Weissman Center for International Business

Course Equivalency Approval Request

Course Equivalency

At Baruch College, credit for study abroad is awarded strictly on the basis of course equivalency. In other words, any course you take at a foreign university or on a study abroad program must closely match a course offered at Baruch in terms of content and academic level. All Baruch students who study abroad must have the courses they wish to take abroad approved by the chair of the relevant Baruch department. The Course Equivalency Approval Request (CEAR) Form has been designed to facilitate the approval of courses at foreign institutions.

Course Equivalency Database

You must submit a CEAR for each course you wish to take abroad. Courses at a given foreign institution that have been previously approved for an equivalent Baruch course within the past 3 years are collected in the Course Equivalency Database, which is accessible through the Study Abroad Application Portal.

CEARs are of two types:

  • Previously approved courses (these are found in the Course Equivalency Database)

The Course Equivalency Database lists of all the courses that Baruch students have taken abroad recently, and their Baruch equivalents. You should check the Course Equivalency Database first to see if the course you are thinking about taking has already been approved for Baruch credit. If it has, you only need select it from the list, and it will be submitted automatically to your list of requested courses for that program.

  • Requests for approval of new courses (for these you must complete new CEAR forms)

Once you have decided on which program you wish to study, you will need to discover which courses are available to you at the host university or study abroad program. You can do this most easily by consulting the website of the host university or study abroad program to find the published list of courses for the term which you intend to be there. It is also wise to consult with the Center for Advisement and Orientation (V.C. 5th Floor, Room 215), or your faculty or Honors Advisor (if applicable). They will be able to discuss with you your progress towards your degree, which will in turn help you identify the kinds of courses most appropriate to take while studying abroad. You should pay particular attention to any special requirements regarding coursework taken in your major or minor field(s).

Finding equivalent courses

After you collect a course description and syllabus for a course you think you want to take while abroad, consult the Baruch College Bulletin to find courses offered by Baruch departments that are equivalent to these courses in terms of subject matter and academic level.

The essential elements of a syllabus should include:

  • Short description of the course’s topic
  • Level of difficulty (introductory, intermediate, advanced)
  • Outline of lectures
  • Number of hours the course meets during the term or number of credits in the host country’s credit system
  • Textbook or course readings
  • How you will be graded (quiz, exam, final, essay, presentation)

Please note that the course syllabus must be official.

In most cases it should be fairly easy to find a Baruch course that corresponds to the course you wish to take abroad. If you find no exact or close matches among the regular courses, look to see if the Baruch department offers the equivalent of “Special Topics in X”-type of course that might apply to the course you wish to take.

You may also apply to receive general elective credit for a course without an exact or close Baruch equivalency. This credit, usually awarded as BUS 7000, LAS 7000, or PAF 7000, will count towards fulfilling your degree requirements, but will not count towards your major or minor. Please note: you must satisfy any pre-requisites for the Baruch equivalency you select, even if the host institution does not require it. You can ask a Study Abroad Advisor for help, or you can just submit your best guess. The Study Abroad Office has a lot of experience in advising students about course equivalencies and can suggest alternatives if necessary. Ultimately, though, the department makes the final decision, no matter what course equivalency you or we request.

Conditional Permits

All short-term programs make their syllabi available for their courses. However, some foreign universities do not publish course syllabi, and sometimes the syllabi that are available do not contain all information necessary for the department chair to make a decision. If you are studying abroad for a semester and are unable to obtain enough syllabi or equivalent documents to complete a new CEAR form, you will be required to submit a Conditional Permit.

Prerequisite Waivers

The online Application for Study Abroad will check to see if you have passed all of the prerequisites for the Baruch course you are requesting the equivalency for. If you have not completed a prerequisite, the application will ask you further questions and you will need to submit a request for a Prerequisite Waiver.

See Academic Credit and Study Abroad for more information about a Prerequisite Waiver.

Course Equivalency Approval Request

The Study Abroad Office reviews your course equivalency requests and makes any necessary adjustments. If you have submitted incomplete information, you may be contacted by a Study Abroad Advisor to complete the request.

Once each new CEAR form is completely filled out, the Study Abroad Office will send them to the appropriate department chair. The department chair may:

  • approve a requested specific course equivalency unconditionally
  • approve the course with conditions
  • deny the request
  • propose an alternative departmental course that in the view of the chair more closely corresponds to the host university course.

If a department chair denies your requested course equivalency, and you cannot identify another Baruch course that would be a better match, you may apply for elective credit for the course in question. Should this attempt also prove unsuccessful, you will have to choose a new host university course and begin the equivalency approval procedure anew.

For each course approval you have requested, you will be informed by email about the department chair’s decision. Once the course is approved for a Baruch equivalency, it will be added to the Course Equivalency Database to help future students.

If you want to request new courses after the submission of your application, you need to contact a Study Abroad Advisor to have your application returned to you. After your application is returned to you, you can request new courses just as you did before. Remember to resubmit your application when you have finished!