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Transfer Credit Services for Work Completed Abroad on a Non-affiliated Program

This service is for UW-Madison undergraduate students who plan to complete course work abroad at a foreign institution or a study abroad program which is non-affiliated with UW-Madison. This includes international students returning to their home country and who enroll in classes at a higher education institution in that country. Pursuing a non-affiliated study abroad program requires significant independence. UW-Madison has not reviewed the quality of these programs and credit is not guaranteed. You have the responsibility to ensure the quality of these programs and should keep in mind that not all programs or courses are eligible for transfer credit. On non-affiliated programs, you earn transfer credit (unlike UW-Madison study abroad programs where students earn resident credit). If you participate on a Non-affiliated program for a semester or academic year you will need to apply for readmission to UW-Madison.

You are strongly encouraged to consider the many programs endorsed by UW-Madison before pursuing the non-affiliated study abroad program process. Read more about the advantages of a participating on an IAP study abroad program here.

If you understand the type of program you are considering and wish to proceed, the following steps will help to guide you through the process. To receive transfer credit services for work completed abroad on a non-affiliate program, you will need to sign-up for the service below. IAP offers additional services if you sign-up before or during your study abroad experience for a nominal fee.

1. Research Your Program Options

IAP, as well as other study abroad offices at UW-Madison, offer a number of study abroad program options for various durations, all around the world. Make sure you have thoroughly explored potential options through UW. Take advantage of online resources as well as in-person advising before deciding that a non-affiliated study abroad program is a better fit for you. Explore approved study abroad options on the following websites:

International Academic Programs
CALS International Programs
International Engineering Studies and Programs
Wisconsin School of Business, International Programs

If there is no program offered by UW-Madison that meets your needs, proceed to step 2.

2. Choosing a Non-affiliated Program
  • When looking at other universities and study abroad program providers that offer opportunities to complete coursework abroad, be sure to review the organization's web site to be sure that there is clear information about academics, support staff, emergency procedures, orientation, and housing. Contact the organization/university directly to request information about the application process and program fees.
  • You should meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss your degree requirements and how this program fits within them. Keep in mind that you will not receive UW-Madison in-residence credit for coursework completed on a non-affiliated study abroad program.
  • Check if the country where you intend to study is under a Travel Warning or Alert from the U.S. Department of State or the Center for Disease Control. Per UW-Madison Policy, students are not allowed to travel under University auspices to locations under a Travel Warning. "Travel Warning locations" are identified as locations that are under a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 advisory and/or a CDC Notice Warning Level 3; or those locations additionally identified by the Provost as representing significant health or safety risks for the university's travelers. Please note that locations within countries may be characterized with different advisories levels than the country itself, and that travel to locations that are characterized by a Level 3 or Level 4 within a country that is characterized as a Level 1 or Level 2 are also considered under a "Travel Warning." Students who wish to receive transfer credit services for non-affiliated programs and have a compelling educational reason to travel to or remain in such locations may submit a Travel Warning Waiver Exemption prior to travel. Students who receive waiver approval will be eligible to sign-up for transfer credit services.
  • Note about China Courses from English-language based summer programs in China are occasionally not a part of a university degree program. Therefore they may not be recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Education. UW-Madison will consider transfer credit only if the transcript is certified by the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). Each course needs to show the certification notation on the official transcript submitted after program completion.
3. Academics of Transfer Course Equivalent Requests
  • Not all non-affiliated study abroad programs are eligible for transfer credit. Before applying for a non-affiliated program, you should do your best to ensure that courses are similar in credit, contact hours, and content to a UW-Madison course. In order to receive transfer credit, the non-affiliated study abroad program must issue an official transcript from an accredited tertiary-level, degree-granting institution.
  • Review the Academics FAQs for more detailed information about:
    • Transfer Course Equivalent Requests (TCERs)
    • accreditation requirements
    • transferrable courses and your UW-Madison degree
    • credit limits for summer programs
  • Review approved and denied transfer credit equivalents:
  • If you are a semester or academic year student and the course(s) you intend to take abroad are not listed on the above lists, you will not know your transfer course equivalents until IAP has received your final non-affiliated program transcript.
  • To have credit transferred to UW-Madison you are required to have an official transcript issued by the school of record and set to the following address:

    Non-affiliated Study Abroad Programs Transfer Credit Services
    International Academic Programs
    301 Red Gym
    716 Langdon St,
    Madison, WI 53706

    An electronic transcript can be emailed directly to

    Please note that some schools of record charge to issue an official transcript.
4. Apply to the Non-affiliated Program

You must contact the foreign institution or sponsoring study abroad program directly for complete information and an application.

For questions about housing, arrivals, visas, course registration, etc., contact your non-affiliated study abroad program directly.

If your non-affiliated study abroad program requires you get approval from UW-Madison, print out the Program Approval Request form and complete as directed.

5. Sign-up to Receive Transfer Credit Services for Work Completed Abroad

After you have applied to the foreign institution or sponsoring study abroad program, sign-up to receive transfer credit services. You do not need to be accepted by the non-affiliated study abroad program to start this sign-up process. All UW-Madison undergraduate students interested in receiving transfer credit for a non-affiliated program must sign-up through IAP. Upon sign-up, IAP will review your non-affiliated program information and determine whether you are eligible to receive transfer credit.

IAP offers additional services to non-affiliated program participants for a fee. You can elect these services after you have completed the sign-up process:

  1. Eligibility to apply for an IAP Scholarship for student using this service, as well as advising on funding and scholarship opportunities.
  2. Enrollment in international health insurance which includes basic and emergency health coverage, as well as evacuation assistance and services, for the duration of your program.
  3. Unlimited access to an online portal for transfer course equivalent requests and assistance on the process while abroad.
  4. Student identity and travel resources to assist with preparing to study abroad.
  5. Assistance with the readmission process to UW-Madison.

The fee for these services is $200 plus the cost of the international health insurance for the duration of your program abroad (roughly $34 a month).

If you do not want to receive these additional services, and simply wish to transfer the credit after you return from your program, no fee will be charged.

LOG IN HERE TO SIGN UP (with your netid login)

****Notification of acceptance to this service will be sent to you within 2 weeks of receipt of all your sign-up materials. Please remember that acceptance to receive transfer credit services does not guarantee that you will receive transfer credit for every course you take on your non-affiliated study abroad program. Guidelines for choosing courses will be included with your acceptance notification. You will receive access to an online portal with additional forms to complete and resources to review as you prepare to study abroad.

If you have questions about this process, contact IAP at

6. Financial Information

You will pay any non-affiliated program fees directly to the organization/university sponsoring the program. Students who sign-up for the additional IAP services will be assessed a service fee of $200 plus the cost of the international health insurance (roughly $34 a month).

You may or may not be eligible for financial aid for your non-affiliated program. Review student financial aid information and consortium agreement details provided by the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). Please consult OSFA directly for more information.

You should research scholarship opportunities offered by your non-affiliated study abroad program. Consult the Scholarship Chart on the IAP website to identify national scholarships that you might be eligible for. Students who sign up for Transfer Credit Services for Work Completed Abroad prior to departure are eligible for the IAP Scholarship for Transfer Credit Services for Work Completed Abroad on Non-affiliated Programs.

If you have questions about this process, contact IAP at