For Non-Penn State Programs

Non-Penn State Programs Preparation Checklist

Beginning fall 2016 and thereafter, credits earned abroad during a fall or spring semester at a non-PSU program will NOT be accepted toward any Smeal degree requirements including general education and electives.

To attend a non-Penn State program, you must work with your Academic Adviser and the Undergraduate Admissions Office to complete your planning. If you need a signature to give you permission to study through another institution, please visit the Admissions Office. They are the office authorized to accept credits from outside PSU. 

The following paperwork should be reviewed and completed the semester before you leave for your abroad experience. Please note that education abroad planning is a complex process and may require you to meet with individual offices more than once before you leave.

Transfer Course Evaluations 

Courses taken through non-Penn State study abroad programs transfer into the University using the same process as courses taken through any other institution. However, they will NOT be used toward any Smeal degree requirements.

  • The Admissions Office has the authority to accept or deny courses from other academic institutions and will evaluate them for a potential transfer credit equivalency as described on this page.
  • You will need information about the program and a syllabus or very detailed description for each course you select to upload. A course title and short paragraph will not do.
  • If you plan to use these credits toward a concurrent major, meet with an Academic Adviser from that College  to confirm how your credits will apply to your degree outside Smeal College.

Leave of Absence Form

This permission form must be filed with the student's Academic Adviser or Smeal Student Records (202 Business Building). Participation in an Education Abroad program through another university during a fall or spring semester requires an official Leave of Absence from Penn State. This permission form must must be filed prior to the start of the Penn State semester you will miss when you are studying abroad.

Penn State Access Account Extension for Student Leave of Absence

To maintain your e-mail account while on a leave of absence from Penn State, request an extension of your access account view your email from anywhere in the world. This also allows you to register for the next semester of courses, while on a leave of absence.

Other Considerations

Financial aid may not be easy or even possible to transfer to a non-PSU program. Many student loans will reduce the grace period (before the loan repayment begins) by the leave-of-absence time. Also, football ticket communication might be suspended and it is your responsibility to watch the Penn State Athletics Web site carefully while you are gone.

For more information on studying through non-Penn State programs, please visit the Education Abroad Web site for non-Penn State programs.