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Preparing for School

Academic Expectations

Students on all UWM programs must comply with all rules and regulations issued by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and contained within the UWM Student Handbook ( ).


The academic director of any UWM program has the right to pursue disciplinary action toward a student, including suspension or expulsion for violation of any academic or non-academic disciplinary policy, pending the appropriate hearings upon the student's return to UWM or their home campus.


Attendance is part of the academic portion of your program and is therefore expected. It is especially critical for short-term programs. Failure to attend classes or other activities may result in the lowering of a grade, assigning failing grades for poor attendance, or in severe cases, a student being dropped from the program, meaning they would not receive credit for the course.


Just as with a course on campus, for a planned absence, you should tell the instructor as soon as possible and make arrangements to complete work in advance. Permission may not be guaranteed in all cases and should not be taken for granted. Personal travel will not be automatically accepted as an excused absence and should be pre-approved by the instructor.

Assignments and Syllabus

Assignments may include required reading, general coursework, field trips, etc., as determined by instructors. You are required to complete all of your assignments while abroad. If you miss a class, check with the instructor for assignments given during your absence. As in all academic courses, the syllabus you receive for your program abroad conveys all student-related responsibilities for successful completion of the course.

Group Dynamics

On any study abroad program, both the intra- and the inter-group relations are a critical dimension to your overseas academic experience.

On short-term programs, all curricular activities are done in a group setting. Serious consideration should be given to ensuring your positive interaction with other members of the group both in the curricular and extracurricular settings. This includes attending and being on time for all activities, being mindful of your interactions with the group, full participation, and common courtesies and respect for the instructor and other participants on the program.

Most importantly, every student should be respectful of the culture in which he or she is living. Any blatant disrespect or violations of this policy will be dealt with by the faculty leader or study abroad provider in consultation with the Center for International Education (CIE). Various ramifications can be assessed for violations of this policy including lowering of grades, admonishment, and possible suspension and/or dismissal from the program.

For semester or academic year programs in any enculturation setting, utmost respect and tolerance for the culture you are living in should be a critical concern. You alone are responsible for your behavior, and similar to the penalties articulated above, any violation of the aforementioned policy will be dealt with in proportion to the seriousness of the incident. These penalties will be determined and enforced by the academic director of the program or by the study abroad provider in consultation with the CIE.

Academic Misconduct

UWM expects each student to be honest in their academic performance. Failure to do so may result in discipline, according to the rules published by the Board of Regents (UWS 14). The most common forms of academic dishonesty are cheating and plagiarism.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Submitting material that is not yours as a part of your own course evaluations, including copying from another student's work and/or allowing another student to copy from your work.
  • Using information or devices that are not allowed by the faculty, such as using formulas or data from a computer program or using unauthorized materials for a take-home exam.
  • Obtaining and using unauthorized material, such as a copy of an examination before it is given.
  • Fabricating information, such as data for a lab report.
  • Violating procedures prescribed to protect the integrity of an assignment, test, or other evaluation.
  • Collaborating with others on assignments without the faculty's consent, or cooperating with or helping another student to cheat.
  • Other forms of dishonest behavior such as having another person take an examination in your place, altering exam answers and requesting the exam be regraded, or communicating with any person during an exam other than the exam proctor or faculty.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:

  • Directly quoting the words of others without using quotation marks or indented format to identify and credit them.
  • Using sources of information (published or unpublished) without identifying them.
  • Paraphrasing materials or ideas of others without identifying the sources.

If a student is charged with academic misconduct, there are specific procedures, including the right of appeal, which must be followed by UWM. Sanctions imposed by the university in response to academic misconduct include reprimands, being sent home, and/or expulsion.

Academic Credit Information

The coursework you take abroad is just as important as the coursework you take on campus. All study abroad coursework and grades are posted to your UWM transcript. While abroad, you must maintain the equivalent of a full-time course load here at UWM and comply with UWM academic policies.

