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Receiving Course Credit

Students participating in W&M faculty-led summer programs and W&M semester programs in Seville, Spain and La Plata, Argentina will receive W&M credit for courses taken abroad; grades will be posted on transcripts, and calculated into one's GPA.  Pre- or post-approval of courses is generally not needed for these programs.  If a student does take a course in La Plata or Sevilla that has not been pre-approved, post-approval will be required.

Students on other programs, including W&M exchange, Adelaide and St. Andrews assisted enroll and those through approved study abroad providers are eligible to receive transfer credit for their courses abroad provided the criteria below is met. Transfer credit will be awarded,  grades will appear as a "T" on transcripts, and will not be calculated into one's GPA. 

In order to receive credit for courses taken abroad, students must:

  • Apply (W&M programs) or register (non W&M programs)  at http://studyabroad.wm.edu by the program deadline.  
  • Pay the required fee by the applicable deadline: For W&M sponsored and faculty led summer programs students pay the fee at the Cashier Window in Blow Hall.  For all other programs the fee will be billed to the student account.
  • Obtain course pre- or post- approval from the appropriate academic department(s). Students will need to review Departmental Requirements prior to contacting faculty approvers to ensure all required materials are ready to be presented. Course approval is not due by the registration/application deadline. 
  • Students must seek pre- or post-approval for all of these courses, using the Study Abroad Transfer Credit Approval Form.
  • Earn a W&M grade equivalent to  "C" or higher  (courses cannot be taken Pass/Fail)
  • Arrange to have an official final transcript sent by the host university, to:

    Transcripts - Global Education Office 
     Reves Center for International Studies 
    William & Mary
     200 South Boundary Street Williamsburg, VA   23185

It is important for students to know that while you can receive credits for courses taken abroad, requirements such as ALV, COLL200, Arts Proficiencies, etc. other than COLL300 cannot be fulfilled by study abroad courses. Head to our page on COLL300 for more information. 

Programs not listed in the directory  require additional evaluation of transfer credit eligibility during the application process. Before applying for a program NOT listed in the directory please read our Non-W&M Programs page.  

Note: If for any reason your institution sends the transcript to you instead of the Global Education Office, do not open the envelope. Bring the transcript in the sealed envelope to the Global Education Office; we cannot accept opened transcripts. If the transcript has been opened, you will need to request a new transcript to be sent directly to the above address.

Once final transcripts have been received and all courses have been approved by the appropriate departments, your credits will be evaluated and sent to the Registrar's Office for posting to your Degree Works. The Global Education Office cannot approve courses, but will calculate and convert the number of credits earned while abroad. Neither faculty members nor the Registrar's Office calculates or converts foreign credits.

How foreign credits convert to W&M credits:

The number of credits issued by foreign universities varies considerably from country to country. The Global Education Office will determine the number of credits upon completion of the program, receipt of the official transcript and either pre or post-approval for each course. If a student is unclear about how credits will transfer, contact your study abroad advisor in the Global Education Office.

W&M (and all US universities and providers) base credits on the number of contact hours in each course. The charts below are subject to change, but a general rule of thumb is:

  • 24-36 contact hours = 2 W&M credits
  • 40-45 contact hours = 3 W&M credits
  • 50-60 contact hours = 4 W&M credits

Universities who issue ECTS credits (mostly in Europe), the conversion is:

  • 3 ECTS = 1.5 W&M credits
  • 4 ECTS = 2 W&M credits
  • 5 ECTS = 2.5 W&M credits
  • 6 ECTS = 3 W&M credits
  • 8 ECTS = 4 W&M credits

Many UK universities use a point system for credits, which usually converts as follows:

  • 10 points = 3 W&M credits
  • 15 points = 4 W&M credits
  • 20 points = 5 W&M credits
  • 30 points = 7.5  W&M credits

University of St. Andrews credits transfer as follows:

  • 10 St. Andrews points = 2.5 W&M credits
  • 15 St. Andrews points = 3.75 W&M credits
  • 20 St. Andrews points = 5 W&M credits
  • 30 St. Andrews points = 7.5 W&M credits