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Non-IU Academic Policies

Non-IU programs are programs organized by a different university or program provider. The main source of guidance about program content, eligibility criteria, and application requirements, will be the provider of the program.  The academic policies as described here apply primarily to IUB degree-seeking students. Students from one of the other IU campuses should inquire with their Campus Coordinator about the Non-IU process on their campus.

Eligibility and Selection
  • I. Eligibility Criteria
    • Class Standing: Students are advised to apply to Non-IU study abroad programs after they have completed at least one full semester at Indiana University. The Office of Overseas Study will not sign program approval forms nor register students in a placeholder course if the student does not yet have an IU academic record with confirmation of satisfactory academic progress towards their degree.
    • GPA: The Non-IU program provider makes the final application decision once a student applies to the program. If a student would like to apply to use federal financial aid towards the costs of a Non-IU program, they must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above. A student who is on academic probation may be denied enrollment in a Non-IU placeholder course.
    • Academic Progress: To be eligible to apply for study abroad, a student must be making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree, particularly those applying for semester and academic year programs. If a student would like to apply to use federal financial aid towards the costs of a Non-IU program, they will need to have their academic advisor confirm that the coursework they will take on the program will fulfill major, minor, general education, or other degree requirements. A student who is not making academic progress or would be extending their studies past four years will not be approved to enroll in a special placeholder course.
    • Language Requirements: Students can check with the program provider to see if there are language requirements for the program to which they are applying.
    • Program-Specific Requirements: Check with the program provider to see if there are additional eligibility requirements.
    • Lower Age Limits: The Office of Overseas Study does not permit high school students or students under the age of 18 to enroll in a placeholder course.
    • Disciplinary Status: Many program providers will require a disciplinary check as part of the application process. Please note that The Office of Overseas Study does not have access to student disciplinary records. In order to have a disciplinary record verification, a student will need to work with the Office of Student Ethics, 801 N. Jordan Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405. Ph: 812-855-5419. Since disciplinary records are confidential, the student will need to complete a “Release of Information-Student Disciplinary Record” form with the Office of Student Ethics in order for them to be able to release a student’s disciplinary record information to a third party. Please allow up to two weeks for the Office of Student Ethics to process the request once it is submitted.
  • II. Selection Process: The selection process is up to the program provider or host university. To find out more about the selection process, please contact the program provider. Permission to be enrolled in a placeholder course while abroad (OVST Y496, OVST Y498 or OVST Y499) is always contingent upon a student showing evidence of intent to enroll in a full-time course of study at an institution whose work can be transferred to Indiana University based on documentation provided to the IU Office of International Admissions.  
  • III. Other Factors: For many programs, eventual program participation is contingent upon the student's ability to obtain travel documents (i.e., passport, visa, work permit, etc.). These documents are issued at the discretion of U.S. and foreign government offices. While the Office of Overseas Study and co-sponsoring agencies can provide documentation in support of applications, the government bodies have final authority over issuance of travel documents. Applications may be denied for any reason, including insufficient documentation, pending legal action, past criminal history, etc. Application procedures and requirements may vary based upon citizenship. Non-U.S. citizens may have significantly different conditions to meet to obtain travel documents and should look into the timeline for obtaining the required travel documents prior to applying for a program.

