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Academic and Disciplinary Policies

Review the following information so that you're prepared for your coursework while abroad and understand the university standards you are to uphold as a Tulane representative. 

Academic Policies

Language and Culture Coursework Abroad

While the NTC Office of Study Abroad does not require students to take a language or culture course on-site unless such a requirement is mandated by the host university or program provider (in which case the student would be required to enroll in the appropriate course), students are strongly encouraged to take at least one course for credit in the language of the host country during each semester spent abroad. This may be a course that teaches the language or one that focuses specifically on the local culture of the host country. Additional coursework requirements may be listed in the program-specific information found on this website. 

Course Registration

In the semester before studying abroad, students must register for a 12-credit placeholder course to maintain full-time enrollment at Tulane while abroad.  This ensures proper tuition billing, financial aid disbursement, and eligibility to register for courses in the semester you return to Tulane.

Pre-Requisite Courses

All students are required to take their first tier writing, first tier public service, and TIDES course prior to studying abroad. Some program s or host universities may enforce additional requirements such as language courses, or courses taken in the intended area of study. Students should carefully read the program brochure and program website for additional course requirements or pre-requisites specific to certain courses to be taken abroad. Transfer students should work carefully with their academic advisors regarding degree requirements, on-campus hours, and study abroad.

Minimum/Maximum Course Load Abroad

While abroad, students must be registered as full-time students. Overseas host institution policies with regard to full-time status may vary from Tulane’s, and must also be followed even if those policies require more credits than Tulane does. Full-time status at Tulane currently requires students to enroll for the equivalent of 12 U.S. credits. If for example your program requires a minimum of 15 U.S. credits, you would need to enroll in 15 rather than 12. If you have any questions about whether or not you are full-time enrolled while you are studying abroad, please contact the Office of Study Abroad.

In order to avoid the risk of falling below the 12-credit threshold for full-time status in the event of dropping a course, the Office of Study Abroad strongly urges students to register for 15 credits while abroad.

Students studying abroad must also comply with Tulane and host institution policies regarding maximum course loads.  Per Tulane policy, registration for 19 or more credits while abroad requires prior approval from your academic advisor.

Course Selection

While students are required to propose courses as part of their study abroad application, final course selection is generally made on-site in consultation with program staff. Students should speak to their academic and major/minor advisors prior to departure to discuss their proposed coursework abroad as individual departments sign off on credit transfer within the major/minor. NTC core credit from abroad is awarded at the discretion of Academic Advising. Students may petition the Center for Public Service for Tier-2 service credit from abroad. 

Credits and Grades Earned Abroad

For coursework completed on a Newcomb-Tulane Study Abroad Program or ISO, the Tulane transcript will automatically show all courses, grades, and credits. There is no need to petition for elective credit for courses taken on Tulane-approved study abroad programs, although the awarding of credit toward a major, minor, or NTC core requirement is at the discretion of the relevant department or program.

Unless specifically noted in the program description on this website, grades earned abroad will appear on the official transcript, but will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA. This policy will not apply to Tulane faculty-led summer programs.

To receive Tulane credit for coursework abroad, students must complete the program and submit all materials and assignments to their instructors by the end of the last day of class, and take all scheduled examinations. Students are strongly encouraged to retain a personal copy of all work submitted abroad and relevant course syllabi until all grades and courses have been posted to the official Tulane transcript.

Independent Study Projects

Students conducting Independent Study or similar independent work are required to submit their proposal for an independent study project to the appropriate academic department for prior approval and must forward the correspondence indicating department approval to the Office of Study Abroad prior to commencing work.

Add/Drop Deadline

Students are subject to the add/drop schedule of the host institution or program and should confer with relevant departmental advisors at Tulane (major/minor/academic) regarding changes to proposed coursework abroad if they intend to receive major, minor, or core credit upon return. 

Course Withdrawals after Add/Drop

Requests for course withdrawals require the written approval of both the program director abroad and the OSA.  Students may not reduce their courses below the stated minimum (12 U.S. credits or the program minimum, whichever is higher) unless there are extenuating circumstances for doing so (e.g., medical reasons).  These circumstances must be documented by program directors abroad.

Auditing a Course

If students audit a course while abroad, that course will not be officially recorded and the audit will not receive credit.

S/U Option

Tulane’s regulations for S/U grades apply abroad with three restrictions: 1) students may not take an independent study or directed research course abroad on an S/U basis, 2) students may not take the Core Course on certain programs on an S/U basis, 3) students may not take S/U grades for courses offered on any Tulane summer programs unless given specific approval by the program director. Generally only one course may be taken as S/U per semester. Additionally, some academic semester/year study abroad programs do not offer an S/U option, or limit S/U options, and this takes precedence over Tulane’s regulations. Please refer to your program or host university for information on their internal policies. 

