Units Earned Abroad

Transcripts are reviewed upon receipt and students who were under-enrolled may be required to repay some or all of the financial aid received. Students typically take between 4 and 5 units per semester. Undergraduates are required to take a minimum equivalent of 3.5 units and can take a maximum of 5.5 units per semester abroad. Under-enrolling in sufficient credits abroad may have serious implications for immigration, Richmond financial aid or graduation.

Programs vary greatly in their academic structure. At some universities abroad, three courses is a full load, while at others a full load may be as many as 8-9 courses. The UR program-specific online brochure pages explain how courses are weighted and list the normal course load for each semester abroad program. Transfer work is recorded on the UR transcript as a literal translation (0.9 units, 1.2 units, etc.) of the unit conversions. The equivalent grade of C or better is required for transfer credit. No transfer credit is given for pass/fail courses. Credit is determined for each individual course, rather than by the full-semester load.

Failure to earn enough course units (3.5 transfer minimum in transfer) while on a semester study abroad program is subject to review by the student's College Dean and may result in academic probation or other academic conditions. Probation and academic conditions will be applied for the semester in which the abroad transcript is received. Students must earn the equivalent grade of "C" or better for each semester course taken abroad in order for a course to transfer. Information regarding grade and credit conversion can be found on the relevant UR program abroad brochure page in the "Academics" section. For more information, review the University's semester abroad credit transfer policy. If at any time a student believes that one or more courses may not transfer back, or a student is struggling with academic, personal, or medical issues, they are encouraged to reach out to the support system at their host university or program abroad, and to contact the University of Richmond for support and guidance. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact your study abroad advisor or your College Dean's office

Transferring Hours to Units

"First Five" Rule

Over their entire career at Richmond, students may choose five 3-hour courses that will transfer as 1 full unit rather than .9 units. This adds roughly .5 units total to a student’s transcript. The five courses can include study abroad courses or domestic transfer courses. IB/AP transfer credit does not count toward the five-course limit.

Courses that are deemed equivalent to 3 hours also are included in this first five rule. For example, in the ECTS system, 6-ECTS credit courses may transfer as 1 full unit up to the first five.

Students who take more than five 3-hour classes can choose which ones are assigned the full and which ones transfer as .9 units. The Registrar's Office will try to assign the full unit to courses that have been approved for major/minor/field of study credit when credit is transferred. If you would like to reassign the full unit credit to another course, contact Kim Duren in the Registrar's Office.