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 or affiliate semester, year-long, or summer program
  • UMD Faculty-led 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. 

  • 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 was reviewed as not being equivalent to a particular UMD course, then obtain the syllabus and course review documentation (e.g. copy of the Academic Planning Form review results from the Study Abroad Course Database).
  2. Complete the Academic Petition Form (Petition for academic policy or tuition refund for UMD students) form


To petition a course for reasons other than liberal education requirements, contact your respective college’s advising office.