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College of ACES

Important information:
• Completion of the Course Approval Summary Form is not required before departure.
• Grading options do not need to be decided by mid-term.
• Submit the Course Approval Summary Form to:

This webpage is for students in the College of ACES during the semester they are studying abroad. Study Abroad students shall be considered full-time for academic purposes at the University when they are enrolled in at least the minimum full-time academic load as defined by the international institution. However, federal regulations require that students must complete the equivalent of 12 or more University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign hours to be considered full-time for financial aid purposes. Students who receive the Monetary Award Program (MAP Grant) from the State of Illinois, are required to complete the equivalent of 15 credits.

Course Approval Instructions


Complete a Tentative Course Plan. For this form, you will research and plan for potential courses and determine the appropriate approval process.

  • All courses taken while on a pre-approved study abroad program will transfer back and default to elective, graded credit at the ACES 1--level (this means a 100-level elective course which will factor into your GPA).
  • If you want to use a course for any of the following you will need to go through the Course Approval Process, either before you go or after your return, as outlined below:
    • To satisfy a requirement for a major or minor
    • For a level other than 100 level
    • To take a course for credit/no credit (C/NC)
    • If you would like a rubric other than "ACES" to appear on your transcript
  • You must complete the Course Approval Summary Form even if all the courses you plan to take are in the Course Approval Database.
  • You may start the course approval process prior to your departure, with the understanding that for many programs, the courses that you are choosing may not be available to you. The more you do ahead of time, the easier your course selection process will be once you are on-site.

While Abroad

Collect as much information on your courses as you can. This includes bringing back syllabi, homework assignments, tests, textbooks, etc. These will be used in the Course Approval Process.

Upon Return to Campus

Consult with your advisor to determine which of your completed courses requires approval. For those courses, follow the instructions for the course approval process outlined below. Remember that you must complete the Course Approval Summary Form even if all the courses you plan to take are in the Course Approval Database. All other courses will default to ACES 1--.

Complete and submit the Course Approval Summary Form to ACES Study Abroad ( by the Friday of the first week of October (for Spring, Summer and Academic Year term(s) abroad) or March (for Fall term abroad). If you do not complete the course approval process upon your return, your courses will appear as "ACES 388" on your transcript.

Course Approval Process

Using the Course Approval Summary Form, complete one row for each course using the instructions below.

Completed by the student

List the title of the course offered at the institution abroad. It is important that you list the courses using the exact wording used by the host institution and to list the subject and course number if available. (i.e. AUST 2022 Australian Studies).

Completed by the student

Check the Course Approval Database to see if your courses have received previous approval.

  • If the course has already been approved, mark “ Y” in Column #2 and write the Illinois subject and course number in column #4
  • If the course is NOT in the Database, or you wish to seek approval in a subject area other than what is already approved, mark “N”

Completed by the student

Indicate whether each course is for grade or credit only. For a semester program, up to two classes can be taken using the credit/no credit (C/NC) grading option. Summer programs can only have one course designated C/NC. You will have until the Friday of the first week of October/March of the term following your term abroad to declare a course ‘credit/no credit.’ Courses used to satisfy general education, major, or minor requirements must be taken for letter grades. It is highly recommended that you consult with your academic advisor when selecting which courses to take for C/NC.

Work with Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor to complete

Any course(s) not found in the Course Approval Database or for which the student wishes to seek approval in a new subject area require approval from a departmental advisor, called a Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor. You will need to seek approval from a Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor, who may not be the same person as your academic advisor. You will need to seek out the advisor in the appropriate subject area (for example, for a Sociology course, you will need to go to the Sociology Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor).

Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor will require a syllabus or course description at minimum to approve a course. Some advisors will require assignments from your semester abroad, in which case you must finalized your course approvals after you return. It’s helpful to the Study Abroad Course Advisor if the student shares these documents with them electronically so that they have time to review.

Completed by Academic Advisor for Major Requirements

Please indicate how this course will be used upon the student’s return using the following guide:

  • R: Required course in the student's major or concentration
  • E: Elective ACES hours
  • H: Humanities and Arts (GenEd)
  • N: Natural Sciences and Technology (GenEd)
  • SS: Social and Behavioral Sciences (GenEd)
  • W: Cultural Studies - Western (GenEd) or
  • NW: Cultural Studies - Non-Western (GenEd)
  • O: Open elective credit hours counting towards graduation

GenEd approval is based on the College of ACES’ review process, and there is no guarantee that a course will be approved for fulfilling any GenEd requirement without approval. GenEd approvals from other Colleges at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are not automatically approved in ACES. A detailed syllabus of the course is required for review and should accompany the course approval form. Review the Campus Guidelines for General Education Courses.

You must have both the printed name and the signature of your Academic Advisor.

This form will not be considered complete without your (the student’s) signature.

You should submit the completed Course Approval Summary Form to ACES Study Abroad at

Notes for Study Abroad Course (299) Advisors

If you approve this course, please enter the Illinois subject and number or level. If this course has a direct Illinois equivalency, enter Illinois subject and number (e.g., ACE 210). If this course is acceptable as college level transfer work in your department, enter Illinois subject and level (e.g., ACE 2--).

Completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor

If you approve the course, please enter “Y” in the box.

Completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor

If you do not approve the course, please enter “N” in the box

Completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor

Please print and sign your name. For a more detailed explanation use the “Comments” area either on the front or back of the form.

Completed by Study Abroad Course (299) Advisor

If you approve this course to be added to the Course Approval Database, please enter “Y” in the box. Enter “N” if you do not recommend the course to be added to the Database.

Important note: You can approve courses for individual students but opt to not add the course to the Database if you would prefer to review the course on a case-by-case basis.

Updated: by MB-02.28.17, JB-10.06.17, JB-8.16.19