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Academics

Academic Expectations and Policies

Michigan State University expects education abroad participants to perform academically at standards commensurate with on-campus performance. You are expected to:

  • Attend class
  • Take exams
  • Read required materials
  • Complete homework and other assigned work
  • Follow the local (not MSU) academic calendar for academic activities.
  • Seek academic help when you need it

If you are not maintaining good academic standing while abroad and fear that you may fail one or more courses, you should notify the on-site director or leader and MSU academic advisor.

  • A GPA lower than 2.0 for individual courses will result in no academic credit awarded. In some cases your grades will impact your MSU GPA.
  • If your obtain GPA lower than 2.0 while abroad, you will be placed on academic probation and have one additional semester to raise your GPA above 2.0. If you are unable to do so, you will be denied financial aid.

Credit Load

Your enrollment status will be checked by the Office for Education Abroad. If you are not enrolled in the minimum number of study abroad course credits, you may be dismissed from the program and/or billed and held responsible for paying an additional program fee. Once this additional fee is posted to your account, you cannot be retroactively enrolled in any courses. If you are participating in a partner, you may be billed for additional credits if you chose to take more credits while abroad.

Undergraduates

Exchange or Direct Enroll Programs: All students participating in year-long and semester-long programs must enroll for a minimum of 12 credits per semester, or the minimum number specified by the program.

MSU Faculty-Directed: Students participating in short-term programs are required to enroll in the minimum number specified in the program information sheet or the program's webpage. Exceptions must be documented with the program leader and Office for Education Abroad program coordinator.

Internships: All undergraduate students must enroll in the minimum number of required credits for their internship program.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Business majors (except accounting and hospitality business students) are allowed to complete a maximum of three internship credits. All business students should meet with their advisers to discuss how these credits may impact their degree progress.

Independent Study/ Research: If you are doing directed study abroad (such as MSU independent study credits with the guidance of an on-campus faculty member) or conducting dissertation research, you are welcome to do so for extra credits above the minimum number of credits for your program. University policy does not allow off-campus sections of dissertation research, so these credits cannot be considered part of your program credits. If you are doing directed study abroad (such as MSU independent study), contact OEA for clarification of policies and proper enrollment procedures.

Number of credits (Graduates)

MSU Faculty-Directed: The only exceptions to these policies are for graduate students who are participating in short-term programs that require a minimum enrollment of more than three (3) credits. These students must take at least one of the regularly-offered program courses. If this course offers variable credits, students must take the course for at least three (3) credits. However, students participating in programs requiring enrollment in three (3) or fewer credits are NOT eligible for a reduced course load, and must enroll in at least the minimum number of credits for that program. No students participating in partner programs are eligible for a reduced course load.

Internships: Graduate students may enroll in fewer credits provided that they can obtain the appropriate visa for the host country. If a reduction in credits is possible, the program fee for graduate students will be increased to cover the academic program costs. The increased program fee amount will be determined during the semester prior to participation. Please contact your OEA program coordinator for further details.

Independent Study/ Research: University policy does not allow off-campus sections of dissertation research, so these credits cannot be considered part of your program credits. If you are doing directed study abroad (such as MSU independent study), contact EA for clarification of policies and proper enrollment procedures.

Senior Residency Requirements

MSU's standard policy states that a senior who has earned sufficient credits from MSU and meets the minimum requirements through prior arrangement with the associate dean of the college and the Office of the Registrar cannot transfer more than 10 of the last 30 credits from an accredited four-year college or university. Exceptions to this rule may be made up to a total of 15 credits, but arrangements MUST be made with the associate dean of your major college before departure. The associate dean of your college must submit a written request to the Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education, 208 Administration Building, before an exception can be granted.

Taking courses for Credit/ No Credit

The option to select CR/NC instead of grades follows the same rules and regulation as on campus. Choice of the CR/NC system must be communicated to your leader or the Office for Education Abroad prior to the end of the 5th day of classes of the semester. For abbreviated sessions, you have 1/14 of the number of weekdays (not classes) to notify your leader or OEA that you wish to earn CR/NC.

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