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Division of General Studies

Important information:
• Completion of the Course Approval Summary Form is not required before departure.
• Grading options do not need to be decided by mid-term.
• All courses taken abroad do not need to be approved.
• Submit the Course Approval Summary Form to: Division of General Studies (5th Floor, Illini Union Bookstore).

If you are submitting your Course Approval Summary Form during the Fall 2020 semester, scan and email your completed form to genstudies@illinois.edu.


This webpage is for students enrolled in the Division of General Studies that are studying abroad on a pre-approved program. To be considered a full-time Illinois student and qualify for financial aid, you must be enrolled in the minimum full-time academic load as defined by your host institution and complete 12 or more Illinois credit hours abroad. Students who receive the Monetary Award Program (MAP Grant) from the state of Illinois, are required to complete the equivalent of 15 Illinois credits.

Course Approval Instructions

Pre-Departure

Complete a Tentative Course Plan as part of the Study Abroad Orientation Course (LAS 291: Global Perspectives for Intercultural Learning). On Tentative Course Plan, available in Moodle, you will plan courses to take while abroad and determine the appropriate approval process.

  • All courses taken abroad on a pre-approved program will transfer back and default to an elective, graded at the LAS 1-- level (this means a 100-level elective course which will factor into your GPA).
  • If you want to use a course for any of the following you will need to go through the course approval process, either before you go, or after your return, as outlined below:
    • To apply to a major or minor
    • For a level other than 100-level
    • To take a course for credit/no credit (C/NC)
    • If you would like a rubric other than "LAS" to appear on your transcript
  • You must complete the Course Approval Summary Form even if all the courses you plan to take are in the Course Approval Database.
  • You may start the course approval process prior to departure, with the understanding that for many programs, the courses that you are choosing may not be available to you. The more you do ahead of time, the easier your course selection process on site will become.

While Abroad

Collect as much information on your courses as you can. This includes bringing back syllabi, homework assignments, tests, textbooks, etc. These will be used in the course approval process.

Upon Return to Campus

Follow the instructions for the course approval process outlined below. Remember that you must complete the Course Approval Summary Form even if all the courses you plan to take are in the Course Approval Database. All other courses will default to LAS 1--. Complete and submit the Course Approval Summary Form to Division of General Studies (5th Floor Illini Union Bookstore) by the Friday of the first week of October (for Spring, Summer and AY term(s) abroad) or March (for Fall term abroad).

If you do not complete the course approval process upon your return, your courses will appear as "LAS 388" on your transcript.

Course Approval Process

Using the Course Approval Summary Form, complete one row for each course using the instructions below.

Completed by the student – list the titles of the courses offered at the institution abroad

You may find information on course offerings for your particular term(s) abroad on the host institution’s website, within My Study Abroad, a course catalogue or a combination of these resources).

Important note: it is important that you list the courses in the exact wording used by the host institution and it is important to list the subject and number of the course abroad (e.g. AUST 2022 Australian Studies).

Completed by the student – check the Course Approval Database to see if your courses have received previous approval:

  • If the course has already been approved, mark “Y” in Column #2.
  • If the course is not in the Course Approval Database, or you wish to seek approval in a subject area other than what is already approved, mark “N” in Column #2.

Completed by a DGS Academic Advisor – A DGS Academic Advisor will indicate course-by-course if you are taking it for credit and grades or credit only.

You will have until the Friday of the first week of October/March of the term following your term abroad to declare a course for credit/no credit. Courses used to satisfy general education, major, or minor requirements must be taken for letter grades.

Completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisors – For any courses not found in the Course Approval Database, or for those courses for which the student wishes to seek approval in a new subject area.

You will need to seek approval from a Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor; this may not be the same person as your academic advisor. You will need to seek out the advisor in the appropriate subject area (for example, for a Sociology course, you will need to search for the sociology Advisor on the Study Abroad Course (299) Advisors list).

Leave blank for DGS.

  • Student signature: this form will not be considered complete without your (the student’s) signature
  • DGS Academic Advisor's signature: must have both the printed name and the signature of a DGS Academic Advisor.
  • A DGS Academic Advisor should scan the completed Study Abroad Course Approval Summary Form to be loaded into UGradRecs.

Notes for Study Abroad Course (299) Advisors

  • Column #4: If you approve this course, please enter the Illinois Subject and Number or Level. If this course has a direct Illinois equivalency, enter Illinois Subject and Number (e.g., SPAN 210). If this course is acceptable as college-level transfer work in your department, enter Illinois Subject and Level (e.g., SPAN 2--).
  • Column #5 (completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor): If you approve the course, please enter “Y” in the box.
  • Column #6 (completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor): If you do not approve the course, please enter "N" in the box.
  • Column #7 (completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor): Please print and sign your name. To include a more detailed explanation, use the “Comments” area on the front or back of the Course Approval Summary Form.
  • Column #8 (completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor): If you approve this course to be added to the Course Approval Database, please enter “Y” in the box. Enter “N” if you do not recommend the course to be added.
  • You can approve courses for individual students but opt not to add the course to the Course Approval Database if you would prefer to review the course on a case-by-case basis.