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Education Abroad Course Approval Process

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If you are participating in a direct enroll, exchange or affiliated partner program, you must get your courses pre-approved by Michigan State University. Note this is NOT required for faculty-directed programs.

It is your responsibility to identify courses you wish to take abroad and get them approved prior to departure by following the Course Approval Steps below. (Note: It is possible to change initial course selections; see Course Changes.)

It is best to complete this process far in advance as it will allow you to better understand how the program will fit into your degree plan.

NOTE: Not completing the Course Approval Form prior to beginning classes at a foreign institution may jeopardize your financial aid.

Course Approval Steps

1. Explore courses by consulting your host institution course catalog. Links to these catalogs should be located under the "Academics" tab on the program brochure in Via Global.

2. To see examples of courses that have transferred back to MSU, visit the following websites:

These websites should only be used as a reference and are not indicative of all courses available on a given education abroad program. In addition, historical evaluations may no longer be valid. To verify one of these historical equivalencies it is best to complete the course approval process.

3. Grade and Credit Conversion charts can also be found on the Education Abroad Partner Programs website. Each institution should have a link where you can download the chart as a PDF. These charts will give you an idea about the grading scale for the institution and conversion to MSU credits. It is NOT a 1:1 conversion for most programs.

4. Syllabi or detailed course descriptions are mandatory for all host institution courses you wish to have reviewed. These courses will be reviewed by MSU academic colleges and departments and MUST be in English. It is required to have these documents prior to submitting information into the Course Approval Form in your EA Portal. Many institutions will have sample syllabi as part of their course catalogs (links found on the "academics" tab on the program brochure in Via Global). If syllabi are not listed in course catalogs, you should request them directly from the international office at the host institution. This process can take time, so please plan accordingly.

5. A Course Approval Worksheet will be provided to you as part of your pre-departure "forms" in Via Global. This is a fillable PDF form that you will complete and submit as part of your Course Approval Form in your EA Portal.

6. Once your Course Approval Worksheet is finished and you have PDF files of all the syllabi/course descriptions for review, you will log into your EA Portal and complete the Course Approval Form. Instructions will be provided in the EA Portal.

Failure to submit the Course Approval Form in your EA Portal may result in taking courses that will not fulfill graduation requirements.

MSU course equivalencies (MSU Course Codes) are required for all courses listed on your official host institution academic transcript before the credits can be processed by the Office of the Registrar. If your Course Approval Form is missing or incomplete, it will delay the processing of your transcript and the inclusion of your completed credits abroad in your student record.

Final credit amounts for the courses taken abroad will be evaluated once your official academic transcript arrives at MSU from the host institution.

Course Changes

Course registration may continue into the first few weeks of your program. If you change your schedule on-site or register for courses not previously approved on a Course Approval Form, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to submit additional Course Approval Worksheets and complete the Course Approval Form in your EA Portal.