Academic Planning


For UCSC Partner Programs and UCEAP, you must receive academic approval from your Major/Minor and College Advisors through the Global Learning Approval Form (GLAF).

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Make a Copy of the Global Learning Approval Form.

Note: you will need to be logged in to your @ucsc.edu Google account in order to access this form.

The GLAF will assist you in planning your academics, and provides an opportunity to discuss your overall academic plan with your Major/Minor and College Advisors. After the GLAF is completed and e-signed by all of your advisors, save the form as a PDF and upload it to your Nomination Form in the Global Learning Portal. 

If your proposed plan changes at any time after submitting the GLAF, please consult your Major/Minor and College Advisors.


All courses taken while on a UC Global Learning program are considered UC courses

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Your grades will be calculated into your UC GPA and your units will be counted towards your total units toward graduation. However, this does NOT mean that courses taken on your program will automatically count for major, minor, college or general education requirements. You will be responsible for bringing back syllabi, tests, homework, etc. and filing a petition with the corresponding department or campus units. Only after the petition has passed will the class be counted towards your requirements. To better your chances of a successful petition, speak with your academic advisor from your department before applying to a program.

Courses Available on Your Program

Every program has different course offerings; some have limited options or are pre-set for you, and some programs allow you to select from a wide variety of courses offered by the host university. Reference the “Academics” tab on your program for resources on identifying courses. If you need assistance, please email globallearning@ucsc.edu.

Please note: Courses are subject to change, and we recommend having a back up plan and remaining flexible.

Repeating a Course

You cannot replace a grade earned abroad by taking a similar class upon your return to UCSC. Similarly, it is not possible to get credit for a course that you have already taken at UCSC. Grades earned are final.

Grades

Course grades are issued by your host institution, and a grade report/transcript will be sent to your program administrator for evaluation and conversion to UC grades. This process is automatic, but the timeline of translating foreign grades to UC grades and the courses being included on your UCSC transcript can take up to 3-4 months. 

Pass/No Pass

Students in good academic standing may request to take specific courses on a Pass/No Pass basis. Requests for Pass/No Pass grading must be submitted and confirmed by the Grade Option deadline printed in the Academic and Administrative Calendar (by the fall quarter deadline for fall semester programs and winter quarter deadline for spring semester programs). No more than 25 percent of the UCSC credits applied toward graduation may be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis. 

Enrolling in UCSC Courses While on Global Learning*

While it is possible for students who meet the below criteria to take additional courses at UCSC while on a global learning program, Global Learning does not recommend it. While abroad/away, students will be adjusting to new academic and cultural environments, balancing a full-time course load, and adhering to rigorous schedules. Adding additional UCSC courses while in a different time zone will be challenging. 

A student can enroll in both UCSC courses and global learning courses if they meet the following criteria:  

  • Be in good academic standing
  • Have a 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher

If students do not have these requirements, students must contact their College Advising Office for special approval. Learn more at Undergraduate Advising.

*This option is only available for students on Partner Programs. UCEAP students cannot take courses at UCSC while abroad.

Fall, Winter, or Spring Terms – If the above conditions are met, students can enroll in UCSC courses on the first day of the quarter’s class instruction through their MyUCSC account. The maximum number of units you can add is 7 units for 22 total units. Students will not be charged any additional UCSC tuition during fall, winter, or spring.

Summer – During the summer, students may be charged additional tuition on top of their program fees.. Students would enroll in courses through their MyUCSC account, however, they may need to gain special approval from their College to take additional units.


You can request approval for courses to fulfill major/minor requirements by speaking with your major/minor advising office.

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  1. Speak with your major/minor advising office directly for more information on how to satisfy requirements on a Global Learning program. Your major advising office has final approval over which, if any, courses may be used to satisfy major/minor requirements. Approval processes vary by major.
  2. On programs that do not have set courses, you will be required to register for classes (this can be anywhere from a month before departure to a week after your arrival). If a course you had planned to take isn’t offered, or you see another course available you’d prefer, you should contact your advisor via email to learn if that new course might meet a requirement.
  3. Make sure you save all of your syllabi and coursework from abroad/away if your course has not been pre-approved by your major/minor advisors. If you are registering for courses after departure, see step 2 (above) regarding course registration.

