Academic Matters

Students can elect to study abroad for a semester at any point during their academic career at Marymount with the exception of the final semester before they graduate. With a wide variety of programs and courses available, students have the ability to take liberal arts core, major-related, and/or elective credits abroad.

As students develop their academic and career goals, it is important that they clearly articulate their intention to study abroad to relevant faculty and staff during academic advising and career counseling appointments. By doing so, students will be in the best position to ensure that their international experience will engage their career interests, while also fulfilling the requirements of their degree program.

Pre-Approval For Academic Credit

With the exception of Marymount Faculty-led programs, students must receive pre-approval from their academic advisor or dean’s office for any type of course they intend to take while abroad. To complete this process most effectively, it is important that students discuss the following with their academic advisor in advance of selecting a program: (a) when they plan to go abroad and (b) what type of courses they will need to take while abroad in order to stay on track for graduation and satisfy their remaining requirements.

Once students have chosen a study abroad program that meets their academic, personal and financial needs, they will need to sit down with their academic advisor to select the specific courses that they will register for through their program. Students should confer with their host university or study abroad program provider for a list of possible courses, course descriptions, and course syllabi prior to setting up this meeting with their academic advisor so that the process of determining Marymount course equivalencies will be most efficient.

During this course pre-approval meeting, it is highly recommended that students ask their academic advisors to provide pre-approval for a few additional “back-up” courses in case it happens that a student is unable to register for a specific class. This way, if a student is unable to get in to their first choice course, they still know that registering for their “back-up” course will provide them with the same equivalent credit upon their return to Marymount.

ALL final course selections (including “back-ups”) and their Marymount equivalencies should be listed on a Study Abroad Course Approval Form. Once this form is signed by the student and the appropriate faculty member/dean, it should be turned in to the CGE so that it can be added to the student’s file.

Marymount Credit vs. Transfer Credit

With the exception of the course credit provided through Global Classroom Series Programs, the MU Short-term Summer Programs, and MU Graduate Programs, all students will receive TRANSFER CREDIT for the courses they successfully complete while abroad. NOTE: Successful completion means receiving a grade of "C" or better in each of the classes taken.  If a student receives lower than a grade of "C" in any of the courses they take while abroad, they will not receive any credit for that course at Marymount.

Transfer credit does not factor into your Marymount GPA, nor will the titles of the individual courses you took while abroad be listed on your official Marymount transcript once you return. Upon receiving the official transcript from your host institution, the Marymount registrar will input the Marymount course equivalencies that were decided upon by your academic advisor/dean prior to your departure on to your Marymount transcript. Even though the grade obtained for the course while abroad will not factor into your Marymount GPA, the credit will count towards the overall number of credits required for your graduation. 

Students should know that there is no single typical timeline for your credit to be posted to your Marymount University transcript. The amount of time it will take varies widely based on country and by program. It could be several weeks to a few months after your return before your grades are posted. If you plan to graduate within one semester of completing your study abroad, inform the Center for Global Education, and your academic advisor so that the processing of credit can be expedited.

Maximum Transfer Credit Policy for Study Abroad

Many students study abroad for a semester and return to campus eager to go abroad again.  While students can certainly study abroad more than one semester during their time at Marymount, it is essential to pay attention to the following policies on credit obtained while studying abroad:

  • Marymount will accept a maximum of 64 credit hours from freshman- and sophomore-level courses and an additional 20 credit hours from junior- or senior-level courses.
  • Marymount University has a 36 credit residency requirement, meaning no student may apply more than 84 hours of transfer credit toward a degree. 
  • Credit obtained through study abroad programs may be used toward Core requirements, major requirements, and/or elective requirements. However, study abroad credit does not count toward the 60 credits that students must complete at Marymount University in oder to receive graduation honors.
  • Many academic departments require their students to complete a certain number of their major requirements at Marymount.  For example, BBA students may only transfer two courses towards their specialty requirements when they study abroad.  Speak with your department advisor for more information.

As a result of the above policies, students must pay close attention to both the level and number of courses that they have already transferred in to Marymount -- whether it be from another institution in the DC-area or from a previous semester abroad -- when determining how many of the courses they take abroad will count towards their graduation requirements.

When You Return Home

To receive credit for the courses you successfully completed while abroad, Marymount will need an official transcript from your host institution or program provider displaying coursework, grades and credit amounts. (This does not apply if you studied through a Marymount faculty-led program) If your host program asks you to fill out a form to request an official transcript or is unsure of where to send the transcript upon completion of your program, the address is:

Attn: Victor Betancourt

Center for Global Education, Rowley Hall 1004
Marymount University
2807 N. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22207