Academic Policy

Full-time course load while studying abroad: Students are 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—students need to complete 15 or 16 semester-hours or between 22 and 24 quarter-hours during their study abroad. For example, if each course offered by a study abroad program carries three semester hours, the student 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.

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 Global 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, the 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. 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. Students should be sure to work out a tentative plan of courses to take upon returning to Bryn Mawr.

Foreign Language Study While Abroad: To enhance cross-cultural understanding, a student is expected to enroll in the language course offered by their study abroad program. If the student attends a program where the instruction is in English, but the local language is not English, they 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: To transfer credits to Bryn Mawr, students 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.). Students should not take courses graded as pass/fail while abroad. 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. Students typically are asked to submit their study abroad transcript when applying to graduate or professional schools, which take the study abroad grades into consideration when evaluating the application.

Academic Honor Code

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

Incomplete Coursework/Exams/Leaving Your Program Early: Students are expected to complete all assigned work and exams before leaving the study abroad program at the end of the semester.  If medical or personal reasons a student cannot control or foresee prevent them from completing all work for a course, the student is subject to the extension policies, if any, of the program. The expectation is that the student will work directly with the program and, if appropriate, the instructor, to make a plan for completion within the program guidelines.  NOTE: Although some programs allow “resit” exams (an exam that someone takes again, usually because they did not do well the first time) that must be taken at the program site, study abroad students are not usually eligible nor is it feasible for students to take a resit exam. Bryn Mawr does not offer resit exams.

If a student must leave their program early due to medical or personal reasons they cannot control or foresee and cannot complete their coursework even with extensions, they must do the following:

  • Consult the on-site program staff.
  • Consult with their dean. The overseas program or host institution may consult with the Director of Global 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 the Director of Global Education or their dean.

If a student leaves their program early for personal or medical reasons, Bryn Mawr will treat them as if they have taken a medical leave of absence and will expect them to apply for re-enrollment before resuming studies at Bryn Mawr, and, if appropriate, secure medical clearance.

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 a student needs to take a leave of absence for personal reasons, they should plan ahead and discuss with their dean, the Director of Global Education, or their major advisor any plan to study abroad immediately after returning from leave.


Contact Us

Study Abroad

Tracy Weber
Director of Global Education
Undergraduate Dean's Office
Eugenia Chase Guild Hall, Lower Level
Phone: 610-526-7352
Fax: 610-526-7560
Office Hours:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Study Abroad Student Coordinator (SASC) Office Hours:
Monday | 1-2:30 p.m. Kayla Thompson
Monday | 3-5 p.m. Lyla Poonawala
Tuesday | 1-4 p.m. Kayla Thompson
Wednesday | 2:30-5 p.m. Lyla Poonawala

For Bryn Mawr Study Abroad Students:
Click here to see my availability and schedule an advising appointment.