Procedures and Guidelines for Granting Education Abroad Transfer Equivalencies

The Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) enthusiastically encourages all students in its programs to participate in education abroad experiences that improve their language proficiency and increase their cultural competence. However, WLC generally only approves transfer equivalency requests for courses taken abroad which closely match – in terms of level and content – those in its curriculum. Students in WLC programs should familiarize themselves with the procedure and guidelines outlined below and plan their education abroad experiences accordingly.


Preapproval of specific transfer equivalencies for language courses to be taken abroad is not necessary in most cases. Instead, students planning to take language courses abroad should discuss their plans with their WLC academic advisers (if WLC majors) or with the WLC department head (if minors) to ensure that the institution abroad and the courses it offers are a good fit for their plans. They should also familiarize themselves with the guidelines set forth in this document and sign it to acknowledge their understanding and acceptance prior to departure. Upon their return to Missouri State, and once they have received their official transcripts, students schedule a face-to-face meeting with the WLC department head to determine transfer course equivalencies. As long as the courses taken abroad comply with all of the guidelines in this document, WLC will find a way to apply them toward students’ program requirements.


Before enrolling at the institution abroad

  • Students must discuss their plans to apply Education Abroad transfer credits toward completion of their major, minor, or certificate with their academic adviser advisers (if Modern Language majors) or with the WLC department head (if minors or majors in other departments).
  • Students must sign and date this form and distribute it as indicated below.
  • Students should work with Education Abroad to secure placeholder credits on their Missouri State academic records, if desired.

While the student is abroad

  • Courses must be taken at an accredited institution of higher learning.
  • Courses must be delivered in the target language, i.e. not in English.
  • Courses must be documented on an official transcript or certificate issued by the institution abroad.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that an official copy of the transcript is sent to and received by the Missouri State Office of Education Abroad. Under no circumstances will the Department request a transcript.
  • The official transcript must specify the name of all courses taken, as well as the semester or term, the total credits or contact hours for each, and the grade for each.

Once the student has returned - Evaluating the transcript

  • Once they have received their official transcript from the institution abroad, students must schedule a meeting with the WLC department head to confirm all transfer credit equivalencies.
  • If contact hours are reported, 13.3-15.0 contact hours abroad equals 1.0 Missouri State hour (i.e. every 40-45 hour block is equivalent to a Missouri State 3-credit course).
  • The following sequence will be used when granting transfer equivalencies for language skills courses (speaking, reading, listening, writing, grammar, composition, etc.), excluding courses already on students’ Missouri State transcripts: 101, 102, 201, 202, 205/311 (conversation), 000 (lower-division electives), 297, 001 (upper-division electives).
  • If students take content courses (e.g. Francophone Literature, Spanish Civilization, Latin American Cinema, German Society and Culture, etc.) whose content closely matches courses offered by WLC, the corresponding WLC content courses will generally be granted as transfer equivalencies.
  • The WLC department head has the final word on all transfer equivalencies and may request syllabi and/or other documentation when determining transfer course equivalencies.
  • The WLC composition course (312 in each language) is not granted as a transfer equivalent. This course may only be taken at MSU-Springfield. Composition courses taken abroad will transfer as language electives.
  • No credit will be granted when the institution abroad indicates a failing grade.
  • The WLC department head will submit a list of the approved transfer course equivalencies to the Office of Education Abroad.
  • When transfer equivalencies are recorded on Missouri State transcripts, only Pass/No Pass grades are recorded.
  • Education Abroad transfer credits may not be used to meet the university-wide requirement that all students complete 6 hours in their minor and 12 upper-division hours in their major on the Missouri State-Springfield campus. However, the requirement that all students complete 20 of their last 30 hours on campus is waived for students participating in approved education abroad programs.

Missouri State Education Abroad logo

Spending time at a university in another country is a vital part of any foreign language program. Our department encourages its students to take advantage of Missouri State University’s Office of it Education Abroad programs.