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Policies & Guidelines

Whether looking for credit to complete requirements for a major or minor, or the need to maintain full-time status for scholarship purposes, Learning Abroad wants to ensure all students know how to request and earn credit for their programs abroad.



All students going abroad for credit must have a 2.5 GPA, or they must adhere to the GPA Waiver process. No student with below a 2.0 may participate in a Learning Abroad program.

Course Equivalency Form Process

In order to receive credit for courses taken abroad, students must complete the Course Equivalency Form process. This includes identifying courses abroad that would likely fit their major, obtaining syllabi for those courses, submitting the course equivalency form and syllabi to the appropriate faculty or advisor for review, and if signed by that faculty or advisor, then submitting the form to the Dean's office of that college for review and signature. Once the form has been approved at the Dean's level, students must bring the signed form back to Learning Abroad. Please note that courses should be reviewed by faculty or advisors in their own specific subject areas, and that faculty, advisor, and Dean's office contacts vary from college to college. For more information, please contact a Learning Abroad advisor. 

Course Equivalency Form (updated July 2022)


Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 are not eligible for participation in learning abroad programs. If a student's cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 in advance of the program, they are not permitted to participate in their program abroad. 

Affiliated & reciprocal exchange GPA Requirements: Students must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in these learning abroad programs. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 - 2.499 at the time of application must receive approval from their primary academic advisor and from their Dean’s office using the GPA Requirement Waiver Form before consideration for the program. 

Faculty-Led GPA Requirements: Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above at the time of application are eligible to participate in a UH Faculty-led program. The student must be accepted to the program by their program's faculty leader. 

Transfer Student GPA Requirements: Students who have transferred from another institution of higher education and do not have an established UH GPA may still be eligible to go abroad. These students must complete a GPA Requirement Waiver Form with their primary academic advisor  and submit for approval from their Dean’s office. The colleges are encouraged to review their transfer GPA as a factor for approval. 

GPA Requirement Waiver Form

UH Course Registration While Abroad

If a student has followed the procedures for the Course Equivalency Form, they will be enrolled in placeholder courses during the term they are abroad. These courses have generic codes such as LSAF 3301 or NSRE 2301. Students should not add or drop these courses on their own. If a student has questions about their placeholder courses, they should contact Learning Abroad. These course codes will stay on the student's account indefinitely. If a student takes the equivalent of Spanish 1501 abroad, it will appear on their myUH account as LSAF 1501 and not as SPAN 1501. When requesting an official or unofficial UH transcript, the name of the course taken abroad will appear on the transcript. 

Grades & Transcripts

All courses taken abroad will affect the student's GPA; they  do not go onto your transcript as Pass/Fail credit. Students should focus on their academics while abroad. If a student is struggling academically while abroad, the student should utilize all available resources (program provider, academic advisors, faculty, tutoring centers, etc.) for assistance. Learning Abroad cannot negotiate grades with or on behalf of a student. What appears on the transcript from the host institution is what will appear on the student's UH transcript.

Transcripts should be sent directly from the program provder/host institution to Learning Abroad and must be in English. We cannot post grades for courses taken abroad until the transcript is received. If you have questions about the length of time a transcript will take to arrive at Learning Abroad, please contact your host institution or program provider for more information. Please note that some transcripts can take several months to be delivered to Learning Abroad after the completion of a program abroad.

In most cases, students will have NR (Not Reported) for Learning Abroad grades until their grades are able to be entered officially. Roughly 90 days after the end of the term at UH any NR grades will automatically convert to Fs. These can and will be corrected once the transcript arrives and Learning Abroad is able to post grades. 

For all programs that are not Faculty-Led Programs, Learning Abroad requires students to have unopened, originals of official transcripts sent directly to Learning Abroad. We cannot accept photocopies, altered transcripts, or transcripts that have been opened. The student is responsible for any additional fees for ordering transcripts from the program provider or university abroad. 

Have all transcripts sent to:

Learning Abroad
4104 Martin Luther King Blvd
Teaching Unit 2, Suite 114
Houston, TX 77204-2039

Drop Policy

Students are subject to the drop policy with the program or at the host institution in which they are enrolled. If students do not have an approved course equivalency form for a course taken abroad, they cannot receive UH credit for that course

Travel Risk Policies

UH Student Travel Policy 

UH Learning Abroad is currently updating our student travel policy. Students may participate in approved affiliated, faculty-led, reciprocal exchange, and univeristy-affiliated fellowship programs based on completion of required steps set by Learning Abroad and the Office of the Provost. For more details, please contact Learning Abroad. 

International Medical and Emergency Insurance Requirement

All students participating in a Learning Abroad program are required to have international medical and emergency insurance. All students participating in faculty-led, exchange, student service organization, non-affiliated, and some affiliated programs must purchase their own insurance.  UH  has partnered with CISI to offer the most cost-effective and robust international insurance package available to our students and faculty leaders. For more information, refer to the On Call International Insurance page of our website. 

