Study abroad credit

Through participation in LAS 299 or in departmental study abroad programs, students may study as an exchange student at a foreign university or enroll in an approved study program overseas and still maintain their status as a continuing student in the college. Learn more about LAS's international programs.

Degree requirements fulfilled

With appropriate approval from the college, department, or Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, students may can earn up to eight hours in a summer session, 18 hours in a semester, 36 hours in an academic year, or 44 hours in a calendar year toward their LAS degree. Final determination of credit is made after they have completed their studies and their transcript has been received. The college cannot determine whether a course will satisfy a General Education Distribution Requirement until a syllabus review is completed.

Overseas internships are subject to the same rules as applies to off-campus study. A student must work with a U of I faculty member to receive credit for the internship.

Academic residency requirements may vary with the program chosen.

Obtaining U of I credit

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may elect to individually study abroad while obtaining U of I credit. Their status as students at this institution is not interrupted if they register for the 299 program. Several colleges on this campus have a 299 course; for example, LAS 299. Students from colleges that do not have the 299 course may, under normal circumstances, register under that course in another college should they decide to study abroad on an individual basis. They may, however, elect to study abroad on one of the university's regular foreign study programs. For example, the Department of Spanish has a study program in Barcelona, and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures has one in Vienna. In addition, students may choose to withdraw from the university, engage in foreign study, and attempt to obtain transfer credit for their academic experience.

LAS students need to exercise caution when studying through the program of another college on this campus as rules may differ. All study abroad requires LAS approval.

Joint enrollment in 299 if studying abroad through another American institution

Frequently, students from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences who are contemplating study abroad are uncertain whether they should enroll in LAS 299 while studying abroad in another accredited American college or university program. Should these students have any questions regarding this matter, they should contact LAS International Programs.

LAS 299 may indeed be necessary for students going with another American college or university because of:

  • Residency
  • Financial aid
  • Departmental acceptance of credit
  • Duplication of credit
  • Issues dealing with withdrawal and re-admittance
  • Advance enrollment from the foreign study location
  • 299 eligibility for inoculations at the University Health Center and possible University of Illinois insurance coverage while abroad

For such reasons, it is advisable that students carefully consider the feasibility of registration in LAS 299 and not discount it simply because they plan foreign study with an accredited American institution.

Steps for enrolling in 299, Study Abroad

  1. The student consults with International Programs. At this time, the student's projected foreign study is discussed in detail. Suitable geographic areas as well as suitable institutions are surveyed. The compatibility of the projected study is examined in view of the student's academic major. Frequently, during the consultation process additional offices and personnel must become involved, such as the Office of Student Financial Aid, the student's records officer, or the student's academic advisor. Students interested in a departmental program should consult the appropriate departmental advisor.
  2. The student follows the application procedures identified for the chosen program. The 299 registration identifies institutional foreign study and hence differs from independent field research.
  3. Upon notification of acceptance, the student must then obtain prior approval for approximate amounts of credit that he/she seeks to earn while studying abroad. Specifically, he/she must go to each of the departments involved and obtain the approval from the department for individual courses. Course approval packets are available at Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange. Students must also elect a credit option at this time: All courses for Credit Only, All courses for grades only, Selected courses for grades and selected courses for credit only. Courses elected for credit only will count against the graduation limitation on independent studies. Additionally, the choice of a credit option is binding. It must be completed before you leave the country. In the event of extenuating circumstances, or if course selections change, it is your obligation to notify the college immediately of the change.
  4. When the student has successfully completed the period of foreign study, the Illinois Abroad then receives the evaluation sent from the foreign institution or from the sponsoring American university. In consultation with relevant departments, the office then makes credit recommendations to the Office of Admissions and Records. It often requires a semester after the completed foreign enrollment for all transcripts to be recorded and processed.
  5. The Office of Admissions and Records requests that the appropriate credit be posted on the student's University of Illinois transcript after the packet of credentials is in order.

Obtaining college credit for courses taken abroad

  • Study abroad credits from an approved exchange program with course approval forms completed and which do not duplicate previous coursework will transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will count toward the 120 hours needed to graduate. [There are restrictions on credit earned through internships.]
  • Students sometimes feel compelled to only select courses abroad that will fulfill requirements; however, keep in mind that the opportunities to take interesting, meaningful electives are abundant. Elective courses will add uniqueness to your academic record and are necessary as you seek to fulfill the 120 hours required to earn a degree.
  • Students registered in the college must take required courses for grades only. Free electives can be elected as credit only.
  • Participation in sponsored exchange programs does not interrupt residency, provided that within the last two years of study (60 hours) at least 30 semester hours have been earned in courses taken on the Urbana campus.
  • The college does not award credit for internships programs, whether paid or performed on a volunteer basis. It may be possible to set up an independent study with a university faculty member that incorporates internship work, which is most easily arranged when a student has already established a relationship with a professor. The special project and amount of credit are worked out between the two parties.
  • While abroad, undergraduate students routinely register for 12 hours of LAS 299. This is a "dummy" registration procedure that maintains full-time status on U of I's Urbana campus for insurance and financial aid purposes, and codes the low-range IV tuition to your student account bill. Students must maintain full time registration. Upon completion of your study abroad experience, partner schools send your transcript to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for application to your academic record.

Note: It is often six months before a student's courses and correct credit are reflected properly on one's academic record.

Courses and study abroad programs

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the campus offer many ways for students to experience life in another culture while earning credit toward graduation. Learn more about the college's short-term study abroad options.