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Receiving Credit

Study abroad is not a vacation, nor is it just a "trip" abroad. First and foremost, study abroad is an immersive academic experience, allowing students to make progress towards their degrees while developing additional skills and perspectives crucial to their academic, professional, and personal success. 

Review this page for an overview of the credit transfer process, information about grades and transcripts, and frequently asked questions about study abroad credit.

Students seated at tables studying in a large room

Credit Transfer Process

Authority for approving study abroad and away transfer credit rests with the Registrar's Office (for non-major graduation requirements) and with the chairs of the academic departments (for major/minor requirements).  

Before Departure

After being accepted to their program(s), all students will submit a Pre-Authorization to Transfer Credit form to the Registrar's office by the applicable semester deadlines.  The approved form must then uploaded to their Davidson study abroad application.

After Program Ends

Students hoping to receive major or minor credit will need to submit their syllabi and completed coursework to the chair of the relevant academic department for final approval of the transfer credit.

Transcripts & Grades

Review this section for details about what to expect for grades and transcripts from your study abroad experience.


Courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better, and “pass” grades (or similar) are accepted only if the transcript indicates that the grade represents work of C- or better. 


Davidson College requires official School of Record (SOR) transcripts for all study abroad and away transfer credit.  Grade reports from the partner organization are not sufficient.
  • For students on semester or academic year programs, the transcript fee is included as part of the home school tuition
  • Students on summer or winter break programs are responsible for covering the SOR fee along with the other program costs

Sending a Study Abroad & Away Transcript to Davidson

In order for education abroad or away courses to be added to your Davidson record, the Registrar must receive a final SOR transcript.  They prefer electronic copies sent via the Electronic Transcript Exchange or via email to  Paper copies must be sent to:

Davidson College
Registrar's Office
209 Ridge Road
Box 5000
Davidson, NC 28035-7154

Frequently Asked Questions

This section covers some of the most common questions and concerns related to courses and academic credit.  If you have further questions, please contact an OEAA advisor or email us at



Partner Programs

To view course options for partner programs, follow these instructions:
  1. Open the program brochure for the program you want

  2. On the Overview tab of the brochure, click the "Visit Program Homepage" button

  3. On the partner organization website, look for the Academics section or link (varies according to partner organization page layout

Please note that many partner programs offer a combination of courses, both at their own learning center(s) and through local institution(s).  If the program offers direct enroll options with a local university, there will likely be another link to the host university course catalog in the academics section.

Davidson Programs

Information about course options for Davidson programs is listed on the Academics tab of the program brochure.  Courses taught by the faculty Resident Director may change year to year depending on their area of expertise.

For semester programs facilitated by partner organizations, students can follow the instructions from the Partner Programs section to view other course options in addition to the RD's course.



In some cases, specific course options and schedules may not be available in advance.  In these cases, students should look at past terms for a sense of what courses they may take.

If the courses are not available by the submission deadline for the Pre-Authorization to Transfer Credit form, students should simply list up to six probable courses on the form.  Students are able to edit and resubmit their forms once they find out their actual courses on the program.



Students studying abroad for a semester or academic year will need to take the equivalent of 14-17 transferable semester hours (U.S. credits) each term in order to receive four Davidson credits.  Depending on the program and its institution of record, this could be as few as three courses or as many as six courses.

Students participating in summer programs typically cannot transfer more than two courses, although three may be permitted if approved in advance for special circumstances.

In general, 3-5 semester hours yields one Davidson credit, 6-9 yields two credits, and 10-13 yields three credits. A course rated as fewer than three semester hours may be included as part of a total but will not transfer separately.


Students’ course selections do not have to match specific Davidson courses, but they do need to be consistent with the academic objectives of a liberal arts curriculum and the mission of Davidson College. Courses in business, management, marketing, advertising, and computer skills not strongly based in theory are not transferrable.



Authority for determining whether a study abroad or away transfer credit will count towards a major or minor rests with the appropriate department chair.
  1. Students should consult with the appropriate department chair in advance and discuss the courses for which they wish to earn credit 

  2. After review, the department chair will inform the Registrar's Office if a course can potentially count towards a major or minor requirement

  3. While abroad, students must retain copies of the course syllabus and their submitted academic work

  4. Upon their return to Davidson, the student must share their course materials and assignments with the department chair in order to receive final approval for the transfer credit



Courses taken abroad or away do not count towards the on-campus pass/fail limit.



Many education abroad and away program offer internships and experiential learning options that deepen cultural engagement and learning.  If a student is doing an unpaid internship that requires academic credit as a condition of participating in the study abroad program, they should follow the guidelines for receiving XPL 099 credit.

While it will appear on a student’s transcript, it will not count as one of the 32 courses required for graduation. Grading will be pass/fail. All course requirements must be met to pass Davidson’s XPL 099 course equivalents for transfer credit.

Please discuss any plans regarding internships with an OEAA Advisor and the Registrar’s Office in advance.