Study Abroad Academic Policies

Credit Awarded for Work Completed Abroad

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.

If a student audits a course while abroad, that course will not be officially recorded and the audit will not receive credit.

General Education requirements cannot be fulfilled overseas.

To receive credit for coursework abroad, 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 abroad until all grades and courses have been posted to the official Pomona transcript. Students on 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 foreign academic calendars and administrative procedures, Pomona often receives grades from abroad later than when home grades are available.

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

Restrictions on Course Enrollment

Physical Education courses taken abroad 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.

Some foreign universities with pre-professional programs may offer career-oriented courses outside of what is considered a U.S. liberal arts curriculum. Pomona 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 on foreign language programs.

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

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 study abroad 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 Study Abroad in order to receive Pomona College credit. Please refer to the Academic Program section of the appropriate program description in this guide.

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 OSA for forwarding to the Registrar.

Grade Disputes

Students who believe they have grounds for a grade dispute for a course completed abroad should contact the Pomona Director of Study Abroad as soon as possible during the semester following study abroad. Pomona College's policy for grade disputes applies, with procedures adapted for study abroad. Disputes must be discussed with the Director of Study Abroad within one month after the abroad grades are posted to the Pomona transcript. Disputes must be resolved by the end of the semester following study abroad.

Major/Minor Requirements Abroad

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 OSA, to present to the chair of your department.  This form is not processed by the OSA but rather through the major/minor department.

To receive major/minor credit for study abroad, students must present all course materials to the appropriate department for evaluation upon return to campus. Following approval of the course, the student must file a Petition for Major/Minor Credit Form for study abroad with the major department. This form requires the approval of the appropriate department chair and is available online.

Course Duplication

No credit will be granted for courses taken abroad 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 Study Abroad.

Credit/No Credit Option

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

The study abroad C/NC deadline differs from the on-campus deadline. Requests must be submitted to the Director of Study Abroad within the first 75% of the course. Once filed, the change is irreversible. Students may not exercise the C/NC option with the program provider. Overseas program directors submit a letter grade to Pomona for courses taken on a C/NC basis. The Director of Study Abroad will convert this grade for students with approved C/NC requests on file.

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


Overseas 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 abroad, and the Director of Study Abroad. In consultation with the overseas director, students must develop a timetable for completion of an incomplete grade.