Course Substitutions for Study Abroad Coursework

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If you are interested in studying abroad but are concerned about fulfilling all of your course requirements and graduating on time, then the CHC's course substitution process may be able to help. Under the CHC’s study abroad course substitution policy, you can substitute any four-credit (minimum) study abroad course for one elective colloquium without going through the CHC’s petition process! You just need to notify CHC of the substitution that you would like to make via the Notification Form for Independent Thesis and Study Abroad Credits. Please note that study abroad colloquia taught by CHC core faculty are considered the same as CHC on-campus classes and do not go through an approval/petition process; these courses must be taken for a letter grade to fulfill CHC requirements. See additional guidelines and instructions below.

Substituting a Course from a Non-CHC Program

All CHC students who study abroad with a non-CHC program (no matter the length of time spent abroad) are guaranteed one CHC elective colloquium substitution without a petition to the CHC’s Undergraduate Studies Committee (CHC students are guaranteed only one study abroad course substitution, no matter how many times they study abroad).

A study abroad course is guaranteed to substitute for an elective CHC colloquium without an Undergraduate Studies Committee petition only if it is: 

  • A minimum of 4.0 credits on the UO transcript (regardless of amount of time spent abroad) 
  • Liberal arts/research orientation: no language instruction classes 
  • Not fulfilling any requirements for the student’s majors or minors 

To take advantage of this option, fill out the notification form to apprise the CHC of your intent to claim the substitution.


Internship credits do not qualify for a guaranteed elective colloquium substitution, although many GEO internship programs allow you to enroll in coursework on Intercultural Communication (4 credits) that does qualify for the guaranteed elective colloquium substitution. Internship credits that require coursework, small group discussion, and substantial reading and writing—in other words, that follow the CHC colloquium model—can be petitioned to substitute for elective colloquium credit (see petition section below).

Petitions for Additional Course Substitutions

Once a student has received one guaranteed study abroad course substitution, they must petition the CHC for any additional study abroad course substitutions (including for a second course substitution, if the student has been abroad for two or more consecutive terms). In addition, any student who wishes to have a study abroad course substitute for any of the subject-area colloquia (HC 421, HC 431, HC 441)—including students who have not yet received a guaranteed course substitution for study abroad—must petition the CHC’s Undergraduate Studies Committee upon their return. 

Study abroad courses not eligible for a guaranteed study abroad course substitution can be considered for colloquium substitutions only if they follow the CHC colloquium model: 

  • Upper-division (300- and 400-level) course credit noted on the transcript 
  • A minimum of 4.0 credits on the UO transcript (regardless of time spent abroad) 
  • Small class size 
  • Discussion-based 
  • Liberal arts/research orientation: no language instruction classes 
  • Substantial reading and writing assigned and completed (benchmark: 10- to 15-page final paper)
  • Not fulfilling any requirements for the student’s majors or minors

Language Coursework

Language coursework taken through a UO-sponsored study abroad may count towards fulfilling the CHC electives option with 12 credits of language coursework. If the degree guide does not automatically capture and apply your study abroad language coursework towards the CHC Electives requirement Option C, please fill out the study abroad credits notification form to request that it apply.  

Important Note on Documentation

If you anticipate that you will need to petition the honors college for a study abroad colloquium substitution, make sure that you save everything related to the class that you’ve taken abroad, including course descriptions, syllabi, writing assignments, digital projects, and exams. If you are in situation where you have to hand-write your work (or you’re not assured of having access to your work after the course ends), make a photocopy, take a photograph, or write out two copies of your assignments (one copy to turn in, and one copy to bring home). The more documentation you can provide from your courses, the stronger your petition will be. Your petition will also be stronger if you took the course for a letter grade rather than Pass/No Pass.

CHC Guidelines for Course Substitution Petitions