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Course Approval and Transcripts

Course approval process

The Course Approval Form is documentation of a student's coursework abroad and connects their degree requirements with education abroad coursework on all MSU exchange, direct enroll, and non-MSU 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 Registrar's Education 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 Transfer MSU. If there is a course that a student wants to take but is not listed, 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 for Education Abroad Website.


Host university transcript processing

Official foreign transcripts from the host university are sent directly to the Office for Education Abroad, and can take up to four months after the program end date, depending on the host university academic calendar and processing.

Once a transcript is receive, the Office for Education Abroad:

  • Documents the transcript arrival and upload a copy of the transcript to the student’s session record
  • Matches courses on the transcript to the Course Approval Form (CAF)
    • If there are courses on the transcript that were NOT on the CAF, the student will be contacted by EA to complete a CAF for those courses
  • If all the courses on the transcript are documented on the Course Approval Form, EA forwards the CAF and the Transcript to the Office of the Registrars to process and post onto the student’s MSU Record.
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