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Academic Advisors

Academic Advisor Role in the Outgoing Study Abroad Process 

Students may come to you to start the conversation about study abroad, or they may start with Study Abroad in the Office of Global Engagement. Either way works. If they start with you, please discuss the following before referring them to our office:  
  • When is the best time for them to go abroad? We typically want students to have two semesters of college before they go abroad, but if there is an ideal term for them to go abroad, please let them know that. 
  • Are there particular courses that they can only take on campus, or particular courses that would be good options for them to try to find equivalencies for abroad?  Having this conversation with students before they come to us will help our discussion about program options.  
During the process, we will often send students to you to discuss the courses they want to take while abroad. This is typically after a student has decided on a program or if they are trying to decide between a couple programs. We advise students bring the course descriptions of the courses they would like to take abroad and the course descriptions of the equivalent courses at USU to see if you will approve them.

If you are the academic advisor, but not the articulation specialist, it would be helpful if they have met with the articulation specialist before coming to you to discuss how the courses will fit in their degree plan. They will bring you their Advance Credit Approval Form, which is a mandatory form that they need to fill out (excluding faculty-led programs).  

After the process, you may need to attribute some of their transferred classes into degree requirements in DegreeWorks.  

Credit Transfer Guidelines

For questions regarding credit conversion for any specific country not listed below, please contact either of our Study Abroad Advisors at either or 

Most European universities use the European Credit Transfer Accumulation System (ECTS), which is designed specifically to be transferrable between European nations and give students the appropriate amount of credit for the work they do. Since it is based upon a European standard, and ECTS are uniform from country to country, we also want to transfer ECTS credits uniformly back to USU from all of our exchanges. We have compared the ECTS workload to USU credits in detail, and found that 1 ECTS is a minimum of .5 U.S. credits to a maximum of .75 U.S. credits. Thus, somewhere in the middle – roughly 1 ECTS credit to .66 U.S. credit – is typically fair. This means that occasionally a course will receive a partial credit amount, e. g. 2.5 credits, or 4.5 credits. 


The U.K. has their own credit system, wherein most undergraduate courses are worth 20 credits. 20 U.K. credits is worth roughly 5 U.S. credits. Therefore, if a student takes 3 courses during a semester in the U.K., they should receive approximately 15 U.S. credits. 

South Korea & Japan:

1 South Korean or Japanese credit is worth 1 U.S. credit, making the conversion ratio 1:1. 

Academic Advisor Role in the Incoming Exchange Student Process  

Incoming exchange students are students who are studying abroad from one of our partner institutions or from an ISEP-affiliated school at Utah State for a semester or an academic year (every once in a while, a calendar year).

After we have received their applications, we send out e-mails to the academic advisors to see if the courses that the incoming students requested will be approved based on the students’ transcripts from their home institution (i.e., are there courses that would be equivalent prerequisites for the class the student is requesting?). Students are informed of their course request approvals and given their A-numbers, as well as the names and e-mail addresses of the academic advisors in the areas in which they have requested classes.  

Students will often need the approved class prerequisites waived at a later date, after their A-numbers have been created. The Study Abroad Advisor or the students may e-mail the academic advisors to ask for this to be done.