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International Credit

MTSU recently updated the international credit transfer process for study abroad students. 

Credit Earned Abroad 

Students can expect to receive all credit earned while abroad, even if it does not satisfy any particular degree requirement. Students will work with Office of Education Abroad advisors prior to studying abroad to ensure they understand 1) the credit earned in their chosen program, and 2) how the credit will transfer back to MTSU.  This includes credit hours, course designation of upper or lower-division, grade conversion, and course equivalency. 
  •  Not every study abroad program will require credit or grade conversion.
  • Students must take a minimum of 12 U.S. credits abroad if participating in a semester program.  Individual programs may have different (higher) requirements.
  • Students using financial aid need to take a minimum of 12 U.S. credit hours in the semester (6 U.S. credit hours in the summer) to be eligible for aid. 

Students will work with their academic advisor(s) prior to studying abroad to ensure they understand how courses will be applied to their degree plan, called course equivalency.  Using the Course Approval Form prior to going abroad, students will seek review and approval of all courses they intend to take in the study abroad program.  Course Approval Forms must be submitted to the Office of Education Abroad prior to departing on the program. 

Credit Conversion

Students should confirm the type of credit earned and the conversion rate for credit early in the study abroad process with Office of Education Abroad advisors. 

U.S. credit 
Course credit earned in U.S. credit hours requires no credit conversion.  
ECTS credit 
Course credit earned in ECTS credits, the European credit system, will convert using a calculation of 0.667. Students will transfer the converted credit amount to MTSU. 
  • To calculate, multiply the ECTS credit by 0.667 to determine the U.S. credit. 

MTSU Exchange Programs in Japan
Course credit earned on MTSU exchange programs in Japan will transfer to MTSU at a 1:1 ratio. 
  • Each 1 credit earned on these programs = 1 credit hour at MTSU.
  • This includes MTSU exchanges with Kansai Gaidai, Seinan Gakuin, Saitama, and Reitaku Universities.
Students who plan to participate on program in Japan through a program provider (ex: USAC, CIEE) or for the summer term should ask Office of Education Abroad advisors how the credit will be converted and transferred.
Local UK credit
Some universities in the United Kingdom offer local credit.  Local credit will often convert to ECTS. Many of these universities indicate the ECTS equivalent of the local credit.
  • Where available, MTSU will use ECTS for the basis of credit conversion to U.S. credit for credit transfer. 
Students on programs where credit is earned in local UK credit should contact Office of Education Abroad advisors to ask how credit will be considered for their particular UK program.
Other program credit
Students should contact Office of Education Abroad advisors to ask about credit conversion on programs not referenced above.  

Graduate credit 

Because of the complexity of an undergraduate student taking graduate courses abroad, undergraduate students may not take graduate courses abroad and expect to receive credit for those courses. 

Designation of Upper and Lower-Division Courses 

Students will earn upper- or lower-division credit as earned abroad.  If the course taken abroad is considered upper-division at the host university or host program, it will transfer back to MTSU as upper-division, regardless of the specific course equivalency.  Likewise, if a course is considered lower-division on the program abroad, the course will transfer back as lower-division. 

If there is no designation of upper- or lower-division, the course will transfer to MTSU as a lower-division course.

Grade Conversion  

The grading scale at a host university or program abroad may be different than the grading scale at MTSU.  Grades will be converted using the host university or program provider grading recommendation or by using a grading recommendation from an established credit and grading evaluation organization such as World Education Services (WES).  

  • The grading scale can often be accessed prior to studying abroad.  Students should ask Office of Education Abroad advisors for the grading scale of their chosen study abroad program. 
  • Many students study abroad on a program that offers U.S. credit hours and U.S. grading.  No conversion is necessary for these courses.