Courses taken abroad may count towards satisfying the requirements of a WU major or minor. Read the Academic Credit Policy below and view Academic Requirements

Number of Credits 

Satisfactory academic performance in appropriate courses (see Grades below) normally results in an award of 15-16 Washington University units of credit per semester. You must take between 12 and 18 Washington University credits during a semester abroad. Most programs cap the number of credits you can transfer back at 16. Students must take at least half of their courses in business, and some programs may require more than half. Up to 6 Washington University credits may be awarded for a summer program (4-6 is typical). Students may participate in more than one student abroad program; however, no more than a total of 33 units will be awarded through study abroad and limitations on the number of major courses as mentioned below still apply. You are expected to maintain enrollment in the number and type of courses required by Olin even if local requirements are lower. Internship programs require a set curriculum and number of credits; therefore students do not have the option to withdraw from classes or take below the set curriculum within the internship programs.

Earning Business Credit Abroad

Students who have already earned transfer business credit should consult with their academic advisor to determine how that may affect the number of business courses they may take abroad. No credit will be awarded for equivalent courses earned prior to departure. Any duplicate coursework will be omitted from your record and not count toward your minimum enrollment of 12 US credit hours. Courses taken abroad must be in person. Courses taken online will not be accepted.

BSBA Prime Majors | BSBA students may take any number of distribution courses, non-business electives, and core business courses while abroad on an approved BSBA program. Only one (1) course per Olin major may be taken per study abroad experience. 

Second Majors | Students with second majors in Olin may take a maximum of two (2) business courses abroad – one (1) core business course and one (1) major course, unless participating on an Olin Internship Program. Second majors in Olin may take two (2) core business courses and one (1) major course when participating on an academic year abroad. It is expected that second majors participating on an Olin program take two courses in business, even if both cannot count toward their major. 

BUCS Degree | Students in the joint degree program Business & Computer Science (BUCS) may take a maximum of two (2) business courses abroad toward degree requirements- one (1) core course and one (1) elective course. It is expected that BUCS students participating on an Olin program take two courses in business, even if both cannot count toward their cluster.

Business Minors | Students minoring in Olin may take one course abroad that would apply to their business minor. Students minoring in International Business may take two courses abroad toward their IB minor. Generally, business minors are not eligible to participate on BSBA semester programs. It is expected that business minors who have an approved petition to participate on an Olin program must take two courses in business, even if both cannot count toward their major. 

Major/Minor Credit Outside of Olin | The appropriate department (or school) decides which courses will count, which requirements these courses will fulfill, and the minimum necessary performance in the course to receive credit and any other criteria for credit acceptance/assessment. There is one Departmental Study Abroad Advisor in each Arts and Sciences academic department, as well as a point person for other schools, who is responsible for this approval. Please check the directory to find the appropriate advisor for the student’s discipline(s).

Business Credit on Programs Outside of Olin | Students may be eligible to study abroad on programs administered by Overseas Programs or Sam Fox if they have a declared major outside of business. The amount and type of credit transferable toward the Olin major depends on the accreditation or approval of transfer credit by Olin. Students participating on Washington University-approved programs outside of Olin are subject to the academic requirements of the host department or college. Students must go through the application and admissions process with the intent to earn credit toward their non-business major. Under certain circumstances, permission may be granted for a student to earn business credits from another university abroad under the AACSB accreditation of from the following institutions: London School of Economics, Kings College London, and University College London. If the program abroad has full AACSB distinction, BSBA and Business Second Majors may be approved to transfer back business credit, but may only take two courses in business on a non-Olin program (1 core business and 1 course per business major). Minors may take one course abroad that would apply to their business minor, including IB minors. This applies per time abroad. Students must complete a study plan, as required by Overseas Programs, and have courses approved and signed off on by an Olin Global Advisor. All courses must be approved through the course evaluation process.

Credit Evaluations

In order to guarantee that courses will transfer, students will obtain course equivalencies prior to departure. Within two weeks of the start of the program, students will complete a BSBA Courses Abroad questionnaire that is part of their WU online application at Failure to do so may result in an academic hold being placed on their account and/or the credit not transferring back.


Every course abroad must be taken for a grade. Pass/Fail courses will not transfer back to WU for credit and students may not enroll in courses abroad for a pass/fail option. An equivalent grade of C or better on the program transcript is required to be awarded Washington University credit. A C- grade will not transfer regardless if your study abroad institution considers this a passing grade unless participating on an Olin administered program. Any grade on a transfer credit program below a C- minus will still appear on the student’s record as having been enrolled in the course similarly to P/F and would not impact the student’s GPA. Students should review the Study Abroad Handbook and Program Specific Information for more information on grade conversions and credit hours. The courses and credits will appear on the WU student record under the semester of study spent abroad. Study Abroad grades will not be recorded on the Washington University transcript and will not affect the Washington University grade point average. However, any Washington University course taught or supervised abroad by Washington University faculty members (such as coursework on internship programs, the European or Asia Study Tours, and research papers) will be recorded with grades on the Washington University transcript.

Incomplete Grades: Students on Olin Global Programs through partner institutions follow the Incomplete policy of the host university.

An “I” (Incomplete) grade in an Olin Global Programs course, such as courses through the London Internship Program, Asia Pacific Internship Program, European Study Tour, or South America Multi-Country Programs, may be given to a student where extenuating circumstances preclude the satisfactory completion of course work during the semester in which a particular course is taken. While Incompletes are sometimes appropriate, the student should make every effort to avoid the accumulation of incomplete grades; all incomplete grades are expected to be finished. Students on the above programs will have three months following the end of the semester abroad in which to finish the course. Any unresolved Incomplete grade will result in a failing grade.

Bear in mind that your grades from abroad matter! This transcript will become a permanent part of your portfolio of academic accomplishments and graduate schools, and professional schools will want a copy so they can review the course titles and grades (they may calculate a composite GPA too). In addition, GPA will be calculated in some honor societies such as Beta Gamma Sigma. 


Course work from an approved Washington University study abroad program will be considered as satisfying the WU residency policy.

Students Studying Abroad on Leave of Absence 

Transcripts from abroad while on a Leave of Absence will not be processed for transfer credit and cannot be used to satisfy Washington University degree requirements. Alternative programs must be pre-approved through the Petition Program process by the Olin Global Programs Advisory Board to be eligible for Washington University credit. Read more about taking a Leave of Absence.

Non-Washington University Students 

Non-Washington University students participating in a Washington University program will receive a Washington University transcript and/or a transcript from an affiliated institution. Academic performance and course work will be evaluated by the home institution.