Academics and credit

All faculty-led summer trips and the Denver, Oman and Romania semesters are administered and overseen by the Northwestern College Global Education Center (GEC). GEC staff work closely with NWC faculty, college committees and personnel to ensure safe, rewarding, challenging and academically sound programs. We are proud to offer programs that align with Northwestern’s Vision for Learning and aim to educate true global citizens who can navigate other cultures successfully and are prepared for life and work in a world of increasing interconnections.

In addition, the GEC partners with other U.S. colleges and institutions to provide students with off-campus study opportunities around the globe and at home. Each program must first be approved by Northwestern’s Academic Affairs Committee after a rigorous assessment and evaluation process.

All programs offered through the GEC carry academic credit. Northwestern programs fulfill the college’s cross-cultural general education requirement. Depending on program type, duration and academic focus, relevant course credits can be used to fulfill electives and major or minor program requirements. As you research program options, you should meet with your adviser and faculty members in your major or minor to determine what type of credit can be granted based on the courses offered in your top-choice program. Sample course descriptions or other documentation may be needed or required.


All program credits are recorded on your Northwestern College transcript. Credits from all off-campus programs are considered resident work if you registered for the program through NWC.

You will receive letter grades for each program. Each course is listed on your transcript with a “GEN” prefix and a letter or a number suffix, along with the number of credit hours and the grades earned. The grades are calculated into your cumulative GPA.

Only credits are accepted from other off-campus programs. The grades do not affect your cumulative GPA.  Northwestern only accepts credits for which you have earned a grade of C or higher.

Note: If you wish to participate in a NWC affiliated program, you must fill out a Special Transcript Request form in the global education office prior to applying to the program. In addition, you must complete a registration worksheet for the registrar’s office and, if applicable, a study abroad equivalency form. The study abroad equivalency form gives you the opportunity to indicate how you would like the credits to transfer back to NWC.

If you are applying directly to a program and aren’t registering through Northwestern College, you must complete an Acceptance of Coursework form for the registrar’s office so the registrar can pre-approve the courses and let you know if you are abiding by the residency requirement.

Note: The residency requirement states that if you transfer in 30 or more credits, your last 30 credits must consist of Northwestern College coursework. 

All Northwestern College students studying abroad and all non-NWC students participating in one of Northwestern’s programs will be required to complete a program evaluation survey at the end of their program. Students will receive an email invitation to complete the online evaluation form.