Skip to content

Course Approval Form

The Course Approval Form is an integral part of the study abroad process.  

The Course Approval Form is used to indicate courses you are planning to take while abroad and is reviewed, approved, and submitted prior to your study abroad program. The Course Approval Form indicates the courses you intend to take abroad and their MTSU equivalencies. It is vital that this form be completed correctly and accurately, as it is key to receiving both financial aid and earned credits toward your major and/or minor. The Course Approval form is a collaborative effort between you, your Academic Advisor, Faculty Advisor, Department, College, and the Office of Education Abroad. Students should strive to ensure that all courses taken abroad are reviewed and approved prior to the completion of the program and issuing of the transcript.

Who needs to complete the Course Approval Form? 

  • Any student participating on a study abroad program offered by a Program Provider: USAC, CIEE, ISA, ISEP, CCSA, LAC 
  • Any student participating on a Non-Affiliated Program 
  • Any student participating on an MTSU Exchange Program  
The Course Approval Form is no longer required for students participating on an MTSU Signature Study Abroad Program (faculty-led) or for students on the COST student-teaching abroad program. 

Ideally, courses taken abroad should be required for the degree plan in some way.  Failure to take courses required for your degree plan may affect your financial aid (federal, state, and MTSU).  

Some programs may not have course listings available at the time of your program preapproval, especially exchange programs.  Please contact the Office of Education Abroad for guidance.   


  • Students will list the course(s) they plan to take abroad on the Course Approval Form and should schedule a time with their Academic Advisor to discuss these courses and ask to have the form completed.   
  • Students must schedule a meeting with the College Advisor and/or Faculty Advisor to review this form. Students must bring the description/syllabus of each course they plan to take for the advisor to determine the equivalency of MTSU courses and match to the degree plan. 
  • Students must create separate forms for major, minor, and general education courses and seek the appropriate signatures on each. 
  • Credit hours earned abroad will transfer based on the established conversion listed on the green section of the form. Departments may work with students after the credit has been transferred back to MTSU to make changes, if necessary. 
  • The course level –lower-division or upper-division – is determined by the level of the course taken at the university abroad. A lower division course taken abroad can only be transferred to MTSU as a lower-division course. For example, PS 333 is lower division at the university in Scotland. The course equivalency at MTSU is PS 4850. In this scenario:
    • The course transfers back as PS 4850.
    • Even though PS 4850 is considered an MTSU upper-division course, the course level transfers back as lower division because it is lower division abroad. 
  • Please list planned courses and 2-3 backup courses for each term. Obtain pre-approval for all courses including backups. Total hours planned abroad should not include backups. 
  • Academic Year participants must complete two forms, one for each semester abroad. Academic year participants who will use financial aid may not take full-year courses abroad (e.g., a course that spans two semesters). 
  • Students seeking financial aid for the study abroad term should meet with the Office of Financial Aid for aid eligibility. Only courses required for the degree plan will qualify for federal aid. 

Summer Credit hours

  • Undergraduate students participating in a summer education abroad program may take a maximum of 12 U.S. credit hours abroad. Semester and Academic Year Credit hours
  • Undergraduate students participating on a semester/academic year abroad program must take a minimum of 12 U.S. credit hours but no more than U.S. 18 credit hours abroad.

Any questions about the form can be directed to the Office of Education Abroad at, by phone (615) 898-5179, or you may inquire in person in Jones Hall rooms 151-155.