Disabilities/ Academic Accommodations

If you anticipate needing accommodations while abroad, you must make an appointment with Beth Rodgers-Kay, Director of Disabilities Services and Support, or  Kerry Patenaude, Disabilities Specialist, well in advance of your departure in order to make arrangements for your program to be notified of your disability and your need for accommodations. 

Whether or not you anticipate needing assistance, you are encouraged to discuss any issues or concerns regarding your disability with a study abroad staff member, Disabilities Services and Support, and your study abroad program so that we are better prepared to help if problems should arise while you are overseas.

Guidelines for Course Selection

Once you have decided on your courses, be sure to fill out the Course Report Form for the appropriate semester and return it to the Director of Study Abroad as soon as possible. You may e-mail your course selection and then fax a copy of the form before sending it snail mail with the appropriate signatures. Failure to send this form back to Brandeis may put your credit from abroad in jeopardy.

Once we receive Form CR in our office we will e-mail you to confirm which courses will be accepted for general Brandeis credit. If a course you wish to take proves to be unacceptable, you will need to select another course. 

Appropriate Courses for Brandeis Credit Internships, Independent Study Courses and Field Experience
Auditing Courses Major and Minor Credit
Film Classes Photography Classes
Foreign Language Requirements Abroad Physical Education
General University Requirements Rate of Work and Credit Awarded
Grades and GPA Repeat Classes


Appropriate Courses for Brandeis Credit

Brandeis will give credit for liberal arts classes only. You will not receive credit for non-liberal arts courses, such as architecture, ceramics, drafting, jewelry-making and certain types of film, photography,  or accounting courses. Please refer to the guidelines below for specific rules on certain classes. Geography and Geology courses are appropriate for Brandeis credit, even though they are not taught at Brandeis University.

Auditing Courses

No credit will be given for audited courses. You will only receive credit for those courses for which you receive a grade on your transcript or tutor's report.

Film Classes
Students taking film courses abroad should be aware that credit for such courses is not automatic. The course should involve more than simply viewing films or production work; the films should be incorporated in the course in the same way that readings are used in other courses. If the course you wish to take proves to be unacceptable, you should select another course. Inquiries about film classes should be addressed to Prof. Alice Kelikian (kelikian@brandeis.edu).
Foreign Language Requirements Abroad

You must take at least one course each semester in the language of the country in which you are studying. This course may be either an academic subject course taught in the language of the country or an appropriate language/grammar course. Failure to complete a language course during each semester you are abroad will result in loss of all credit for the semester.

General University Requirements

If you wish to use a course abroad to fulfill a general university requirement (Writing Intensive, Quantitative Reasoning, Foreign Language, Non-Western, or School Distribution), you will need to complete the Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement form.

You may do this before you leave, while you are abroad or after you return. Please note however that we strongly encourage you to make these types of requests before the end of your add/drop period for your program as we can not guarantee credit to fulfill such requirements after you return.

Grades and GPA

Courses taken abroad are counted as Transfer Credit according to the following guidelines:

  • You must receive a grade of C- or better in order to get credit.
  • No credit will be given for Pass/Fail work.
  • Grades will not be figured into your GPA and will not appear on your Brandeis transcript.
  • Subjects studied will appear on your Brandeis University transcript; exact course titles will not appear.

Internships, Independent Study Courses and Field Experience
Internships, independent study courses, and fieldwork experience must have approval from the Office of Study Abroad in order to be accepted for credit. Not all internships offered by programs on the approved list meet the Brandeis criteria. Therefore, it is very important to discuss your proposed internship course with a member of the study abroad staff.

If you wish to have an internship or independent study course accepted for credit you should submit a short email to the Office of Study Abroad, describing the course. Be sure to include a syllabus if available. Please provide details of the curriculum and indicate what papers or exams will be used for the final evaluation. You may be required to submit all papers, reports, reading lists, etc. before general university credit is approved.

