Approval of Courses Abroad

Please read this ENTIRE page (beyond just the 6 steps), so that you wisely choose courses that will fit onto your Audit! 

NEW!! BIB are advised to add a Minor in Language (their BIB Language) to their Audit before they go abroad.

To add a Minor:  Carleton Central/Student Services/Change of Program Elements.

Please note:  You can only have two (2) Elements:  one Concentration & one Minor; or two Minors.  If you’re already pursuing, for example, a BIB Concentration and a Minor in Economics, then you can’t add a Minor in Language.

6 Steps at the start of EACH term/semester abroad!

  • Step 1:  Know your Audit:  Where can courses from abroad best fit?
  • Step 2:  Know which courses at your host institution  have already been assessed with Carleton equivalents (Registrars’ Database).
  • Step 3: Submit Course Descriptions for courses that do not appear on the Database in Step 2.
  • Step 4: Submit Course Approval Form showing all the courses you’re registered into at the Host Institution.
  • Step 5:  Carleton reviews your courses.
  • Step 6:  Approved courses are loaded onto your Audit as CEX (Current on Exchange).

Once you’ve arrived at the host institution and are making your final course selections, you must do the first 4 steps – at the start of each term – in order to request approval for credit transfer of your courses. Then we (at Carleton) do steps 5 and 6.

But first, please contact your Registrarial Specialist and get your Exchange I.D. Number.

Step 1:

Print out 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.

a) BIB

The BIB Audit has Items designed to accommodate the large variety of courses BIB students take abroad. All/most of your approved, successfully-completed courses from abroad will be transferred to these Items:

  • The bracketed areas:  [May include … an approved… course…taken during the year abroad…]
  • Major Items 6, 7, 8:  BUSI/ECON courses
  • Free Electives

b) BCom

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

  • Electives (6.5 credits)


BIB & BCOM: 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.


Please do NOT select a course that’s:

  • 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 (NEW!) precludes BUSI 2702 (BIB course Intro to Int’l Mgt.)
  • 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).


 Step 2:

Check the Exchange Course Equivalencies Database (scroll down to your particular host institution) to see whether any courses you’re considering have already been assessed for their Carleton equivalent. Look at the Carleton assessment to see if this is something that could fit onto your Audit. If a course is assessed with xx’s (e.g., BUSI 37xx; ECON 3xxx; PSCI 2xxx; etc.) that means there’s no direct equivalent at Carleton, but the course can still sit in Major or Electives on your Audit, wherever it best fits.

 Step 3:

 Submit a detailed Course Description for each course you’re considering taking that does NOT appear in the database.
If the course is already on the database – see Step 2 — do NOT submit a description!
Check the partner institution web-site for information about courses:

*If several of you are taking the same course, please submit only ONE course description on behalf of all of you.


 Step 4:

Submit the Exchange Course Approval Form listing all the courses you’re taking. Re-submit the Approval Form each time you change your course selection(s). Please save the document in WORD and email it as an attachment to: Send from your cmail account ONLY!

 Step 5:

 Your academic advisor will review/revise the form, and will submit it to the Registrars Office (with an email copy to you.).

 Step 6:

 The Registrars Office will give final approval (by email to you), and will enter the approved courses as CEX – Current on Exchange — on your Audit. When your transcript from abroad arrives, successfully-completed approved courses will be transferred as EXC (Exchange) credits. Failed courses will be transferred with grade of ‘F’ and will impact your CGPA. (BIB students, please note: BUSI 3700 is also graded and will impact your CGPA.) 

Note: Carleton students on Exchange must be available on Carleton email throughout the entire time abroad.

Eligibility for Study Abroad

In order to continue into Year 3 of the BIB Program, and to qualify to study abroad, you must have completed a minimum of 9.0 credits (specified below) with the following minimum CGPA’s, including overall CGPA of 5.00:

Students in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese:

  • 4.0 credits in BIB Core courses in Spanish, French, German or Portuguese with a minimum CGPA of 6.50 (B-/C+)
  • 5.0 credits in BIB Major courses, with a minimum CGPA of 6.50 (B-/C+).

Students in Japanese and Mandarin:

  • 2.0 or 3.0 credits in BIB Core courses in Japanese/Mandarin, with a minimum CGPA of 6.50 (B-/C+).
  • 7.0 or 6.0 credits in BIB Major courses, with a minimum CGPA of 6.50 (B-/C+).

