Course Approval Process

Study Abroad Course Approval Portal

Visit the Study Abroad Course Equivalency Database to search courses abroad and see how they will count through Degree Works. You may also request approvals for courses that do not yet exist in the database.

For SUNY Cortland Students

When you take courses at a university abroad, or through a faculty-led program offered by another SUNY school, each course is assigned a SUNY Cortland equivalent. Overseas courses that have already been assigned a SUNY Cortland equivalent can be found in the Course Equivalency Database. If a course you are interested in taking has not been assigned a SUNY Cortland equivalent, you’ll need to request one by following the directions below.

For Non-Cortland Students Participating on Cortland Programs

You are welcome to browse the database and add courses to your My Courses portal. However, you need to follow your home campus’ procedures for having equivalents assigned. The transcript that you receive from Cortland at the conclusion of your program will list the overseas courses – not the Cortland equivalents.

Approved Courses

All courses in the Course Equivalency Database have received approval from the appropriate academic departments. This means that any Cortland student who enrolls in this course abroad will receive credit for the Cortland course equivalent. You can search the database by program name, location, department, course name, or keywords. If you find a course with a Cortland course Equivalent of 1XX, 2XX, or 3XX, these courses will count as 100, 200, or 300 level elective courses.

Note: Courses listed in the database may not be offered at the host institution during the term you plan to study abroad. Check directly with the host program's official course catalog and schedule of classes. If a course is being offered during the term you plan to study abroad, and it is listed in the Approved Course Database, you can add that course to your My Courses portal.

Non-Approved Courses

If you would like approval for a course NOT in the study-abroad Approved Course Database, you can request an equivalent by clicking “Add New Course” in your My Courses portal. The form requires the title of the new course, link to course description, course number, and the number of credits offered by the program abroad.

The submitted form will be sent to your study abroad advisor and then to the designated academic department for approval. The department will review your choice and determine if there is a direct SUNY Cortland course equivalent, meaning there is a course offered by Cortland that matches the course abroad, or if general elective credit will be assigned.  A record of all approvals will be saved in My Courses.

Study Abroad Advising Form

Once you have decided on a study abroad program, and have a list of approved courses in your My Courses portal, click on the button to “Export Study Abroad Advising Form”. This form will list all of the courses you are interested in taking abroad, and their Cortland equivalents. This form must be signed by your study abroad advisor, and then by your academic advisor, and Associate Dean. Once all signatures are complete, scan and email the form to or drop it off in person (Old Main, 219). Once you are abroad and have finalized your course schedule with your host institution, please upload the course schedule so that we may save it to your online application.

If you have any questions about this process, or need assistance, please contact us at

Cortland Faculty-Led Programs

All programs led by a SUNY Cortland faculty member are considered faculty-led programs, and the course(s) that are taught on these programs are CORTLAND courses. Therefore, they do not need to be evaluated for Cortland credit. All students on a particular faculty-led program receive credit for the same course(s), which you can find listed in the ACADEMICS section of each program page on our website. If you would like to request that the course be counted as something else, you must discuss the potential for a COURSE SUBSTITUTION directly with your academic advisor. If approved, this is something that you will manage with your academic advisor once the course and grade have been posted to your Degree Works after the program has ended.

We have created a Faculty-led Program Advising Form for you to print, complete, and bring to your faculty advisor to aid in and document this conversation. Once completed it must be uploaded to your application or dropped off at the International Programs Office (Old Main, Room 219). We strongly encourage you to do this BEFORE committing to a program.

Internships Abroad

In order to gain SUNY Cortland credit for any internship abroad, the following criteria must be met:

Students must complete 40 hours of internship work for every 1 academic credit they wish to receive. Students keep a time sheet, provided by the International Programs Office, which is signed by their on-site internship supervisor at the completion of their internship.

Students must engage in an internship course alongside their on-site internship work. Students may choose to have their academic work assigned and overseen by:

  • a faculty member in their home department (example for students doing fieldwork for HLH 499 or completing a major-specific internship requirement)
  • a faculty member at a host institution or organization
  • the SUNY Cortland International Programs Office, via an online International Internship course.

Students are responsible for researching their options for academic oversight and communicating their choice to the International Programs Office by submitting the Internship Academic Oversight Form that is also found inside of the program application for any program offering an internship. It should be completed BEFORE departure. If a student fails to communicate an internship placement abroad and/or an academic assignment and oversight option to the International Programs Office, they will not be able to receive academic credit for their experience.

Student Teaching Abroad

Student teaching abroad is not currently available.