respective collegiate unit.