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Approving Courses From Study Away

Who & When

The Center for Study Away does not require pre-approval for coursework as part of the application process. However, if a student is counting on a study away course to fulfill a specific requirement, we encourage them to seek approval during the application process if at all possible. Any courses from study away included in a major, minor, or concentration plan are approved by the department chair or concentration director.

All students can request course approval at any time, at the discretion of the academic department or concentration. This includes course approval for minor, concentration, or major plans


Students seeking course or program approval are responsible for (1) meeting with the chair of the academic department or director of the concentration and (2) providing course and/or program information (course titles, descriptions, syllabi, etc.) in a timely manner.

 After the department chair or concentration director has reviewed course information and determined whether it may be included in a student’s plan, they will:

  1. Log into DegreeWorks (found in the Academics tab in 1600Grand).
  2. Find the individual student’s record.
    1. Click on the magnifying glass to search for a student.
    2. Enter student name and click “Search.”
    3. A list of students will appear at the bottom of the Find Students pop-up. Select the student seeking course approval and then click “OK.”
  3. Click on the “Notes” tab, found near the top of the screen.
  4. Click on “Add Note” at the left of the screen.
  5. Click in the textbook and write a detailed note specifying what course(s) have been approved. Then click the “Save Note” button (see below for example notes).
  6. Upon receiving a student’s final grades from study away, the Registrar will incorporate courses that have been approved into the student’s major, minor, or concentration plan in DegreeWorks.
  7. Any changes or additions can be approved through the same process (i.e. if a student’s coursework changes once abroad).

Example Notes

Final approval (include course info and specific requirement met):

  • Semester at ACM Japan meets the study abroad requirement for International Studies major.
  • Combinatorial Optimization taken at Budapest Semester in Mathematics program will meet Scientific Programming or Core Concepts requirement for Mathematics (Applied Math & Statistics) major.
  • Multiculturalism and Globalization taken at SIT Bolivia is approved as an Intermediate Course for Political Science major.
  • Economics Development of Modern China at SOAS is approved as elective at 300 or 400 level for Economics major.
  • Independent Study Project at SIT Peru is approved as elective for Anthropology major.
  • Tropical Medicine & Public Health at Duke OTS Global Health in Costa Rica is approved as upper level course for Biology major.
  • Ecology of the Masai at ACM Tanzania is approved as elective for Geology minor.
  • Public Health at Alliance Contemporary India is approved as elective for CGH concentration.

Pending approval (include course info and required next steps):

  • Research Practicum at Duke OTS Global Health in Costa Rica may be approved for Biology major. Student should bring back syllabus and evidence of completed coursework for review.
  • Arts Seminar at ACM Chicago may be approved for MCS major. Student should provide course syllabus for review.
  • Latin American Literature at CIEE Seville may be approved for Hispanic Studies major. Student should bring back essays, exams, syllabus, projects, etc. for review.