Study Abroad Students

Instructions for submitting course syllabi for current Penn State students who are planning to study abroad through a program not affiliated with the Office of Global Programs

Collect course syllabi and determine which college/university will provide the official transcript for study abroad courses.

If the transcript for your study abroad courses will be issued by a US college/university:

Search for the course using the Transfer Credit Tool. If the course is not yet evaluated, or pending review (TRN XFRPEN), visit the Course Substitutions and Reviews web portal and click on “New Transfer Review.” If no course evaluation is found, you will be prompted to upload a course syllabus.

Once you have submitted a course syllabus for review, the Undergraduate Admissions Office will send your syllabus to the appropriate faculty review committee. It can take up to 3-5 weeks from the date a syllabus is received to the time you are notified via the CSRS Student Portal about how the course will transfer to Penn State.

Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic adviser before enrolling in courses to determine how transfer credits may apply to their Penn State degree.

If the transcript for your study abroad courses will be issued by a foreign college/university outside of the US:

Submit the Study Abroad Pre-approval Form and up to 6 course syllabi to preapproval@psu.edu. An admissions counselor will review the information submitted and email you within two weeks with information as to how your study abroad coursework will transfer to Penn State. The evaluations will remain in effect for one year after the time of review.

You can also meet with an admissions counselor to discuss how study abroad credit will transfer to Penn State. Counselors are available for walk-in appointments Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, 201 Shields Building. However, please note that counselors will not be able to review your study abroad syllabi in-person. The Study Abroad Transfer Credit request will still need to be submitted along with course syllabi, and an admissions counselor will email you at a later time with the evaluations.

Students are also encouraged to meet with an academic adviser before enrolling in the courses to determine how study abroad credits may apply to their Penn State degree.

Here are some of the things faculty look for when reviewing a syllabus:

  • DO NOT submit high school syllabi. For dual enrollment course work, high school syllabi will never be accepted; you must submit the official college syllabus.
  • Name of institution
  • Number of credits the course is worth
  • An official course description (helps determine if the course is for majors or non-majors)
  • Any required co-requisite or pre-requisite courses
  • Topics covered by class meeting (not just course objectives)/ schedule of course content
  • Grading criteria: what was graded and how much was it worth
  • How many exams, paper assignments, textbooks or readings are required
  • Textbook(s) used with chapters/sections/topics covered (course content)
  • Information about any readings besides the textbook
  • Science courses: presence of a lab component with the kinds of labs done and how much the lab counts; be sure to send both the lecture and the lab syllabus
  • Music courses: how many hours a week, what instrument or voice, individual or class lesson, major/minor/non major

If you need to request a course syllabus and no longer have your instructor’s contact information, search the college’s directory online. If you do not remember the instructor or if the instructor is no longer there, search the website for the department chair for the subject for which you need a syllabus. Email the chair and/or assistant with your request.

Please be advised that a student’s tuition will increase when the Penn State transcript reflects 59.1 cumulative credits. If the credits you are transferring or have transferred place you above 59.1 cumulative credits after the start of the semester, your tuition will increase immediately. You will receive a bill for the additional tuition on the first day of the following month. For more information, visit the Office of the Bursar's website.


Tuition Advisory

Please be advised that a student’s tuition will increase when the Penn State transcript reflects 59.1 cumulative credits. Credits earned from sources such as Military Credit and tests, like AP or IB exams, are considered transfer credits and are included in the cumulative credit total. If the credits you are transferring or have transferred to Penn State place you above 59.1 cumulative credits after the start of the semester, your tuition will increase immediately. You will receive a bill for the additional tuition on the first day of the following month. For more information, visit the Office of the Bursar's website.