Non-IU Procedures

Deadlines for Steps #3 and #6
  • Summer programs: March 15
  • Academic Year/Fall programs: May 15
  • Spring programs: November 15


If you decide to participate in a Non-IU program, your main source of guidance will be the provider. However, it is critical that you review the procedures below and follow each of these steps to ensure you remain in good standing with Indiana University while off-campus. You must submit a Credit Transfer Agreement (step #3) and the Notification of Acceptance (step #6) by the following IU deadlines: March 15th for summer programs; May 15th for fall and academic year programs; November 15th for spring programs.

Indiana University students pursing a for-credit Non-IU program (regardless of the term) must be in a placeholder course. The Non-IU procedures result in regsitration in a zero-credit Ed Abroad placeholder course.

Students who are applying to a program that Education Abroad already co-sponsors or approves are ineligible for the 0-credit OVST placeholder course. 

*To earn the World Languages and Cultures degree requirement on a Non-IU program students must complete Step #3 the Credit Transfer Agreement by the Nov. 15th deadline for Spring 2024.

*Credits and grades earned on a Non-IU program will NOT count in your IU GPA. You cannot take classes Pass/Fail. Transfer credit is only awarded for letter grades of 'C' or better.

Review the Non-IU Academic Policies to determine your eligibility to participate on a Non-IU program.

Researching your Non-IU program is an important step.  Visit the researching section for some ideas on how to identify program options and a list of some examples of providers IU students have frequently studied abroad through in the past.

While Indiana University remains committed to promoting the health and safety of students traveling abroad, the regular policy that limited travel to only those countries under Department of State Travel Advisories 1 and 2 has been temporarily lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students may choose non-IU programs in countries categorized as Level 3 and 4 if the public health situation is cited as the primary reason for the advisory as long as their programs have appropriate virus mitigation strategies.

When researching programs offered through external institutions, make sure to check the Big List for all programs that are co-sponsored by Indiana University. If your selected program is on this list, then you must apply to the program through IU. If the program is not co-sponsored by IU, then you will  apply to the program.  Check with Education Abroad for more information.

If you are considering living abroad independently and taking on-line courses, rather than enrolling in a program through a university or a provider, see these guidelines before proceeding with your plans.

Once you have thoroughly reviewed program materials, if you have further questions please contact or stop by our office at the Ferguson International Center (330 N. Eagleson Ave) weekdays 10am-4pm.

  1. Find out School of Record: Contact your program/provider to find out what college or university will issue your transcript at the end of the program (also referred to as the school of record). The transcript might come from a U.S. or foreign institution, but must be an official transcript from an accredited school or university and display letter grades. *Certificates upon completion of program will NOT be accepted by International Admissions for articulation.*
  2. Credit Transfer Service: Once you confirm where your transcript will be issued from, check the Credit Transfer Service to see whether the transcript has already been accepted at IU. You will need to search by the location of the institution providing the transcript, NOT necessarily the location of your program. 
  3. Non-IU Internships: Any internships abroad must be reviewed and approved by an IU department before the study abroad experience if you wish to obtain transfer credit.
  4. Course Approvals: If you need courses from your Non-IU program to equate to specific IU equivalencies (300/400 level hours, major/minor requirements, general education requirements, etc.), then you will need to get your courses approved by the respective department at IU. It is up to each academic department or school to determine how they approve transfer credit from study abroad programs.

Note: O’Neill School students must obtain advisor approval for study abroad courses to count for specific major requirements based on IUB matriculation. Students should consult the SPEA Approval List and confirm with their O’Neill Advisor in advance of the study abroad experience. 

Below are some ways that you can be proactive about taking appropriate classes abroad:

  • Consult your Advisement Report on One.IU find out what types of courses you have left to graduate (elective hours, major/minor requirements, distribution, etc.). Confirm that you will complete the residency requirement outside of program credits. Please note that credit from Non-IU programs will not count towards residency credit.
  • Compare course descriptions/syllabi for the courses offered on your Non-IU program to course descriptions/syllabi of the course requirements you wish to fulfill at IU. Syllabi are generally available on the program provider's website.
  • Choose courses at a similar level to the ones you are required to take at IU, noting that some institutions may operate on a different system. A general rule of thumb is that if you need to fulfill upper-level requirements at IU, do not enroll in introductory level courses abroad, but rather in more advanced courses.
  • Once you have done the above research on your own, and gathered information about your study abroad courses, you should meet with your major advisor about the courses you have remaining in your degree requirements, how many elective hours you can afford, limitations to the amount of credit you can complete abroad, or if there are any courses that must be taken on the IU campus. Seniors should check their residency status before committing to a program.
  • You can also meet with any departments outside your major or school to discuss course approvals and equivalencies. Be sure to have done the above research ahead of time and provide course information such as detailed course descriptions and syllabi from your Non-IU program.

