Contact Us
Theresa Cann
Assistant Dean, Director of International Education
Phone: 610-526-5375 Undergraduate Dean's Office
Eugenia Chase Guild Hall, Lower Level

Academic Policy

A student is required to carry a full-time course load while studying abroad.  Each Bryn Mawr course (one unit) carries an equivalent of four semester hours or six quarter hours at other institutions.  Because of differences in the academic calendar or course weighting, the number of courses that constitute a full-time load at an overseas institution may be different from the number of courses that constitute a full-time load at Bryn Mawr. The maximum number of Bryn Mawr-equivalent credits that may be awarded for a semester of study abroad is five units, and for a full academic year, the maximum number is ten units.

To earn a semester of credit—four Bryn Mawr units—you will need to complete 15 or 16 semester-hours or between 22 and 24 quarter-hours during your study abroad.  For example, if each course offered by a study abroad program carries three semester hours, you will need to take five courses to receive a full semester of Bryn Mawr credit.  A student taking a full load for only one term of a three-term year will receive three Bryn Mawr units; a full load for two terms will receive five units; and a full load for three terms will receive eight units. Students should not take courses graded as pass/fail while abroad.

It is the student’s responsibility to know the required number of courses they must take overseas before leaving Bryn Mawr and how many Bryn Mawr equivalent credits will be awarded upon their return.  They should discuss any question they may have with the Director of International Education, their dean, or their Major Advisor.  In cases where a full-time course load for a term abroad is the equivalent of only three Bryn Mawr course units, a student will still be charged regular Bryn Mawr tuition.

Courses used to fulfill requirements in a student’s major

All courses taken abroad to fulfill major requirements must be approved by the student’s Major Advisor.  Be sure to work out a tentative plan of courses to take upon returning to Bryn Mawr. Courses in subjects or departments not offered at Bryn Mawr may need approval from a related Bryn Mawr department to assure their eligibility for credit.  For example, Geography courses might be approved by Growth and Structure of Cities, Geology, or Political Science. 

Foreign Language Study While Abroad

To enhance cross-cultural understanding, a student is expected to enroll in the language course offered by the study abroad program unless they receive a waiver.  If you attend a program where the instruction is in English but the local language is not English, you must study the local language.  For example, if a student participates in the DIS program in Denmark, they are required to register for Danish.

Transferring Credits from Abroad

In order to transfer credits to Bryn Mawr, you must earn a "C" grade of 2.0 or above.  "C-" (minus) grades are not acceptable for transfer credits. Courses that lie outside the liberal arts will not be transferable (e.g., Business, Communications, Fashion Design, etc.).  Both units attempted and units earned are recorded on the Bryn Mawr transcript.  In cases where a grade below a C or its equivalent are earned, the Units Attempted will display the count of units taken and Units Earned will display the number of units awarded in transfer credit.

Grades Earned Abroad and Bryn Mawr GPA

Grades earned abroad, which are judged by individual instructors according to local practice, are not included in a student’s Bryn Mawr Grade Point Average.  Only the number of transferred credits is recorded on the Bryn Mawr transcript.  Nonetheless, you will be asked to submit your study abroad transcript when you apply to graduate or professional schools, which will certainly take the study abroad grades into consideration when evaluating your application.

Academic Honor Code

  • You should observe the laws of the country in which you are studying.
  • You should observe all academic and disciplinary regulations in effect at the host program or institution. 
  • As a study abroad student, you remain concurrently enrolled at Bryn Mawr while abroad, and are therefore expected to also follow the Bryn Mawr Honor Code and serve as a representative of the College.

Leaving Your Program Early/Incomplete Coursework/Exams

You are expected to complete all assigned work and exams before leaving the study abroad program at the end of the semester.  If you must leave your program early due to medical or personal reasons you cannot control or foresee, you must do the following:

  • Consult the on-site program staff.
  • Consult with Theresa Cann, the Director of International Education, and/or your dean.  The overseas program or host institution may consult with the Director of International Education before deciding whether to make an exception and if so, what arrangements need to be made.
  • Obtain written permission from the overseas program director granting the early departure.
  • Obtain written permission from Bryn Mawr, from either Theresa Cann, the Director of International Education, or your dean.

If you leave your program early for personal or medical reasons, Bryn Mawr will treat you as if you have taken a medical leave of absence and will expect you to apply for readmission and secure medical clearance before returning to Bryn Mawr. 

Transfer Students and Study Abroad

Students who have transferred to Bryn Mawr from another institution must earn a minimum of 24 academic units at Bryn Mawr.  Seven out of the last 16 units have to be completed in residence (registered at Bryn Mawr).  If you transfer to Bryn Mawr after one year or more elsewhere, and you believe that study abroad is an essential part of your academic program, you should consult with your dean and major advisor about whether you have grounds to ask for an exception to this rule. If, however, a semester abroad is not possible, you might consider participating in a summer study abroad program, an internship, or a volunteer program overseas.  A student maintaining excellent academic records may apply as a senior for prestigious postgraduate fellowships to continue their studies abroad for a year or more.

Leave of Absence and Study Abroad

After a leave of absence for medical or academic reasons, it is usually deemed necessary to spend one semester back on campus before being permitted to study abroad.  If you need to take a leave of absence for personal reasons, plan ahead and discuss with your dean, the Director of International Education, or your major advisor any plan to study abroad immediately after returning from leave.