Bates Requirements for Credit

A semester abroad or a year abroad assures you of four or eight course credits, respectively, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. If the following seems familiar, it should.

Credit and Course Load:

  • You must complete the normal full course load for undergraduates at your foreign university or your study abroad program as defined by the Off-Campus Study Committee. At a minimum the credit hours must equate to 15 or 16 US credits. If the normal full course load is three courses, take three.  If it is seven courses, take seven.  Five courses are generally the norm on programs that award 3 semester hours per course.
  • The minimum load is not adequate for full credit.
  • For a listing of the full course load and of the minimum grade requirements, consult the Off-Campus Study Course and Credit guide.
  • No extra credit is awarded – a standard 4 Bates credits per semester are awarded upon completion of the credit/course policy requirements.

Course Selection:

  • Students should email their course selection to Darren Gallant or Jen Hyde to confirm its suitability for general credit.
  • The courses must be appropriate to the liberal arts and sciences as defined by the Bates faculty for the fall or winter semester with one course allowed “at the margin” of what the faculty approves.  (For example: business, pre-law/law, marketing, entrepreneurship.)
  • Courses may not duplicate other courses applied toward the Bates degree.
  • Students must take their examinations at their regularly scheduled times and location.
  • No credit is awarded for courses taken online.
  • At English-language universities at least half the course work must be above the first-year level.
  • Credit is awarded for an internship if it has an academic content, is assessed by a letter grade that appears on the transcript, and represents no more than 25% of the full course load.
  • Students who study in non-English speaking settings must take at least one full-time course in that country’s language, modern or ancient. If the language is taught as a major at Bates, a majority of the course work must be taught in that language unless an exception is granted because of the academic focus of the program.

Grade Requirements:

  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Students must earn the equivalent of a cumulative 3.00 GPA and must pass all courses in order to receive full credit. The grades are not included in your Bates GPA.
  • Students studying through a program provider (IFSA, CIEE, IES, Arcadia, etc…) agree to accept the grade conversions calculated by the program provider.

Transfer of Credit:

  • Students must arrange for an official transcript to be sent directly to the Center for Global Education. Either by mail or email (
  • Students must complete a Bates evaluation at the conclusion of their experience.

Relevant Policies:

  • Students must live with a family or students from the host country when these housing options are available. Only program or school sanctioned housing is allowed, no independent housing. Not all housing options are available to Bates students.
  • Students must attend the pre-departure orientation organized by the Center for Global Education.

The Bates College Off-Campus Study Committee, which is responsible for the awarding of credit, may award partial credit if these conditions are not fully satisfied. The Committee does not award more than four course credits per semester.

Information about applying credit towards the major, minor and GEC may be found here.