Pre-approval of study abroad plans

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There is a section in the electronic study-abroad application where you will be asked to list the courses you plan to take abroad. This is called the ‘application for preapproval’. After you complete filling out the electronic application, you must print the ‘application for preapproval’ section and give it to your faculty as a hard copy. This page describes how to go about this.

What is a preapproval of courses?

  • It is a guarantee that the courses you plan to take abroad will be approved as a part of your degree when you return to NTNU
  • Enables you to be eligible for stipends from NTNU

The application for preapproval should describe the courses you plan to take abroad and, if applicable, the equivalent courses they replace at NTNU. You must supply the following information:

  • Course name
  • Course description
  • Study load per course
  • If the courses are replacing any compulsory courses at NTNU

You are responsible to find appropriate courses at the study-abroad institution of your choice. However, the Unit for International Relations can provide some assistance if you need help. Please remember that it is the faculty that decides whether the courses you plan to take will be accepted as a part of your degree.

Overlapping and reduced course credits

Note that it is important that you do not choose courses you have already earned credits for at NTNU, or that overlap with courses previously taken. If you do select courses you have already taken, partly or fully, you may not receive course credits at NTNU.

Credit requirements

When abroad you need to take the equivalent of one year’s study load (60 ECTS) if your stay is for one year, or credits equal to 30 ECTS if your stay is for one semester.

Some countries may register you as a full-time student even if your study load is not equivalent to 60 ECTS. This applies especially to institutions in USA, Canada and South Africa, but may also occur in other countries. It is very important to comply with the preapproval you received from your faculty at NTNU prior to your trip. The preapproval is your security that you get credit for the courses you take abroad.

You might find yourself in situations where you will need to take other courses than the ones preapproved. In this case, it is important that you contact your faculty immediately, to ensure that the replacement course(s) will be approved when you return to NTNU.

Remember that it is NTNU that has the final say if your courses are approved, not the institution abroad.

List of credit equivalents (ECTS, point, units, etc.) at a selection of institutions

Every year, the Unit for International Relations assesses the equivalent of 60 ECTS points at various institutions. Most countries outside Europe do not have a uniform system, which means that what constitutes a full study-load will vary. While it is not possible to make a complete list of all international educational institutions, this database contains the most sought-after institutions.

ECTS-credits (European Credit Transfer System) is the standard in most European countries. Please note that some institutions, i.e. in Germany and Spain, use their own systems and ECTS interchangeably. Only institutions within Europe can use the ECTS system. Institutions outside EU that provide their credits in ECTS is not a part of the ECTS-system and NTNU may have another distribution of their credits.

In some countries, courses at undergraduate levels and graduate levels may carry different weighting. The same may apply to courses in technical areas and courses in non-technical areas. In the list, it will be specified if the required amount applies to all subjects and levels, or if exceptions may apply.

For some countries, the variations between institutions/departments is too big for it to be practical to keep an updated list. This especially applies to institutions in South America, and Brasil in particular. This is due to the usage of hours or courses as the measuring unit. For students planning to study in the USA, please note that studies at freshman level, usually 100-199 or 1000-1999 subjects, will not normally be considered as a part of a Norwegian degree. These subjects are the equivalent of Norwegian high school level. This will also be the case when studying in countries in South America and Eastern Europe. Contact the Unit for International Relations for information about the countries in question. Please note that international institutions will alter their requirements from time to time and the list should be regarded as a guideline.

Language courses

You can get language courses approved as a part of your exchange studies under specific conditions. The language course cannot exceed 15 ECTS points, and must be approved by your study programme at NTNU. In addition, the language course must be taken at an accredited university or college, and you must take an exam and be graded. The credit load of the course must be stated. Language courses taken at language schools will not yield credits.

Course changes after receiving pre-approval

If you are not able to take the course that have been pre-approved by NTNU, you need to contact your faculty at NTNU as soon as possible after arriving at the international institution.

Final approval of course credits

After returning from your study-abroad stay, you must apply for final approval of the courses you took abroad. The application is to be sent to your faculty at NTNU.