The Office of Global Education facilitates the transfer of credits and grades to each student’s BC transcript. At a minimum, credit earned abroad will count towards general elective credits needed to complete a BC degree. With careful planning, students can make progress in their major and minor concentrations while exploring new areas of interest and opportunities that may not be available in Chestnut Hill. 

Course Planning


 

Choosing a Program

Where do I begin? What do I need to consider as I research programs abroad?

1. Review OGE’s academic policies. Meet with your academic advisor and discuss when you should study abroad.

2. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there courses that I can take abroad to complement my major/minor?
  • How much room do I have for electives? 
  • Will I still be able to graduate on time if I don't get the courses I need abroad? 
  • Should I double-major or add a minor?
  • Should I take a language course abroad?
  • Do the programs I am considering have specific requirements?
  • Are the courses I am hoping to take abroad have any prerequisites?
  • Are there limited or restricted courses for the specific programs I am considering?

3. Plan ahead using the course and credits guidelines.

4. Review the policies and process for course approvals.

5. Check courses previously taken by BC students, by program.

What are ECTS Credits?

The most common credit system used by BC abroad programs in Europe is the ECTS system (European Credit Transfer System). Our standard rule for ECTS credits is 2 ECTS credits equal 1 BC credit. Since Boston College does not allow half credits, a 5 ECTS credit course will transfer back as either 2 or 3 BC credits depending on the student’s full course load of credits. *Please note that courses transferring back to Boston College as 2 BC credits may not satisfy major, minor or core requirements.                                    

10 ECTS = 5 BC
7.5 ECTS = 4 BC              
7 ECTS = 4 BC       
6 ECTS = 3 BC
5 ECTS = 2 or 3 BC *   
4 ECTS = 2 BC 

Prior to Departure

I am getting ready to register for courses abroad. What do I need to do to get courses approved?

The OGE recommends but does not require seeking approval for courses prior to going abroad. For a majority of programs, course registration may not be finalized until students arrive abroad.

Courses taken abroad automatically count toward general elective credit at BC. Students looking for major, minor, or core requirements should first check the Study Abroad Course Database to see if a course has been approved in the past.  If a course is not in the database, submit a Study Abroad Course Evaluation Form.  

Courses found in the Study Abroad Course Database have been either taken by past BC students and/or reviewed and approved for major/minor/core by BC departments in the past. Courses are not guaranteed to be available every semester. Students may absolutely take courses not found on the database, this is common.

If a course is not approved in the Study Abroad Course Database and you wish to have it approved to fullfill a major/minor/core requirements at BC, submit the Study Abroad Course Evaluation Form.

Ideally and where possible, students should seek course approval prior to departure. Courses can be approved either prior to departure, while abroad or after you return to BC. The availability of syllabus & course descriptions before departure can be very limited depending on the host study abroad program. This is why it is not always possible to seek approval prior to departure.  

Some majors/minors only allow a certain number of study abroad courses (even if it has already been approved). Please check the respective departmental website for more information.

While Abroad

I'm here, what's next?

Where possible, students should seek course approval prior to departure. However, the availability of syllabus & course descriptions prior to departure can be very limited depending on the host study abroad program. This is why it is not always possible to seek approval prior to departure and some students will need to work on getting courses approved to fulfill BC major/minor/core requirements while abroad.

We recomment that students digitally save all syllabi, course materials, assignments, and important emails for future reference until pending and perspective course approval is fully settled.

If you have any questions about credit translation, please send a list of all your abroad courses with credit values to ogeregistrar@bc.edu.

Students may consider declaring one of their abroad courses to be recorded with a Pass/Fail at BC. Please be sure to review the academic policy and instructons if you wish to declare a course P/F.

We remind students to also review the OGE grade translation scales when considering declaring a course P/F.

Back from Abroad

I had an amazing experience. Am I all set?

At the end of your time abroad, you will receive an email from OGEregistrar@bc.edu with specific information about transcripts, courses, and grades from abroad. 

All courses taken abroad are entered into a student's BC record as if they were BC courses.  Major/minor/core approvals do not appear on EagleApps until your transcript is processed and your study abroad courses are entered. The average timeline of when grades/courses from abroad appear on EagleApps looks like this:

Fall Study Abroad: April/May
Spring Study Abroad: September/October

Your grades will be translated according to our grade translation scale, and credit will be assigned based on the course and credit guidelines

Most, but not all programs will automatically send your transcript to the OGE. If asked where to send your host transcript, please provide the following address: OGEregistrar@bc.edu. Some institutions will not release transcripts if students have an unresolved financial or disciplinary issue. It is your responsibility to attend to these matters.

If you need a copy of your host program transcript, please email OGEregistrar@bc.edu using your @bc.edu email address and include your eagle ID with your request. 

How does course transfer work and do I need to get any courses approved? 

All courses taken abroad automatically count toward general elective credit at BC, with the exception of non-academic subjects including but not limited to: cooking/wine courses and sport/gym/physical activity courses, for which Boston College does not grant credit. With departmental approval, courses from abroad can also fullfill BC major, minor or core requirements. A course must equate to a minimum of 3 BC credits to fulfill a BC requirement. Students should remain flexible and not expect to fulfill more than 3 major, minor, or core requirements while abroad. Any course approved for major/minor/core always counts for BC credit.

If you are unsure if a given course will count for general elective credit, contact the Academic Operations Administrator before registering for the course. If you have any questions about credit translation, please send a list of all your abroad courses with credit values to ogeregistrar@bc.edu.
 

 Department Guidelines


 

 Academic Policies


 

These courses really furthered my knowledge of the subjects and my professors pushed me to learn in different ways. It really opened my eyes to the different experiences people have around the world in terms of education.
Boston College Study Abroad Participant, Class of 2021