Off-Campus Studies (OCS) Credits

Whitman students will receive credit for work completed abroad based on the Whitman College guidelines for study abroad credit. It is critical that students understand these guidelines concerning credit and grade expectations before leaving. Be sure to contact the Off-Campus Studies Office with any questions.

Where can students find the list of courses abroad that they have been pre-approved for transfer credit by Whitman?

  • Students may log into My Whitman and then into OCS CLeo to find in their Drop Box their OCS Approval Notification and Off-Campus Studies Course Approval page that list the courses the student has been approved to take overseas. These are the only courses for which the student has approval for transfer credit. 

How do students obtain approval for courses abroad that have not be pre-approved by Whitman? 

  • Students who find courses abroad that were not pre-approved by Whitman on the Off-Campus Study (OCS) Application and wish to enroll in them must obtain approval by emailing Barbara Hoffman, Off-Campus Studies Assistant Director, at as soon as possible. Students should include the course title, course description, and what type of credit they would like to receive for the course in their email. It is best for students to email us the entire list of classes they intend to take (not just the classes not yet approved).  That way, we can look over a student’s overall academic record to see if they will still graduate on time with the new course schedule. Please do not wait until the course is half over to ask for permission to obtain transfer credit for it—it will be too late!

What limitations are there on transferring credit back to Whitman? 

  • To avoid problems with transfer credit, students should familiarize themselves with the following guidelines for study abroad transfer credit:
    • Students may not earn transfer credit from Whitman for non-liberal arts and sciences courses. This would include business courses and business internships, applied social science courses such as criminal justice, and other more "vocational" fields.
    • Students must earn a C- or better grade (or equivalent) to apply study abroad credit to your Whitman degree. If a student earns less than a C- in any course, they will not obtain transfer credit from Whitman for that course.
    • Students will not obtain credit for any study abroad course that they have taken on a Pass/Fail basis. All grades (A through F) are posted on Whitman transcripts.
    • If a student plans to study in a non-English speaking country, they are required by Whitman to enroll in a language class for the language of the host country during their semester abroad (in addition to any language intensives at the beginning of the semester), unless they have already completed the equivalent of two years of college-level coursework in that language.
    • Students may not earn credit twice for language courses of the same level. If a student places into a language class abroad that is designated as the same language level as a course they have already completed at Whitman or elsewhere, they should check with a faculty member of that language at Whitman to make sure that the course they are enrolled in abroad will be considered more advanced than what they have already taken. If a student thinks there may be a question, they should keep their coursework and bring it to campus with them when they return, to demonstrate what material their course covered.
    • Language major or minor students should remember that only courses designated as language or literature courses may be applied toward the language majors and minors at Whitman. For example, a history course taught in French cannot be applied toward the French major.
    • At least two-thirds of a student’s major credits must be earned on the Whitman campus. The maximum number of credits from study abroad that can be applied to a major, range from eight to twelve credits depending on the major.
    • Students may not transfer more than 19 credits per semester and a total of 38 credits from foreign study.

Do students need to keep their coursework from abroad? 

  • Occasionally work done abroad must be reviewed by faculty members on campus to determine whether it meets certain standards or can be used to fulfill certain requirements. While it is not required, we recommend that students keep records of all work completed abroad, such as syllabi, notes, copies of all papers, etc., together with information on the number of hours spent in class each week and the required assignments, in case there is a question about course content (for credit purposes). Professors abroad may not return papers and examinations, so students should keep copies of all papers.