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GEO Approved Course Database

About the database

The GEO Approved Course Database is a directory of previously approved study away courses and their corresponding Duke course numbers. It is not comprehensive and it is subject to change at any time. Course approvals can also be reversed, if the modality or length of course changes. For Duke-administered programs that do not include transfer credit, such as Duke in Venice, please do not use the Request Course Approval form to request approval. 

If the course you want to take is in the database, you do not need to go through the course approval process. However, the database is only as good as the data GEO has input so far. If your search does not yield any results, please request a new course approval. Be sure to refer to https://globaled.duke.edu/academics/course_load for requirements. Practicum courses such as Independent Study, Internship, or Research cannot be requested through the database. Go to https://globaled.duke.edu/academics/internships-research for information and instructions.  Petitioned programs also have a separate course approval process and cannot be requested through the database. Information and instructions can be found at https://globaled.duke.edu/programs/petition-a-program.

Even if your desired courses are listed, you still need to ask yourself:

  • Will the course be offered in the semester I will be there? Contact the host institution abroad for an up-to-date course listing for the semester you will be there.
  • If I can’t get a seat in the course, what would I take instead? Identify several backup course options.

Course approvals are archived on an annual basis (mid- to late May), if the approval is 5 years old. It's possible that you will see a course approval prior to the start of your study abroad program, but then it no longer be listed. When that happens, a new course approval request needs to be submitted with a current syllabus in order for the respective department at Duke to reconsider it for transfer credit. This is done due to potential changes to courses after that many years have passed and to ensure each course's continued academic rigor. 


Course equivalents

Credits: All courses listed are considered to transfer back to Duke as 1 unit unless otherwise noted.

Exact Equivalents: Courses listed as transferring back to Duke as exact equivalents will be listed as such. (e.g., POLSCI 226, COMPSCI 316, etc.)

Electives: Courses that have no exact equivalent at Duke will be shown as transferring back as electives to the respective department, as either a lower-level elective or an upper-level elective. (e.g., PUBPOL 300, PSY 100, etc.)


Art History courses

The Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies will not give credit to courses taken under the auspices of Global Education that are not specifically related to the art and culture of the particular locale where that course is being taught. For example, a course on Japanese art taught in France would not be approved for transfer credit.


Economics courses

Effective for courses taken after the Spring 2018 semester, the Economics Department will no longer accept transfer credits for the following courses: ECON 104D, ECON 201D, ECON 204D, ECON 205D, ECON 208D, and ECON 210D. Only students who matriculated prior to Fall 2023 are eligible to receive transfer credit for ECON 24 or ECON 101. Course approvals for FECON and FMKT are effective Spring 2024. Visit the Department of Economics website for departmental transfer credit guidelines.


Environmental Sciences and Policy courses

Effective for courses taken after the Spring 2022 semester, the department is only allowing students 1 unit of study abroad transfer credit to be applied toward the major.  They will no longer allow any study abroad transfer credit to be applied toward the minor.  However, students may still use their study abroad experience for other aspects of the major such as the summer internship and eligibility for Graduation with Distinction.


Language courses

ALL language courses must be taught in an immersion setting, that is, in a country or region where that language is a main language of communication, in order to receive credit. Some courses taken through study away may count towards the requirements of a major or minor, with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Be sure to consult with the appropriate department before enrolling.

Several programs offered through GEO are jointly administered by the Department of Romance Studies, have faculty and staff participants in the programs, or involve a substantial language component. French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish courses in the database do not carry FL (foreign language) coding, so if a student needs to satisfy the FL general education requirement, they must apply for it with the forms linked below.

Download Transfer Credit/FL Instructions (link opens in a new window/tab) (pdf - 240.04 KB)

Download Italian Oral Interview Guidelines 2024 (pdf - 51.69 KB)


Mathematics courses

At this time, the only standing approvals for MATH courses are at Duke Kunshan University. All other MATH approvals will continue to be considered on a student-by-student basis and should not be submitted through the GEO Approved Course Database.

For majors or minors, study abroad requires careful planning since learning in mathematics is cumulative and courses abroad may not correspond well to those at Duke. Students should begin serious review of the course offerings at foreign universities two semesters prior to the planned semester abroad.

Visit the Department of Mathematics website for details on how to select courses abroad and have them approved.


Statistical Science courses

There are no standing approvals for STA courses in the database. STA approvals are done on a student by student basis and cannot be submitted through the GEO Approved Course Database. 

For Statistical Science majors or minors, study abroad requires careful planning and courses abroad may not correspond well to those at Duke. Students should begin serious review of the course offerings at foreign universities two semesters prior to the planned semester abroad.

Visit the Department of Statistical Science website for details on how to select courses abroad and have them approved.

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