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Important Information

UCI Study Abroad Center


  • Get Credit
  • Fulfill Degree Requirements
  • Credit Limitations
  • University Residence Requirement
  • Academic Counselor Listing


“Getting credit” and “fulfilling degree requirements” are two separate things:

  • Getting Credit refers to how the course titles, grades, and units appear on your UCI transcript.  This is addressed below and on the "Credit Limitations" tab above.
  • Fulfilling Degree Requirements refers to whether or not the courses you take abroad can be applied toward your major, minor, or GE/breadth requirements for graduation.  If you want to fulfill degree requirements, read the “Fulfill Degree Requirements” tab above, and view this webshop.

UCEAP, UC Davis Quarter Abroad, & UCI Summer Abroad

You can receive UC credit. Units, course titles, and grades are posted on your UCI transcript. The grades received abroad are averaged into your UCI GPA.

UC Summer Abroad (except UCI Summer Abroad)

You can receive UC credit. Units (but not course titles or grades) are posted on your UCI transcript. Thegrades received abroad are averaged into your UCI GPA.Course titles and grades will appear on a separate transcript from the UC campus offering your summer abroad program.

IOP Study

You are eligible to receive transfer credit if:

  • The transcript provided by the IOP Program is from an accredited U.S. or foreign college or university (not a Center, Institute, Academy, etc.).  Be sure to confirm with your IOP program the name of the institution that will provide your transcript.
  • The classes you take do not violate any of the credit limitations described on the Credit Limitations tab above. 

Note that the transfer credit will be posted as follows:

  • Units (but not course titles or grades) are posted on your UCI transcript.
  • Grades received abroad are not averaged into your UCI GPA. 
  • Course titles and grades are posted on the transcript from the IOP institution.

Note that classes offered on IOP programs often change.  For a successful experience on an IOP program you need to be able to be flexible regarding the classes you take.

Special note for Financial Aid recipients:  In order to receive Financial Aid for an IOP program, you must complete a specified number of units per term abroad.  Review the IOP Financial Aid information carefully and ask questions early in the process in order to understand your obligations and potential risks.

IOP Non-Study

You cannot receive credit for non-study programs.  


Fulfill Degree Requirements

You can fulfill degree requirements (major, minor, or GE) on UCEAP, UC Summer Abroad, and IOP Study programs. Follow these steps. Watch this Webshop for more detailed guidance.

Watch this Webshop

1.    Review the Get Credit and Credit Limitations tabs above.

2.    Know your degree requirements.  See the UCI Catalog and use the Academic Planning Worksheet

3.  Locate the courses offered on the study abroad program(s) you are considering. Most are accessible from the program's web site.

4.    Compare the courses offered abroad to the courses you need to fulfill your requirements. Compare course titles, descriptions, levels (i.e. upper or lower division),  etc. to determine if they seem roughly equivalent.

5.    Final Approval:

    • UCEAP: Follow the process for Academic Advising and Approval for the School of your major at Study Abroad in Your Major.
    • UC Summer Abroad & UC Davis Quarter Abroad: Inquire with an Academic Counselor in the School of your major to determine the procedure to follow if you would like courses to fulfill your requirements. You should take with you to your appointment course descriptions for the courses you are planning to take abroad.
    • IOP Study: Submit your completed Pre-Application to the UCI Study Abroad Center once you have chosen an IOP program. You will then receive details on the process for fulfilling UCI degree requirements, receiving credit and financial aid.  If at some point you find out the program does not fit your needs, you can complete a new Pre-Application for another program at that time.

Credit Limitations

  • You cannot receive credit for courses abroad that are duplicate of, prerequisite to, or more elementary than courses taken at UCI, any other collegiate institution, high school language courses, or AP language exam results. 

    • Note:  If you received AP credit for a language you plan to take courses in abroad, pay special attention to the credit policy as listed in the UCI Catalog under the "Language Other Than English Advanced Placement Credit" heading.  An example of UCI’s AP credit limitations:  If you received a 5 on the AP Spanish exam, you may only receive credit for language courses abroad that are at the Spanish 2C level or higher. Consult the School of your Major if you have questions.
  • You can only receive undergraduate credit for courses taken abroad that are equivalent to courses offered at a UC campus. Consult the online catalogs for UCI and the other UC campuses to determine if they offer an equivalent course.
  • You can only receive credit for an internship if offered by a UC program.

Transfer Students

  • There are no limitations to the total number of units that can be transferred to UCI from a 4-year U.S. accredited institution.
  • There are limitations to the total number of units that can be transferred to UCI from a community college (no more than 105 quarter units or 70 semester units).  

University Residence Requirement

The UCI Residence Requirement states that students must take 36 of their final 45 units of work immediately preceding graduation in residence at UCI. The following is how the university residence requirement applies to students studying abroad.  Note that this is distinct from residency requirements for your major/minor, if any (see the UCI Catalog for details).


Students studying abroad on UCEAP are considered "in-residence".

If you plan to study abroad the summer immediately following your senior year, you must postpone your official graduation date until the end of summer. Check with an Academic Counselor in the School of your major to see if it is still possible to participate in commencement ceremony prior to studying abroad.

IOP Study, UC Summer Abroad, & UC Davis Quarter Abroad:

Students studying abroad on these programs must request an exception to the University Residence Requirement, which may be allowed. Check with an Academic Counselor in the School of your major about requesting an exception.

Study Abroad Center
University of California, Irvine • Irvine, CA 92697
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