The study abroad S/U deadline differs from the Tulane on-campus deadline. Requests must be submitted in writing to OSA by email within 10 weeks after the first class meeting. The OSA will consult with the Academic Advising Center and notify the student of the decision. Once filed, the change is not reversible. Students may not exercise the S/U option with the program sponsor without notifying the OSA.

In general, students may not take courses S/U in the major or minor field.  For specific restrictions, students must inquire with their major/minor departments at Tulane.

Overseas program directors submit a regular letter grade to Tulane for courses taken on an S/U basis. The OSA will convert this grade for students with approved S/U requests on file.


Professors overseas rarely accept work after the regular deadline. Students are therefore urged to avoid taking an Incomplete. Those unable to complete coursework due to illness or other factors may receive an Incomplete with the written approval of the instructor, director abroad, and the OSA. In consultation with the overseas director, students must develop a timetable for completion of an incomplete grade. Students who receive an Incomplete for a course taken abroad are responsible for completing the coursework just as they would be for a Tulane course.  Any incomplete coursework will be posted as “I” and, if not completed - subsequently as “F” on the official Tulane transcript.  For further clarification, consult the Tulane University Catalog.

Grade Disputes

Students who believe they have grounds for a grade dispute for a course completed abroad must meet with the Director of Study Abroad to discuss procedures for grade disputes and appeals. Typically students will be encouraged to exhaust all avenues for grade dispute through the program or host university before a case is presented to the Tulane Study Abroad Committee. Appeals must be initiated through the OSA as soon as possible and under all circumstances within one semester of the student's return to Tulane from abroad.

Withdrawal/Dismissal Policy

Students who withdraw from a study abroad program after the program start date must notify the OSA in writing. Students may not defer a withdrawn application to a subsequent semester, but they may reapply.

No Tulane credit will be awarded to participants who voluntarily withdraw or are expelled from a program prior to its completion.  This may include instances where academic credit has been earned prior to the withdrawal, including study abroad programs with module course components or withdrawal from the second semester of an academic year program. Special accommodations may be made on a case-by-case basis for students whose participation in a study abroad program is interrupted by documented cases of illness, injury, family emergency, verifiable personal problems or circumstances beyond their control.

Please see Financial Policies for details on financial consequences of early withdrawal or dismissal.


Disciplinary Policies

Academic & Behavioral Codes of Conduct

Students are held to the Tulane Codes of Behavioral and Academic Conduct while abroad, as well as the codes of the host institution abroad. Students engaged in research abroad involving human subjects who plan to make further use of the data gathered upon returning to Tulane, must secure approval from the Tulane Institutional Review Board for their research design.  For more information about the IRB approval process, please visit: http://tulane.edu/asvpr/irb.

Academic & and Disciplinary Probation

Students who are on disciplinary probation during the semester or term in which they intend to study abroad are not eligible to participate in a Newcomb-Tulane study abroad program. Approvals will be revoked for students who are placed on disciplinary probation after being approved to study abroad. Students who are currently on disciplinary probation and wish to submit an application for a study abroad program that will take place after their probation ends may do so. However, such applications will be reviewed by the Office of Study Abroad on a case-by-case basis in consultation with Tulane’s Division of Student Affairs. If the application is approved by the Tulane Study Abroad Committee, the faculty director, host institution, and/or program provider will be notified of the disciplinary status. It is within the discretion of the host institution and/or Newcomb-Tulane College to place additional restrictions on a recently-disciplined student’s participation in a study abroad program participation in a study abroad program.

Honor & Code Violations

Students who have been found guilty or who have pled guilty to an Honor Code violation within one year prior to submitting an application to study abroad may not study abroad on a Tulane program, nor will they receive approval or be eligible to receive transfer credit for a non-Tulane program for the same period of time.


Non-Tulane Programs

Non-Tulane Programs

In order to seek transfer credit approval for a semester or summer study abroad program not approved by Newcomb-Tulane College, students must complete the Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program application available on the Office of Study Abroad website and consult with a Study Abroad Advisor and their Academic Advisor.  Students participating in such programs will take a leave of absence from the university and will handle all study abroad matters directly with the foreign university or program provider. Please note that all credits earned abroad must appear on a transcript from an accredited degree-granting institution overseas or a program provider’s accredited School of Record. Petitions involving programs that are not accredited, such as stand-alone language institutes, will not be approved for transfer credit, nor will leave of absence requests be approved for CIEE-sponsored programs undertaken during the Fall or Spring semesters for which Tulane serves as the School of Record. Students on Non-Tulane programs will pay all fees directly to the program. Financial aid and institutional scholarships do not apply on Non-Tulane programs. 

Learn More About Non-Tulane Programs

Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program Application

A note on traveling programs: Completion of the Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program form is not required for Semester at Sea and similar programs.  Due to the unique structure and objectives of traveling programs like Semester at Sea, Tulane's procedure for participating in such programs is the same as for regular study at any other U.S. university while on a leave of absence from Tulane. Interested students should consult with the Academic Advising Center for further details about procedure for transfer of credit from such programs.