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STUDY ABROAD ACADEMIC GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

Leave of Absence 

Most full time Drexel sponsored study abroad programs operate on a semester calendar, which commonly overlaps with Drexel’s quarter calendar anywhere from one week to two months. In unique cases, students may need to work with both their academic advisor and study abroad advisor to plan a Leave of Absence term(s) in order to accommodate the study abroad program calendar.

Students participating in independent study abroad programs (non-Drexel sponsored) must complete the Independent Study Abroad application through the Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad. Although students are not registered for Drexel credit during their independent study abroad term, they are registered for a zero-credit independent study abroad placeholder. Therefore, students are neither encouraged nor required to submit a Leave of Absence for the purposes of independent study abroad.

Related University Policy: Leave of Absence https://drexel.edu/provost/policies/leave-of-absence/

 Credit/ No-Credit Option

 All courses taken on Drexel sponsored exchange programs have the grade mode of credit/no credit. Foreign grades earned at study abroad host universities are converted to the US grading scale to determine whether students have earned the equivalent of a C or above, thereby receiving a Drexel CR for the course, or a C – or below, thereby receiving a Drexel NCR for the course.

The “Credit/No Credit Grading Option only for elective courses” does not apply to courses taken on Drexel sponsored exchange programs because they have a Credit/No credit grade mode.

The restriction that “a maximum of six courses may be taken with this option during a student’s entire undergraduate program with a maximum of one course per term” does not apply to courses taken on Drexel sponsored exchange programs because they have a Credit/No credit grade mode.

Students are permitted to take major requirements with a Credit/No credit grade mode on Drexel sponsored exchange programs.

As courses taken on Drexel sponsored exchange programs have a Credit/No credit grade mode, these credits are not included in calculating the student's grade point average.

Students may not opt to receive standard letter grades for courses taken on a Drexel sponsored exchange program.

Study abroad courses taken on Drexel sponsored free-standing programs with a Standard Letter grade mode are subject to the standard Credit/No credit restrictions as outlined in the Statement of Policy above.

Refer to the University Leave of Absence Policy for further detail.

Related University Policy: Credit/No Credit Option https://drexel.edu/provost/policies/credit_no_credit_option_ug/

Course Add/Drop

All study abroad programs: Students are unable to register, drop, or add study abroad sections of any Drexel course on their own, as study abroad sections are restricted.

Full time study abroad programs: Students participating in full time study abroad programs are subject to the course adjustment period of their host institution for all courses taken abroad. This adjustment period normally differs from the Drexel course registration adjustment period. Students should be aware of the difference between the add/drop timeline and withdrawal timeline at their host university.

Students on Drexel sponsored free-standing programs who are registered in Banner for specific study abroad courses (rather than a study abroad placeholder course) must communicate course adjustments with Drexel Study Abroad prior to the end of Drexel’s course registration adjustment period.

For certain free-standing programs, students will not be permitted to adjust their course selection on their study abroad program.

Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs): Drexel Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs) do not follow Drexel’s standard registration adjustment period. For many ICAs, the majority of the course content is completed while abroad, most often during Drexel break periods. Although the ICA travel may conclude before Drexel's registration adjustment period has ended, students are not permitted to drop the ICA course upon return from the ICA travel, as they will have already completed a substantial portion of the course. The latest a student can choose to drop an ICA course is official ICA program arrival date. In the instance that a student drops the ICA course prior to the program start, their ICA program fees are non-refundable per the study abroad refund policy in the students’ application.

Related University Policy: Course Add/Drop https://drexel.edu/provost/policies/course-add-drop/

Course Withdrawal

Full time study abroad programs: Students participating in full time study abroad programs are subject to the withdrawal period of their host university (when applicable) for all courses taken abroad. This withdrawal period usually differs from the Drexel withdrawal period. Students should be aware of the difference between both the add/drop timeline and withdrawal timeline at their host university.

Any course indicating a withdraw on the student’s host university transcript will be recorded as a W on the student’s Drexel transcript.

Students on Drexel sponsored free-standing programs who are registered in Banner for specific study abroad courses, rather than a study abroad placeholder, are not permitted to withdraw from any courses unless they are withdrawing from the program.

Students who withdraw from their study abroad program and receive a transcript from the host institution indicating withdrawal from all courses abroad are not permitted to subsequently enroll for Drexel on-campus or online courses during that same term. Students will be responsible for study abroad program fees per the refund policy in their application.

Intensive Courses Abroad: Drexel Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs) do not follow Drexel’s standard withdraw timeline. For many ICAs, the majority of the course content is completed while abroad, most often during Drexel break periods. Although the ICA travel may conclude before Drexel's withdrawal adjustment period has ended, students are not permitted to withdraw from the ICA course upon return from the ICA travel, as they will have already completed a substantial portion of the course. Students who face extenuating circumstances while abroad (such as medical emergencies) can submit an appeal for a withdrawal directly to the Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad. ICA program fees are non-refundable per the study abroad refund policy in the student application.

Related University Policy: Course Withdrawal https://drexel.edu/provost/policies/course-withdrawal/

Study Abroad Definitions 

Intensive Course Abroad (ICA): Short study abroad courses that are generally one to two weeks in length and taught by a Drexel instructor. Most ICAs take place during Drexel interterm break periods, with a few exceptions of ICAs that are embedded into the normal 10-week term. Students earn standard letter grades for ICA courses, which range from 1 – 4 credits.

