Course Equivalency Process

Before classes begin abroad, we strongly recommend that students make sure their courses will equate to UW credits. To do this, first access the Course Equivalency Database below to check and see if the course has a UW equivalency. If the course has not yet been equated, you will need to acquire and send a detailed course syllabus in English to the International Programs Project Assistant via email ( or fax (608 263 0477). International Programs will send the syllabus to the appropriate UW department, then email all program participants once the equivalency has been established. Please note that it usually takes a minimum of two weeks for a course to be equated.  

It is crucial for students to plan carefully ahead of time for all contingencies, including the possibility that some courses will have time conflicts with one another or may not be made available during every semester. Please remember that many courses abroad, though very interesting and seemingly valuable to a student's degree program, have no equivalent offered at UW. Courses without specific UW equivalents must therefore be given general credit, which doesn't count toward major requirements. Unfortunately, there are courses overseas which receive no UW credit. Please confirm your courses while there is time to change classes.

Important Notice Concerning the Database of Course Equivalencies

You must read and acknowledge your understanding of this policy before you can access the online database.


The database is a very useful tool intended to help students explore course offerings at overseas partner schools. It cannot replace the specific guidance students receive in an individual advising appointment. To use the database most effectively, it is important to understand what information it conveys as well as its limitations, as outlined below.

  1. The database reflects the courses students have taken abroad at some point abroad and the UW credit they received. A student who takes the same course at the same partner university may expect to earn the same credit, barring any substantial changes to the course content. (See #5 below for more information).
  2. Each partner has its own guidelines on what type of coursework it makes available to exchange students. International Programs helps students match their course plans and goals with partners' offerings.
  3. Students are not restricted to the courses listed in the database. It is a living, growing document; as additional courses are evaluated, they are incorporated into the record.
  4. The database provides NO information on when (which semester) or if a course will be offered. For this information students should consult the host institutions' course offerings on the web or in the printed materials kept in the International Programs office. 
  5. The database is a historical record. Just as at UW, partner schools periodically implement curriculum changes, and courses may change in content or be cancelled. If the material covered for a specific course title changes substantially or credit hours are adjusted, (not common, but we have encountered these issues) a re-evaluation of the course will be necessary.
  6. The equivalencies listed here may be used by students on UW-Madison exchange and study abroad programs while remaining UW students. Students on non-UW programs will receive only  transfer/elective credit for courses taken abroad even if they attend a partner school.

Reminder of UW Regulations:

  • Students are expected to register for an equivalent of 12 credits of courses the semester they study abroad, taking at least 2 business classes (some partners may require more). At some partner schools students may need to take more than or fewer than four courses to achieve the appropriate required load.
  • It is recommended that you take no more than two courses in your major while you are abroad (exception: There is no limit to the number of International Business courses taken abroad). Some departments have specific rules. Check with your major department. This applies even if you study abroad more then one semester.

  • Students must take the intro course to the major on campus at UW-Madison, not abroad.  International Programs also strongly recommends that any other course that is a pre-requisite for a more advanced business course be taken at UW.


I have read and understand the policies stated above, and would like to access the Course Equivalency Database.


International Programs

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