Student in port

How to Get the Credits You Need

SAS credit easily transfers to most schools and we will work with you and your study abroad office to ensure a smooth transfer. Please note that many schools require prior approval in order to transfer credits earned through Semester at Sea.

Students are responsible for meeting with their study abroad and/or academic advisor prior to enrollment to determine the transferability of credit. Study abroad offices can provide guidance on how to integrate study abroad with a course of study at the home institution.

Steps for Credit Transfer

Step 1: What is SAS credit?

Semester at Sea academic credit is equivalent to academic credit from the University of Virginia. University of Virginia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The McIntire School of Commerce is accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business and the School of Engineering and Applied Science are accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.

Semester at Sea students are enrolled as visiting students of the University of Virginia, the nation’s #2 public university according to U.S. News & World Report. Courses on Semester at Sea appear as regular U.Va. courses. Grades are recorded at the University of Virginia and students receive official transcripts from the University of Virginia.

Although credits earned are fully transferable, admission to Semester at Sea does not constitute admission to the University of Virginia. Students from other institutions of higher education take Semester at Sea as a single global educational experience, returning to their home institutions upon completion of the voyage.

Step 2: How Do I Transfer Credit?

You will need to speak with your study abroad, academic, or equivalency advisor at your home institution and ask them how the listed Semester at Sea courses would transfer to your major or elective requirements.

Step 3: What Part Do I Play?

Select your courses and make an appointment with your advisor.

The first step is to decide which courses you are interested in taking. When you come up with a list of those courses (it’s a good idea to have a few alternatives), make an appointment with an advisor at your college or university who can counsel you on transferring credit. When you arrive for that meeting, be sure to take the syllabi for the courses you’ve chosen (if available on the Semester at Sea voyage course page) and the biographies for the professors who will be teaching those courses. All of this information can be found on the specific Semester at Sea voyage pages.

Some questions to ask your academic advisor:

  • Will I receive letter grades?
  • Does my school’s financial aid apply?
  • Do I need to complete any school specific study abroad applications?
  • Will my school pay Semester at Sea directly?
  • What deadlines do I need to keep in mind?
  • What forms will I need?
  • Will I need course by course approval?
  • Will I be required to take a leave of absence in order to participate on Semester at Sea?

Step 4: What Part Does SAS Play?

Semester at Sea will attempt to be as timely as possible posting necessary information on the website. We will provide the course description of every course listed for our voyages. We also try to upload the course mnemonic and number (ex. ANTH 1010) with the attached syllabus as soon as a course is approved by the University of Virginia departments. If your home institution has any questions or concerns regarding the academic rigor or standards of our courses, we would be happy to speak with your representative by email or phone (academic@ise.virginia.edu; 1.800.854.0195).

Step 5: Post Voyage – Transcripts

After the semester is over, a courtesy copy of your transcript from the University of Virginia will be sent to your current school. Any additional copies will need to be ordered from the University at the link below:

UVA Registrar Website