If you are considering a study-abroad experience, the first thing you should do is contact Pavlis Honors College by going to their offices on the 7th floor of the M&M 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, CCT, SRER, 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. It will be very difficult to find any study abroad equivalents to a Mechanical Engineering Practice (MEP) course. This may mean you have to carefully plan pre-reqs if you plan to “make up” the semester missed by doubling up MEP II and III when you return from study abroad.
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 similar 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 and/or getting it from Pavlis and/or the exchange programs like USAC or ISA. A syllabus may be sent directly to an ME academic advisor for a MEEM course evaluation.
A short catalog description is not enough information to evaluate a course for possible Michigan Tech credit. You must provide a syllabus. The below information should be included.
- University or college name and location (including country, city, etc).
- Course number, course title, and number of US semester-equivalent credits
- Textbook(s) used
- Detailed description of topics (not just outcomes) and grading system. At a minimum, the description of topics must include a week-by-week (class-by-class, etc) breakdown of the topics/chapters covered.
- If all this information is available online, you can submit files or link(s). Allow several weeks for the course evaluation process to be completed by the appropriate Michigan Tech academic department.
- Before submitting a course for evaluation, please make sure that the course is being offered and you intend and will be allowed to take it. Please bear in mind that you will be subject to any pre-requisites or restrictions in place at the abroad institution, as well as Michigan Tech pre-reqs, etc.
- There is an online form that you will receive from Pavlis to facilitate the evaluation process.
- Once you have approved course(s) identified, an academic advisor will sign off your Course Planning Sheet (part of the online form from Pavlis) to make sure you understand how your overall plan for the credits to be attempted applies to your flow chart (degree progress).
- 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, you will notify Pavlis of your registration though your planning form 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 (similar to the transfer process).
- 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 and/or through the study-abroad program. 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. MAKE SURE YOU REQUEST TRANSCRIPTS RIGHT AWAY AND FOLLOW UP ON THE STATUS OF YOUR REQUEST. A DELAY IN RECEIVING THESE TRANSCRIPTS CAN CAUSE REGISTRATION AND/OR GRADUATION ISSUES, ETC.
- Please keep in mind that there are other international opportunities besides traditional study abroad programs as well. ME-EM senior capstone design has offered international projects in the past. These projects would be pre-arranged to meet your degree requirements. iDesign – a summer/fall program 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 iDesign).
- Another study abroad option for senior design is a European Project Semester (EPS) that can possibly fulfill your senior design requirement, but again project pre-approval is required. Contact Pavlis for the availability of these EPS experiences and an academic advisor for details of ME-EM department project approval. You should not expect to earn any other BSME-applicable credits other than MEEM 4901/4911 with an approved EPS project.