Elevated Risk Destinations

The University of Houston encourages participation in international activities and promotes the development of opportunities for international study and research as part of its academic mission. While all travel abroad has some risks, some parts of the world pose heightened risks to the health and safety of travelers.

To safeguard the well-being of students, faculty, and staff going abroad, the Elevated Risk Destinations Policy provides a framework for review and approval of elevated risk destinations. Students, faculty and staff are not permitted to travel to elevated risk locations unless an exception is granted by the Global Risk and Safety Committee and the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. This policy does not apply to personal or other travel that is unaffiliated with the University of Houston. 

No UH student shall be required to participate in university sponsored, organized or affiliated travel to an elevated risk destination. The student must consider the risks, and, weighing those risks against the value of the educational opportunity to the student, make their own determination about whether to continue pursuing the planned international travel research, study, or other engagement opportunity. The student should also take into consideration the possibility that the countries not designated as elevated risk may be updated to be part of the list without warning. The student should also consider the possibility that, if he or she encounters difficulties abroad, UH and even the U.S. Department of State may be unable to assist.  

Elevated risk destinations are determined based on four criteria for the country or region of a country. Destinations are cataloged and updated monthly by the Assistant Director of Learning Abroad. The determining criteria are: 

  • U.S. Department of State Travel Warning Level 3 or 4 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Warning Level 3 or 4 
  • On Call International Risk Assessment Levels 4 and 5
  • UH travel to a country/region that has been designated as restricted by the Office of the Provost and/or Office of the Chancellor & President

To review if your travel destination is to an Elevated Risk Destination, please contact the Assistant Director of Learning Abroad, Andie Beer.

Elevated Risk Destination Forms

To read the full Elevated Risk Destination policy, view the full Student International Travel Policy. [link forthcoming]

Non-Affiliated & Individual Travel

Students must adhere to the non-affilaited and individual travel policies outlined below.

Non-Affiliated Travel

UH students cannot participate in non-affiliated programs for UH credit, and students cannot use UH or Federal Financial Aid toward the payment of a non-affiliated program abroad. Thus, students are discouraged from participating in non-affiliated Learning Abroad programs.

If students choose to participate in a non-affiliated program, UH Learning Abroad cannot process student academic credit using the course equivalency form process. Upon completion of the program, students may instead submit transcripts from institutions abroad for international transfer credit to UH Admissions, however credit is not guaranteed until reviewed. Students must still register their travel with UH Learning Abroad as indicated below in the Individual Travel Registration Requirement.

Individual Travel Registration Requirement

All UH students, according to MAPP policy 04.02.04, must register their individual travel abroad with the university. Learning Abroad maintains this registration for all students participating in programs abroad that help them “gain experience and learning in their field of study.” This includes research, service-learning, volunteering, university-organized musical or artistic performances, and any fellowships or scholarship programs associated with the student’s current or anticipated field of study.

To register individual, non-affiliated travel abroad, students should email and include their name, UH student ID, program dates, location(s), sponsoring organization, and international health and safety insurance information. All students must still either have adequate international health and safety insurance, or they must purchase it through UH Learning Abroad’s insurance provider, CISI insurance, as outlined on our website.

For university-sponsored group travel, faculty and departments should submit a faculty-led program proposal for any program abroad affiliated with an academic course. Faculty and departments must register their group travel with Learning Abroad for all non-academic group travel. For more information and registration support, contact the Assistant Director of Learning Abroad.

Conduct Abroad

Students must adhere to the UH Student Code of Conduct while abroad and complete the Student Conduct Abroad Agreement

Alcohol Abroad

Students participating in University-related travel are responsible for following local laws, rules, and regulations regarding the consumption of alcohol. Students traveling for such purposes may also be subject to any conditions placed on their travel by the group they are representing or participating with. Alcohol abuse and misuse, and related disruption, is not tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action by the university. 

Link to UH Dean of Students Alcohol Policy

Virtual Programs

Learning Abroad supports virtual learning abroad programs offered through our affiliated program providers. No virtual programs through non-affiliated programs will be accepted. Academic credit will be granted following the same procedures as typically used for affiliated, in-person learning abroad programs, utilizing the standard course equivalency form and transcript process. As students will be able to earn academic credit at UH through virtual Learning Abroad programs, they will be eligible to utilize UH financial aid for these virtual programs in the same way as with affiliated programs.

Visit our Affiliated Programs page to learn more about virtual programs. 

Additional Policies

UH Student Travel Registration 

Any UH student traveling for curricular or co-curricular activities abroad must register their travel and/or program with Learning Abroad. 

Pre-Departure Orientation

All UH students attending an affiliated, exchange, and student service learning program must attend a Learning Abroad sponsored pre-departure orientation session before the start of their program. Faculty led programs may require their own pre-departure orientations. 

Learning Abroad Fees 

Students accepted to a credit-bearing affiliated or non affiliated program will be assessed a $100 fee to their student account once they have been registered for classes. Students accepted to an exchange program will be assessed a $75 fee to their student account once they have been registered for classes.