Policies on Grades

If you are waiting to receive your grades from abroad and have questions or concerns, contact EAgrades@psu.

  • Students will receive A-F letter grades for all courses taken abroad on Penn State approved programs.
  • Courses taken abroad will count towards the student's GPA and credit total.
  • Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, golf, etc.) abroad unless the physical activity course is taught by a Penn State professor on a faculty-led program.
  • Students may not take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis in accordance with the Penn State Faculty Senate Policy 49-60
  • If enrolling in courses at a host institution abroad, students must complete the Course Equivalency Process to have grades posted to their Penn State transcript.
  • If enrolling in courses at a host institution abroad, students will be assigned 'ED AB 000' and 'NG' (No Grade) as a placeholder course until the course equivalency and grade transfer process is complete. Once a course is assigned a Penn State course equivalent, 'ED AB 000' will be removed, and the actual course and grade will be posted to the student's transcript.
  • Students cannot graduate with an 'NG' (no grade) on their transcript.
  • Students must resolve grade disputes with the institution abroad or program provider. Education Abroad does not determine grades, nor can the office remove a course/grade from a transcript.

Process of Course and Grade Equivalency

Please keep the following topics in mind that contribute to the length of the grade posting process.

When the Student Completes the Course Equivalency Process

The Education Abroad office strongly recommends that students submit equivalency requests while abroad to prevent delays in grade posting once the semester is over.

Course Approval Process By the Academic Department

Decisions regarding course equivalencies are made by the relevant academic department (i.e., History). The Education Abroad office cannot post grades until the office is notified of the equivalency decision by the department. Depending on volume, this step can take a few weeks or as long as 4 months.

Receipt of Transcript from Abroad

Each of our international partner universities and institutions has its own policies and procedures regarding transcripts. Typically, transcripts are received within 2 months of the end of the program.

Volume of Grades to be Posted

Nearly 3,000 Penn State students go abroad each year, and most of those students' grades must be posted by the Education Abroad office. At any given time, there may be hundreds of students waiting to receive grades. Please be patient!

Records Specialists Appointments for Grades, Transcripts, and Course Equivalency Questions

Records specialists can meet with students who went abroad on any education abroad program (i.e., they do not have a geographic portfolio). Please note that for questions about how a course will fit within degree requirements or degree audit, students should consult with their academic advisers. To schedule an appointment with a records specialist, please email