FAQs - Academics

Q: What types of courses can I take while overseas?
A: Many of our students study language, culture, and other social sciences.  However, students also study science and business courses as well.  Studying abroad is a great way to augment the course selection that you have at PSU.  Most programs list their course offerings online, as well as in print material. Follow the Courses Link at the bottom of each program page for more information.

Q: How do I earn credit for my Education Abroad experience?
A: You are guaranteed PSU credit for each course you take on a PSU-approved study abroad program. The way these credits fulfill your degree requirements will vary, depending on your major/minor requirements. Your education abroad advisor will help you with this process.  In many cases, you will need to submit the course syllabi to you education abroad advisor and they will liase with PSU departments to identify an appropriate PSU course number for each course you took while studying abroad.

Q: How do my credits transfer?
A: Please note that all credits taken while participating in a PSU-approved education abroad program will be recorded on your PSU transcript as "in-residence" credit.  Credits will be shown on your official PSU transcript upon program completion. You may need to make advanced arrangements with the respective PSU academic department in order for your overseas courses to satisfy major/minor requirements.

Q: What is the difference between semester and quarter credit hours? 
A: 1.5 quarter credits is equivalent to 1 semester credit. So, if you take a 4 semester credit class while studying abroad, it will show on your PSU transcript as a 6 quarter credit course.

Q: How many credits do I have to take while I'm studying abroad?
A: You will be required to take a certain number of credit hours while you are studying abroad.  This will vary on the university and the country in which you study.  At any rate, you will need to comply with any rules for registration so that you maintain legal student status in the country in which you study. 

If you receive financial aid, you will want to maintain full-time status by taking the equivalent of 12 quarter credits per term. If you are on a fall term/semester program, this should not be a problem. You will want to take a minimum of 8 semester credits to equal a full load of 12 quarter credits in the fall (although in most cases, you will be enrolling in more credits than this to maintain legal student status). If you are participating in a winter/spring program, you will want to register for at least 16 semester credits (24 quarter credits at PSU).

If you do not receive financial aid, you may have more flexibility with the number of credits you take per term.  However, in general, you must take enough credits to be considered a full-time student.

Q: Do I have to submit my course syllabi to an Education Abroad Advisor for course evaluation?
A: In most cases, yes, you will need to submit syllabi for each course for evaluation. If you are not sure about this, check with your Education Abroad Advisor.

Q: Are accommodations available to me while I am studying abroad if I have a disability?
A: Accommodations may be available to you while you are studying in another country.  Those accommodations may  need to be different than those you may receive while on PSU's campus.  To find out what accommodations are available to you, please contact your Education Abroad advisor or your DRC Accessibility Specialist (http://www.pdx.edu/drc/accommodations).