Where will you find Leeds students studying abroad? Some of the most popular programs include Semester at Sea, Italy, Spain and Australia, but you'll find Leeds students studying all over the globe. We have several summer Global Seminars led by Leeds faculty – check them out!

Forget what you've heard about how difficult it is to graduate in four years if you study abroad. With some planning you can definitely do it. Our students can take A&S core, Gen Ed, non-business electives, business electives and sometimes even a BCOR or area class while abroad. Just be sure to look for programs that have the classes you need and remember to get your classes preapproved before you go!

Check out the Business study abroad guide and list of pre-approved classes for more info on choosing a program and what kinds of classes you can take.

Pre-Approval for CU Study Abroad Courses

Before you go abroad, it is important to have your classes preapproved so that you know how they will apply to your degree. Follow these steps to have your courses preapproved:

  1. View your degree audit to see the requirements that you still need to complete.  If you have any questions about your audit or requirements, meet with a Leeds Advisor.
  2. Go to the website for your study abroad program and click on the link to “course descriptions” (scroll down to view this link).  Ensure that the courses you hope to take are offered during your term abroad, and gather course descriptions or syllabi for the classes you hope to take. We can approve business courses for you. A&S Core, Gen Ed, and non-business electives should be submitted to Education Abroad using the relevant form. Choose a maximum of 10 courses for evaluation by Leeds.
  3. Fill out the Major/Minor Course Planning and Evaluation form, which is an online form.  You’ll be asked to upload the course descriptions or syllabi that you gathered to the online form.  You will submit the form to your Leeds Advisor and it will be processed/routed from there. 
  4. Once any decisions have been made, you will be prompted to view the updated form.  In some cases, your Leeds Advisor may request that you schedule an appointment to discuss the form/courses.  If you are going abroad for a semester or year, you also need to plan for the following term back in Boulder as you will register online while abroad.

Studying Abroad Independently

It is possible for students to study abroad independently, through a program not associated with CU. If you plan on doing this, your first step is to research and select the program that you will go on. The Study Abroad Office may be able to give you some advice on where to look.

Register your program on the Study Abroad website at the following page (scroll down to find the registration button): http://studyabroad.colorado.edu/?go=NonApprovedPrograms.Once you complete this quick process, you will be given access to the form you need to complete the next steps below.

Go to the Office of Admissions and have someone sign on the first line confirming that the institution is approved for transfer credit to CU (You must earn the equivalent of a C- or better for any courses to transfer).

Then, choose courses you are interested in and find course descriptions. Narrow down your course selection to no more than 10 for approval. Bring the course descriptions/syllabi and pre-approval form with you to set up an appointment with an advisor. When you drop these off, we will schedule an appointment with you for approximately 5 business days later. Plan for a minimum of 30 minutes to see an advisor for course approval.

Will Studying Abroad Affect my Graduation Timeline?

It depends on your situation, your area of emphasis, and what remaining requirements you have, but it is possible to study abroad and still graduate in 4 years with careful planning. There are cases where it could affect your graduation, especially if done during your senior year. You should sit down with an advisor and discuss this when you begin planning for study abroad. An advisor will be able to help you spot potential problems and avoid them. If you know you will be studying abroad, it is best to speak to an advisor about your plans early—even your first year is not too soon to start planning how a semester abroad will fit into your plans.  Staying on track with your BCOR courses is key, and we recommend that you save some business electives, A&S Core, Gen Ed and/or non-business electives for study abroad.

Study Abroad as a Senior

Take caution: transcripts from study abroad do NOT arrive quickly enough to allow for graduation in the same semester. For this reason, studying abroad during your last semester will almost always mean delaying your official graduation for a term. Summer Global Seminars typically allow for an August graduation, but be sure to verify this with Study Abroad staff.

If you are planning to study abroad during your final semester, you should discuss with a Study Abroad advisor how long it will probably take to receive transcripts and course evaluations from your program. Once your transcripts are recorded in the system, we will add you to the next graduation cycle (May, August, or December). We cannot go back and award your degree retroactively.

Please note: It is your responsibility to let us know when your Study Abroad credit has been transferred in so that we can add your name to the next graduation cycle.