When Study Away Review Committee (SARC) approves a Study Away Application, it approves the specific course of study outlined in that application. If courses must be changed for valid reasons (e.g. scheduling conflicts or course availability issues), you should contact the Registrar, the Center for Study Away, and relevant department chairs to ensure that the new course selection will be approved.

Macalester strongly recommends that you register for at least one course of language or area studies during your semester away. Language study cannot be redundant with previous language coursework unless special arrangements are made with the Macalester Registrar and the appropriate language department prior to departure.

Applying Credits to Degree Requirements

Credit earned through study away meets general education requirements for graduation. However, this does not guarantee that such credit will automatically be applied towards specific distribution and/or departmental requirements. As part of the application process, students consult with the appropriate academic offices to ascertain how study away credit will apply towards their degree program.

It is the prerogative of each department or program at Macalester to determine whether to apply credit from study away towards its requirements. Note: Not all coursework is necessarily approved in advance; departments can require evaluation of certain courses upon the student’s return from the program. It is always a good idea for the student to return to Macalester with copies of the course syllabi, reading lists, papers, and exams from study away.

You must earn a grade of C- or better in order for a course to fulfill major, minor, concentration, general education, and distribution requirement.

Registration and Course Load

When studying away for a semester you must carry a full­ semester course load as defined by your study away program while you study away. This will fall in the range of 12-18 semester hours, however is more typically 14-17 credits (similar to expectations for enrollment when at Macalester in order to maintain progress towards graduation).  Participation in a study away program precludes simultaneous registration for Macalester coursework (e.g. independent study, internships, etc.). The study away program or host university must report all credit earned.


A student enrolled at a foreign university must sit at the regularly scheduled times for all required examinations, including those given at the end of individual academic terms and, if the student is on an academic year program, any comprehensive exams that are given at the end of the academic year UNLESS the student makes alternative arrangements acceptable to the university. Failure to do so will in most cases result in a failing grade.

Credits and Grades

All coursework from a semester or academic year study away program, including failed courses, will be reflected as Macalester credit on your Macalester transcript. All grades are factored into your Macalester grade point average.

Taking a Class Pass/Fail

You are subject to the same pass/fail grading policies as on­-campus students: one course per semester. The declaration of this grading option is usually made according to the rules of the study away program or university. If the program has no provision for pass/fail grading, you may declare it to the Macalester Registrar (with a copy to the Center for Study Away). Such must be declared between the beginning of the 8th week and end of the 9th week of your program classes (roughly 10 working days). Classes taken pass/fail may not be included in major, minor, or concentration plans without departmental approval.

Credit for January or Summer Programs

If you want to receive academic credit towards your Macalester degree for non­-Macalester January and summer programs, verify that the college will accept credit from your chosen program (contact the Center for Study Away or the Registrar for more information). Credit for non­-Macalester January and summer programs are added to your Macalester transcript as transfer credit and grades are not factored into the Macalester cumulative grade point average. A maximum of two credits may be earned each January.


Email your study away advisor and/or the Registrar.