Study Abroad & Exchange

Getting Academic Credit

Students who study abroad / away must obtain signatures from their academic advisors for course substitutions prior to their departure.  This allows students to use the courses they take abroad to fulfill requirements at CSU, Chico for their major, minor, general education, and upper-division pathway.

Who can approve my courses for substitutions? For...

How are course approvals submitted for substitution?

Once you have selected your courses, work with your major/minor advisor, General Education Pathway Coordinator and/or Graduation Advisor to submit the selected courses via the  Course Substitution E-Form.

Please note:

  • Submissions must be completed by the major/minor advisor, General Education Pathway Coordinator and/or Graduation Advisor. Students may not submit the e-form on their own behalf, as they cannot approve course substitutions.
  • The General Course Planning Form (PDF) may be used for planning purposes. However, it is not valid for course substitution requests. 

How do I get courses approved while I am abroad or away?

Making changes to your schedule while overseas or out-of-state can be frustrating and very challenging. Every effort should be made to get as many courses authorized as possible BEFORE YOU GO, enabling you to easily make changes to your schedule while abroad.

If you are forced to make unexpected changes to your schedule while abroad, the only way to get the new courses authorized is to contact your corresponding advisor via e-mail.

Chico State’s academic advisors are extremely busy the first two weeks of school and are not always able to quickly respond to your e-mails. You will need to be as patient as possible, and make sure to keep your e-mail short, sweet, to the point, and at all times respectful.

Working with your advisor from abroad:

  1. Find your advisor’s (major, minor, upper-division pathway) and Graduation Advisor's (general education) e-mail addresses. You will have recorded this in your Pre-Departure Orientation Binder, which you should have with you abroad.  If you don't have your binder, please consult the Chico State website, campus directory, or contact the Study Abroad & Exchange team.
  2. Compose an e-mail to your advisor:
    • Explain what program you are on, where you are and who you are.  Be sure to include your student ID number.
    • Include a course description of the course you are planning to take and as much information on the course as possible (a syllabus is best).
    • Ask your advisor to respond to your e-mail with the following information:
      • "I approve the course ___________________ taken while studying abroad, to transfer back to Chico in the place of ___________." 
      • NOTE: They can either have it replace another course that is similar to a Chico State course or confirm which GE area it satisfies (e.g. Area B3).
  3. Be sure to request that your advisor copies (cc) the Study Abroad & Exchange team ( with their response to you, which will ensure it gets to the Office of the Registrar. 

There are two ways in which courses taken abroad could fulfill graduation requirements at CSU, Chico:

  1. They can be articulated as Chico State Courses. These are courses already pre-authorized by specific departments and converted to Chico State terminology (call numbers, titles, etc.).  These courses will eventually appear on your Chico transcript as if they had been taken in Chico. If articulation is an option for your program, you will find that form listed on this website.
  2. They can be substituted for Chico State Courses This would apply to the courses that IP/USAC has NOT converted to Chico State terminology (most programs).  Through the substitution process, the Chico transcript will simply list the foreign university's course title and number, rather than a Chico equivalent.  The Chico State equivalents will be reflected only on students' Degree Progress Report and the Study Abroad & Exchange Courses Substitution forms themselves.