Making Degree Progress on Study Abroad

Major and Minor Classes Abroad

If you are planning on studying abroad as a junior or senior, then you may want to make progress towards your major or minor abroad. Every major (except nursing) has at least if one, not many more options, where you can study in English and make degree progress. When considering which classes you will take abroad, look to see if you need to complete core requirements or electives.

Core Requirements:

To see what classes are required and are cores, review the SF State Academic Bulletin. Then, look at what classes are offered abroad. If you have trouble finding the classes abroad, please speak with an SF State Abroad advisor.

When comparing the core class at SF State and the one abroad the course title does not need to match. You are looking at the course description. Most departments only require about a 60 to 70 percent alignment, but there are a few that require it to match very closely.  

Electives:

Elective classes are very flexible and do not need to match at all. Your department may approve any class in your field of study as an elective.

Getting Major and Minor Classes Approved:

Once you have found potential classes abroad, you may want to speak with your department to see if they agree with your matching. This is not required to apply for study abroad but highly recommended. If you are selected, this will be a required step later.

For most departments, you will be working with the chair and should reach out to make an appointment. BECA, Kinesiology, and DES (School of Design) have study abroad advisors in their department that you will need to work with for course approvals. Their names and contact information is linked below:

BECA: Dr. Camacho

Kinesiology: Dr. Barrera

DES: Dr. Gomes

Regardless of whether you are working with your department chair or advisor, you should prepare for the meeting by having narrowed down your program options to your top 2-3 locations. Also, come prepared to share classes. Your department can help you if you share this information, but if you have questions about programs and finding classes you will want to speak with an SF State Abroad advisor.

Nursing Majors:

Under California law, all nursing classes must be taken in the state and cannot even be taken elsewhere in the country. Nonetheless, we work with pre-nursing and nursing majors to study abroad. If you are a pre-nursing major, then it is highly recommended that you study abroad as a sophomore and take your Lower Division (LD) General Education (GE) classes and nursing prerequisites or study a language abroad. Having a second or third language is highly desirable and helpful in applying for the nursing program at SF State. If you are already in the nursing program, you may look at studying abroad for your minor or Upper Division (UD) General Education (GE) requirements during a semester when you are not taking nursing classes.

Undeclared Students:

SF State Abroad does not require that you be in your new major or minor at the time of application, but you should state your plans in your personal statement (or IP's essay questionnaire). However, you will need to be declared in your new major or minor by the end of the fall or spring semester prior to departure.

You will still want to speak with academic advisors and SF State Abroad advisors during your planning process, especially since some departments require major and minor course prerequisites prior to studying abroad.

Graduate Students:

Graduate students must complete one semester of graduate work at SF State prior to studying abroad. The GPA requirement for graduate students is a 3.0 regardless of the posted GPA on the program page.

Generally, graduate students focus on their field of study/major while studying abroad, but they can also go abroad to learn or improve another language. While graduate students may participate in a language and culture program, it will be for undergraduate credit and paying graduate-level tuition costs. Thus, it is more common to take graduate-level work abroad. If you do not see any programs specifically for your graduate program on the SF State Abroad Program Database, please reach out to an SF State Abroad advisor.

Lower Division GE’s Abroad:

Take your lower division (LD) general education (GE) classes abroad as a sophomore. Most of the LD GE classes can be taken abroad. However, it is recommended that you take Area E at SF State since this is the one LD GE class that may not be possible abroad. To give yourself the most options abroad, it is also recommended that you take D2, D3, A1, A2, and A3 as a freshman.

The chart below lists which LD GE classes have been taken abroad previously on programs that are ideal for sophomores to take LD GEs.

 

A1

A2

A3

B1

B2

B3

B4

C1

C2

C1/2

D1

D2

D3

E

Birmingham

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

TBD

Western

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

TBD

Chung-Ang

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

TBD

Seoul

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

TBD

Skema

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

TBD

Linnaeus

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

TBD

Mahidol

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

TBD

Business majors should look at the following programs for taking a combination of LD GEs and LD business classes in English:

  • Skema (France)
  • Chung-Ang (Korea)
  • University of Seoul (Korea)
  • UC3M (Spain)

STEM majors may want to consider the following programs for taking LD GEs and LD STEM classes:

  • Chung-Ang (Korea)
  • University of Seoul (Korea)
  • Linnaeus University (Sweden)
  • Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico)

Upper Division GE’s Abroad:

As a junior or senior, consider completing your upper-division (UD) general education (GE) requirements abroad: UD-B, UD-C, and UD-D.

UD-C (Humanities) and UD-D (Social Sciences) are the most flexible for study abroad. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you save them your term(s) abroad.

UD-B can be easily taken with UD-C and UD-D on UD GE programs. The following programs are recommended for completing all three UD GE requirements in English:

  • Chung-Ang (Korea)
  • University of Seoul (Korea)
  • Linnaeus University (Sweden)
  • Mahidol (Thailand)
  • Nelson Mandela University (South Africa)
  • University of Birmingham (United Kingdom)

Getting GEs Approved:

If you have any questions about taking LD or UD GEs abroad, please speak with an SF State Abroad advisor. SF State is very supportive of students taking GEs abroad. Using this website and the SF State Bulletin, match GE category requirements to classes abroad. Remember that the courses do not need to match, but the categories.

Approval for GE classes comes once you are actually enrolling in the class abroad. Then, you will work with your College's Student Success Center advisor. Schedule an appointment with the SF State Navigator tool when you are enrolling. 

College Student Success Centers: 

When you return from abroad and the classes have been placed on your unofficial transcript in Gateway you will once again coordinate with your College's Student Success Center advisor through SF State Navigator to complete a GE petition to formalize the completion of the GE class abroad.

Language Learning Abroad

We strongly recommend and encourage students to learn or improve another language while studying abroad. You may do so even if you do not have a language major or minor. SF State Abroad supports students who have personal or professional goals for learning or improving another language.

Adding a Language Minor or Double Major:

You can add a language minor (or even double major) before or after studying abroad, as you will complete the majority of requirements for a minor abroad. It is recommended that you do this before studying abroad since it is more difficult to add new majors and minors the closer you get to graduation.

Many, but not all, learn language programs require that students take one semester of the language prior to departure (not at the time of application). Students who have previously studied the language in high school may work with the Foreign Language Department to take a Placement Exam to fulfill this requirement. It can also be met with a language class at a community college.

Options include:

  • China
  • France
  • Italy*
  • Israel*
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • Ghana*
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • South Korea*
  • Taiwan*
  • Thailand*
  • South Africa*

*These programs do not require prior language study, but it is always recommended and helpful if the program becomes competative.

Look at the SF State Abroad Program Database for more details.

Getting Language Classes Approved:

It is only necessary to have language classes approved if you have a language major or minor. Please see the Major/Minor tab of this page for details on the approval process. If you are taking them for personal or professional reasons, then they will come back and appear on your transcript filling units but not necessarily a degree requirement.