Academic Planning

In choosing a program, you should consider your academic goals and degree requirements. We strongly encourage you to communicate with your faculty/academic advisor to discuss your study abroad plans and what program options and courses might best complement your academic plan here at DU as well as your future goals.

Among your options to consider, do you want to:

  • Study your major from a new point of view?
  • Gain a more global perspective on your area of study?
  • Take classes not offered at DU?
  • Focus on language acquisition?
  • Take classes about the culture/history/politics of your host country?
  • Explore new areas of study?
  • Take a wide variety of different types of classes?
  • Fulfill general requirements at DU?
  • Engage in field experiences, research, service-learning, or an internship abroad?

Options mentioned above (and more!) are available through different study abroad programs. It is up to YOU, however, to do the research and find the program that's the right fit for you. Some programs offer more limited, but specialized classes, while others have wide and varied course offerings. Because of this, it is important that you know what your academic needs and goals are prior to choosing your study abroad program. Talking with your faculty advisor in advance will also help to ensure that you choose a program and coursework that allows you to stay on track to graduate and further enhances your DU academic experience.

  • How does study abroad fit into my academic plan?

    It is your responsibility to ensure that the programs you are considering offer coursework that fits with your academic interests and that will allow you to stay on track to graduate. You may find that some programs have a very limited number (and type) of classes, while others have wider course offerings than DU. Know what your academic needs are prior to choosing your study abroad program

    • Communicate with your Faculty Advisor early to talk about staying on track to graduate.
    • Explore program course offerings & structure—on your own & with your faculty advisor. Check whether programs you're considering meet your academic needs and are a strong academic fit.
    • Make sure you meet all prerequisites for your courses/programs (or that you can do so before the program starts). 

    Questions to Ask Yourself About Academics

    • What academic goals do I have for study abroad (language, regional experience, etc.)?  
      • Is there an area of academic interest that I might be able to pursue while abroad that is perhaps not offered at DU?  
    • Are there support resources I will need while abroad (tutoring, LEP considerations, etc.)?  
    • What type of coursework do I need in a study abroad program for it to make sense for my degree?  
      • Can I take elective credits or do I need to meet specific degree requirements while abroad?  
      • Are there milestone courses (capstones, prerequisites), or other required classes/opportunities on campus that I may miss if gone for a particular quarter? Could a required class be taken abroad?  
      • Do I wish to take coursework in another language and/or with locals from the host country while abroad?  
      • Do I have the language level needed and other prerequisites for the courses I wish to take?  
    • When is the best time academically for me to study abroad?
      • Which term would work best in my schedule?
      • Would it make more sense to go junior or senior year?  
    • Is there a particular geographic region or program structure that would lend itself well to enhancing my area of study and/or contribute to my academic and professional goals?  
    • Are there language, cultural, or other area studies courses available that would enhance my study abroad experience?  
    • Would engaging in an internship, research, or service-learning opportunity abroad help me to meet my academic, professional, and/ or study abroad goals?   

    Academic Conversation Starters

    Questions to Ask Your Faculty Advisor(s) 

    • Are there any considerations or restrictions in my department around receiving credit from abroad?
    • How many credits can I bring back towards my major/ minor?  
    • Do I need to take specific classes in the term I am abroad in order to graduate on time? 
    • Do I have any flexibility in when I can take my classes?
  • How do I stay on track to graduate?

    For most students, if you plan early, work closely with your academic department, and choose an appropriate program and term to go abroad, you should be able to study abroad and still graduate on time as if you had never left the DU campus. Indeed, many students advance their progress toward a degree by earning a full semester's worth of credit during their term abroad. 

    • Understand how study abroad credit applies to your major(s) & minor(s). Some DU departments have restrictions on how many abroad credits can count toward your major/minor, minimum grade requirements, etc. Ask your faculty/major advisor about any limitations for your department, submit course approval requests, and check the Undergraduate Bulletin before making plans.
    • Choose your abroad term(s) wisely. While most DU students go abroad fall of their junior year, a different term may work better for some majors. If you choose to go abroad during the "Spring Semester," you'll likely miss two quarters at DU (Winter & Spring) instead of only one. This may not be an issue if you're ahead on credits and/or degree requirements and have a fair amount of flexibility in your academic schedule. There are a small number of Winter Quarter only and Spring Quarter only possibilities, though these tend to provide more limited coursework options.
    • Transfer Credit Limits. Students attending unaffiliated programs are awarded transfer credit. The University of Denver's transfer credit policy has limits and requirements for what kind of credit and how many credits can be transferred to a DU degree. In addition, some departments at DU have limits that are more strict on how many transfer credits can apply towards your degree. As such, please check with your department about their individual transfer credit requirements. 
      • *Students attending DUPPs are awarded resident credit abroad and this policy does not apply. 
    • Transcript Delays. Transcripts can take up to several months upon completion of your program abroad to be received and processed by DU, potentially delaying your formal graduation.

Required Study Abroad Courses: INTZ 2501 & 2502

All DU students studying abroad through the OIE on a term length program or longer (including summer programs) are required to complete the two-credit course, INTZ 2501: Exploring Global Citizenship sometime in the academic year prior to their study abroad program (exceptions to this policy are provided for students who matriculated to DU prior to fall 2016). The one-credit online course taken while abroad, INTZ 2502: Global Citizenship in Practice, is required of all students on unaffiliated programs and recommended for all DU study abroad students.

Together these two courses help prepare students to maximize their time abroad.

Recommended: INTZ 2503 Learning to Return: Moving Toward an Impact for Public Good

This 2 credit course is in person and taken after you return from study abroad. All study abroad students are strongly encouraged to enroll in INTZ 2503 but it is not required. The course is offered in Winter and occasionally Spring quarter.