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Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Matters

Students are subject to all of the academic standards and regulations of the university where they are taking classes, as well as to the standards and regulations of UAlbany. All undergraduate and graduate students earning academic credit for a learning experience abroad (study, internship, research, independent study) must register in the Education Abroad system and enroll in the University’s international health insurance plan.


Both UAlbany and non-UAlbany students are allowed to participate on most our programs. Most programs are for undergraduates, but some programs are also offered at the graduate level. All programs require students to be in good academic and disciplinary standing:

  • The suggested minimum G.P.A. is 2.5, but some programs have higher G.P.A. requirements.
  • Students must be in “good academic standing” and not on academic or disciplinary probation to participate in an education abroad program.
  • Some programs require competency in a foreign language, but there are many programs worldwide with coursework available in English
  • Summer programs are generally open to students beginning the summer after their freshman year and beyond
  • Semester programs are generally open to students beginning the second semester of their sophomore year. Some program are open to freshmen and first semester sophomores

*Please review the individual program pages for specific eligibility requirements, as they vary by program.

Course Approvals and Equivalencies

If students want courses taken abroad to be assigned upper level UAlbany course equivalencies, they will bring a Course Equivalency Approval Form to each academic department for which they are seeking an equivalency. Available once they begin a program application, the form is used to assign UAlbany equivalencies to courses they will take abroad, as well as to apply courses to their major or minor. There is no deadline for submitting this form. They can have their courses evaluated for UAlbany equivalencies prior to departure, while abroad, or upon return. As a faculty member, you can assign upper or lower level generic or specific equivalencies within your department, but you cannot assign equivalencies for a course that is not in your academic department.

Students do not need specific approval to receive credit for the International Perspectives or Foreign Language General Education Requirements at UAlbany. Approval to fulfill other General Education Requirements must be obtained from the Undergraduate Dean’s Office.

Earning Graduate Credit

In general, most SUNY education abroad programs are designed for undergraduate students and all students who go on a program earn undergraduate credit. However, on some programs, students may be able to enroll in graduate courses, and these courses will show up on the education abroad Transcript Supplement with graduate-level course numbers. A notable exception is a graduate level short-term course led by a UAlbany faculty member within the department. If students are registered for graduate credit, then they will earn graduate credit for these courses. The Office of Graduate Admissions will need to be involved if an undergraduate student wants to take graduate level coursework abroad and earn graduate level credits.

Overseas Enrollment Form

The Overseas Enrollment Form lists the actual coursework taken overseas. This form is available in the student’s online application account after acceptance to a program. Students may share this form with their department advisor, to ensure they are signing up for appropriate courses and to gauge UAlbany equivalencies options.

Credits from courses abroad are not always awarded the same number of credits as the equivalent course at UAlbany. UAlbany (or the administering SUNY campus) will determine the number of credits for each course taken abroad based on credit conversion rules that apply to the specific program. Students must make sure they are registering for the SUNY equivalent of 12-19 credits per semester, or the appropriate number of credits pertaining to their specific program. Otherwise, this could affect their financial aid, as well as their full-time student status and progress towards degree. When the grades are processed, the Degree Audit will show the number of SUNY credits assigned to each course.

Graduation Requirement

If a student plans accordingly and far enough in advance, participation in an education abroad program should not affect their ability to graduate on time.

Requirements to Earn Credits “In Residence”

UAlbany requires all degree-seeking undergraduate students to complete 30 of the last 60 credits of coursework on campus. However, if they choose to study abroad for two semesters during their last two years, any 30 of the last 69 credits cleared must be completed on campus. This means that they may complete more than 30 credits overseas. The 30 credit residency requirement can be completed at any time during their last two years, so they can study abroad during junior or senior year, or both. If they have any reason to believe that they may have problems satisfying UAlbany’s residence requirements, they should speak with their Education Abroad Program Coordinator as well as their faculty advisor(s) for assistance.


Registering for a Program Abroad

Undergraduate students applying for summer financial aid must be registered with a full-time course load for the summer terms(s). A full-time summer load is 6 credits, which can be taken at UAlbany, abroad, or both.

In order for the Education Abroad office to register students for their SUNY program, students must drop all other on-campus courses for which they might be registered for that term. Please remember, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his or her registration status is correct in terms of the number of anticipated credits and on-campus or overseas study. It becomes very difficult to correct registration problems if students do not alert us, in writing, as soon as possible that they do not wish to participate in education abroad.

Registering for UAlbany Courses for the Returning Term

Many students ask how to register for courses for their first semester back at UAlbany after being abroad. The process and registration dates/ times are the same – as if they were still on campus. Students should take care to note the difference in time zones when trying to register during their allotted date and time.


Grades are not factored into their UAlbany Grade Point Average. However, whenever they request and send an official transcript, the Transcript Supplement will be included. The receiving entity (e.g. graduate schools, potential employers) may recalculate the GPA to include grades earned abroad. Therefore, the grades earned abroad appear on their permanent record and may be a factor in an overall academic review.