How does this work?
Courses taken abroad automatically count toward general elective credit at BC. Certain courses abroad can count toward BC major, minor or core requirements with departmental approval. Students should seek course approval prior to departure.
Many BC departments have pre-approved courses abroad for major, minor, or core credit; these courses do not require a Course Substitution Form. Pre-approved courses are subject to availability, and students should check with their Academic Advisors to ensure that they are meeting their department's expectations with course selections abroad.
A few things to keep in mind
Boston College does not grant credit for courses in non-academic subjects (such as food, wine, fitness, sports, or chorus) or for personal or professional workshops. If you are at all unsure if a given course will count for credit, contact the Academic Operations Administrator before registering for the course.
A course must equate to 3 BC credits to fulfill a BC requirement; courses worth 5 ECTS credits, for example, may not automatically fulfill a BC requirement. For that reason, students should not expect to fulfill more than 3 major, minor, or core requirements while abroad.
- Spring or Academic Year courses
- August - October
- Fall semester courses
- January - March
All BC students are expected to take a full load of courses (the equivalent of 15-16 US credits) at the host institution or approved external program abroad.
Looking to fulfill major/minor/core requirments, keep in mind that a course must equate to 3 BC credits to fulfill a BC requirement; courses worth 5 ECTS credits, for example, may not automatically fulfill a BC requirement. Courses short of 3 BC credits will still transfer as general elective credit toward your BC degree requirments. Please check with the Academic Operations Administrator with any questions.
Students should seek course approval prior to departure. If course registration plans change while abroad, students should e-mail department contacts and save all correspondence.
Step 1: Departmental Approval
To obtain approval for courses to count toward major, minor, or core requirements, students complete a Course Substitution Form and bring it to the department for approval. Forms are available at Student Services in Lyons Hall.
For Cultural Diversity credit requests, no paperwork is required. Instead, please fill out the online form here.
Step 2: Submit Form
Completed Course Substitution forms must be returned to Student Services in Lyons Hall.
All students are required to complete a program evaluation survey upon return. Once we receive your transcript, OIP and Student Services will process your grades and credits and enter them into your BC record. Course Substitution Forms are processed at that time. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few months afer your return before you are able to view your grades in the Agora portal.
If you require expedited processing for a job, internship, or graduate school application, please contact the Academic Operations Administrator.