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Units Earned Abroad

Important: 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.

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 the Registrar's Office.

Courses that are equivalent to less than .9 units can be transferred as 1 full unit; however, fewer than five of such courses will be counted as full units. Please check with Brianne Meagher in the Registrar's Office to determine how your courses may transfer.