International & Domestic Programs Academic Policies

Credit Awarded for Work Completed Off-Campus

International Programs: All students are required to take the equivalent of four Pomona credits while abroad, whether or not they need the credits towards graduation. They can earn no more than four credits regardless of the number of courses in which they enroll. If students enroll in more than the equivalent of four Pomona credits, the total study abroad credits will be distributed over four Pomona credits.

Domestic Programs: Students participating in domestic programs are required to enroll in a full-time course load. For semester exchange programs, this is a minimum of three Pomona College credits and a maximum of 4.75 credits. For all other domestic programs, total course load ranges from three to four Pomona credits, depending on the requirements of the program provider.

If a student audits a course during their program, that course will not be officially recorded and the audit will not receive credit.

General Education requirements cannot be fulfilled off-campus.

Students participating in the Claremont McKenna College (CMC) Washington Program or Silicon Valley Program will be enrolled in the program courses through CMC. At the end of the program, the credits and grades will be posted directly to their Pomona College transcripts.

Students in all other domestic and international programs will be placed into a 4-credit placeholder course during the semester off-campus. After the program concludes, the host institution will send a copy of the transcript to the International and Domestic Programs Office. In some cases, students may need to request a copy of the transcript to be sent to the IDPO.

To receive credit for off-campus coursework, students must submit all materials and assignments to their instructors by the end of the last day of class, and they must take scheduled examinations. Students should retain a personal copy of all work submitted while in their program until all grades and courses have been posted to the official Pomona College transcript. Students in some programs are required to submit a copy of their independent study project before credit will be awarded.

Students may not arrive late or leave before a program's end. Because of different academic calendars and administrative procedures, Pomona College often receives grades from program or host institutions later than when Pomona College grades are usually available.

Academic credit will not be granted for study abroad or domestic programs while on leave.

Restrictions on Course Enrollment

Courses must be taken at the specified program campus. Except in pre-approved cases where needed to maintain academic continuity, online courses are not eligible for credit.

Physical Education courses taken off-campus may not earn more than 0.25 Pomona credits.

Performance courses in studio art, dance, and music earn 0.25 Pomona course credits. Fine arts courses with a theoretical component as well as an applied component earn credits determined by the program provider.

Programs and universities may offer career-oriented courses outside of what is considered a Pomona College liberal arts curriculum. Pomona College does not award credit for these courses. Examples include, but are not limited to, courses in business, management, marketing, agriculture, culinary skills, tourism, recreation, and hotel and restaurant management.

Normally, students may not enroll in university courses taught in English in non-English language programs.

All of the above restrictions apply to Approved Programs as well as Programs by Petition.

Pomona College Course Equivalency

The distribution of credit for overseas courses may vary, since few foreign programs follow the same format and calendar as Pomona. Being enrolled full-time does not necessarily mean taking four courses while abroad. On some programs, course requirements for Pomona students may differ from requirements for other students.

One Pomona course equals four credits on a semester system or six hours on a quarter system in an American institution. Therefore, 4 Pomona credits are equal to 16 U.S. semester credits. Program staff can help translate foreign university or program credits to U.S. semester credits.

Course Selection

Although students are required to propose courses as part of their application, final course selection is made on site in consultation with the assigned academic advisor or the program director. At some sites, certain courses are required. All courses must be approved by the Director of International and Domestic Programs in order to receive Pomona College credit. Please refer to the program-specific policies for more information.

Transcripts and Grade Point Calculation

Approved Programs

The Pomona transcript automatically shows all courses, grades, and credits; work is computed into the Pomona GPA.


Transcripts show the courses, grades, and total credit awarded. Grades earned on Petition programs are not computed into the Pomona GPA.

All students studying on a Petition program are responsible for having an official transcript of their work sent promptly to the IDPO for forwarding to the Registrar.

Grade Disputes

Students who believe they have grounds for a grade dispute for a course completed off-campus should contact the Pomona College Director of International and Domestic Programs as soon as possible during the semester following the program. Pomona College’s policy for grade disputes applies, with procedures adapted for study abroad and domestic programs. Disputes must be discussed with the Director of International and Domestic Programs within one month after the grades are posted to the Pomona College transcript. Disputes must be resolved by the end of the semester following the student’s participation in the program.

Major/Minor Requirements Off-Campus

Since foreign study offers opportunities to expand educational and cultural horizons, students are encouraged to study outside their majors. If a certain course seems especially appropriate, or if students must take courses in their major while abroad in order to graduate, students should discuss with their department chair the possibility of receiving major credit. To facilitate this procedure, a Preliminary Request for Major/Minor Credit Abroad Form is available, upon request from the IDPO, to present to the chair of your department.  This form is not processed by the IDPO, but rather through the major/minor department.

To receive major/minor credit for coursework in study abroad and domestic programs, students must present all course materials to the appropriate department chair for evaluation upon return to campus. Following approval of the course, the student should file a Petition for Major/Minor Credit Form with the major department. This form requires the approval of the appropriate department chair and is available on the Returnee Forms page of our website.

Course Duplication

No credit will be granted for courses taken off-campus that duplicate previously completed college-level coursework, or vice versa.

Course Withdrawals

Students may not reduce their courses below the stated minimum unless there are extenuating circumstances for doing so (e.g., unforeseen medical reasons). Requests for course withdrawals require the approval of both the program director abroad and the Director of International and Domestic Programs.

Credit/No Credit Option

The College's regulations for Credit/No Credit grades apply to off-campus programs with three restrictions: 1) Students may not take an independent study or directed research course on a CR/NC basis, 2) Students may not take a program's Core Course on a CR/NC basis, 3) Students may not take courses on certain programs on a CR/NC basis. Some programs do not offer a CR/NC option, or limit CR/NC options, and this takes precedence over Pomona College's regulations. Please refer to the Academic Program section of the appropriate program description in this website for further details.

The international and domestic programs CR/NC deadline differs from the on-campus deadline. Requests must be submitted to the Director of International and Domestic Programs within the first 75% of the course. Once filed, the change is irreversible. Students may not exercise the CR/NC option with the program provider. Off-campus program directors submit a letter grade to Pomona College for courses taken on a CR/NC basis. The Director of International and Domestic Programs will convert this grade for students with approved CR/NC requests on file.

Students must request special permission for CR/NC grades in the major or minor field. (See the Pomona College Catalog.)


Program professors rarely accept work after the regular deadline. Students are therefore urged to avoid taking an Incomplete. Those unable to complete coursework due to illness or other factors may receive an Incomplete with the approval of the instructor, program director, and the Director of International and Domestic Programs. In consultation with the program director and instructor, students must develop a timetable for completion of an Incomplete grade.