*IMPORTANT* IU's Department of Spanish and Portuguese does NOT award Spanish credit from CEA programs.

  1. While abroad, keep course materials (syllabi, graded coursework, reading lists, etc.) for all courses. Bring these materials home with you to petition for course approvals, if necessary.

The Credit Transfer Agreement (CTA) is an official confirmation from Indiana University that IF you take the study abroad courses that you list, obtain a letter grade of ‘C’ or higher, and receive the transcript from the university you listed, you will receive the specific transfer credit articulation that is listed on your CTA. Completing a CTA is important because it is your only official confirmation from Indiana University that IF you take the courses listed and receive the transcript you list, you will receive transfer credit.

  • Deadlines for submission
    • Summer programs: March 15th
    • Academic year and Fall programs: May 15th
    • Spring programs: November 15th

To access the CTA, you will need to create an account in Atlas. After creating an account, please submit a CTA here. Please note: Only electronic copies of the CTA will be accepted for Non-IU study abroad programs; do NOT complete a paper copy.   

*IMPORTANT* If you want credit to count towards the World Languages & Cultures requirement a CTA is required.  Additionally, programs must be at least six weeks in length, and you must transfer back six credit hours or more to fulfill the requirement.

*IMPORTANT* If you are a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, you wil NOT be able to satisfy the CASE Global Civilization and Culture (GCC) requirement on a Non-IU program.

Below are a few tips to help fill out the Credit Transfer Agreement:

  1. The university issuing your transcript is NOT Indiana University. The student must contact the provider if the school of record (institution issuing the transcript) cannot be easily determined by searching the provider website. To ensure transferability, request a sample transcript from the provider to submit with your CTA.
  2. Please fill out the form as completely as possible. All sections (including those without an asterisk) are important to complete in order to receive the most accurate information on how your credit will likely transfer back to IU.
  3. Credit from no more than two programs and a maximum of six courses per program will be accepted for evaluation for each semester you plan to enroll. Listing all possible course you are likely to take abroad does not limit you to taking all of the courses listed; it does, however, provide you with the most information possible on how credits will transfer back to Indiana University IF you take the courses you listed.
  4. Note: No more than two CTAs per term will be accepted.
  5. Credits and grades earned will NOT count in your IU GPA.
  6. Do not take classes Pass/Fail. Transfer credit is only awarded for letter grades of 'C' or better.
  7. Many courses may initially transfer back as undistributed 100-level credit (appears on your returned CTA as DEPT-UN 100). If you only need elective credit to graduate, no further action is needed. IF the deadline to complete the CTA has passed, credit can still be transferred back.  Refer to the CTS for guidance after the deadline.
  8. Expect a 4-6 week processing time. IU only gives transfer credit based on an official transcript from a recognized or accredited institution of higher education. CTA forms are processed by The Office of International Admissions and not Education Abroad; questions regarding the processing time, technical assistance, or articulation of credits should be directed to their office.

Since you are participating on a Non-IU program, apply directly to the program you've selected.

When researching programs offered through external institutions, make sure to check the Big List for all programs that are co-sponsored by Indiana University. If your selected program is on this list, then you must apply to the program through IU. If the program is not co-sponsored by IU, then you will directly apply to the program. Check with Education Abroad for more information.

If your application includes a form to be completed by a dean or advisor, email it to or bring the form to our office in the Ferguson International Center (330 N. Eagleson Avenue) weekdays 10am-3pm. An advisor will endeavor to complete the form while you wait; otherwise, leave the form with us and we will email it back to you. If a form for a disciplinary check needs completed as part of your application, please visit the Office of Student Ethics to have the form signed. 

  • No forms will be signed without going through the Non-IU procedures.
  • No forms will be approved if you are on academic probation.

For questions about housing, arrivals, visas, course registration, etc. contact your Non-IU program directly.

Program fee payment will be arranged by your program provider.

If you have or will have IU financial assistance (scholarships, loans, grants, etc.), read the Financial Aid and Non-IU Programs section of our website. If you have questions about what financial aid you receive, you can verify your award status in One.IU.

Students who wish to use financial aid other than scholarships to study abroad will need to complete an additional online application and supporting documentation by March 15th for summer, May 15th for fall/academic year, or November 15th for spring programs. See the Financial Aid and Non-IU Programs section of our website for more information about the placeholder courses.

Note that not all financial aid may be available for use on a Non-IU program. Students should verify the transferability of specific scholarships and loans with the financial aid office. Review the list of financial aid exceptions on our website for details.