    In a limited number of cases, program providers are prohibited or unable to accommodate citizens or passport holders of a given country. If a student will not travel on a U.S. passport, they should inquire with their program provider to clarify eligibility.
Academic Requirements
  • Advising: All students accepted to a summer, semester or academic-year Non-IU program should complete a Credit Transfer Agreement form. IU only awards transfer credit based on an official transcript from a recognized or accredited institution of higher education. Credit Transfer Agreements are processed by the Office of International Admissions and can take four to six weeks for review. Once a student receives their reviewed credit transfer agreement form back, the student will know whether or not IU will accept credit for the program they have selected. Students can also check the Credit Transfer Service to see if a particular transcript has previously been accepted by Indiana University. Students should meet with their academic advisor to talk about their Non-IU study abroad plans and to see what degree requirements they may be able to fulfill overseas.
  • Course Load: Students are advised to complete a full-time load of credits so they can stay on track for graduation.  Only courses completed with a grade of a “C” or better can be transferred back to IU.  Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 credits for semester programs in order to maintain full-time student status and six credits in the summer.  Full-time status is a requirement for anyone using financial aid to study abroad.
  • Internship courses: Students will need approval from their IU academic department in order to earn academic credit for an internship taken on a Non-IU program. Students should consult with their academic advisor regarding permission to earn internship credit before they go on the program. Please note that not all academic departments have internship courses.
  • Placeholder courses: The Office of Overseas Study offers three zero-credit placeholder courses for students to enroll in while they participate on a Non-IU program. Enrollment in the placeholder course allows students to maintain their IU student status while studying abroad. The three Non-IU placeholder course options are outlined below.
    • OVST-Y 496: for students who will be using federal financial aid and scholarships towards the costs of their Non-IU program. Students will need to complete an additional on-line application to request enrollment in OVST-Y 496. The student’s academic advisor will need to sign-off on the Y-496 application confirming that the coursework on the program will allow the student to make degree progress. The Office of Overseas Study will then review the application and notify the student whether or not they have been approved.
    • OVST-Y 498: for students who will be using ONLY scholarships towards the costs of their Non-IU program. This includes any scholarships that are disbursed to or by Indiana University for the student. Students can check Overseas Study’s financial aid exceptions page or contact their scholarship administrator to determine whether a specific scholarship can be applied towards a Non-IU study abroad program.
    • OVST-Y 499: for students who will be self-funding their Non-IU program
  • Pass/Fail Option: Students on Non-IU programs should not take courses pass/fail since a pass would not provide sufficient information to transfer the credit back to IU. Students need to complete their coursework with a grade of a “C” or better in order for it to transfer back to IU.
  • Withdrawal from a Non-IU program: Students should be in touch with the Non-IU program specialist in the Office of Overseas Study should they need to withdraw from a Non-IU program after it has begun. We cannot guarantee that a student will be able to earn transfer credit if they withdraw before completing all of their coursework.
  • Dropping and Adding Courses: Reasonable deadlines for dropping classes are established by the program provider or host university based on the program’s academic calendar. Keep in mind that students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of coursework with a grade of a “C” or better in order to maintain full-time student status for a semester program.
  • General Education coursework: If a student is looking to fulfill the World Languages and Culture requirement by participating in a Non-IU program, the program must be at least six weeks and six credits in length and the student must complete a Credit Transfer Agreement. For students looking to fulfill breadth of inquiry arts and humanities or social and historical credit, they should work with the appropriate department to have their coursework evaluated for IU course equivalencies that carry those designations. Students can also complete a petition form once their credit has been posted to their IU record to request that the undistributed transfer credit be evaluated for possible application to their general education breadth of inquiry requirements.
  • Incompletes: Students are expected to complete all coursework before they leave the study abroad site. A course with a grade of an Incomplete will not transfer back to IU.
  • Course and Credit Requirements: Students should follow the program’s minimum requirements for coursework; courses will most likely include required reading, written coursework, exams and papers.
  • Course Approval and Course Equivalencies: Courses on Non-IU programs are reported by the Office of International Admissions with IUB course titles and numbers when possible; however, grades do not transfer back and the credit is considered transfer credit. Most courses will initially transfer back as undistributed 100-level credit (DEPT-UN 100). Students can consult the Credit Transfer Service (CTS) to see if a course has already been evaluated by an IU department. If a student needs courses from their program to complete requirements such as 300/400 level hours, major/minor or general education requirements, they will need to have their coursework evaluated by the relevant IU academic department or school. In order to have courses evaluated, students will need detailed course descriptions and syllabi to submit to the relevant department. Students will want to keep their course materials including papers or exams if they plan on having coursework evaluated by an academic department.
  • Residency: Non-IU programs do not count towards residency credits. Students should check with their advisor about how many credits can be taken off campus during the time planned abroad.
  • Grading Policies: The program provider or host university should have outlined grading policies. After departure from a program site abroad, should students have questions about how a final grade was calculated, the student may submit an inquiry to their Non-IU program provider following their specific procedures and within their specified time lines.   However, it is extremely unusual for grades to be changed after the fact.
Academic Integrity

All students must respect and abide by the academic regulations of both IU, any co-sponsoring agency and the local host institutions.  Any acts of academic misconduct, including cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, violation of course rules or facilitating academic dishonesty, will be adjudicated by local academic officials and then be referred to the judicial process on the student’s home campus.

Personal Conduct

All students must respect and abide by the laws and customs of the host country, the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, and any rules and regulations for student conduct made or adopted by IU, its employees, agents, consortium partners, and partner institutions abroad, from the published official program arrival date through the official program completion date, including but not limited to host institution rules and regulations for student conduct designed to safeguard health, well‑being and safety.

Our daily lives are so different from people across the globe. To learn about how other people live their lives, it makes you think about how you want to live your life. It’s character building.”

-Maggie Brinley, IU Overseas Study Participant, Spain