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Section 1

Credit Transfer Policy

Semester Programs

  • Students will only receive credit for programs that have been approved by the Lehigh Abroad Faculty Policy Board. In some cases students may petition to have an alternate program approved.
  • Courses to be taken abroad must be approved before students leave campus. Students must complete and submit the Application for Course Approval form (pdf) to the Study Abroad Office. Students complete this form by obtaining approval for each individual course from the appropriate academic department at Lehigh, and they must get signatures from the appropriate department chairs and their academic advisor.
  • Once abroad, if you enroll in a course that is not listed on your Application for Course Approval, you must obtain approval for the course via e-mail while abroad following these guidelines (pdf).
  • Students must register for a minimum of 12 Lehigh credits per semester (and register with fulltime status as prescribed by the host institution). Students may register for a maximum of 16 Lehigh credits per semester abroad.
  • Students must earn a minimum grade of “C” (or the local equivalent) in each class abroad in order for the credit to be transferred to your Lehigh transcript. Credits bearing a "C-" grade or lower will not transfer.
  • Students cannot repeat a course that has substantially the same content as a course already taken at Lehigh.
  • Study abroad courses may not be used to delete a prior “D” or “F” from a student’s cumulative GPA at Lehigh.
  • For each course taken abroad, the credit hours and the Lehigh equivalent course title (as listed on the Application for Course Approval) will appear on your Lehigh transcript.
  • Although the credits will transfer back to your Lehigh degree, no grades will transfer, your GPA will not be affected, and grades will not be posted to your Lehigh transcript. Note that you will receive a host institution transcript listing your grades and courses; graduate schools or employers will request these original transcripts listing grades during an application process.
  • Students must take all courses abroad for a letter grade. Pass/fail courses will NOT be accepted for Lehigh credit.
  • Each student is responsible for requesting an official transcript be sent to the Lehigh University Study Abroad Office from the host institution/program after completion of the term(s) abroad.
  • Final approval of credit hours is made by the Lehigh University Registrar after receipt of a final transcript.
  • All students sign the Study Abroad Credit Transfer Understanding (pdf) at the mandatory pre-departure meeting.

Lehigh Faculty-Led Programs

  • Courses taught on Lehigh faculty-led study abroad programs are official Lehigh University classes. Course names and grades will be posted to your transcript and your GPA will be affected.
  • Course overload policy: Students participating in a faculty-led program cannot enroll in any online courses during the same summer session that students are attending a faculty-led program. Therefore, students cannot take both an online course and attend a faculty-led program during the same summer session. Contact the Registrar for full details on Lehigh’s overload policy.
  • Students will not register for the faculty-led courses. Students accepted to the program will be automatically registered for their courses by the Study Abroad Office.

Summer/Winter Non-Lehigh-Led Programs

  • Students must complete the Registrar's Office Approval of Transfer Credit (pdf) form prior to leaving campus.
  • Pass/Fail courses are not acceptable for transfer.
  • Courses taken at a two year or four year institution where a grade lower than a “C” has been earned will not transfer. (C- or below will not transfer).
  • Transfer courses may not be used to delete a prior “D” or “F” grade from your cumulative grade point average at Lehigh University. Transfer grades are NOT calculated in the Lehigh GPA.
  • Only those courses listed and approved on this form will transfer. Any student taking courses different from those listed may risk having the course not be eligible for transfer credit.
  • No student may receive more credit at Lehigh than was granted on the host institution’s transcript. Courses taken on the quarter system will have credit granted on a 3-2 ratio, and no partial credit will be awarded. The student will receive credit equivalent to the number of credits indicated on the transcript, up to the number of credits for the equivalent course at Lehigh. The registrar has the final authority for the amount of credit awarded toward a Lehigh degree.
  • No credit will be granted for a course in which the student has already received credit for its equivalent at Lehigh.
  • No credit will be granted for continuing education unit courses, courses taken on-line, January or intersession courses, correspondence, independent study, or any course less than five weeks and/or 15 contact hours per credit without approval of a petition to the Standing of Students Committee.
  • Courses taken while in high school may require additional documentation. All questions should be directed to the registrar.

Section 2

Program Cancelation Policy

Short-Term Lehigh-Led Programs

Circumstances that would cause Lehigh to cancel a short-term summer or winter program abroad

A decision to cancel a program would be made after careful consideration of all available information, and would be informed by conversations with faculty program directors, staff at hosting/partner institutions in-country; U.S. embassy officials in-country, and the Study Abroad Office's assessment of current and anticipated events.

Those events include (in no specific order): a declaration of war by the U.S. against the country where the program is located or an adjacent neighbor; declaration of war by a third country against the country of the program's location; significant terrorist activity in the program city or country; protracted or indefinite closure of the host institution(s); inability of the local support staff to organize and carry out an academic program outside the host institution(s); disruption of public utilities and/or services; wide-spread civil unrest, violence and/or rioting; a declaration of martial law in the program city; recommendation of suspension/cancellation by the faculty program directors in-country; a significant health threat; a natural disaster or other catastrophic event; and/or travel warning and/or specific directive by the U.S. State Department and/or U.S. Embassy.

Additionally, programs may also be cancelled prior to departure due to insufficient enrollment, or in the event the program directors are unable to run the program (for example, because of personal health issues).

Academic and financial consequences of the cancellation of a short-term study abroad program

In the unlikely event that such a cancellation should occur, either before or after departure, causing no academic credit to be awarded, full refunds will be made unless the cancellation is due to factors (political, natural, technological, for example) beyond Lehigh's control, in which case Lehigh will be able to refund only uncommitted and recoverable funds. Lehigh would examine the possibility of bringing the program back to campus in some way, to prevent loss of credit for participants. If Lehigh terminates a program early, but makes arrangements for students to earn full or partial credit, the refund amount would reflect this.

Semester Study Abroad

Cancellation of an approved semester/yearlong program

Unfortunately, for many reasons it would be difficult for students to return to campus after the end of the drop/add period, or, except in exceptional circumstances, to get credit through work with Lehigh faculty. External programs' refund policies vary widely, and Lehigh would attempt to help students receive reasonable refunds, however Lehigh would not be able to refund non-recoverable funds. The Financial Aid Office is required to follow federal guidelines in determining refunds to federal sources. The staff of the Financial Aid Office would work with any such student receiving financial aid to attempt to arrive at the best possible solution. Students are advised to inquire about the refund policies of external programs prior to enrolling.

Returning home mid-program if current events make student/family nervous

Lehigh students abroad always have the option of returning home, however it is not possible to enroll in on-campus courses after the end of the drop/add period.

Academic and financial consequences of withdrawal after the program starts, even if the program continues to operate

While wishing to remain sensitive to individual students' concerns, Lehigh's practice is to work with the objective information provided by the sources listed above. Therefore, a student's decision to withdraw from a program which continues to operate will result in a loss of tuition and fees paid, as well as a loss of credit not completed.

Withdrawing from a program for which I've signed up, but not departed, even though it continues to run

The refund policies of external programs vary greatly, and students may be liable for deposits and expenses incurred on their behalf. In the case of Lehigh-run programs, students are liable for all expenses incurred on their behalf, and deposits are not transferable or refundable.

More information about world events that may affect my experience

The Study Abroad Office receives regular security updates from the U.S. government, as well as from several foreign governments, and is happy to discuss your concerns about health, safety, and security around the world.