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Current Students/Undergraduate/BCom/Approval of Courses Abroad


Please note: Carleton students on Exchange must be available on Carleton email throughout the entire time abroad. In all correspondence, students must clearly introduce themselves: full name, Carleton student number, and partner institution/academic year of Exchange. e.g., Lyon 3 (2015-16).

Course Approval Process

There are five steps to the course approval process:

  1. Submit the courses you’re interested in taking for the semester abroad to Carleton Central. If you’re studying abroad for a full year, submit the courses you’re interested in taking for the first semester abroad. If you have questions about the Carleton Central process (Steps 1 to 4) please use the email prompt on Carleton Central.
    1. Check the database of equivalents to see courses already assessed.
    2. For Business courses, please use the Sprott Course Description Form to submit descriptions. For all other courses (Economics, Language, History, and so on) please use the regular submission form. These forms are through Carleton Central.
  2. Check the Carleton Central site regularly to see which courses have been deemed ‘acceptable’ for you.
  3. Register into courses at the host institution, using the host institution’s process, instructions, deadlines.
  4. Go back on Carleton Central, and confirm which courses you’re actually registered into (using the ‘check-box’).
  5. Submit the Exchange Course Approval Form, showing all the courses you’re taking.  This form is used to actually ‘load’ the Exchange courses (CEX = ‘Current on Exchange’) onto your Audit. If you have questions about the Approval Form (Step 5) please email

If you’re studying abroad for a full year, repeat these steps at the start of the second semester abroad.

Course Selection

Know your Academic Audit (from Carleton Central) so you can clearly see the outstanding Items on your Audit. Courses taken while abroad must be able to fit into the outstanding Items.


The BCom Audit has Items into which courses from abroad are transferred:

  • Electives (6.5 credits)
  • If you are in the I.B. Concentration, please follow the instructions for approval for BUSI 4719 (Practicum in International Business) before leaving on Exchange!

If a course is given equivalence to an outstanding course on your Audit (including concentration courses), then the course will be transferred to that Item. If appropriate, courses such as ECON 3xxx, LAWS 3xxx, PSCI 3xxx, etc. might be approved towards the list of Concentration Electives (last Item in the Concentration).

Please do NOT select a course that is:

  • equivalent to a course you’ve already taken
  • similar in content to a course you’ve already taken
  • equivalent to a course that’s precluded by a course you’ve already taken. Read Calendar descriptions of the Carleton courses you’ve already taken to see preclusions. For example, BUSI 2204 precludes BUSI 2208 Intro to Marketing; STAT 2507 precludes STAT 2606; BUSI 2503 precludes BUSI 2504 Business Finance I; BUSI 2701 and BUSI 2101 precludes BUSI 2702 Intro to International Management.
  • equivalent to BUSI 4709 or BUSI 4609. Strategy must be taken at Carleton in Fourth Year.
  • equivalent to BUSI 4705 or BUSI 4601. Ethics must be taken at Carleton in Fourth Year.

Full-Time Course Load

As a Carleton student on exchange, you pay full-time tuition here at Carleton. You’ll take a full course load while abroad, normally 5.0 credits for the year (a minimum of 2.0 credits per term and 4.0 credits for the year). For permission to overload (to a maximum of 3.0 credits per term), please email Carleton’s Registrars Office.

Full-course Load:

  • One term: 2.0-2.5 Carleton Credits
  • Two terms: 4.0-5.0 Carleton Credits

Transfer of Credits from Abroad

Credits from abroad for approved, successfully-completed courses will be transferred to the Item on your Audit where they best fit.  Only the credit is transferred (not the grade), except for a failing grade. If you fail an Exchange course while abroad, this will impact your CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average). If you have a renewable scholarship, please check the Awards website to see how Exchange courses affect the scholarship.

At some of the host institutions, each course neatly fits with the requirements of a 0.5-Carleton credit. However, at other institutions it’s not so simple. For example, most European institutions use ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System).  For ECTS, the following formula is used:

  • 6 ECTS credits = 0.5 Carleton Credit
  • 12 ECTS credits = 1.0 Carleton Credit
  • 30 ECTS credits = 2.5 Carleton Credits
  • 42 ECTS credits = 3.5 Carleton Credit
  • 54 ECTS credits = 4.5 Carleton Credits
  • 60 ECTS credits = 5.0 Carleton Credits

If you take approved courses valued at less than 6 ECTS each, or between 6 and 12 ECTS each, then the above formula will be applied to the total number of ECTS credits that appear for approved, successfully completed courses on your transcript at the end of the year. In other words, the total number of ECTS credits will be divided by 12 to get the number of Carleton credits to be transferred.  The credits will then be transferred proportionately to your Carleton audit as BUSI or ECON or Electives, as appropriate.

The following Institutions offer courses where all/most of the courses are 5 ECTS each (not 6 ECTS):  ESC Rennes, INSEEC (Chambery), UE Valencia, Solvay, Grenoble 2Montpellier, Savoie and Augsburg. The formula used for credit transfer for approved, successfully completed courses is: 50 to 60 ECTS = 5.0 Carleton credit.

Carleton Tuition for Year Abroad

The Registrar’s office will register you as a full-time Carleton student for the term(s) you are on exchange.

All students: Please pay your Carleton tuition (by August deadline).

When you arrive at your host institution, please follow that institution’s procedure for Exchange students registering into courses.

For Carleton approval of your courses (for credit transfer), please follow the steps in the Course Approval Process.

Assessing Carleton Equivalents

Business courses will be assessed for their Carleton equivalents by the Sprott School of Business. All other courses (Economics, History, Language, etc.) will be forwarded by the Registrars Office to the relevant units at Carleton for assessment. We will then indicate on Carleton Central whether these courses are acceptable for you. All this will happen within the first week or two of classes each term.

When a course is assessed, it is given a Carleton course number. This course number will often be a general number, e.g., BUSI 3xxx EXC (Business course, third-year, taken on exchange). The “xxx” means that that we don’t have an exact course equivalent at Carleton, but it is a valid course.

If the course is similar/equivalent to a Carleton course, then it will be assessed with that specific course number (e.g., ECON 3601 EXC).

Returning to Carleton for Fourth Year

Time-tickets open in June, which means some of you will still be abroad when time-tickets open. So you’ll have to register into courses based on your best understanding of your Audit. Please consult with an Academic Advisor at Sprott.

Please note: The Registrars Office will change your Year Standing to Fourth Year for registration purposes. As you prepare your ‘worksheet’ you’ll see error messages saying you’re only Third Year Standing. But the Standing will be changed to Fourth Year when you register, so disregard that error warning on your Worksheet.

Check your Audit again after the credits from abroad are transferred. Once we’ve received the transcript from abroad, CEXs become EXCs. Then adjust your registration if needed.

Transcripts from Abroad

Before you leave to return home, please ensure that the host institution will be sending your transcript directly to Carleton.  You are strongly advised to also make arrangements to have an original transcript sent to you at your home address in Canada as well.  This transcript will be important should you apply for graduate school in the future.

After your transcripts have been received by Carleton, your approved, successfully-completed courses will then be transferred by the Registrar’s Office as EXC (Exchange) credits. Failed courses will be transferred as ‘F’s.

If there are discrepancies between the Transcript and the Exchange Course Approval Form, the Transcript will be the official source for credit transfer.

Transcripts from Host Institution to be sent to:

Attn: Exchange Program Coordinator
International Student Services Office
128 University Centre
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

Tel: +1 (613) 520-2519
Fax: +1 (613) 520-3419