Academic Considerations

As should be expected, academics are a critical and central component of the off-campus study experience. However, this includes the content taught in the course as well as the way the course itself is taught. Below are a few short descriptions of key concepts students should keep in mind as they research off-campus study programs and consider their academic experience while off-campus.

Credits:  St. Lawrence University values the education that takes place on off-campus study.  SLU programs require the student’s active participation in the academic courses in order to be successful on the program.  Credit for programs designated as SLU or affiliated/partner off-campus programs, is residence credit and grades earned are computed in the GPA.  Participation in a SLU or affiliated/partner program counts towards the residence requirement.

Classroom Environment:  The cross-cultural learning that takes place in a new environment extends to the classroom setting as well.   Students will need to be flexible to adjust to the expectations of classroom culture in the host setting.  For example, they may not be provided with a detailed syllabus, their work may be assessed infrequently, their classes may be larger lecture-style courses, they may be expected to keep up on their own, and/or it may not be as appropriate as on SLU’s campus to interrupt the professor to ask questions. As students research programs, they should also reflect on what types of environments foster their academic success and how specific programs may fulfill those needs. CIIS advisors and on-site staff can also assist with developing study strategies or other academic plans prior to departure.

Required Course Load:  Students are required to take a full course load while participating on an off-campus program.  Students participating on a SLU partner program should make sure to verify the number of courses in which they are required to enroll to be considered full-time.  Please note:  The Registrar’s Office utilizes a placeholder registration of 4 SLU units for all students on off-campus study until the students' transcripts are received at the end of the program and credits can be verified.  Students who enroll full-time as required will receive a minimum of 4 or more SLU units per semester.

Pass/Fail Grades: Students are permitted to take a course Pass/Fail on off-campus programs following the on-campus guidelines. The Pass/Fail option may be chosen for one course in any semester for course units taken to satisfy distribution requirements or any elective semester units outside the major or minor. The Pass/Fail option requires the written consent of the instructor and notification of the Registrar's Office within the specified time limit. A student must attain a minimum of a 1.0 grade to receive a Pass for the course. Students should be aware that grades of 0.0 (F) are calculated in the grade point average. Although the P grade is not calculated in the grade point average, P grades may place students at a competitive disadvantage when they apply for admission to some graduate or professional schools.  The Pass/Fail form and deadlines for submission are available on the Registrar's website.

Please note: Off-campus study program required courses, such as the language or culture course on certain programs, may not be taken Pass/Fail.