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Academic & Disciplinary Policies

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Academic Policies

Language and Culture Coursework Abroad

While abroad, students must take at least one course for credit in the language of the host country during each semester spent abroad. This may be a course that teaches the language or one conducted in the language. Failure to fulfill this requirement  will result in the loss of all credit for the year/semester. Students studying in English-speaking countries are exempt from the language requirement but must enroll in one course that engages specifically with the culture of the host country.  Additional coursework requirements may be listed in the program-specific information found on this web site.

Course Registration

In the semester before studying abroad, students must register for a 12-credit placeholder course to maintain full-time enrollment at Tulane while abroad.  This ensures proper tuition billing, financial aid disbursement, and eligibility to register for courses in the semester you return to Tulane.

Minimum/Maximum Course Load Abroad

While abroad, students must be registered as full-time students.  Full-time status at Tulane currently requires students to enroll for the equivalent of 12 U.S. credits.  Overseas host institution policies with regard to full-time status may vary from Tulane’s, and must also be followed even if those policies require more than 12 credits to be considered full time. If you have any questions about whether or not you are full-time enrolled while you are studying abroad, please contact the Office of Study Abroad.

In order to avoid the risk of falling below the 12-credit threshold for full-time status in the event of dropping a course, the Office of Study Abroad strongly urges students to register for 15 credits while abroad.

Students studying abroad must also comply with Tulane and host institution policies regarding maximum course loads.  Per Tulane policy, registration for 19 or more credits while abroad requires prior approval from your academic advisor.

Course Selection

While students are required to propose courses as part of their study abroad application, final course selection is generally made abroad in consultation with the assigned academic advisor or the program director. Many programs have set or required courses. Please refer to the appropriate program description on this website for specific details.

Credits and Grades Earned Abroad

For coursework completed on a Newcomb-Tulane Study Abroad Program or ISO, the Tulane transcript will automatically show all courses, grades, and credits. There is no need to petition for elective credit for courses taken on Tulane-approved study abroad programs, although the awarding of credit toward a major or minor is at the discretion of the relevant department or program.

Unless specifically noted in the program description on this website, grades earned abroad in the Fall semester of 2015 and thereafter will appear on the official transcript, but will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA.   This policy will not apply to Tulane faculty-led summer programs, or to courses completed in study abroad programs offered through the Freeman School of Business.

To receive Tulane credit for coursework abroad, students must complete the program and submit all materials and assignments to their instructors by the end of the last day of class, and take scheduled examinations. Students are strongly encouraged to retain a personal copy of all work submitted abroad and relevant course syllabi until all grades and courses have been posted to the official Tulane transcript.

Independent Study Projects

Students conducting Independent Study Projects or similar independent work are required to submit their proposal for an independent study project to the appropriate academic department for prior approval and must forward the correspondence indicating department approval to the Office of Study Abroad prior to commencing work.

Add/Drop Deadline

Students are subject to the Add/Drop schedule of the host institution and must notify the OSA in writing of any schedule changes as soon as they occur.  Failure to do so may result in a loss of credit.

Course Withdrawals after Add/Drop

Requests for course withdrawals require the written approval of both the program director abroad and the OSA.  Students may not reduce their courses below the stated minimum unless there are extenuating circumstances for doing so (e.g., medical reasons).  These circumstances must be documented by program directors abroad.

Auditing a Course

If students audit a course while abroad, that course will not be officially recorded and the audit will not receive credit.

S/U Option

Tulane’s regulations for S/U grades apply abroad with three restrictions: 1) students may not take an independent study or directed research course abroad on an S/U basis, 2) students may not take the Core Course on certain programs on an S/U basis, 3) students may not take S/U grades for courses offered on any Tulane summer programs. Additionally, some academic semester/year study abroad programs do not offer an S/U option, or limit S/U options, and this takes precedence over Tulane’s regulations. Please refer to the Academic Program section of the appropriate program description in this website for further details.

The study abroad S/U deadline differs from the Tulane on-campus deadline. Requests must be submitted to the OSA by email within 10 weeks after the first class meeting. The OSA will consult with the Academic Advising Center and notify the student of the decision. Once filed, the change is irreversible. Students may not exercise the S/U option with the program sponsor without notifying the OSA.

In general, students may not take courses S/U in the major or minor field.  For specific restrictions, students must inquire with their major/minor departments at Tulane.

Overseas program directors submit a regular letter grade to Tulane for courses taken on an S/U basis. The OSA will convert this grade for students with approved S/U requests on file.

Incomplete

Professors overseas rarely accept work after the regular deadline. Students are therefore urged to avoid taking an Incomplete. Those unable to complete coursework due to illness or other factors may receive an Incomplete with the written approval of the instructor, director abroad, and the OSA. In consultation with the overseas director, students must develop a timetable for completion of an incomplete grade. Students who receive an Incomplete for a course taken abroad are responsible for completing the coursework just as they would be for a Tulane course.  Any incomplete coursework will be posted as “I” and, if not completed - subsequently as “F” on the official Tulane transcript.  For further clarification, consult the Tulane University Catalog.

Grade Disputes

Students who believe they have grounds for a grade dispute for a course completed abroad must meet with the Director of Study Abroad to discuss procedures for grade disputes and appeals. Appeals must be initiated through the OSA as soon as possible and under all circumstances within one semester of the student's return to Tulane from overseas. 

Withdrawal/Dismissal Policy

Students who withdraw from a study abroad program after submitting the signed contract must notify the OSA in writing. Students may not defer a withdrawn application to a subsequent semester, but they may reapply.

No Tulane credit will be awarded to participants who voluntarily withdraw or are expelled from a program prior to its completion.  This may include instances where academic credit has been earned prior to the withdrawal, including study abroad programs with module course components or withdrawal from the second semester of an academic year program. Special accommodations may be made on a case-by-case basis for students whose participation in a study abroad program is interrupted by documented cases of illness, injury, family emergency, verifiable personal problems or circumstances beyond their control.

Please see Financial Policies for details on financial consequences of early withdrawal or dismissal.

Disciplinary Policies

Academic & Behavioral Codes of Conduct

Students are held to the Tulane Codes of Behavioral and Academic Conduct while abroad, as well as the codes of the host institution abroad. Students engaged in research abroad involving human subjects who plan to make further use of the data gathered upon returning to Tulane, must secure approval from the Tulane Institutional Review Board for their research design.  For more information about the IRB approval process, please visit: http://tulane.edu/asvpr/irb.

Non-Tulane Programs

In order to seek transfer credit approval for a semester or summer study abroad program not approved by Newcomb-Tulane College, students must complete the Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program petition available in the Office of Study Abroad and consult with the Director of Study Abroad.  Students participating in such programs will take a leave of absence from the university and will handle all study abroad matters directly with the foreign university or program provider. Please note that all credits earned abroad must appear on a transcript from an accredited degree-granting institution overseas or a program provider’s accredited School of Record. Petitions involving programs that are not accredited, such as stand-alone language institutes, will not be approved for transfer credit, nor will leave of absence requests be approved for CIEE-sponsored programs undertaken during the Fall or Spring semesters for which Tulane serves as the School of Record.

A note on travelling programs: Completion of the Non-Tulane Study Abroad Program form is not required for Semester at Sea and similar programs.  Due to the unique structure and objectives of travelling programs like Semester at Sea, Tulane's procedure for participating in such programs is the same as for regular study at any other U.S. university while on a leave of absence from Tulane. Interested students should consult with the Academic Advising Center for further details about procedure for transfer of credit from such programs.