Drexel sponsored program: Study abroad programs offered by Drexel. Students are registered for Drexel credit, pay Drexel tuition, and maintain their Drexel financial aid package.

Exchange program: Drexel sponsored study abroad program whereby students are enrolled directly as visiting full-time students at one of Drexel’s international partner universities. Students earn Drexel credits as Credit/No credit grades for courses taken abroad and are billed normal Drexel tuition for the abroad term. The partner university also sends visiting students for full-time study abroad at Drexel university.

Free standing program: Drexel sponsored study abroad programs that are managed by third party study abroad provider organizations or universities. Students earn Drexel credits and Standard Letter grades for courses taken abroad and are billed normal Drexel tuition for the abroad term.

Independent Study Abroad: Study abroad programs run by external organizations that have no affiliation to Drexel. Students are registered and billed through the external organization and are therefore not registered or billed by Drexel for courses taken abroad. Students must complete Drexel’s independent study abroad application in order to receive transfer credit from the program.

Full-time programs: 12-20 Drexel undergraduate credits, 9 or more graduate credits. Some undergraduate summer programs are less than 12 credits and require students to take an online class or independent study. For the purpose of study abroad policies, these programs will be referred to as “fulltime”.

Study Abroad Course Approval Policy 

PURPOSE AND APPLICATION 

This policy provides a framework for study abroad course approvals for students attending full-time Drexel-sponsored programs.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

For all full-time (12-20 Drexel undergraduate credits, 9 or more Drexel graduate credits) Drexel sponsored study abroad programs, students must receive Drexel departmental approval for each course taken abroad, unless the course has been previously approved.

Each course equivalent must be approved the Drexel Department Head/Program Director or faculty appointee (known henceforth as “approver) in the corresponding Drexel subject. If the department has elected to have a faculty appointee, the appointee must be a full-time faculty member with an advanced degree in the corresponding discipline.

Courses cannot be approved as “electives.” Courses can subsequently be designated as elective credit in DegreeWorks by the academic advisor.

Course credit valuation for abroad courses will default to the listed valuation in the Drexel course catalog for the Drexel equivalent, unless otherwise stated by the approver. Unless a Drexel course has variable credit, credit amounts are fixed. If a course abroad is worth more credit than an existing Drexel course, the approver has the discretion to approve special topics credit in addition to the fixed credit amount to account for the additional credit.

Courses on Drexel-sponsored programs count for Drexel credit, not transfer credit. Transfer General Free Elective (TGFE) course codes are not Drexel-sponsored study abroad course equivalents. 

ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

Undergraduate, Graduate or professional students participating on any Drexel sponsored study abroad program for which the courses have not been previously approved.

NOTES/CONSIDERATIONS

If a study abroad course is deemed worthy of credit but has no Drexel equivalent, faculty may approve of the course as a Special Topics and must assign a level (T180-T480) and a credit amount.

All academic courses taken abroad will appear on Drexel transcripts, including withdrawn or failed courses as well as courses that are not required for graduation.

Departments cannot wait for grade results to determine if the abroad course is equivalent to a course at Drexel.

If approver decides that a course has no Drexel equivalent and is not deemed worthy of Drexel credit, students cannot take the course. If student is informed of this during/after course completion, the course will not appear on student’s transcript.

Disciplines without full-time faculty members can default to adjunct faculty with advanced degrees to approve of course equivalents. (e.g. Modern Languages)

If a student elects to take a recreational enrichment class or workshop abroad (e.g. yoga, rock-climbing), the course cannot be approved and will not appear on Drexel transcript.

PROCEDURE:

When available, student provides course description or syllabus of host university course to the Drexel Department approver. Approver assesses course information to determine if the course is worthy of credit. If the course is worthy of credit, a Drexel equivalent course number, title, and credit value must be assigned. If no Drexel equivalent exists in Drexel’s catalog, the approver should consider approving the course for Drexel Special Topics credit, indicating the special topics level and credit amount. If the host institution course is not worthy of credit, the approver should indicate this.

The Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad maintains a lists of previously approved classes. Students should consult this list and the course catalog of the host institution when seeking courses.

Approvers are encouraged to assess based on the available course information, which may include a course description, reading list, or full syllabi.

DEFINITIONS:

Course equivalent: a study abroad course approved by a Drexel approver as equivalent to a Drexel course. While a study abroad course might not be an exact match, the approver has determined that the course is similar enough to meet Drexel requirements. Course equivalents are recorded as Drexel credit, not transfer credit, and students receive either letter grades (for free-standing programs) or CR/NCR grades (for exchange programs) for their equivalents. Abroad courses that do not have exact course matches at Drexel can be approved as Special Topics credit.

Host Institution: Drexel international partner that grants transcripts to Drexel study abroad students. This includes both universities abroad and study abroad centers that hire faculty to teach international students.

Full-time programs: 12-20 Drexel undergraduate credits, 9 or more graduate credits. Some undergraduate summer programs are less than 12 credits and require students to take an online class or independent study. For the purpose of study abroad policies, these programs will be referred to as “fulltime”.

Drexel sponsored programs: Study abroad programs offered by Drexel. Students are registered for Drexel credit, pay Drexel tuition, and maintain their Drexel financial aid package.