Approving Foreign Credit

This page is a resource to faculty and staff who review foreign courses and approve foreign transfer credit for GT exchange programs. Below you will find suggestions and best practices, as well as a guide to computing the correct number of foreign tranesfer crdits from our foreign partner schools. OIE thanks you for your support of GT's study abroad programs!

How Much GT Credit is a Course Worth?

When an exchange is started, OIE works with the partner school and the GT Registrar to determine the credit conversion. This ratio is based on contact hours, as well as information such as numbers of weeks in a term, the number of credits for a typical course at the host university, and the average course load per term. This ratio is consistent for all courses at that university, unless otherwise noted.

If a course from abroad does not turn out to equal enough credits for a particular GT course, you have a few options:

  • Award elective credit (i.e. ME 2XXX for 2 credits)
  • Award elective credit and make a note that the student can make up the missing credit(s) of a certain course once student has returned to GT.
  • Make a note that a student can combine two courses to "make" one, possibly yielding extra credits as a result.

If a course from abroad is worth more GT credits than needed to equal a GT course, you can:

  • Assign the extra credit as "Free _XXX"
  • Assign the extra credit in your department (i.e. HTS _XXX)

What Should Students Supply to Help You Evaluate Courses?

Ideally, students would be able to provide detailed syllabi or descriptions for each course they would like to have reviewed well before they depart for their exchange programs. Many exchange partners have online course catalogs that provide at least a course description, and in some cases, full syllabi. If you require a detailed syllabus to evaluate the course, please have the student ask their Exchange Advisor to try to get this from the host university. For some exchange partners, no course information is available to the student or Exchange Advisor before a student arrives at the host university and enrolls in courses. In this case, the student will have to request transfer credit approvals via e-mail from abroad.

How to Complete the Foreign Credit Approval (FCA) Form

Students should provide a copy of OIE’s Foreign Credit Approval (FCA) Form for you to fill in. In the “Courses to be Taken Abroad” section, please fill in the Foreign Course Title, the Foreign Course Number (if there is one), and the number of credits that course is at the host institution. In the “GT Course Equivalent” section, please fill in the equivalent GT course number (e.g. MATH 2403, MATH 2XXX, FREE 4XXX) and number of GT credits, then sign the Signature Required line. If you are the student's academic advisor, you can also sign the "Major School Signature" line. Feel free to make notes on the FCA as necessary.

How to Approve Foreign Credit Over E-mail

The student should utilize the e-mail template provided to them in the FCA instructions prepared by OIE. The student should attach the course syllabus or include a link to the course syllabus if it's available online. Please include the appropriate Exchange Advisor on your response so it can be added to the student's file. (Link to Education Abroad advisors) Please write your evaluation in a format similar to the FCA format, e.g. IE 100 at Host University is equivalent to ISYE 2000. If the course will yield extra credits, please indicate if you would like them to be departmental elective credits or FREE elective credits.

Typically, if a student is requesting foreign credit approval via e-mail from abroad, it is because they did not have sufficient course information available to them ahead of time. In this situation, they usually only have a few days to add/drop courses and are very worried that they will inadvertently register for a course that will not transfer. We advise students to allow up to 2 weeks for a response, and we advise students to courteously explain if they have a particularly urgent request. If you feel that you usually need more than 2 weeks to review transfer credit requests, please inform OIE so we can make a note of this in our FCA instructions. Please do not hesitate to contact OIE if you encounter problems or have concerns with e-mail transfer credit approval requests.

Granting Standing Foreign Credit Approval

On the FCA, you will see two columns on the right-hand side: “Check for One-Time-Only Approval” and “Check for Standing Approval”. Please check one of these boxes when you complete your evaluation. OIE is working with the Registrar to include our exchange partners’ courses in their Transfer Equivalency Database. If you feel that a course could be evaluated similarly in the future, giving it standing approval will allow the Registrar to include the course in the database. Students enrolling in that course in the future would not have to seek individual approval; they would automatically be awarded the credit per the Equivalency Database. The courses in the Equivalency Database will be reviewed every five years.

In addition, if are interested in reviewing courses from a particular partner school in bulk, please contact OIE. We have been working with certain departments over the past few years to give standing approval to courses at strategically chosen partner schools. This effort has resulted in a few positive outcomes:

  • Departments have been able to identify partner schools whose curriculum matches up well with ours, thereby sending students on exchange programs that work particularly well for their majors.
  • Faculty/Staff have to spend less time reviewing individual requests for transfer credit.
  • Students spend less time working on obtaining transfer credit approvals.
  • Participation has increased in the exchange programs which have a large number of courses with standing transfer credit approval.


  • If the contact person in your department changes, please inform OIE.
  • Please send all FCAs to the appropriate Education Abroad advisor.
  • Please do not send transfer credit approvals to the Registrar.
  • For foreign credit transfer, only the FCA or e-mail is needed for the Registrar to process the credits. You do NOT need to complete a non-resident credit report.
  • If you have specific requirements for your department, please inform OIE so we can include this information in our FCA instructions.
  • If you happen to receive a copy of the student's transcript from abroad (after the program ends), please send it to OIE, not to the Registrar.
  • GT study abroad programs including exchange programs are exempt from the 36-hour rule.


Foreign Credit Transfer Instructions