If you are considering a study-abroad experience, the first thing you should do is contact International Programs and Services (IPS) by going to their offices on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building or attending one of their publicized information sessions. Study abroad programs are available ranging from several weeks in the summer to a full semester to an entire year.
It is important that you clarify your goals for your study abroad experience according to these guidelines:
- “I want to study abroad and I am not concerned about maintaining progress in my degree program(s) at Michigan Tech.” No real limitations on the programs a student might choose.
- “I want to study abroad and I want to complete some required credits, but will target general education (UN, HASS) or other common credits (math, chemistry, physics, free electives, co-curriculars).” Most programs and international institutions will be able to support these kinds of course equivalencies.
- “I want to study abroad and I want to complete required BSME core credits (ENG, MEEM, EC 3400, etc). I do not want the study abroad experience to extend the time to complete my degree at all” This will limit your choices of international institutions/locations to those that offer engineering, or specifically mechanical engineering curricula.
Once you have identified a specific experience/location with IPS, it is then critical that you have all your study-abroad equivalent courses pre-approved before leaving Michigan Tech. Typically, study-abroad credits though sanctioned study-abroad programs are considered to be Michigan Tech credits and are normally graded as pass-fail according to minimum standards of grades that are earned while studying through those programs. Pass-fail graded courses are not included in Michigan Tech GPA calculations. Contact IPS for more information on the pre-departure process. Courses will be evaluated and possibly approved as equivalent to Michigan Tech courses similarly to the syllabus submission process detailed below.
Study abroad courses must be evaluated for equivalency to Michigan Tech courses by sending the below information to IPS (or an ME academic advisor for MEEM courses).
- University or college name and location (including country)
- Course number, course title, and number of credits (credits converted to U.S. standard semester credits if necessary, IPS can assist with credit conversions)
- Syllabus. A short catalog description is not enough information to evaluate a course for possible Michigan Tech credit. You must provide a syllabus.
- Textbook(s) used (usually on the syllabus)
- Detailed description of topics and grading system (usually on the syllabus)
- If all this information is available online, you can send the link(s).
- Before submitting a course for evaluation, please make sure that the course is being offered and offered in a way that you are at least able to take it. Do not submit evaluation requests for courses that you are not likely to take.
- Once you have approved course(s) identified, an academic advisor will sign off your Course Planning Sheet (form from IPS) for individual MEEM courses and on your overall plan for credits to be attempted.
- If a study abroad course you are taking is a pre-req for a course you plan to take in your next semester at Michigan Tech, notify IPS of your registration and an in-session (IS) placeholder can be entered into Banner. The IS will act as a pre-req to allow you to register for the next course you need here at Tech.
- When your study abroad is complete, request an official copy of your transcript be sent to Michigan Tech as soon as you have completed the course(s) and grades are posted. This may not happen automatically. You should make a transcript request from the institution where you have completed courses. Official transcripts are sealed and must be received by Michigan Tech directly from other institutions. Do not request these transcripts to be sent to yourself, academic advisors, etc. Earned study abroad credits are not included in any GPA calculations, but can impact your GPAs if the credit replaces a grade of ‘CD’, ‘D’. or ‘F’ from a previous attempt here at Tech. Removal of these poor grades for these calculations may cause GPAs to improve once study abroad credits are entered.
- Please keep in mind that there are other international opportunities besides study abroad programs as well. ME-EM senior capstone design has been offering projects in recent years that require travel to India and these projects are pre-arranged to meet your degree requirements. I-Design through the Civil and Environmental Engineering department is a possibility as well, but will require pre-approval of the project content for ME students (see an academic advisor for details if you are interested in this and have attended an information session for I-Design).
- Another option for senior design – which is a study abroad program – is a European Project Semester (EPS) that can possibly fulfill your senior design requirement, but again project pre-approval is required. Contact IPS for the availability of these EPS experiences and an academic advisor for details of ME-EM department project approval.