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Academic Policies

When studying abroad, students are responsible for attendance at all classes and scheduled activities. If studying abroad during the academic year, students must be enrolled in and attending regularly a full courseload (between 12 and 18 credits or equivalent). All William & Mary academic regulations will apply while students are enrolled in study abroad.

Study Abroad Eligibility

You must be an active W&M student in good standing, and eligible to take classes at the William & Mary Williamsburg campus, to be eligible to study abroad.

If you are not an active W&M student in good standing and eligible to take classes at the W&M Williamsburg campus, you may not study abroad unless you (1) are reinstated through the Office of the Dean of Students before the appropriate registration deadline of your study abroad, and (2) register your study abroad through the Reves Center.

Any courses that you take outside the United States while you are an inactive student or a student not in good standing cannot be transferred back to W&M.

If you are not an active, eligible student, it’s important that you contact the Office of the Dean of Students in time to allow you to apply for or register your study abroad through the Reves Center by the appropriate application or registration deadline.  This also applies to scholarships administered through the Reves Center; if you plan to apply for these scholarships, you must also ensure that your reinstatement is completed with enough time prior to the application deadline to allow you to apply.

If the program for which you are applying is NOT listed by name in the registration/application portal and you must select the “Other Study Abroad Program” category, contact Caylie Zidwick (crzidwick@wm.edu) in the Global Education Office at the Reves Center before seeking pre-approval or paying any fees associated with the program.

Academic Probation, Suspension, Medial Withdrawal or Underload

If you are on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension or involved in any pending judicial cases, or on a medical withdrawal or underload, you must receive approval from the Dean of Students in order to go abroad. If you do not get approval you may NOT study abroad. Students are required to report to the Reves Center any changes in academic or judicial status, even after acceptance into a program, which may affect their eligibility to participate in a study abroad program.

Credits and Grades

While abroad, you must enroll in the equivalent of at least 12 credits per fall or spring semester in order to maintain full-time status, and you must return a completed, signed Confirmation of Courses (pdf) form to the Reves Center no later than 2 weeks after your classes begin.  Failure to do so may result in a hold being placed on your Banner account.  There are no full-time requirements for summer study, except for students receiving financial aid.  These students should contact the financial aid office for enrollment requirements abroad, but are not required to submit the Confirmation of Courses form.

The program sponsor determines the amount of credit awarded for a given course. You cannot transfer more than 18 credit hours per semester from a study abroad program. Of the 120 credits required to graduate from W&M, at least 60 must be credits earned while in residence at William & Mary.

Courses taken on W&M faculty-led summer programs earn both grades and credit that will appear on your William & Mary transcript and be calculated into your GPA. The same is true for W&M's semester programs in Seville (Spain) and La Plata (Argentina). Academic work completed on all other programs, whether through William & Mary or not, will count as transfer credit only, will not carry a grade, and will not be factored into your GPA. In order to receive transfer credit, you must seek and receive approval (doc)  from a faculty approver, and you must earn a grade or (or equivalent to) at least C. There is no pass/fail option for these courses.

All transfer credit is processed after the transcript is received from the host university. Credits will not be posted to your permanent record until approvals for all classes taken abroad have been submitted or you have expressed your intention not to seek credit for unapproved classes.

  • Pass/Fail

You may exercise your Pass/Fail option only on W&M La Plata and Seville semester programs, and then only in accordance with the restrictions outlined in the W&M course catalogue under "System of Grading: Pass/Fail." No other courses, including those taken on W&M summer programs, may be taken Pass/Fail).

  • Allowable Use of Transfer Credit

Approved study abroad transfer credit counts towards the graduation requirements of up to 120 academic credits. Courses taken abroad may count towards a major, minor, and any electives. (Keep in mind, you are required to earn at least 60 credits from W&M.)

  • Major Requirements

Once your credit has been evaluated prior to departure, be sure to discuss your options thoroughly with the department chair in your intended field of concentration or with your academic advisor to understand how the approved courses will fit into your intended degree program. The concentration advisor should review your degree plan with you to make sure everything is in order.

When course credit is posted to your record in Banner, any courses that fulfill major requirements will automatically appear on your degree evaluation. If for any reason such a course does not appear on the degree evaluation, send an email to [[DegreeEval]] with your name, ID number, and the error or omission you found.

  • GER Requirements

The Committee on Degrees will consider a course taken abroad for GER requirements 4 & 5 if it meets the criteria for that GER and it deals substantially with the country or region where you studied abroad. GER eligibility cannot be approved prior to your study abroad but must be requested upon your return and no requests will be considered without a detailed course syllabus. To submit a request, complete and submit a Course Substitution Request to the Committee on Degrees in the Dean of Undergraduate Studies Office (pdf).

  • Host Institution Transcripts

Remember that even though you may only receive transfer credit at W&M for your courses, your grades will nonetheless be recorded on the transcript of your host institution abroad. While in some cases the W&M transcript showing your transfer credits from abroad may suffice, many graduate/professional schools require original transcripts from study abroad host institutions in addition to other application materials. If official transcripts from your study abroad experience are required, you will have to request them directly from the institution abroad or the program through which you studied. If you would like a letter from our office confirming that 1) you registered your study abroad with the Reves Center, 2) transfer credit from your study abroad is shown on your W&M transcript, and 3) official transcripts can only be obtained from your host institution abroad, please utilize our online request form


Internships

If you plan to do an internship while abroad, it must be approved before you leave by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. W&M does not automatically grant credit for internships; however, credit may be granted for an academic assignment or project associated with the internship. If your program abroad does not include such an academic component, it is possible to work with a W&M faculty member to design one. Arrange a time before your departure to discuss any internship plans you have with the Dean, and submit an Internship for Academic Credit Request Form (pdf).


Independent Study

Arrangements for earning independent study credit through William & Mary must be made in advance, in consultation with a faculty member. Credit for the independent study project must be awarded in the term following your return to campus because receiving credit from William & Mary and another program simultaneously would constitute dual enrollment, which is not allowed by the university.


Seniors

All seniors planning to study abroad during the first semester of their senior year will need to get their Senior Residency Requirement waived by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. To do so, complete and submit a Petition to the Committee on Degrees: Exceptions to Degree Requirements (pdf) to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies Office before you leave campus.  Students are not permitted to study abroad during the final semester of their senior year.