Study Abroad Evaluation Policies
The following policies and practices were approved and are effective as of the Fall 2016 semester.
- When new programs are under review, the External Education Team will review the proposals for pertinent information related to course credit and grading scale conversions from international systems into the U.S. system.
- If the External Education Team does not review the grading scale and courses during the proposal process, they will review any proposals once the Office of the University Registrar is notified of an approved program.
- If the External Education Team finds the courses or grading scale of an approved proposal to be problematic, they will consult with the appropriate associate dean before the program’s courses are published as approved in the YES Study Abroad Course Search tool.
- The evaluation process for all courses offered through program providers external to Vanderbilt begins with the External Education Team. More information on the study abroad course review process is available here.
- The External Education Team reviews all courses for information related to course credit and grading scale conversions from international systems into the U.S. system.
- An evaluation packet for each course is sent to the director of undergraduate studies of the appropriate department for evaluation. Requests for evaluation include a credit hour recommendation from the External Education Team. Faculty can overturn the initial credit recommendation, but should provide (in writing) a reason for doing so. If there is a question about which department should evaluate a particular course, the External Education Team will consult the appropriate associate dean(s).
- Once the director of undergraduate studies makes a determination about the course and credit equivalencies, the evaluation stands for five years unless there is a significant change to the course at the institution abroad.
- Each course will have only one equivalency. Students who wish for a course to count toward their program of studies in a way not covered by the assigned equivalency should consult with their academic adviser and the director of undergraduate studies for a possible degree audit variance/substitution.
- If a faculty member requests to override either the credit or the course equivalency of an already existing evaluation, the External Education Team will contact the appropriate director of undergraduate studies (and, under certain circumstances, the appropriate associate dean) for approval.
- Any officially approved change to a course evaluation will apply for the next full semester and moving forward for a new five-year window. Students will receive credit according to the evaluation that was in place at the start date of the program.
Posting Credits to the Academic Record
- All courses listed on the transcript from abroad will be reviewed for credit at Vanderbilt. All courses that are approved for credit will be posted to the Vanderbilt transcript.
- If a student does not submit a syllabus for course evaluation, the External Education Team will contact the program provider to get a copy of the syllabus and have it evaluated according to the standard procedure.
Master's-Level Courses for Study Abroad
- Students who wish to take Master’s-level coursework abroad must obtain the appropriate approvals in advance through the associate dean’s office of each undergraduate school.
- If students take Master’s-level coursework abroad without approval, the External Education Team will direct the students to contact their school’s associate dean for possible retroactive approval.
- Master’s-level coursework will be posted to students’ records as graduate-level coursework.