Please note: Students who entered the language higher than a beginner’s level, and had their language requirement reduced to 3.0 or 2.0 Core Language credits, must still earn a minimum total of 9.0 credits towards the BIB program (with all required Language credits completed), with the above minimum CGPA´s, to be eligible to study abroad.

BIB Study Abroad Requirement

To satisfy the BIB Study Abroad Requirement, each BIB student must have, on their BIB audit, a minimum of 4.0 approved Carleton credits successfully completed during the year of study abroad (this includes BUSI 3700), with a minimum of 1.0 credit taught in the BIB language.

Full-Time Course Load

As an exchange student, you are registered at Carleton University and 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

Third Year Requirements:

Full-time course-load of approved courses while abroad — 2.5 credits each term and 5.0 credits for the year. A typical year abroad looks something like this:

  • 0.5 cr. BUSI 3700 (long-distance course)
  • 2.5 cr. BUSI or ECON at 2000-level or above (1.5 cr. for students in China and Japan)
  • 2.0 cr. Electives (3.0 cr. for China and Japan, includes 2.0 cr. Language)

Please note:

The academic year in South America (Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Peru, Brazil) is March to December (two terms: Mar-July and Aug-Dec). Students going to South America will therefore complete BIB Fourth year requirements at Carleton in two separate terms: Fall term (before study abroad) and Winter term (after study abroad), with a projected graduation in June with their fellow BIBers.

Japanese/Mandarin Language credits from abroad will be transferred to the BIB Language Core (on the audit).  Once the 4.0 credits of Language Core requirements are met, the remaining Language courses taken abroad will be transferred to the Electives category on the audit.

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, be it one of the above Items for Third year, or other remaining Items – e.g., Electives for Fourth year.  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):  INSEEC (Chambery), UE Valencia, Solvay, Grenoble 2and Augsburg. The formula used for credit transfer for approved, successfully completed courses is: 50 to 60 ECTS = 5.0 Carleton credits.

Carleton Registration for Year Abroad

Do not use Carleton Central to register!
The Registrars office will register you as a full-time Carleton student for the year abroad: BUSI 3700 plus full-time Exchange credits.

Students going to South America: The Registrars office will register you into BUSI 3700 plus full-time Exchange credits for your year abroad: Winter term & Fall term. (But you must use Carleton Central to register for courses at Carleton the Fall term before your year abroad and the winter term after your year abroad).

All of you: 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 6 steps above.

Assessing Carleton Equivalents

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

When a course is approved for you, 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 equivalent at Carleton, but we still approve the course as a valid course that fits on your Audit.

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).   As an example, here’s a possible scenario for 2.5 credits for one term abroad.

  • PSCI 2xxx EXC = Political Science, second year, 0.5 cr. (Electives)
  • BUSI 3xxx EXC = Business, third year, 0.5-cr. (Major or Electives)
  • ECON 3601 EXC = Introduction to International Trade, 0.5-cr. (Major or Electives)
  • SPAN 3xxx (1.0) EXC = Spanish language, third year, 1.0-cr. (Electives)

Upon receipt of the transcript(s) from your host university, credits will be transferred to your BIB audit for approved, successfully completed courses.  CEX — ‘Current On Exchange’  — will then become EXC — ‘Exchange’.

You will also be taking BUSI 3700 (Cross Cultural Communication), a 0.5-credit course that continues for the entire academic year.

Returning to Carleton for Fourth year

In the above scenario, the student may not take ECON 3601 Introduction to International Trade when they return to Carleton because they have already taken it. In the same vein, please keep in mind that if a course abroad has been assessed as equivalent to a course you’ve already taken at Carleton, then you may not take that course while abroad.

Guideline for registering into courses for Fourth Year:

Time-tickets open in June, which means most 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.  General rule of thumb:

  1. If you’re still missing courses from first and/or second year BIB, you must take those courses in Fall term.
  2. Register in Ethics (BUSI 4705) and Strategy (BUSI 4709), either Fall or Winter.  If you are taking some first/second year courses in Fall, then you have to wait until Winter term to take Strategy (BUSI 4709) because all those courses are pre-requisites for it.
  3. Then, register in courses remaining in your Concentration.
  4. Complete your registration.
  5. Then look at your Audit to see what items are still missing (e.g., Major #5, 6, 7, 8, and electives).
  6. Register into those courses.
  7. Email your academic advisor, asking her/him to look at your Audit to see if you’re on track AFTER you’ve registered.
  8. 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.

Transcripts from Host Institution to be sent to:

Attn: Ms. Chau Huong
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

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