What is Course Equivalency Approval & Why Is It Important?
The Course Equivalency approval process is used by the Center for International Education and study abroad students to determine the appropriate equivalencies for coursework taken abroad. The course equivalency process gives students the chance to apply their study abroad credits toward their degree or certificate program requirements.
Here Are the Steps In the Course Equivalency Approval Process:
- Students should complete the Course Equivalency Approval form.
- Students should make an appointment to meet with the appropriate Department Chair or Faculty Advisor to obtain equivalency approvals.
- Students should provide course descriptions and/or syllabi.
- Department Chairs or Faculty Advisors should indicate any appropriate course equivalencies and sign the form.
- Students should return the signed form to the Center for International Education in Garland Hall 138. Students should keep a copy of the form for themselves and give a copy to their Academic Advisor.
As an Academic Advisor, planning with students to determine what study abroad courses may benefit their degree is important. You may be presented with the course equivalency approval form; the form should be filled out by the student, and it should be approved by the appropriate Department Chair or Faculty Advisor.
It is recommended to make a copy of the completed form for your records and for future advising sessions with the student.
Study abroad students need your assistance in determining the appropriate equivalencies for the courses they have taken, are currently taking or will take abroad. This important approval form helps students to determine how their coursework abroad will be applied to their degree program.
In order to evaluate courses taken abroad, please read and consider the following:
1) Students should provide you with course descriptions and/or syllabi for your review.
2) For each course listed on the form, please determine one of the three options:
The course could be:
- an exact equivalent to a course at UWM
- an exact equivalent with GER designation
- elective credit — please indicate upper or lower level
3) If not enough course information has been provided to you by students, you may opt to give tentative approval of the equivalency. Please request that students supply more detailed course information so you may properly evaluate the course. When this is accomplished, you will be asked to sign and date the form to indicate final approval.
If you have any questions, please contact the CIE Study Abroad Office.
Students who participate in UWM-sponsored study abroad and exchange programs earn UWM credit (not transfer credit), and the grades they receive abroad are factored into their GPA.
Students are first registered in a placeholder using either a “297” or “497” number designation for study abroad programs, or EXMURAL 100 for exchange programs. This allows students to maintain full-time status at UWM, and allows them to apply their financial aid toward their study abroad program costs.
After studying abroad, CIE receives transcripts from students’ host universities or programs, and their coursework and grades are posted to PAWS. Each course is assigned a section number in the appropriate department. Typical study abroad course numbers are 197, 297, 397, 497, 597, 697, 797. CIE Study abroad coordinators will review students’ course equivalency approval forma, and confirm that the students completed the courses as they were evaluated. If students enrolled in courses that have not been evaluated, they may need to obtain additional course equivalency approvals.
Academic advisors and UWM Schools and Colleges use the Course Equivalency Approval form as an internal reference document when conducting the graduation clearance audit for students.
Students receive transfer credit for participation in non-UWM sponsored study abroad programs, and must register through CIE.
Students are first registered in EXMURAL 099, a zero-credit, full-time placeholder that allows students to maintain their status at UWM and allows them to apply their financial aid toward their study abroad program costs.
Upon completion of their program, the students’ official program transcripts should be sent to CIE. CIE study abroad coordinators will review the Course Equivalency Approval form and confirm that the students completed the courses as they were evaluated. If students enrolled in courses that have not been evaluated, they may need to obtain additional course equivalency approvals.
Finally, the transcripts and course equivalency approval forms are sent to the Registrar’s Office, and the coursework and grades are posted as transfer credit on PAWS. Any course equivalencies the student obtained will be noted in PAWS as well.