Accepted students: Study Abroad course approval and credit transfer

This page is designed to give an overview of the policies and procedures surrounding course approval for study abroad.  The information on this page only applies to students who are:

  • on a semester program sponsored either by Geneseo or by another SUNY school
  • on a summer program sponsored by another SUNY school
  • on a summer host-institution program sponsored by Geneseo

Students who are taking Geneseo sponsored, faculty-led summer courses abroad do not need to complete the course approval process.  You will be registered for the course you are taking abroad by the Study Abroad Office.



Course Approval Process Overview

Completing the Course Approval Form

After Completing the Course Approval Form

When do I need to complete my course approval form by?




Course Approval Process Overview

In order to have your credit approved, and to have your Study Abroad Program show up on your transcript, you must:

  1. Complete the course approval form
  2. Get the appropriate signatures from your major/minor department (if you are seeking credit within your major or minor)
  3. Submit the form to the Study Abroad Office.

The Study Abroad Office will send your Course Approval Form to the Dean's Office for approval from the Dean of the College.  Once we receive the form back from the Dean's Office, we will send it to the Registrar's Office to become part of your official transcript.



Completing the Course Approval Form

Course Approval Forms (CAFs) are required to transfer credits from the university abroad to Geneseo.  This form can be found on the Study Abroad Website, on the Forms and Downloads page, or can be picked up in the Study Abroad Office.  No credit will be transferred without this form; failure to complete this form will delay your graduation. 


To complete the form, you must write the name of the course you are taking abroad in the 'Other College Course # and Title' column, and check off what type of credit you'd like it to transfer as (Major, Minor, General Education, or Elective Credit).


  • For major or minor credit: If you are seeking credit within your major or minor you need to have that department approve the courses before submitting the form to the Study Abroad Office.  The chair of your major/minor department will fill in the 'Geneseo Course #' and 'Credit Hours' column, and will sign under the 'Dept. Approval' column.
  • For General Education or Elective Credit: You do not need to seek approval from any department, you simply need to complete the form and submit it to the Study Abroad Office, with a copy of the course syllabi attached.  The Dean's Office will complete the 'Geneseo Course #' and 'Credit Hours' columns.


Important Note: It is VERY important that you save all the syllabi/course descriptions from all the courses you take abroad.  The chair of your major/minor department, and the Dean of the College, will need to view these syllabi to approve your courses for transfer.  You will be asked to submit the syllabi with your Course Approval Form.


International Relations Majors: You must have the chair of the IR department sign the form to indicate that you have met your IR study abroad requirement.


For students taking their last 12 credit hours abroad: Many students opt to stay an extra semester to study abroad.  If you are taking your last 12 credits abroad, please attach a brief written statement indicating that you are doing so, and please have your advisor sign it.  If your study abroad program will affect or change your graduation date, you need to inform the Registrar's Office right away.



After Completing the Course Approval Form:

Please bring all completed Course Approval Forms to the Study Abroad Office.  Do not submit Study Abroad CAFs to the Dean's Office: we will send them to the Dean's Office on your behalf.  After the Dean of the college has reviewed your CAF and any Department signatures, the form will be signed and returned to the Study Abroad Office.  The Study Abroad Office will hold your CAF until we have received your transcript from the university abroad.  Once we receive your transcript from abroad, we will double check to confirm that the courses on your transcript (i.e. the courses you actually took abroad) match the courses listed on the approval form.  If everything matches up, we will send both your transcript from abroad and your CAF to the Registrar's Office to become part of your official transcript.


Please note: As with all transfer credit, your grades from your time abroad will not be factored into your Geneseo GPA.  Your grades will be listed on the transcript we receive from abroad, and we will be able to view them, but they will not affect your GPA.  If you fail a course, you will not receive any credit for it.  Grade equivalencies vary from country to country, so what is considered a low, but 'passing' grade at a university abroad may be considered a failing grade in the US; for most Geneseo Study Abroad Programs, you are required to get at least a grade of C- to get credit for courses taken abroad.



When do I need to complete my course approval form by?

You should complete your Course Approval Form and submit it to your department (or the Study Abroad Office) for approval as soon as you have registered for the courses you will be taking abroad.  Often times you will not register for courses until you arrive at the university abroad and participate in their orientation; this means you may be completing your course approval form while abroad and emailing it to your department at Geneseo (or emailing it directly to the Study Abroad Office).


If you are not able to email your CAF to your department, or if you want to discuss your courses in more depth with you department, you can wait to complete the form when you are back on campus the following semester.  However, you do need to do this the minute you get back. 


If you are seeking pre-approval for courses you may take abroad (i.e. you are seeking approval before you register), you can feel free to complete the form before your departure.  It is okay to have more courses than you actually take listed on the course approval form, but you must at least have all the courses you end up taking listed.  If the courses that you are taking change, please notify the Study Abroad Office or submit a new Course Approval Form.



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