Many students fear that studying abroad will push back their intended graduation date. However, with proper planning and attention to the academic offerings on different programs, many students are able to fit in a study abroad program without delaying graduation. Each program offers different courses and each student is at a different place in their academic career. That is why it is important to pay close attention to the courses offered abroad and work with advisors to make sure the courses taken will fit into a study plan.
Before searching for the perfect program, students should visit their academic advisors to understand what courses they still need in order to graduate. Specifically, students should understand the major, minor and general education courses they still need so when they are searching for a study abroad program they know which courses to be seeking.
Study Abroad Program Advising
The staff at SAIE will work with students to outline study abroad options that might fit the student’s general requirement and study abroad objective. Ultimately, it is up to the student which program they will apply for, but SAIE strongly recommend that students select a program that will meet both their academic plan and personal interest for a successful study abroad experience.
Study Abroad Academic Advising
To get courses approved for major or minor course students must visit the appropriate faculty or staff advisor and department chair in which the course is offered to obtain approval signature using the Course Equivalence Form. To get courses approved for General Education courses the student will need to go to the University Advising Center to get the course approved by completing an Academic Petition. Please note, in some cases, GE course approvals must go through a petitions committee which can take a few additional weeks.
During the process of course approval, students are encouraged to present the following:
Study abroad program information
University through which the course will be taken
Course descriptions (or a syllabus if available)
Course equivalency form (major or minor only)
Name and Contact information for the Study Abroad Office
Transfer vs. Resident Credits
Resident vs. transfer credit can be a determining factor when selecting a study abroad program. This is more of an issue for transfer students, and in order to earn a degree from Fresno State, there are a required number of units that must be completed in residence.
Resident credit applies to your residency requirement at Fresno State. Even though these units were taken abroad, the following types of programs typically award resident credit that will show up on your Fresno State transcript as if you never left campus:
CSU International Programs
USAC (semester based programs only)
Faculty Led Programs
This is credit that applies to your degree requirements at Fresno State, but will not count as residency units. For these programs only the number of units will show on the Fresno State Transcript, but approved courses will be coded on the student's Degree Progress Report (DPR).
Fresno State Exchange Programs
USAC (summer/winter programs)
Students are strongly recommended to get courses pre-approved before studying abroad. Students who have changes or who do not complete course approvals before leaving on a study abroad program, may have the option to complete the approval process upon completion of the study abroad program; however, it should be noted that by waiting until after the program, students run the risk of not having the course satisfy a Fresno State degree requirement.