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.
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.
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. For more information, please read through the Poole policies and discuss with your academic advisor.
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 for abroad?
Each major in the Poole College of Management has specific requirements in order to graduate that should be considered when planning to study abroad. Click on your major below to learn more about important items to keep in mind as you are planning your semester or year abroad.
This information is meant to help get you started in the academic planning for study abroad. Before meeting with a Poole Global staff member, it is extremely helpful if you review the considerations for your major and have an idea of what courses you might want to take abroad.