Academic Course Planning
Semester and year-long programs are a great opportunity to immerse yourself into your host country. Poole students appreciate learning about how business is done in another country while staying on track to graduate.
When deciding when and where to study abroad, academics should be a key consideration. Please review all academic considerations and research potential options before meeting with a Poole Global team member.
When is the best time to study abroad?
There is no single best time to study abroad as it depends on your individual academic, professional and personal plan. However, in general, most students study abroad for a semester or year-long program sometime during their sophomore or junior year. Studying abroad in your sophomore or junior year is a great option because several courses have prerequisites that must be completed before studying abroad but you still have plenty of courses to take abroad. The two most popular semesters to study abroad are Spring of sophomore year or Fall of junior year.
The University does not allow students to study abroad for a semester or year-long program during their first year. Transfer students can study abroad after completing one semester at NC State.
Am I eligible to study abroad for a semester or year?
All students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher are eligible to apply for a semester study abroad program. In addition, students must be in good academic and student conduct standing. Some competitive programs may have additional eligibility requirements including a higher GPA requirement.
To read more, visit the Study Abroad Office’s “Eligibility” page.
How many courses will I take abroad?
Most students think of a semester at NC State as taking 4 – 5 courses. When studying abroad, you need to think more about the number of credits you are taking and not just the number of courses. Students must take the equivalent of at least 12 NC State credits at their host institution and many students take the equivalent of 15 credits while abroad.
Countries outside the U.S. calculate credit hours differently and how credits are calculated varies by country. This means that 3 credits at your host institution is probably not the same as 3 credit hours at NC State. You will need to make sure that the number of credits you take at your host university are the equivalent of 12-15 NC State credits. For example, at many schools in Europe, 2 credits there is equal to 1 NC State credit. Therefore, a 6-credit course in Europe would equal a 3-credit course at NC State. For more information on how credits at your host institution compares to NC State credits, visit the “Credits Abroad” page on the Study Abroad Office’s website.
Please note: NC State University requires that all students earn at least 30 of the last 45 hours of credit through NC State courses. This means that students who want to study abroad and have 45 or fewer credits left to earn toward their degree cannot take more than 15 credits at another institution.
Will the courses I take abroad affect my GPA?
Courses taken abroad for a semester or year are transfer courses and therefore, do not affect your GPA at NC State. However, all classes abroad must be taken for a grade and students must earn an equivalent of a C- or higher for the course count at NC State. Similar to credits, each country or institution has its own grading scale. To determine the grading scale for your study abroad program, please see the “Grade Equivalency Guidelines” page.
What courses can I take abroad?
Click on your major below to learn more about planning your semester or year abroad.
To learn which classes are offered at specific institutions, please utilize the Poole College of Management’s course approval and transfer database below.
This database provides a list of study abroad courses that have been approved to transfer back to NC State in previous years and can help you plan your academics abroad. Please note that this list is not comprehensive and all courses are subject to final approval from the Poole Global office via a Course Approval Form.
Learn more about course approval forms below. Completing a course approval form is an important part of the semester study abroad application process.