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for Study Abroad Students

Credits and Grades

Will my credits transfer back to SDSU?

Yes! You should begin working with an academic advisor and a Study Abroad Advisor well in advance of going abroad to make this go smoothly.

Credit/No-Credit versus Grades

Whether credits will be earned on a credit/no-credit (pass/fail) basis or on a graded basis is determined by the program type and host institution.  As a student, you cannot choose to take a course abroad on a credit/no-credit basis. 

Most SDSU Exchange*, ISEP Exchange and Direct and Independent programs operate on a credit/no-credit basis, but there are a few exceptions.  Please ask your Study Abroad Advisor if you are concerned.  CSU International Programs (CSU-IP) and faculty-led programs are the only program types where students receive letter grades.

*The SDSU Exchange program at John Cabot University is graded because John Cabot is an American accredited university.

Understanding Types of Credit

When studying abroad, you will earn either resident or transfer credit depending on program type:

Resident Credit

Resident credits are those that result from paying SDSU tuition.  Resident credit applies to your residency requirement at SDSU. Even though these units were taken abroad, the following types of programs typically award resident credit.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credits are those in which a student pays tuition to another institution. The following types of programs generally grant transfer credits:

Units taken on an Independent (non-SDSU) program or ISEP Direct are typically awarded transfer credit. SDSU and your department have limits on the amount of transfer credit you can apply toward your degree. There is no limit at SDSU on transfer credits from 4-year institutions, so students generally do not need to be concerned if their units will transfer to SDSU. However, you should check with your major/ minor department academic advisor to determine how the units you take abroad will satisfy graduation requirements at SDSU.

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