Academic Planning for Study Abroad

As you plan your study abroad program, please remember to consider academic and degree requirements and discuss options with the Rutgers Global–Study Abroad team, academic advisors, and faculty. It is important to link your learning abroad experience with your degree program at Rutgers. One important first step is to consult the Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database.

Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database  

The Rutgers Global–Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database is a searchable index of study abroad courses that have been reviewed and approved by Rutgers faculty for equivalent credit at Rutgers. Please use the database as a reference when you are meeting with your school or department advisor, especially in regards to prerequisites and eligibility requirements. 

Search the Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database

See the Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database FAQs below for more information.

Study Abroad Course Equivalency Form 

The Study Abroad Course Equivalency Form will be your tool to structure your academic planning.

Review the Study Abroad Course Equivalency Form

See the Study Abroad Course Equivalency Form FAQs below for more information.  

How Does Study Abroad Registration Work?

Once you are accepted into a study abroad program and pay the non-refundable deposit to financially commit participation in the program, Rutgers Global-Study Abroad (RGSA) will email you instructions on the registration process.

Below you'll find the general outline and process of the registration process based on the program length.

1. Semester-Long Programs (Fall or Spring): At Rutgers, RGSA will register students with a 12-credit place holder that begins with course number 01:959:xxx and this also ensures your full-time status at Rutgers. Once we receive your transcript from the university abroad, your grades and credits will be updated. 

Students are encouraged to register for Rutgers courses during pre-registration once WebReg is open so that you have the Rutgers courses needed in case you have last-minute changes in your plan. Later, RGSA will replace your RU courses with the 01:959:XXX placeholder once RGSA registration window opens.

RGSA’s registration window for the Fall term usually starts at the end of June and Spring is at the end of November.

Registration processes at the partner universities abroad varies. Some partners have an open registration before arrival and others have registration when students arrive. Please consult with a study abroad advisor for details pertaining to your destination.

2. Short-term (Summer or Winter): RGSA will register students for the 01:959:xxx study abroad course and the number of credits depends on the program. 

RGSA's registration window for the summer will start in April and for the winter in late November. 

If you are not participating in a short-term faculty led program but at a partner university, note that registration processes at partner universities can vary. Some partners have an open registration before arrival and others have registration when students arrive. Please consult with a study abroad advisor for details pertaining to your destination.

* Besides your study abroad courses, students can also take additional Rutgers summer or winter courses as long as you do not exceed the maximum credits allowed, in which case students must register themselves.

3. Embedded Fall and Spring: Embedded study abroad courses are custom designed, specialized study abroad courses for certain Rutgers communities during the fall and spring. Once students have paid the non-refundable deposit, students will receive special instructions on the registration process. Some of these programs require registering for 2 courses (3-credit seminar and 1-credit study abroad experience course) so please read the program page for further information. 

Posting Study Abroad Credits on Your Rutgers Transcript 

For most study abroad programs at Rutgers, it takes approximately 6-12 weeks for the partner university to send an official transcript to Rutgers Global–Study Abroad. Upon receiving the transcript, the Study Abroad office will work with the Rutgers Registrar's office to post the course, the credits, and grades (based on the course equivalency form) to your Rutgers transcript.  It is your responsibility to check your Rutgers transcript and the Degree Navigator to ensure that your study abroad courses are appropriately reflected. If you have any issues, please email

Study Abroad Academic Policies 

Please review the course equivalency guidelines for students.

More Information about Study Abroad Academic Planning

Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database FAQs

If I find an equivalent course in the database that will not expire by the time I study abroad, am I allowed to take the course and guaranteed to earn Rutgers equivalent credits? +

Not necessarily. A student’s eligibility to take an equivalent course depends on whether you have the Rutgers equivalent pre-requisites and the partner university’s approval. Rutgers Global encourages students to seek academic advising from your schools in regards to pre-requisites and other eligibility requirements. If given the approval to take the course, then you will be guaranteed to earn Rutgers equivalent credit with a passing grade. 

