Academic planning

When to go

Studying away can fit into almost any degree program, but it’s important to plan ahead! Talk to your academic advisor early about which semester, year or summer will work best for you to study away. Most students study away during their second or third year at UAF.

What to take

Courses to fulfill general education requirements (GERs) and elective courses in your major or minor are generally easier to find while away than courses that can substitute for your major’s specific course requirements (especially for international programs). Consider saving some GERs, especially in the arts, humanities and social sciences, for your time away.

Wondering about taking online UAF classes while away?

We advise avoiding this, but it can be possible. Please consider:

  • You must be enrolled full-time at your host institution. This means the equivalent of at least 12 credits, or possibly more depending on host institution requirements. All students are enrolled in 15 placeholder credits while away, regardless of actual courses taken.
  • Normal UAF course-load rules apply and include placeholder credits. This means you will need special permission to register for more than one three-credit online course in a semester.
  • You’re going to have a whole new world to explore! Adjusting to a new environment, culture and/or language takes time and energy. We recommend taking no more than a normal course load so that you have time to immerse yourself in your new surroundings.

Honors credit

Did you know that by studying away you can earn up to six Honors credits a semester, and up to half the total Honors credits needed for a given level of distinction? Contact the Honors College to learn more.


How to receive credit

Students participating in approved study away programs will receive UAF resident credit for all coursework completed while away. All information on your official host campus transcript, including withdrawals and failures, will be recorded on your UAF academic record, and all host campus grades will be calculated into your UAF GPA.

Access to courses at your host campus is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. You must also meet all prerequisites required by your host campus. When viewing a list of host campus courses, pay attention to whether it is a catalog of all courses offered (some perhaps not every year) or scheduled courses offered in a given term.

Unless your program offers guaranteed placement in a package of courses, we recommend that you choose and get-approved (see below) twice as many courses per term as you will actually take, in case there are time conflicts, capacity restrictions or other issues.

Meet with your primary advisor and the Study Away advisor about your proposed course selections and how they might count towards your degree. As part of your application and pre-departure process, you will work with your advisors to complete a Study Away Coursework Planning Sheet.

You are required to get all of your course selections preapproved for transfer back to UAF before you can be registered in UAF placeholder credits for your program.

A majority of study away credits transfer back as electives with a course code ending in “-96”. These will appear on your UAF transcript as electives in the appropriate department at the appropriate level (for example, BIOL 296, SPAN 396, ECON 496). If the course taken abroad is similar enough to a course offered at UAF, credit may instead be granted for a specific UAF class.

Study Away Program office needs to preapprove:

  • Credits counting toward general education requirements or degree requirements

Major or minor department chair needs to pre-approve:

  • Credits counting as a specific UAF course in the major/minor
  • Credits counting toward major/minor elective requirements

All graduate credits require approval by the student's committee.

If you find you need to change your classes and you are not able to create a workable class schedule from your preapproved courses, contact the Study Away office immediately.

During your time away, your transcript will show that you are registered for 15 placeholder credits each semester (regardless of actual credits taken). These have department codes “EXNS” or “EXUF”. Your grades will be deferred (DF).

National Student Exchange students are responsible for requesting an official transcript be sent to the Study Away office from your host campus. For students on international programs, your transcript is sent automatically in most cases.

We cannot post credits to your account until we receive your official transcript. Sometimes, transcripts can take several months to arrive, and posting of credit after your transcript is received may take a few weeks. During the period before your credits are posted, if you need documentation for satisfactory academic progress, scholarships, prerequisites, etc., the Study Away office can produce a memo in support.

When registering for the next semester at UAF, take into account what requirements have already been met by courses taken while away. These courses may not show up in your Degreeworks yet.


Major-specific considerations

Find suggested programs and special considerations for your major or minor below. All suggested locations offer classes in English, except for some of those recommended for a particular foreign language. This list is a work in progress and does not include all programs where you could take classes in a given major.

  • UAF has six exchange partners in Japan. A certain level of Japanese language proficiency is required for some but not all programs.
  • Note that UAF exchanges to Japan have an early priority application deadline.
  • Check out scholarships available for students studying in Japan.
  • Japanese studies majors are required to study in Japan for at least one semester. It is recommended that this be done in the third/junior year. Prior to studying abroad in Japan, Japanese studies majors must have:
    • Completed at least JPN 202 or its equivalent
    • A minimum 3.0 GPA in Japanese language courses
    • The recommendation of the Japanese language faculty.