Academics

Determine Your Academic Goals

When considering your study abroad program, it is important to think about how it will best fit into your academic course plan. With many programs to choose from, it may be useful to first consider what your academic goals are, and then select a program that meets those goals.

Meet with an Academic Advisor: As you begin your search for a program, be sure to discuss study abroad with your academic advisor. Consider the following questions:

  • What type of Major/Minor/Global Miami Plan requirements do you plan to complete while studying abroad?
  • Are you interested in fulfilling Global Perspectives (6 credit hours) or a Self-Designed Thematic Sequence (9 credit hours, approval needed)?
  • Is it important if you earn Miami credit or transfer credit?
  • Is language acquisition/fluency a goal for your study abroad experience?
  • When is the best time to be abroad for your major? Sophomore, Junior or Senior year?

Academic Policies and Requirements

Students studying abroad are subject to the same policies as they would have studying on campus in Oxford. Students are expected to abide by the Miami Student Handbook, Miami Code of Conduct and maintain high standards of academic honesty and integrity.

Eligibility

Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for study abroad. Most Miami programs will require a minimum of a 2.25 GPA, but some require a 2.5 or as high as a 3.0. Transfer credit programs vary widely as well. Be sure to check the eligibility requirements for the programs you plan to apply to.

Course Credit

Miami Credit

Most study abroad students enroll in Miami Programs. All of our Faculty-led and Miami Luxembourg are coordinated by Miami and offer courses taught by Miami faculty. Students on these programs will earn Miami credit just as they would on the Oxford or regional campuses. Students should expect similar rigor on abroad/away courses as they would on campus. Grades are determined using standard grading scales and will contribute, like any other Miami course, to your GPA.

Transfer Credit

We know that students have a wide variety of interests and needs, so Miami offers the opportunity for students to enroll in programs that do not offer Miami credit. Examples of these transfer credit programs are Exchanges, Co-Sponsored Programs and Approved Programs. Students must seek approval for their courses to transfer and must submit a transcript from an accredited university showing completed courses with a grade of D- or better. Once completed, courses will appear on your transcript as transfer courses for Credit/No Credit and will not factor into your GPA.

Some students use transfer credit courses for major and minor courses, but we also recommend that you be creative in considering how your courses abroad can complete Global Miami Plan requirements such as Global Perspectives, Fine Arts and/or a Thematic Sequence. As always, please consult your Academic Advisor for the best use of transfer credits.

The Transfer Credit Approval Process

Before

Once you find a program that you are interested, review the courses and syllabi (if available) on the program’s website. If it is not listed, you will need to contact the program to request this information. You will need it to complete your Transfer Credit Approval Form or TFAC. This form can be found in your application site as well as on the One Stop. The TFAC can be completed before, during or after the abroad experience, but it is best to complete it as soon as possible so that there is no confusion as to what credit you will earn while abroad. On the form, list the courses you plan to take, then bring the form and course descriptions to the Chief Departmental Advisor (CDA) for that course. The CDA will determine the Miami equivalency and sign the form to give their approval. Note that if you are taking a wide variety of courses, you may need to go to several different departments to have your courses approved. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough time to see everyone that you need to.

While Abroad

It is recommended that you register for courses that you had pre-approved on your TCAF, but we understand that changes may be necessary. If you enroll in a course that was not pre-approved, it is recommended that you communicate with your academic advisor to complete the approval process for your new course. You do not want to return from your program and find out that you did not complete the Miami degree requirements you expected.

Be sure to save all syllabi and coursework from your classes. You may need it for a petition, graduate school application, or future employment.

Upon Return

Request an official transcript be sent to Miami University, and consider requesting a person copy for your own records. Mail your official transcript to:


Office of the Registrar
Transfer Credit Evaluations
Miami University
301 S. Campus Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056
USA

Please note that it can take a couple of months for your program to send a complete transcript to Miami, and for Miami to process the transfer.

If you have earned at least 6 credits towards the Global Perspectives requirement, but your DAR does not reflect this, you will need to email the Office of Liberal Education. Provide your name, banner ID, and the course(s) to apply to the Global Perspectives requirement.

STYABD

If abroad for a semester, students will be registered in a STY ABD course at Miami. This course serves as a placeholder for administrative purpose to maintain your full-time Miami student status. It reserves your spot at Miami for the following semester and allows you to maintain eligibility for financial aid and scholarships.

Considerations For Seniors

Students studying abroad in the second semester of their senior year must request a waiver of the 12-credit residency requirement from the One Stop or your divisional advising office.

Registering for Next Semester’s Courses While Abroad

Students studying abroad on semester long programs will have priority registration for the following semester. Registration dates/times (time tickets) will be available through BannerWeb in early October/April.

The registration process will work the same as here on campus – you will register for courses electronically via BannerWeb. However, if you are in a different time zone, you will need to remember that your time ticket is listed in (Oxford, Ohio) Eastern Time. Set your alarm accordingly! Plan ahead for any courses that might require a prerequisite or instructor permission. In this case you will need to contact the department offering the course to request permission to register. The Study Abroad office is not able to force add you to any course.

Academic Environment Abroad

Something students do not always consider before studying abroad are the changes to the academic environment in a different country. Consider these differences as you prepare for your program abroad to best prepare for a successful semester abroad.

Classroom Learning vs. Experiential Learning (or combination)

Some programs offer courses that are primarily classroom/lecture-based, while others are more experiential in nature. Faculty-led programs, in particular, tend to be more experiential, or provide supplemental activities to allow you to investigate the local context of what you are learning.

Role of the Professor

Students taking courses from international instructors may notice a difference in educational philosophy. In the US, a typical instructional philosophy is that it is the instructor's primary responsibility to teach and to ensure that students learn. In some other counties, instructors expect students to be proactive and individually responsible for their learning. This may seem like a subtle difference, but can impact assignments, grading, and even attendance policies.

Exams

In some countries, students receive only one exam which determines their grade for the entire course. If you fail, there are no opportunities to make up points. While this approach may seem easier, it requires you take more personal responsibility for your learning. The professor will require additional assignments or check to see if you have read the assigned material. You must have the self-discipline to continue studying throughout the semester.

Grading

While Miami programs use a standard grading scale, you will find that many other countries have a much stricter grading philosophy. For example, in the UK, a grade of 60%-70% can be considered an average, respectable grade; grades of 80% and above are rare. As long as you pass your classes (equivalent of a D- or above), credit will transfer back to Miami.