RIT has developed a number of partnerships with institutions abroad which allow our students to directly enroll for a semester in exchange for an international student coming to RIT. These programs are typically a semester in length, discipline specific, and offer a high level of cultural immersion. Students have the opportunity to develop career skills through intense language learning and intensive problem solving. Students will pay RIT tuition and receive pass/fail grades.
Students peruse the course offerings available on the provider’s website to develop a tentative schedule of courses they plan to take abroad. This will include a selection of first choice courses, as well as alternative courses. Students will gather pertinent information about the overseas courses (i.e. course descriptions, syllabi) and present it to their academic advisor(s). The advisors (including minor, concentration or language advisors) decide how these fit into the student’s academic program requirements and list the equivalent/replacement course on the Course Pre-Approval Form and sign it.
Ideally study abroad students are taking courses abroad that are equivalent to a required RIT course or an appropriate fulfillment for an RIT academic obligation. Therefore, students are fulfilling academic program requirements and staying on track to graduate on time. Students may also choose to take courses that they are interested in and perhaps couldn’t otherwise take but don’t count towards their degree.
In order to ensure students are taking appropriate courses and staying on track for graduation, we require them to meet with their academic advisor and complete the Course Pre-Approval Form. The student and advisor should each save a copy of the completed and signed Course Pre-Approval Form. The student should also provide a copy of the completed and signed Course Pre-Approval Form to the RIT Education Abroad office.
Download an exchange program course pre-approval form here.
In most cases, students studying abroad on affiliate and exchange programs cannot actually register for their courses until they arrive in country. As a result, courses may be full or no longer available. It is essential that students have alternate courses pre-approved and communicate with their academic advisor, study abroad advisor and financial aid advisor if they register for anything other than what is approved on the Course Pre-Approval form. This is especially important if there is a change in the number of credits a student earns as this can have serious implications, especially on financial aid.
Students will be registered for study abroad classes at RIT (Study Abroad Country for ## credits) by a study abroad advisor or college administrator. Their RIT registration will match what is approved on their course pre-approval form. For example, if a student is studying abroad in France for one semester and they received approval for the classes abroad to count for five RIT classes worth three credits each, they would be registered for five different courses titled "Study Abroad - France" for three credits each. Students will work with their study abroad provider and host institution to register for their actual overseas courses before they depart or as soon as they arrive.
Grading & Transcripts
Approximately 3 months following the completion of the program, the RIT Education Abroad office will be sent an official transcript from the program provider detailing the courses students took abroad and the American letter grades they you earned for each course. These grades will be converted to pass/fail. For each grade of a C or above, students will receive a passing grade. For a C minus, D or F, students will receive a failing grade. Passing grades are not calculated into a student's GPA but failing grades are. The RIT Education Abroad office will process the appropriate registration paperwork (i.e. change of grade form, enrollment correction) to assign a pass/fail grade for the classes taken abroad and send it to the Registrar’s Office. The updated grade will be displayed on SIS. It typically takes three months after the program ends to receive a transcript so students and advisors should keep this in mind when they are planning for graduation certification, graduate school application, etc.
If you have any questions about this process, please address them with the study abroad advisor.