Should your program have financial forms to be signed, Education Abroad can complete these forms for you. You will need to verify that you qualify to use your aid on a Non-IU program first.

If you plan to apply for summer financial aid, you must also complete a summer aid application with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Once you have been accepted for your program, confirm your participation in a Non-IU program by completing the online Notification of Acceptance.

  • Deadlines for submission
    • Summer programs: March 15th
    • Academic year and Fall programs: May 15th
    • Spring programs: November 15th

You will not receive permission to register in an Ed Abroad placeholder course until you have successfully completed the online Notification of Acceptance and either the application for OVST-Y 496 or OVST-Y 498 (with supporting documentation, which we will email to you).

In order to retain your full-time status at IU while abroad, you must enroll in the appropriate zero-credit placeholder course.

  • Students who receive (or previously have received) federal aid or loan money must complete the online Application for OVST-Y 496 and a Consortium Agreement before registering in OVST-Y 496.
    • You can find the online Application for OVST-Y 496 and Consortium Agreement after you submit the Notification of Acceptance.
  • All other students should register in OVST-Y 498.
    • Students must complete an Application for OVST-Y 498, which includes submitting a program budget, before registering in OVST-Y 498.

Note: there is a service fee of $100.82 associated with enrolling in the placeholder course.

Permission to enroll in an OVST placeholder course will not be granted until after the deadline (Summer programs: March 15; Academic Year/Fall programs: May 15; Spring programs: November 15), and you will be notified via email once permission is granted.

  • During Continuing Student Registration, register in the special zero-credit OVST course for which you have been given permission. (Note: there is a modest fee associated with enrolling in the placeholder course.  Please refer to your notification of acceptance for additional details.)
  • Read the Non-IU programs "Getting Started" handbook online.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to make sure you know what classes to enroll in for the semester you return to IU.
  • Have courses evaluated for pre-approval when possible.

Have an official transcript from the college or university you attended abroad sent to International Admissions (Office of International Services, Ferguson International Center, 330 North Eagleson Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405) upon completion of the program. Transfer credit will be awarded only for courses in which the equivalent of a grade of "C" or better is earned (Grades of "C-" and below or "Pass/Fail" will not be awarded credit).  Additionally, any internships abroad must be reviewed and approved by an IU department before the study abroad experience if the student wishes to obtain transfer credit.

Keep checking your IU email, especially when it's time for you to register for IU classes for the upcoming term.

Credit Transfer Approval

The Office of International Admissions awards IUB course titles and numbers, when possible, for courses on Non-IU programs. Most courses will initially transfer back as undistributed 100-level credit (DEPT-UN 100). You can consult the Credit Transfer Service (CTS) to see if a course has already been evaluated by an IU department.

Have your official transcript sent to International Admissions:

International Admissions
c/o Education Abroad
Ferguson International Center
330 N Eagleson Avenue, Room 100
Bloomington, IN 47405

1. If you had a CTA approved before program participation and there were no changes in your original course schedule, you can assume that your courses will be transferred as agreed when the official transcript arrives at International Admissions. Please note that International Admissions reserves the right to reassess the credit hours if the actual program dates differ from those listed on the program literature (15-16 weeks constitutes a full semester. Note that quarter credits X 2/3 = semester credits.)

  • If you need a course from your program to complete requirements such as 300/400 level hours, major/minor, or general education requirements, you will need to have your coursework evaluated by the relevant IU academic department or school.
  • If you are in the College of Arts and Sciences or if you are in another school but working on a minor or other credit in the College, contact the advisors in the relevant department(s) to ask about having a course equated. You will need to provide them with course syllabi, reading lists and papers or exams you completed. They will then consider approving a match with courses in your major/minor area at the general 300-400 level*. Advisors should complete the Education Abroad online course approval form authorizing the change from undistributed -UN 100 credit.
  • If you are NOT in the College of Arts and Sciences and are not working on a minor or certificate in the College, you will need to contact your advisor in your own school. Once you provide him/her with course syllabi, reading lists and papers or exams you completed, a determination may be made regarding satisfying requirements in your own school.

2) If you did NOT have a CTA approved before you left, you can follow the post-program procedures outlined above (depending on the school in which you currently are enrolled). For courses not addressed by course approval memos, you can assume that if the program is approved by IU you will receive undistributed elective credit for those classes. Undistributed credit can be applied toward graduation and in certain cases can be used to fulfill distributional requirements. It does not automatically count in the major or for 300/400 level requirements.

Please note, if you receive a transcript from your Non-IU study abroad program that is not in English, you will need to get a line-by-line translation of the transcript. Students should direct any questions to International Admissions for further instructions on how to get the transcript translated in order to transfer credit from the study abroad program.