(Adopted by the International & Off-Campus Study Faculty Committee, March, 2004)
Recognizing the global nature of contemporary society as well as the need for intercultural understanding, Franklin & Marshall views international study as a valuable component of a liberal arts education. Study abroad promotes an increased understanding of the complexity of language and culture. It also constitutes a critical element of the College's commitment to build an increasingly international campus. Franklin & Marshall therefore encourages its students to give serious consideration to study in another country.
The College approaches international education as an integral part of the entire undergraduate experience. We view it not as a term away from campus, but as an encounter seamlessly connected with a student's entire education before, during, and after the time spent off campus. Students planning foreign or domestic off-campus study will work closely with the Office of International Programs and with their academic advisers to select programs and courses that further their educational goals.
Off-campus study should be a demonstrated part of your academic study at Franklin & Marshall College. Students should work with their Off-Campus Study Adviser and faculty adviser to ensure that courses taken off-campus can receive credit at F&M. Credit transfer is accomplished through the myDiplomat Approval System. Read on for guidance about course selection, credit translation, grades and transcripts.
For many programs, students will not be able to finalize course registration until they arrive. Even so, it is recommended that you gain approval for a preliminary set of courses, including your first choices and some backup options. You may continue to seek course approval after you arrive at your program, but do not wait until then to consider your course options.
You must enroll in what is considered to be a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. The amount of total credit that you take on the program is the most important consideration.
The general rule is four U.S. semester credit hours are equal to one F&M course credit. However, because many off-campus study programs offer courses worth three U.S. semester credit hours, Franklin & Marshall will award four course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours. If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive.
Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the college. If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.
Courses in vocational, physical education, engineering, drafting, military science, criminal justice, and communications, most education courses, and music lessons may not be transferred back to Franklin & Marshall for credit. If you have a question about whether or not a course can be taken for credit, ask your off-campus study adviser in the Office of International Programs.
The approval of the department chairperson is required for any course that will count for degree requirements and electives in the major or minor. Have a conversation with that faculty member to clarify department policy for transfer of credit.
Transfer credit will not be granted for a course already taken at Franklin & Marshall. This includes foreign language courses that are required for many off-campus study programs. If you are required to take a foreign language course in a language that you have studied at Franklin & Marshall, you should be placed into the next level up from your last course here. If your placement results in a level that you have already taken at the college, you will not receive credit for the course.
Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis.
Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.
This means that off-campus grades will not affect scholarship eligibility or rank in class. However, many graduate and professional schools will consider these grades as part of your GPA and will recompute all grades together in considering your application for acceptance. The Advanced Studies in England and F&M in Paris programs are the only exceptions to this policy, for which grades will be calculated into a student's GPA.
You must earn a D- or better to gain credit for a course.
During the application process, you should provide an address to which the program will send a transcript. That address is:
Senior Associate Registrar
Franklin & Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
Program transcripts are typically sent within two months of completion of a program. When your transcript arrives, you will receive an e-mail from the Registrar's Office confirming that it has been received.