You can request approval for courses to count as GE credit by completing a Student Petition: Substitution of GE Requirements through the Committee on Courses of Instruction (CCI).

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CCI has final approval over which, if any, courses may be used to satisfy GE requirements. Allow up to 4-6 weeks for your request to be reviewed – start early! If your academic plan relies on satisfying specific GEs while abroad, you should seek pre-approval rather than assume your courses abroad will count toward your GEs. If you have any questions about the petition process, please contact the CCI Analyst at cci@ucsc.edu.

Please note that CCI approval is not guaranteed.

The DC requirement must be taken at UCSC.

*You can request GE substitution approval at anytime (before, during, or after your program), but it is recommended you request approval before departure if you need to satisfy GE credit while abroad. In addition to course information, including the syllabus, you should be prepared to provide:

  • Student’s Response GE Questions for Substitution of GE Requirements (Student’s Response GE Questions can be found by clicking the pertinent GE category and scrolling to the bottom of the page.)
  • Confirmation of instructor support of Student’s Response to GE Questions.  An email exchange or a letter signed by your instructor, confirming the accuracy of your statements, and explaining the reason this substitution is valid,  is sufficient for this requirement. A pdf of your instructor’s confirmation can be attached to your petition. Please provide documentation that you attempted to obtain instructor support. If you are unable to secure instructor support, you should submit documentation showing your attempt to contact the instructor. 

Make sure you save all of your course-related materials from abroad in case they are needed for review, including:

  • Course syllabus (translated if necessary)
  • Course textbook name or reading list (translated if necessary)
  • Written assignments for the class (translated if necessary)
  • Tests and quizzes (translated if necessary)

Are you requesting GE approval for a study abroad course that is not yet listed on your UCSC transcript?

Courses and grades from abroad can take up to four months to transfer back and appear on your UCSC transcript. Whether you have not yet started your program abroad or are waiting for your study abroad courses to be added to your UCSC transcript, you can request GE approval via the CCI Student Petition: Substitution of GE Requirements petition process above (see guidance above). 

AFTER your study abroad course, grade, and units have been added to your UCSC transcript, email the Office of the Registrar’s Academic Advisement Team (advsys@ucsc.edu) to request that your approved GE be applied to your study abroad course. Please be specific regarding the course taken; include the CCI approval email if possible.

Are you requesting GE approval for a study abroad course that is already listed on your UCSC transcript?

If your study abroad courses, grades, and units are already listed on your UCSC transcript, complete the request for GE approval via the CCI Student Petition: Substitution of GE Requirements petition process (see guidance above). If your study abroad course is approved for GE substitution, the Office of the Registrar will apply the GE designation to the approved course on your UCSC academic record within three weeks.


If you are undeclared, are a senior ready to graduate, or you are planning to participate in global learning during your 5th year, read this section.

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Undeclared Students

Students who have not declared their major at the time of their study abroad/away nomination must declare before departure.

For UCEAP and Partner Programs, undeclared students should demonstrate on the Global Learning Approval Form a timely plan to complete courses required to declare their major in the “Proposed Global Learning Plan” section.* 

*unless an exception is granted by your College

Seniors Abroad/Away

All senior standing students abroad/away must meet the UCSC Senior Residency requirement. Students may satisfy the requirement in either one of two ways:

  1. Complete 35 of final 45 credits at UCSC before participating on global learning
    –OR–
  2. Complete 35 of final 90 credits at UCSC with a minimum of 10 credits completed at UCSC after global learning participation.

Discuss senior residency with your College advisor.

Graduating While Studying Abroad/Away

If you have met all of your degree requirements and fulfilled the senior residency requirement, it may be possible to spend your final quarter abroad/away. Grades from your host university or program may take up to 4 months after your program end date to appear on your UCSC transcript. Although you are not required to return to UCSC to take classes, your degree cannot be conferred until your courses, grades, and units from abroad are added to your UCSC transcript.

Global Learning During 5th Year

Students who find it challenging to participate in global learning during their regular four years at UCSC may consider participating in global learning during a 5th year. You should consult with your college advisor to confirm this is an option for you and Financial Aid to see if aid may be available for a 5th year. 

Last modified: Jul 11, 2024