Study Abroad Guide (PDF)
Credit for Smith-approved study abroad programs will be transferred according to the following rules:
Preapproval to study abroad
Credit toward the Smith degree will be accepted for satisfactory academic work done at a foreign university or on a study abroad program only if the student has been preapproved to participate. Credit for study abroad will not be given retroactively.
Once you begin the semester, you may find that some or all of the courses for which you were preapproved have changed. The Smith College Office for International Study will work with you to help ensure that the new courses you choose may be approved for Smith credit. Use the Course Change Form to seek approval for new courses. Contact the assistant dean for international study if you have questions.
Full course load
Students must take a full course load, as defined by Smith College, to receive credit equivalent to a semester or a year at Smith. The minimum number of courses required by a program may not be sufficient to earn 16 credits per semester from Smith. Any questions about the number of credits or courses that constitute a full load should be directed to the Office for International Study.
Total credit transfer limit
Students on Smith-approved study abroad programs normally earn 16 Smith credits for one semester, or 32 Smith credits for a full year, for successful completion of a full load of courses abroad. (Smith programs in Florence, Geneva, Hamburg and Paris may have a different total credit amount.) In exceptional cases, with written permission of the program director abroad and approval of the class dean and the Office for International Study, students taking courses in excess of a normal load may earn a maximum of 20 credits for a semester and 40 credits for the academic year.
Courses ineligible for Smith credit
A course taken abroad that duplicates the content of one for which you have already received credit at Smith may not count for degree credit unless explicitly approved by a Smith department.
Preprofessional courses such as most communications, speech, business, management, marketing, media, nutrition, library science, law, some journalism courses and some computer science courses normally will not receive credit at Smith.
Distance learning and internet-delivered courses are ineligible for transfer credit.
Performance courses will be awarded credit equivalent to their value at Smith (2 credits for DAN and 1 credit for ESS). A maximum of 24 music performance, 12 dance performance and 4 ESS credits can be counted toward the Smith degree; courses taken abroad that bring the student's total performance credits above these limits will not receive credit. Group performance courses (choir, orchestra, etc.) will not receive credit.
Language study requirement
Smith requires that students either study the local language of the host country or take courses taught in the local language of the host country during each semester abroad (when such courses are offered through the program).
Credit for independent study/directed research
An independent study course may be undertaken abroad only when it is part of the curriculum of the host institution or program. Students wishing to earn major credit for an independent study must receive preapproval from a faculty adviser in the major department by completing the Independent Study for Major Credit Application, available in the Office for International Study.
Upon the student's return, the faculty adviser agrees to review and assess the written work for major credit and report the results to the Office for International Study.
Credit for internship course
Students must seek preapproval to earn credit for academic courses associated with internships. Such courses must meet the academic standards of Smith College. Students who wish to earn credit for an internship course on a Smith-approved study abroad program must submit a detailed syllabus with their Smith Study Abroad credit application.
Grades for academic standing
Grades for work completed on the Smith programs in Geneva, Hamburg, Paris and Florence are included in the Smith GPA and calculations for honors. Grades for work completed on other Smith-approved study abroad programs are recorded on the Smith transcript but will not be included in GPA or honors calculations.
Students who fail courses abroad and incur a credit shortage can be placed on academic probation for failure to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. A student returning to Smith with a credit shortage must confer with her class dean.
Latin honors distribution requirement
Courses taken abroad may be counted toward the distribution requirement for Latin honors. The first semester of an introductory language does not count toward the foreign language distribution requirement unless it is followed by the second semester of that language.
Academic rules abroad
Smith students are bound by the rules and procedures of the study abroad program and any host institution, including those for registration, course load, dropping and adding courses and exercising any satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading option.
Rescinding off-campus study status
Students on Smith-approved, two-semester programs considering returning after one semester should see Rescinding a Leave on the Class Deans website. Students wishing to rescind their study abroad leave should notify the Office for International Study and their class dean in writing. If a student rescinds her study abroad leave in order to register for classes in Northampton, that decision will be binding and she will not normally be eligible to have off-campus study status reinstated.
Leave may be rescinded until the first day of classes each semester; however, the student is responsible for any nonrefundable fees and deposits already paid to the study abroad program on her behalf. The student is also responsible for contacting housing to request a room.
Students who decide to withdraw from Smith's year-long programs in Florence, Geneva, Hamburg or Paris are not eligible to rescind their leave abroad.
A student who withdraws from her study abroad program after the program has started is responsible for any nonrefundable fees and withdrawal fees charged by the study abroad program and may not return to Smith that semester if classes have already begun.
Student evaluations of study abroad programs
All study abroad students are required to submit an evaluation of their study abroad program to Smith at the conclusion of the program. Transcripts will not be forwarded to the registrar's office for posting until an evaluation is received by the Office for International Study.