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Academic Policies

All students must be in good standing with W&M and eligible to take classes at W&M Williamsburg campus to be eligible to study abroad. Semester and academic year students must maintain a full course load (between 12 – 18 W&M credits) while abroad. All students must complete transfer credit processes during the next semester back in Williamsburg campus.

All William & Mary academic regulations will apply while students are enrolled in study abroad and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are adhering to W&M policies. Please click on each dropdown title to learn more about each academic policy.

list of policies
Study Abroad Eligibility

You must be an active W&M student in good standing, not on academic or disciplinary probation during time abroad, and eligible to take classes at the William & Mary Williamsburg campus, to be eligible to study abroad. Please note some programs are only open to undergraduate or full-time students.

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 Global Education Office. Non-active students or those not in good standing are not eligible to receive scholarship administered through the Reves Center.

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

Students studying abroad for a summer or winter program are not required to maintain full-time status, however all credits must be transferred during the following semester. Summer study abroad students who are planning on using financial aid must take at least 6 W&M credits. Please refer to our financial page for more information on these policies.

If the program for which you are applying is NOT listed by name in the registration/application portal, you must follow the steps listed on our Third Party Programs page in order to register and verify eligibility for transfer credit. Programs must issue an official transcript from an accredited institution with both the final grade and number of credits for each course. 

Probation & Suspension

Students on academic probation during the time they are abroad are not eligible for study abroad. If you are on academic probation or on a medical withdrawal or underload, you must receive approval from the Dean of Students in order to go abroad.

Students who are on Disciplinary Probation or Deferred Suspension status are ineligible to study abroad during their first full semester in such status. If a sanction endures beyond one full semester (15 academic weeks), the student may petition the Director of Community Values & Restorative Practices for an exception. The Director, or designee, will make the final decision in consultation with the Director of Global Education, and that decision will be final and is not appealable.

If you do not get approval you may NOT study abroad. Students are required to report to the Global Education Office 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, even if such a change results in a financial loss.

Medical Withdrawal, Underloads, & Overloads

Students who need to medically withdrawal from a study abroad will need to work closely with their study abroad advisor in the Global Education Office, their host institution or program, and complete W&M medical withdrawal/clearance requirements.

Students who need to take less than 12 W&M credits or would like to transfer back more than 18 W&M credits (with the exception of the sponsored Oxford program) will need to receive approval from W&M prior to the start of their study abroad. Students can read more about the process and complete the petition to the Committee on Academic Status. This process can take some time and should be started early. Students should also notify their study abroad advisor and pass along any over/underload approvals for transfer credit processing.  

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. Students must confirm fulltime status by submitting the Confirmation of Courses (PDF) no later than 2 weeks after classes begin.  Failure to do so may result in a hold on your student account which will prevent you from registering for W&M classes the semester you plan to return to campus. Students studying abroad in summer who are receiving financial aid must take at least 6 W&M credits. There is no minimum required for winter study abroad. 

The number of credits assigned to a course may vary depending on the university or country the program is located in. These credits, points, or hours are converted to W&M when transfer credits. It is the ultimately the responsibility of the student to ensure they have the most up to date credit conversion (this is usually listed on the host university page). Learn more about study abroad credits here.

Students are required to transfer back courses taken while on study abroad. A minimum of 12 W&M credits per semester and all summer/winter credits will need to be transferred back and displayed in your W&M transcript. You will have 1 semester back on campus to transfer all credits before a registration hold will be placed on your student account. Meaning all Summer, Spring and Academic Year programs will need courses approved by the end of the following Fall semester while all Fall and Winter programs will need to complete course approvals by the end of the following Spring semester.

Grades
Courses taken on W&M faculty-led or W&M embedded 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 transfer credit approval 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. Students should check with their host university or program to confirm grade conversion to a W&M C.

  • 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
  • Audits
    Students are not able to audit any courses on W&M faculty led or W&M embedded programs. Audited courses taken abroad will not be eligible for transfer credit and will not count towards the number of credits.
  • 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.)

    For semester study abroad, students must transfer back at least 12 W&M credits and no more than 18 W&M credits per semester. Summer study abroad students must transfer back all credits up to 16 W&M credits. Winter programs must transfer all credits.
  • Major Requirements
    To receive major/minor credit, students need to seek pre-approval and receive faculty approval from the department chair. Students should also confirm plans with their academic advisor.

    When course credit is posted to your record in Banner, any courses that fulfill major requirements will automatically appear on your Degree Works.
  • COLL 300

    Students who successfully complete a global education experience and transfer credit, including receiving course approvals and grades of C or better as well as satisfactorily completing the reflection essay, will receive COLL 300 credit. All courses taken on a registered study abroad program through the Global Education Office are eligible for COLL300.

  • Other Attributes or COLL
    With the exception of W&M faculty led or W&M embedded programs with pre-assigned attribute, students may not use courses taken abroad to fulfill any other COLL or attribute. Students can petition to have their course reconsidered, they will need to complete the petition with the Committee on Degrees.
  • Host Institution Transcripts
    Transcripts will only be processed when an official transcript has been received from the host university or program. Check with your program or university to see if a request for transcript to be sent is required. 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 Global Education Office, 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 email [[GEO,wmabroad]].  
Internships

If you plan to do a full time 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. Most study abroad provider programs who offer internship opportunities are credit bearing. 

However, 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 or winter break 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 applying for a program. This petition also requires a signature from your Global Education Advisor.  Students are not permitted to study abroad during the final semester of their senior year.