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Academic Policies

Majors, Minors and LSM

Students must declare their major, minor, and LSM prior to studying abroad. This provides students clear information about their unique degree requirements that can guide them when choosing courses abroad. It also enables staff in the Office of International Education and the Academic Advising Center to more accurately advise students prior to and during study abroad.

Course Selection and Registration

The Office of International Education makes every effort to advise students on course selection and registration prior to the start of the program; however, courses and course availability abroad can change without notice and the Office of International Education cannot be responsible for such changes. Therefore, students should plan to have alternative courses identified before departure. Only the courses listed in the 'Previously Approved Courses' sections in BentleyAbroad have been pre-approved for credit. We strive to have as many courses as possible approved in advance by Bentley faculty, however in some cases the large volume of courses available at a particular university makes this impractical. If you are interested in taking a course that is not listed, contact your study abroad advisor to request course approval as early as possible during your add/drop period. Students are not authorized to take any other courses abroad unless they receive written permission from a study abroad advisor. If a course is taken that has not been approved, the student will receive no credit for that course.

Upon arrival, students must follow the host university's registration process to register for courses. Please keep in mind that registration practices vary widely across universities and countries. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are officially registered and will receive an official transcript upon completion. Students must report their finalized course registrations in BentleyAbroad soon after arrival. 

Course Load Policy

For summer programs, students must enroll in two courses, unless the program is specifically designed for one course. For semester programs, students must enroll in a minimum of four courses* and a minimum of 12 Bentley credits. Enrolling in four courses is required regardless of the number of credits per course. Enrolling in at least 12 Bentley credits is required to maintain full-time student status for student visa and financial aid purposes.

 *Exceptions to the 'Four Course Minimum' policy:

  • University of Manchester: It is acceptable to enroll in fewer than four courses if enrolling in three 5-credit classes
  • University of Glasgow: It is acceptable to enroll in fewer than four courses if enrolling in three 5-credit classes

Required Course Policy

If the study abroad program has a required course, whether it is a requirement of Bentley or the host institution/program, Bentley mandates that students enroll in that course and remain enrolled for the duration of the program. If you fail to enroll in the course, withdraw, or do not complete the course for other reasons, the required course will appear on your Bentley transcript as an F.

Course Withdrawal Policy

Students are subject to the host university's withdrawal policy which governs if, when, and how a student may withdraw from a course. Withdrawals will be reported on the Bentley transcript only if the host university official transcript reports a withdrawal and only if the course is not a required course. Therefore students must follow the official withdrawal procedure rather than simply informing the professor.

Language Course Policy

When registering for a language course, students must take the highest level suitable for their ability. If the program determines a student's language level with a placement test, s/he will receive Bentley elective credit at that level even if they have previous credit for that level at Bentley. However, Bachelor of Arts majors and Modern Languages majors and minors are not guaranteed credit in the major/minor. These students must reach a certain proficiency level in a language, and therefore cannot earn major or minor credit for language courses at a lower level than previously completed at Bentley. ML minors, Spanish Studies majors and BA majors should contact their study abroad advisor as soon as possible after the language placement test for guidance on meeting their language requirement at Bentley.

Spanish Studies majors should meet with their Spanish advisor prior to study abroad to discuss possible course options. Students who wish to pursue the ML minor are strongly encouraged to meet with the Chair of Modern Languages to discuss course options and to complete the proper paper work before going abroad. ML minors are required to take four distinct courses regardless of the credit value of each course. Therefore, language courses abroad worth more than 3 credits will satisfy only one of the required courses in the ML minor. For example, an ML minor who takes a 6 credit language course abroad will fulfill 3 credits in the ML minor (provided the course meets the criteria above) and 3 credits in A&S electives.

Course Focus Requirement Policy

Study abroad courses are not eligible to fulfill the communication intensive, diversity intensive, and international intensive course focus requirements on the student’s DAS.

Exam Policy

Students must complete all required exams onsite. In extreme situations and only at the request of the host institution, International Education staff will proctor an exam at Bentley.

Alternative Assessment Policy

Occasionally, a student might need to make arrangements to take alternative final exams (assessments); typically, this happens when students take the first half of a course that runs for the full academic year, or if the host university's academic calendar conflicts with Bentley's. In this case, students are responsible to arrange alternative assessments with their professors before returning home. When arranging an alternative assessment, it is the student's responsibility to pay careful attention to what the professor requires in order to satisfy the alternative assessment. Students should make sure they have evidence in writing of what was agreed with the professor, especially if it differs from something in writing in a syllabus or email.

Grading Policy

Students studying abroad at Bentley partner and affiliate programs earn Bentley credits and Bentley grades for all approved courses. If the program utilizes an A-F grade scale, Bentley will post those grades in the 4.0 system.  If the host institution utilizes a different grading system, grades will be translated to the 4.0 system according to Bentley’s equivalency scale. The Bentley transcript will show the term abroad with all approved course titles, Bentley credits, and Bentley grades in the 4.0 system. 

For grade translation details, please reference the Bentley Grade Equivalencies chart. Programs not listed on the chart use a grading scale similiar to Bentley's system and do not require translation.

Study abroad grades will NOT be included in the Bentley GPA calculation. Exclusion of grades from Bentley GPA calculation does not apply to non-Bentley programs, domestic study away programs, or intensive faculty-led programs offered by Bentley faculty.

Courses may not be taken pass/fail and students cannot choose to omit any approved course from the Bentley transcript. All approved courses will appear on the transcript regardless of whether they are needed to meet degree requirements.

Grading systems vary significantly around the world.  Students who have any issues with grades earned abroad must address them with the faculty and program administrators abroad as early as possible, ideally before returning home. Bentley is obligated to honor the courses and grades as reported by the partner institution or study abroad program. Bentley cannot change or omit any courses or grades reported by the host institution or program. For more information about transcripts and equivalencies, please visit Transcripts and Grades from Abroad.

Academic Integrity Policy

As a Bentley student abroad, you continue to be responsible for following the policies in the Bentley Student Handbook, including the academic integrity policy. Upon return to Bentley students can be held responsible for violations of policy that occur during the education abroad program.

Non-Bentley Programs Policy

Bentley students are not permitted to submit an application directly to any Bentley partner university or affiliate organization. To earn Bentley credit, you must apply for admission through the Office of International Education by the stated deadlines. There are no exceptions.

15 Credit Placeholder Policy

Processing transcripts from a semester or summer abroad is subject to the administrative policies and processes of partners and universities abroad. This means that the Office of International Education might not receive transcripts until after the housing selection and course registration process takes place at Bentley. Students who do not receive their transcripts from abroad prior to housing selection or course registration will receive 15 placeholder credits on their DWS. These 15 credits are temporary and will be removed after students have succesfully completed housing selection and/or course registration at Bentley.

Senior Year Spring Semester Graduation Policy

Seniors who are considering studying abroad during their spring semester should consider how important it is for them to attend their graduation ceremony. Depending on the program, students may not be able to return in time. Additionally, transcripts from their semester abroad will not be processed until the summer, meaning that students will need permission from the Registrar to walk at May commencement and will not receive their diploma until October.