Credit Transfer Overview

Academic planning for your off-campus study experience should start early, with a conversation with your academic advisor about what major, minor, and all-College requirements you hope to fulfill with courses taken while off-campus, if any. Each student is different in what they hope to accomplish academically, linguistically, and personally while abroad. Every department (majors, minors) varies in their policies regarding accepting courses from off-campus study towards the degree requirements, and you should ask early on about your department(s) policies.

You may be able to pre-register for off-campus study courses well before your program begins, or you may be expected to finalize registration upon arrival at your program. In all cases, careful academic planning is essential: knowing how the potential credits will transfer (through entering them in Summit), being aware of any departmental specificities within CC, and having a plan for what you will take while off-campus, should your first choices not be available.

All students should complete the Course Approval process through the online SUMMIT internal application system required by Colorado College. This clarifies what credits you can expect to receive, which all-College and departmental requirements specific courses meet, and notify you of any courses that would not be transferrable back to CC.

CC Policies Regarding Credit Transfer and Course Requirements Off-Campus:

  • One unit of credit on the block plan is equivalent to 4 U.S. semester credits, or roughly 7.5 ECTS credits (subject to rounding). Therefore, in order to receive a full semester of credit at Colorado College, you would enroll in the equivalent of 16 semester hours, or 30 ECTS.
  • At minimum, you are required to enroll in whatever the minimum credit/course load is for your program. No exceptions are made for you to drop below the minimum enrollment that your program specifies. You should work with your academic advisor to develop a plan for what kinds of courses (and how many units above the minimum required, if any) you need to take while studying off-campus to stay on-track towards graduation.
  • The maximum transfer credit allowed back to CC per semester is 5.75 CC units. This amount is based on the maximum potential of credit earned on campus, including cases that were given overload permission.
  • If you will be receiving a transcript directly from a foreign university, or if your program does not award credit based on semester hours, a credit equivalency determination will be made by the Registrar's Office. If you are uncertain about how many classes to take, you should obtain this credit equivalency information from the Registrar at Colorado College by submitting your course approval requests through Summit, and consult with your academic advisor. Your program should also have this credit equivalency information available on their website.
  • If you are studying in a country where English is not the native language, you are required to take one course while abroad to study the local language (i.e., Danish, Czech, Thai, Swahili, Hungarian, etc.). Note: Students approved for a disability-related foreign language course substitution through CC Acccessibility Resources may take a culture class instead of a local language course. Courses used for the substitution must be approved in advance by the offices of Accessibility Resources and Global Education.
  • Credit is given only for academic work that is liberal arts in nature. For example, credit can be transferred for economics, but not necessarily for business administration or tourism studies. Likewise, applied music and art courses are accepted under conditions similar to those at CC. Credit will not be awarded for courses that are very similar to, or largely duplicate, courses you've already taken at CC.
  • Internship credit will only be considered if there is a credit-bearing course component to the internship. Credit for internships is general studies credit. Departmental credit for an internship is only awarded with the approval of the respective department at CC.
  • It is always a good idea to save and bring back as much of your work (at minimum: course syllabi, papers, exams) as possible in case there are any questions regarding credit transfer or equivalency upon your return.
  • Make sure to ask your program to send an official transcript to the Registrar's Office upon completion of the program. For approved programs, Colorado College will also take the grade report directly from the program (you do not have to go through the School of Record option if one exists, for approved programs).

Fulfilling CC Requirements Through Off-Campus Study

When you submit a course approval request in Summit, it first goes to the Registrar's Office, who will automatically determine whether a course meets all-College requirements (i.e. critical perspectives, language requirement), as well as how many units it will be at CC. This will be reflected on the course approval in Summit once the Registrar has reviewed it.

Additionally, if you would like to forward a course approval request also to your major or minor departmental chair, you'll have an opportunity to indicate this on the specific course approval request in Summit (if your department uses Summit), and it will go to the appropriate person (usually the department chair), after the Registrar makes their initial determination of transferability to CC.

If you aren't sure which courses to request major or minor credit for, or which would be most fitting or most likely to be approved, you should check first with your academic advisor in that department, or the department chair. They can often be helpful in helping you figure out which course approval requests to submit in Summit. You should not just blanket-submit lots of course approval requests without understanding what the department chair will be looking for in order to approve the courses towards major or minor requirements.

In order to assist the registrar and department chair, be sure to submit via SUMMIT the most detailed information about a course you have, including a syllabus whenever possible. Keep in mind that many departments limit the amount of credit from off-campus study that may be used to fulfill major or minor requirements. If you need credit taken while you are off-campus to count toward your major or minor, be sure to consult the department chair well in advance.

One semester-long course is often 3 semester credits, which transfers back to CC as 0.75 unit. If you have received approval in Summit from the Registrar towards an all-College requirement (such as the CC Language Requirement or a specific Gen-Ed/Critical Learning requirement) for a 0.75 unit class, be aware that this will completely fulfill one unit of that requirement. A 6 semester credit language course, by extension, is essentially a double class, and would completely fulfill the 2-unit CC Language Requirement with that 1.5 units. You still need 32 units to graduate, overall, but 0.75 unit class can be used to fulfill a CC all-College requirement, with proper approval from the Registrar in Summit. Most academic departments at CC will also allow a 0.75 unit class which is approved for a major/minor requirement to completely fulfill that requirement.

Per the All-College Degree Requirement guidelines, students who transfer in one unit/course of a language not offered at Colorado College may take one block of another language offered at the College, to complete their CC Language Requirement. The CC Language Requirement must be fulfilled through academic, credit-bearing coursework only, and cannot be fulfilled in full or in part through study abroad components like language immersion or homestay, although those are valuable language-learning settings we would strongly encourage students to take full advantage of while studying abroad in order to enhance their experiences and fluency.

Grade Transfer Policies

  • Grades earned on all Colorado College faculty-led programs and ACM programs will appear on a student's transcript and be factored into the student's cumulative grade point average. If you are enrolled in CC courses while abroad (for example, on a CC semester program), you have the option of taking courses on a "pass/fail" basis. If you would like to change your grade track after arriving on-site with a CC program abroad, you should email Be sure to include the name of your program in your email. Just as if you were on-campus, you will have only until the fourth class session to change your grade track for CC programs.
  • Courses taken on Approved (third-party partner) Programs and CC Exchange programs will be recorded as transfer credit, and individual course grades will not appear on your CC transcript or be factored into your CC GPA (with the exception of the Kansai Gaidai program, where grades will be recorded). Students participating in these programs should take all classes for a grade, and need to earn the equivalent of a C- or better for in order for coursework to transfer back to CC. When your credits are transferred back from one of these programs, you will see the course title and number of units earned for each class, but no grade entered (similar to how AP or IB credits, or other transfer credit shows up).

Although grades from exchange programs and approved third-party programs will not appear on your CC transcript, keep in mind that if you plan to apply for graduate schools after CC, most require an official transcript from every institution where you took courses during your undergraduate studies. In that case, the admissions committee would consider your grades from your off-campus study experience(s), as well as your Colorado College GPA on your transcript.

Independent Research With Human Subjects Abroad

Please see the CC IRB's website for information on your obligations and procedures to follow if you plan to receive credit while engaging in research abroad with human subjects.

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/07/2023