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Subjects of Study

There is a wide range of courses available to take while studying abroad. Course selection varies by program. You may take core curriculum courses, courses for your major and minor, elective courses, or a combination of all.  To search for a particular academic field, click here and peruse the "Subjects of Study" box. 

Course Articulation

The course articulation is the process that determines the UAB equivalent for each foreign course you will take. Course articulation is a vital component of planning your experience. This process starts when you submit a syllabus for each course you intend to take while abroad to the Office of Education Abroad. Then the Office of Education Abroad works with the UAB Registrar, UAB department chairs, and UAB advisors to determine the UAB course that is equivalent to each of the courses you intend to take while abroad. The course articulation process commonly takes approximately one month to complete.

We highly recommended that you contact the Office of Education Abroad Program Assistant to begin the course articulation process at least one month before the application deadline for your selected program. If you don't begin the articulation process early enough prior to going abroad, you will not know how, or if, your courses abroad will count toward completion of a UAB degree.  To see a list of abroad courses UAB students have already taken on a particular program and what the UAB course equivalents are for those courses, go to that program's webpage and click the "Courses Offered" link near the top of the page.  For example, click here for the list of pre-articulated courses at the UAB Exchange in Australia (Sydney).  

If you need help selecting courses to take abroad, please make an appointment to meet with the Office of Education Abroad Advisor

Credit Posting

The process of grade posting varies depending on the program type:

UAB Exchanges are programs for which the Office of Education Abroad has established an exchange agreement with a university abroad. You earn direct UAB course credit. On exchanges, you are usually mainstreamed into regular classes with the student body at the university abroad. 

UAB Affiliate Programs are co-organized by the Office of Education Abroad in cooperation with an education abroad provider and/or a foreign university. You receive a transcript from the foreign university or U.S. university of record and have transfer credit appear on your UAB transcript. UAB affiliate programs include the UAB/USAC and UAB/ISA programs listed here.

UAB Faculty-Led Programs are UAB courses that are developed and taught by UAB faculty and have a field trip that takes place far from campus, usually outside of the United States.The field trips are typically about 1 to 2 weeks in duration.The entire class, faculty leader and students, travel together. You earn direct UAB course credit.

UAB Internship/Practicum Courses Abroad are UAB courses which involve an internship or practicum, allowing you to actually working abroad in a company or organization related to the your area of study, and earn UAB course credit. You earn direct UAB course credit.

Credit Conversion

Foreign universities often use a different system of measuring course credit than UAB.  As a result, foreign credits often do not equal the same number of credits as the same course at UAB.  For example, most Western European countries use the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), while UAB uses the U.S. semester credit hour (SCH) system.  To convert ECTS credits into UAB (SCH) credits, multiply the ECTS credits times 0.5 (or divide by half).  Below is a guide to help translate ECTS credits into UAB credits.  

ECTS credits UAB credits
3 1.5
4 2
6 3
8 4
10 5
30 15


Grade Posting

All grades earned while abroad will be posted to your UAB transcript and included in GPA calculations. Letter grades are used rather than pass/fail marks. In all cases, you must participate fully in all course activities and meet all stated course requirements. Auditing of any course abroad is not permitted. 

If the transcripts are received from a foreign university, UAB follows the guidelines set by World Education Services to convert the foreign grade to a US equivalent grade. World Education Services is an internationally-recognized credentials evaluation agency.

Study Abroad Indicator Class

All students studying abroad will be enrolled in a study abroad indicator class that serves as a placeholder class while you are abroad. The class code is INTL 100 and will include the name of the country that you are studying abroad in. While you are abroad, the course will include full time hours of non-billable credits. Once you are back and we have received your transcripts, the study abroad indicator class will be changed to 0 credit hours and a grade of P will be given. Please note that this is not your study abroad credit.  You will earn a letter grade for your study abroad credit once your transcripts are received.


Courses taken on UAB Exchanges, UAB/USAC programs, UAB/ISA programs, U.S. - UK Fulbright Commission Summer Institutes, U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Program, Clinton Scholarship at the American University in Dubai, UAB Faculty-Led Programs, and UAB Internship/Practicum Courses Abroad will satisfy the UAB residency requirement. Contact the Office of Education Abroad Advisor to ensure your Graduation Planning System record is noted accordingly.

Individual UAB academic departments may have additional requirements. The residency requirement is listed in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog: 2017-2018, page 59.  

Courses taken on non-supported programs may not be used to satisfy the residency requirement.

The Office of Education Abroad is a member of the Forum for Education Abroad (Forum), Institute of International Education, and Association of International Educators (NAFSA). The Office of Education Abroad is in the process of updating our operations to meet or exceed the Forum's Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 5th Edition. The Office of Education Abroad supports programs that are of high quality and requires students to obtain special permission to participate on non-supported programs.

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