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Northwestern University

Transferring Credit from Abroad

Meet with your College Adviser as soon as possible upon return to Northwestern.  Your College Adviser will discuss the transition back to Northwestern, scheduling, and course planning for remaining quarters.  In addition your adviser will go over the credit transfer process with you.

IMPORTANT: You cannot submit your petition for credit until your abroad credits have posted to your NU transcript, so check your unofficial NU transcript on CAESAR to be sure they have before going on to the next steps.

Obtain a copy of your study abroad transcript. Please note that the Global Learning Office generally does not receive transcripts from study abroad programs until 1-2 months after you return.

If you only want elective credits from your courses abroad, you need not take further action.  The credits will post on your Northwestern record once the Registrar’s Office receives your study abroad transcript.  They will appear as GEN_CRED 1XX.

To request to designate credits as something other than electives

Download the Weinberg Petition for Credit from Study Abroad.  Only complete the parts of the application to be filled out by students.  You will need to turn in a copy of your study abroad transcript along with the completed form.

Major or Minor Credit: If you are seeking credit toward your major, bring this form, the transcript, and supporting materials, including course descriptions and course syllabi, to a meeting with your major adviser. If you are seeking credit for courses in an additional major and/or a minor, you will also need to meet with your advisers in those departments. Your major/minor adviser(s) will complete the appropriate section of the form and sign it. Email the completed form and supporting materials to

Distribution Credit: Complete the appropriate section of the Petition for Credit. You will need to attach:  

  1. a copy of the course description;
  2. a copy of the abroad syllabus;
  3. a copy of the reading list.

Please note:

Your next step will depend on whether you are requesting distribution credit.

You are ONLY requesting major or minor credit: email your completed form and supporting materials directly to the Office of the Registrar at

Your petition includes a request for distribution credit: email the entire completed form and supporting materials to the Weinberg College Advising Office at A committee will review your distribution credit request and will convey decisions to the Registrar. The distribution petition committee meets three times a quarter, and you should allow six weeks for the full process to be completed (unless your petition is urgent, in which case it will be fast-tracked). Watch your Academic Requirements report on CAESAR to see that the changes post correctly. You will be notified via email if your request is denied.

NOTE: If you participated in a Northwestern-run program and enrolled in regular Northwestern courses while abroad, you do not need to go through this process, as your courses already count as NU work.  Here's a list of NU programs with NU courses.  Be aware that these courses are subject to the same rules and restrictions as the same numbered courses taught in Evanston. If the particular course, when taught at NU, is a distribution course, it automatically will be so when taught abroad. If the course has not been approved by the College for distribution requirement credit, it will not count that way, though you may apply to use such a course as part of a 2-for-1 distribution requirement substitution. Contact your College Adviser. Any courses you wish to count toward a major or minor which do not appear properly on your Academic Requirements on CAESAR can be slotted there when you petition to graduate.

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