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Course Load

Course load expectations vary depending on whether the student is joining a short-term program (J-term, summer) versus long-term program (quarter, semester, academic year).

Short-term programs are typically three or six credits, depending on the length of the program. Students who take six credits while on a short-term program may be eligible for additional financial aid, so it is important to disclose the number of credits you will be taking to the Student Financial Planning office, so that they can award the appropriate amount of aid.

Long-term programs are typically a minimum of 12 U.S. semester credits. Students studying abroad on long-term programs must ensure that they remain enrolled at a full-time student while abroad, and this includes maintaining enrollment status in a minimum of 12 U.S. semester credits of courses. are required to take a full academic course load. This is equivalent to a minimum of 12 U.S. semester credits.

The number of credits that courses are worth abroad vary and are typically worth between two and five U.S. credits per course. It is important to review credit information early in the application process, so you can also ensure you will get the correct number of credits for courses that you need for your graduation requirements. For example, if you take a two-credit course to fulfill your “Artistic Expression” AOI requirement, you may still need to take an additional course when you return to Drake to meet the three-credit minimum per course. Another example, if you take a five-credit course in Organic Chemistry, it may only apply to one three-credit course requirement at Drake. Be mindful of these differences when choosing a program abroad.

If you are uncertain about the number of credits a course is worth abroad, please contact the Study Abroad Office. For students who need to transfer credit back to Drake from a partner university or program abroad, please get your courses pre-approved using the Course Approval Form found on our Forms page.