General Education Program

Strengthening intellectual, creative and professional lives

GE Study Abroad



Pre-Approved Study Abroad GE Course Lists 
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GE Credit for Study Abroad Courses

  • When planning to traveling abroad, we strongly encourage students to submit a GE course substitution prior to departure if courses are not on a pre-approved course list.  To learn more about processing your request, you can refer to these GE course substitution processes for Study Abroad.

GE General Study Abroad Course Policies

  • Cal Poly courses taken through a Cal Poly Study Abroad Program MUST be on the approved GE list to count for GE credit.
  • Lower-division courses MAY NOT be used to fulfill upper-division courses in GE Areas C4, D5, or F.
  • Each GE requirement in a GE subarea (e.g., C1, C2, C elective) is a course requirement as well as a unit requirement.

A) A study abroad course must be the equivalent of at least 4 quarter units in order for it to be considered for GE transfer credit. 

B) One study abroad course cannot count as satisfying two GE course requirements.

C) If a study abroad course is the equivalent of more than 4 quarter units and it is approved for GE transfer credit, it will be allowed to count for one GE course requirement, consisting of 4 quarter units of GE; the extra units will be counted as free elective units.

D) GE credit can only occur after official transcripts have been received, allowing verification of grades and of the information provided on the GE Study Abroad petition: course title and description, units, lower- or upper division status, etc.

E) When out of the country and you need to change your courses, you may contact the Cal Poly Evaluations office for INFORMAL advice via email at evaluations@calpoly.edu.  Please allow 1 week for an email response.  Upon your return, complete this petition for formal review of the course.


GE Study Abroad Foreign Language Policies

  • Students are strongly encouraged to submit a GE Study Abroad petition before going abroad in order to know in advance which foreign language courses will be approved for GE credit.
  • In most cases, first-term (and later) foreign language courses, including upper-division courses, that are non-Cal Poly courses taken abroad will be granted transfer credit toward C1, C2, and/or the C elective at Cal Poly, up to a maximum total of 8 units in Area C, because of the substantial value-added cultural component of these study abroad courses.
  • Foreign language courses that are purely or mostly conversation courses WILL NOT be approved for GE credit, as these do not have the depth or rigor expected of GE courses.
  • To receive GE credit, foreign language courses should have a significant emphasis on reading and writing within the foreign language.

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