Are courses in the database guaranteed to be offered by the partner institution? +

Not necessarily. Partner universities can’t guarantee enrollment in their classes. Partner institutions adjust course offerings periodically and each partner has its own policy on what type of courses are available for exchange students. In addition, the class may fill up or there could be a timetable conflict. Please be sure to have 4-5 first choices and 4-5 second choices as a backup-up plan. Please look into the host institution’s course listing for the specific term you will be studying abroad as the authoritative registration guide.  

What if one course at a partner institution is approved by more than one Rutgers department? +

In these cases, you will see multiple entries in the database approved by different Rutgers schools or departments. For example, one same course at a partner institution can be approved by New Brunswick School of Engineering and Camden School of Arts and Sciences. While the same course can be used to fulfill multiple graduation requirements if approved, a student can only earn credit/GPA once for the same course.  

Am I restricted to take the courses listed in the database only? +

No. You certainly can take courses not yet listed in the database. The database is an evolving project and more courses are being added to the database each semester. If you wish to enroll in a course that is not in the database, you will need to go through the course equivalency process.   If approved for a course equivalency by the department, Rutgers Global will add the course to the database. We appreciate each faculty member and student who helps to grow the database.  

What does the “Approved Through” column in the database mean? +

If a course is noted as “approved through Fall 2027”, this means a student must have taken and completed the course by Fall 2027 for the equivalency to be considered valid. Students intending to take the courses after the approval time period must seek re-approval by filing out a new Course Equivalency Form (CEF). 

What if a course at a partner institution only partially matches the information in the database? +

For a course to be reflected on a student’s Rutgers transcript, the partner institution’s course must match the course number, course title and the number of credits noted in the database or the Course Equivalency Form. If the course title changes or the number of credits are adjusted, a re-evaluation will be necessary. Students are responsible for making sure information in this database directly corresponds to host university enrollment. 

What are the differences between study abroad credits and transfer credits? +

Study abroad credits earned through Rutgers Global-approved study abroad partners are regarded as Rutgers credits and are guaranteed to count towards the overall requirements of Rutgers degree. Study abroad grades are also counted in the student’s term and cumulative GPA. Transfer credits are credits earned by Rutgers students through courses offered by non-approved Rutgers institutions. Transfer credits, if approved transferrable, do not count towards Rutgers GPA.

If a study abroad course is taught in a language other than English, can Rutgers students still earn study abroad credits? +

Yes, study abroad courses taught in languages other than English will count as credits earned towards the graduation total. If the course is evaluated as a Rutgers equivalent course by the undergraduate dean/chair, you can use it towards your major, minor or CORE requirements. If the syllabi provided by the partner institution is not in English, the study abroad office can provide translation before students submit the syllabi for department evaluation. 

Study Abroad Course Equivalency Form FAQs

Do I still need to fill out a Course Equivalency Form if I only want to use my study abroad courses as free electives for graduation?  +

Yes, you need to complete the form with each class you are planning to enroll in (including back-up classes). In the APPROVER’S SIGNATURE Box write “for graduation credits only.” If you see the class in the database, write “in database” in the “Approver Signature” box. 

Where can I find the Course Equivalency Form? +

The Course Equivalency Form is located in your Rutgers Global--Study Abroad application in Terra Dotta. You can also see a sample of the form here.

Is there a deadline for me to submit the Course Equivalency Form?  +

You can submit multiple copies of the course equivalency form up until the time you depart for your program. If while abroad you need to make last minute changes, as you might during the add/drop period, you can submit a new form at that time. Sometime different schools also have their own specific deadlines so always remember to consult your school’s study abroad advisor if there is one available.  

What is the typical process to seek course equivalency approval? +

Typically, if you need a course equivalency approval, you need to fill out the course equivalency form, attach the partner course syllabi, and then email the relevant academic department. The academic department will let you know if the class is approved for equivalency or not. After you get the signatures, you submit the signed forms to 

To give an example: if you are a SAS student and you need a math course and a history course equivalency evaluated, you need to email the math department and the history department respectively.