Note: If no description is provided for an internship course which appears on the transcript from your study abroad program, the course will be labeled as "General Elective Credit" on your Brandeis transcript.

If you wish to receive major/ minor credit for an independent study, internship or field research project while abroad, you must contact the Study Abroad Faculty Liaison in the appropriate department for their guidelines. It is wise to request guidance from the Study Abroad Faculty Liaison in advance since not all internships may be approved by a particular department. Please see the major/ minor credit section for more information.

If you have any questions about taking an independent study or internship for credit while you are abroad, please contact a member of the Study Abroad staff.

Major and Minor Credit

If you wish to receive credit towards your major or minor for courses taken abroad, you must contact the appropriate department or program directly.  Click here to obtain list of Study Abroad Faculty Liaisons in each department. The Office of Study Abroad can only transfer general course credit, not major or minor credit.

Before you meet with the Study Abroad Faculty Liaison you should complete a Petition to Request Substitution for a Requirement form on the Registrar's website. After filling out the form and gathering the necessary paperwork, please make an appointment to meet with the Liaison in each department where you are seeking credit. You must be prepared to support your case for receiving credit toward your major by presenting copies of syllabi and course descriptions upon request.

While you are abroad, be sure to collect syllabi and course descriptions for any course you take. If you have any questions about what may count for major/minor credit you should contact your department Study Abroad Faculty Liaison; provide a complete course description and a syllabus. Keep records of the written approval or permission by a professor or department for credit transfer to minimize confusion/conflict upon return to Brandeis.
Photography Classes

Questions about photography classes should be addressed to the Study Abroad Faculty Liaison in the Fine Arts Department. Photography courses that have no creative or historic component are not appropriate for Brandeis course credit. Only a few photography courses to eligible to fulfill the School of Creative Arts requirement.

Physical Education

You may receive credit for PE while abroad if the course is at least 22 contact hours. Please contact Sheryl Sousa (sousa@brandeis.edu), Chair of Physical Education, with a detailed course description if you have further questions. Please note that club team participation, or attending a yoga studio on your own will not count for PE credit.

Rate of Work and Credit Awarded

You must carry a normal, full course load while abroad; the flexible rate of work option does NOT apply to study abroad. Only documented medical illness or severe personal hardship warrant petition for a reduced rate of work. The fact that a course turns out to be too advanced or not as interesting as you had hoped is not sufficient. You should be prepared to verify the conditions for any "W" that appears on your transcript.

A normal, full load of work abroad is defined individually by each program or university. A four-course rate abroad may not be equivalent to a full load (four courses) at Brandeis. In some programs you must take five courses, in others three. If you are not sure what constitutes a normal, full course load at your program or university, check with the Resident Director or International Student Office. Being a full-time student on an overseas program is not necessarily the same as taking a full course load. Further questions should be referred to the Director of Study Abroad.

If you are studying abroad through a U.S. program, please be sure your course load equals a full load. 15 U.S. credits is the minimum course load for all Brandeis study abroad students. 12 U.S. credits is not considered a full load. At Brandeis, the normal course load is 4 courses per semester. The minimum is 3 and the maximum is 5.5, but the "normal" is 4. If, for example, the program literature states that the range is between 14-18 credits, the "normal" load would be 16.

If students take the normal course load overseas, they will receive credit for the equivalent of the normal load at Brandeis: 4 courses for the semester and 8 courses for the year. Failure to attempt a full course load abroad may result in a loss of all potential credit for the semester/year.

We do not transfer credit earned abroad on a course-for-course basis. Additional Brandeis credit can be earned only if the student takes a substantial overload, as defined by COAS. Credit for an overload will only be given if a student enrolls in 150% of the normal full-time load. Please contact the Director of Study Abroad if you wish to undertake an academic overload abroad.

Repeat Classes

When selecting classes abroad, be careful not to repeat a class that you have already taken at Brandeis. You will not receive credit for a class you take twice. If you have any questions, please consult a member of the Study Abroad staff.