Course Equivalency Process

Before classes begin abroad, we strongly recommend that students verify how their courses will equate to UW-Madison courses. To do this, first access the course equivalency database below to check and see if the course has an existing equivalency. If the course has not yet been equated, you will need to acquire a detailed course syllabus in English. To do so, visit the program-specific page where you will likely find a link to that program’s website. If you are having difficulty locating syllabi, you may contact International Programs for assistance. Once you have obtained a syllabus, complete the following steps:

  • Email the syllabus to the International Programs Project Assistant at
  • If you are submitting multiple requests, send each in a separate email.
  • Attach the syllabus as a Word Document or PDF. Do not send a link.
  • Use the following naming convention for the document and for the subject of the email:
    • [Program City] - [Course #] - [Course Title]
    • For example: Oslo - 2306 - Organizational Behavior

International Programs will consult with the appropriate UW-Madison department to determine the equivalent course and notify you via email once it has been established. Please note that it usually takes at least two weeks for a course to be equated.

Course Selection

When planning which courses you will take abroad, keep the following policies and guidelines in mind:

  • Students are expected to enroll in the equivalent of 12 UW-Madison credits of courses the semester they study abroad, taking at least two business classes. At some partner schools students may need to take more than or fewer than four courses to achieve the appropriate required load. Refer to grade and credit conversion tables on program-specific pages to see how credits will be converted.
  • Students should take no more than two courses in their major while you are abroad (exception: There is no limit to the number of International Business courses taken abroad). This applies even if you study abroad more than one semester.
  • Students must take the intro course to their major on campus at UW-Madison, not abroad. International Programs strongly recommends that any other course that is a prerequisite for a more advanced business course in a student’s major be taken at UW-Madison.
  • To ensure comprehension and prepare for subsequent coursework, students who take finance classes abroad are advised to have met UW-Madison pre-requisites.

It is crucial for students to plan carefully ahead of time for all contingencies, including the possibility that some courses will have time conflicts with one another or may not be made available during every semester. When planning which courses you may take, be sure to consider alternatives. Please remember that many courses abroad, though very interesting and seemingly valuable to a student’s degree program, have no equivalent offered at UW-Madison. There may also be some courses overseas which receive no UW-Madison credit.

Important notice concerning the course equivalency database

You must read and acknowledge your understanding of this policy before you can access the online database. The database is a very useful tool intended to help students explore course offerings at overseas partner schools. It cannot replace the specific guidance students receive in an individual advising appointment. To use the database most effectively, it is important to understand what information it conveys as well as its limitations, as outlined below.

  • The database is a historical record. Just as at UW-Madison, partner schools periodically implement curriculum changes, and courses may change in content or be cancelled. If the material covered for a specific course title changes substantially or credit hours are adjusted, a re-evaluation of the course will be necessary.
  • The database provides no information, nor offers any guarantee, on when or if a course will be offered. For this information students should consult the host institutions’ course offerings on the web.
  • The database reflects the courses students have taken abroad at some point abroad and the UW-Madison credit they received. A student who takes the same course at the same partner university may expect to earn the same credit, barring any substantial changes to the course content and foreign credit values.
  • Each partner has its own guidelines on what type of coursework it makes available to exchange students. International Programs helps students match their course plans and goals with partners’ offerings.
  • Students are not restricted to the courses listed in the database. It is a living, growing document; as additional courses are evaluated, they are incorporated into the record.
  • The equivalencies listed here should be used only by students on Wisconsin School of Business exchange and study abroad programs while remaining UW-Madison students.

I have read and understand the policies stated above, and would like to access the course equivalency database.