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Course approval and credit transfer

Course approval form (CAF)

Download and print a copy of the course approval form needed to be completed for any exchange or direct enroll programs.

Credit transfer and grade/credit conversion

After students have been accepted into a study abroad program, they will need to work with their academic advisor and/or the appropriate college contact for study abroad course approvals.  Depending on the subject area of the course taken abroad, a student’s credit will come back in one of the following two ways:

  • Graded credit (counts toward your MSU GPA)
  • Transfer credit (pass/fail basis and does NOT count toward your MSU GPA)

Visit the MSU Office of the Registrar Study Abroad Partner Programs page for university specific information on credit transfer and grade/credit conversion.  Specific subject areas listed in each partner university’s page will come back as graded credit. Courses taken in any subjects that are NOT listed will come back as transfer credit. You can find a list of courses that have previously been approved for transfer credit on

If there is a course that a student wants to take but is not listed on the MSU Office of the Registrar Study Abroad Partner Programs page or, students need to receive approval from their academic advisor and/or the appropriate MSU college contact.  

When a student contacts/meets with someone for course approval, they are instructed to have relevant course descriptions from the host university. Links to course descriptions can be found at the bottom of the “details” tab of each program page on the Office of Study Abroad Website.

MSU College Contacts for course approval form (CAF) assistance

These representatives have been appointed by their respective college to provide advice and guidance on education abroad to their majors. They can advise on academic matters, answer questions about programs sponsored by their college, and provide enrollment support such as signing Course Approval Forms.

Host university transcript processing

Official foreign transcripts from the host university are sent directly to the Office of Study Abroad, and can take up to four months after the program end date, depending on the host university academic calendar and processing.  Once OSA has received the official foreign transcript from the host university, it will be uploaded to the student’s online study abroad application portal, and then evaluated for course, grade, and credit conversions.  If any courses on the transcript do not have approved course equivalencies, the student must seek additional approval(s).