Academic Credit

The type of credit you will earn varies by the type of program you have chosen. Study abroad coursework may be used to fulfill specific degree requirements. The information below explains credit types, the course equivalency approval process and credit and grade posting.

UWM Credit: UWM-approved study abroad or exchange programs

If you participate in a UWM-approved study abroad or exchange program you will earn UWM credit. Grades received in these courses are calculated into your UWM GPA.

For your term abroad, the Study Abroad Office will register you in a 12-credit block of general study abroad credits using either "297" or "497" numbers for study abroad programs, or Exmural 100 for exchange programs. This ensures that you have full-time registration status so that you may apply your financial aid toward your program costs and maintain your UWM registration while abroad.

Upon the completion of your program, the Study Abroad Office receives and official transcript from your host university or program provider. Each course is assigned a section number of "297" or "497" in the appropriate department. Courses completed abroad will appear on your UWM transcript along with converted letter grades and credit totals for each class with credit and equivalencies granted as approved through the respective departments using the Course Equivalency Approval Form (LINK Form).

Transfer Credit: Non-UWM-sponsored programs

If you participate in a non-UWM-sponsored study abroad program you will earn transfer credit by registering through the Study Abroad Office. Transfer credit coursework and grades appear on your UWM transcript but the grades are not factored into your GPA.

For your term abroad, the Study Abroad Office will register you in Exmural 099, a zero-credit placeholder. This provides the means for full-time registration status so that you may apply your financial aid toward your study abroad program fees and maintain your UWM registration while abroad.

Upon the completion of your program, you must request that an official transcript from your program or host institution be sent directly to the Study Abroad Office for processing.

It is important to check with your academic advisor about transfer credit limits or restrictions prior to departure on your program, particularly if you are close to graduation and have restrictions on 'resident credits', if you have already transferred a large number of credits to UWM from another institution, or you plan on using study abroad credits to fulfill major or minor requirements.

Course Equivalency Process

At a minimum you will receive elective credit for any coursework you have successfully completed abroad, with the exception of sport and recreation classes.

You should use the Course Equivalency Approval Form (LINK Form) to get approval to have courses abroad counted to fill specific degree requirements. This includes equivalents to exact courses offered here at UWM, GER classes, or approval for upper-level elective credit. This approval form helps you to know how the classes you are taking abroad will fit in as you progress toward completion of your degree.

The course equivalency approval form must be signed by the appropriate department chair or faculty advisor. You should provide the faculty member with a syllabus and/or course description so that they may review the course. If you do not have enough information about the course, the faculty member may opt to give you a tentative equivalency by signing and dating the second to last column of the form. You should be prepared to supply more detailed course information once you arrive at your host university or return to UWM. You may then request that the faculty member evaluate the course again for final approval (signing and dating the last column of the form).

You must return the original copy of the form to the Study Abroad Office. You should also give one copy to your academic advisor and keep a copy for your records.

Your coursework taken abroad will always appear as study abroad coursework on your account. UWM Schools and Colleges will use the Course Equivalency Form as an internal reference document when conducting the graduation clearance audit.

Timeline for Credit and Grade Posting

Please be aware that there is no typical timeline for your credit to be posted to your PAWS account. The amount of time it will take to receive your study abroad transcript varies widely based on the country and program. It is normal for this to take several weeks to several months after your return.

Once the Study Abroad Office has received your transcript, you will be notified via e-mail and the process of translating and posting your courses and grades to your account will begin. Accomplishing this involves many steps and several departments across campus and therefore typically takes a minimum of six weeks.

At this stage, if you are seeking specific credit for the courses you took and have not already completed and submitted your Course Equivalency Form, it is important that you do so as soon as possible. If you choose not to provide this form and subsequently wish to make any changes to your transcript in the future, you will be required to pay a $50 fee for late processing.

Please contact your study abroad coordinator if you have any questions.