This section of our website is designed to help you navigate course credit from study abroad, and how to successfully integrate your study abroad program into your Berkeley degree.
The Basics: Course credit from study abroad
There are differences in course credit and grades on the Berkeley transcript depending on the sponsor of your study abroad program.
All courses taken on Berkeley Summer Abroad and Berkeley Global Internships programs are accredited Berkeley courses. The course numbers, titles, units, and grades will post to your Berkeley transcript and are calculated into the cumulative UC GPA like an on-campus course. If approved by the department and/or college, the courses may fulfill major, minor, breadth, and general education requirements.
All UCEAP courses, units, and grades will automatically transfer back to Berkeley and post to your transcript as UC credit. UCEAP grades are calculated into your cumulative UC GPA. UCEAP assigns a course subject, number and title to every course you enroll in. These UCEAP course numbers do not correlate with any specific UC Berkeley course numbers. However, if approved by the department and/or college, the courses may fulfill major, minor, breadth, and general education requirements.
If you participate in a summer or quarter program offered by another University of California campus, you will have a transcript issued by that UC. Once submitted to the Berkeley Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the courses will receive unit credit on your Berkeley transcript, and grade points are calculated into your UC GPA. However, no course detail is shown on the Berkeley transcript. You can request an official transcript from the UC of participation to submit to graduate schools, employers, etc. when course detail is required. If approved by the department and/or college, the courses may fulfill major, minor, breadth, and general education requirements.
You may submit an official transcript for coursework taken on affiliate and independent study abroad programs to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If approved, transfer credit is posted to your Berkeley transcript, noting the institution awarding the credit, the term, and total units. Individual course detail does not appear on the Berkeley transcript, and courses are not calculated into the UC GPA. In the future, you will have to request an official transcript from the host institution to submit to graduate schools, employers, etc. when course detail is required. However, the course titles, units, and grades are visible in the CalCentral system for Berkeley undergraduate academic advisers, and can be used to fulfill major, minor, breadth, and general education requirements if approved by the department and/or college.
Follow the steps below for successful academic planning of your study abroad.
Utilizing tools provided in CalCentral such as the multi-year planner and academic progress report, as well as tools on departmental and college websites, determine which major, minor, breadth and/or general education requirements you have left to satisfy. Create or update your academic plan that incorporates all remaining requirements in your remaining semesters and summers prior to graduation. Pay close attention to courses that are only offered in specific terms, or must be taken sequentially.
Each college and department has different policies for study abroad participation, including a maximum number of courses or units taken on study abroad that can be applied to major or minor requirements. Utilize our College Advising and Major Advising pages as a starting place to determine your college eligibility and departmental policies for completion of major or minor requirements. Update your academic plan as needed to reflect the number of courses you can use from study abroad toward your intended major(s) or minor(s).
Based on your preliminary academic plan and college/departmental research, determine which term(s) are most desirable for study abroad while staying on track for graduation. You can study abroad for multiple summers and up to three semesters with the permission of your college. You do not have to take courses that apply to major, minor, or breadth requirements while studying abroad if you are able to satisfy those requirements in your remaining non-study abroad terms at Berkeley. It is also common for students to walk in their spring graduation ceremony, then participate on a summer study abroad program, administratively graduating with the summer degree list.
Now for the fun part! Use our Explore tool to find one or more programs that align with your academic plan. (For example, with coursework that matches the criteria outlined by your major, minor, or college.) If you are having difficulty navigating the many programs offered, take advantage of advising services in 160 Stephens Hall.
Using program and host institution websites (if applicable), identify courses that are offered on your programs of interest, and create a tentative course list. Make special note of the unit value of the courses since many departments require a minimum unit value for credit. Course offerings are subject to change, so consider course alternatives in your planning. Also, make sure to note and plan for any course prerequisites of the courses you wish to take abroad.
Consult with your college and major/minor department advisers to determine if your tentative academic plan (including the term of study abroad participation and intended coursework) is achievable. Bring course descriptions and, if available, syllabi for the courses you wish to take, including the unit value of the courses. Discuss the requirements you have left to satisfy for the college/major/minor and which might be best accomplished abroad.
It is not the role of your college and/or major adviser to recommend programs for you. College and departmental advising for study abroad are primarily to assist you in understanding the policies of that college or department with regard to study abroad participation and to advise you whether the tentative program and coursework you are considering are likely to keep you on track for graduation. Adjust your academic plan with your advisers, and begin the program search again as necessary.
Even if you are not planning to complete degree requirements while abroad, it is still recommended that you meet with your college and department(s).