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Academic Planning

In preparation for studying abroad, students should get organized about academic planning for GE, major, and minor course pre-approvals.  

General Education Credit


Students are encouraged to save their GE Area C's and D's for study abroad.  Many study abroad programs offer courses that satisfy those GE areas.

Watch this video to learn how to earn GE credit on study abroad!


View Pre-approved Study Abroad GE Course Lists


Instructions for getting additional study abroad courses approved for GE credit

First view the Pre-Approved Study Abroad GE Course Lists to see if the course you want to petition is already pre-approved for a GE. If the course is not listed there or has changed in any way, you will need to download and complete the GE Course Substitution for Study Abroad Form (fillable PDF). Following the steps below to have your GE Substitution Form processed and please carefully read the instructions on the back of the form. 

  1. Be sure to check your Degree Progress Report to confirm which GE areas you still need to complete.  
  2. Once you have completed the form, email it along with study abroad/international exchange program course descriptions for each course you with to substitute to the appropriate Study Abroad Advisor/Coordinator: 
    • CEA, CIEE: Chris Climer (
    • CSU IP, DIS, International Exchanges: Leanna Jenkins (
    • Semester at Sea, National Student Exchange (NSE), USAC, Non-Affiliated Programs: Chuck Petranek (
    • TEAN: Ingrid Almaguer (
    • SIT: Sara Otis (
  3. The appropriate Study Abroad Advisor/Coordinator will review the form (with course descriptions) for completeness, sign it, and forward it to the Evaluations Office for evaluation and final approval. 
  4. Substitutions typically take 4-6 weeks for approval but due to COVID-19, these forms are taking longer to process. You will receive an email from '' when a decision has been reached.

Major Credit

Students are encouraged to get study abroad courses approved towards their majors before going on study abroad.  

Instructions for getting study abroad courses approved for Major credit

  1. Complete the Major or Support Course Substitution Form for Study Abroad (fillable pdf). This form is strictly for Major or Support course substitutions, not for Minor courses (refer to the "Minor Courses" section below).  Fill out the top section of the form with your student information, and then list the study abroad courses you would like to have approved for major or support course substitutions.  
  2. Attach descriptions of the study abroad courses you have listed on the form.  Substitutions will NOT be considered unless course descriptions are provided.  
  3. Ask your academic advising office to review the form and course descriptions and indicate which substitutions are recommended. If you aren't sure who to contact in your Advising Office, you can start with your College's Academic Advising Center. Find out how to contact your Advising Center on the Cal Poly Advising Webpage. 
  4. Your academic advising office will review and move your Substitution Form through the following review process:
  • The Advising Office forwards the form to the appropriate department chair/head for initial review and approval
  • The department chair/head will forward the form to the appropriate Associate Dean for a final department approval
  • After receiving all the necessary approvals, the Associate Dean will forward the form to the Registrar's Office for processing
  • Students will receive an email from '' indicating the decisions reached on their study abroad course substitution requests
  • Please allow up to five weeks for this process

Minor Credit

Students should consult with their Minor Department Advisor to have study abroad courses pre-approved for their minor in the same way as any transfer credit. 

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