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An Academic Pursuit

Study abroad is primarily an academic pursuit at Vanderbilt and it should be seen as an integrated part of a student's course of study. Understanding how courses and credit work during a term overseas is crucial to finding a program with the best personal and academic fit.

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All Vanderbilt Global Education Office programs offer direct credit. Direct credit means hours and grades will count in the Vanderbilt record and appear on the Vanderbilt transcript.

Courses taken abroad on GEO programs can count towards graduation requirements, major(s), minor(s), and as hours towards graduation. Individual courses do not count toward AXLE requirements, unless they have College of Arts & Science course numbers and titles; such courses are typically found only on Vanderbilt In and A&S Maymester programs. Foreign courses cannot be taken pass/fail and students may not retake classes abroad that they have already taken on campus, and vice versa.

Course Evaluation Process

To find out how foreign credit will count back at Vanderbilt, VU faculty evaluate all foreign courses through the Office of the University Registrar's course evaluation process. Faculty decide based on course information if courses can counts towards majors, minors, requirements, or graduation.

Students generally have courses evaluated after they have been accepted to a program, but before they go abroad. Lists of previously evaluated courses are available for each program. For many programs, especially those where students are directly enrolled in foreign universities, these lists only represent what Vanderbilt students have had evaluated in the past; they are not exhaustive lists of available classes.

For students who have specific courses or requirements to fulfill while overseas, course evaluations in advance of completing an application to study abroad may be necessary. Students should talk to their study abroad advisor in these situations.

Available Classes Abroad

The diversity of GEO's program options represents a great diversity of courses available overseas. Many of our programs feature direct enrollment where the student may choose from nearly all offered courses at the given university. Some programs focus on language and cultural studies where the courses offerings will be fewer, but more thematically focused.

Students from interdisciplinary majors and majors unique to Vanderbilt should remember to think in broad topics when finding a program with course offerings to suit their needs. While Human Organization and Development will likely be unavailable as a subject overseas, students may find courses in areas such as management, sociology, psychology that could count towards that major (pending the course evaluation process).