Guidelines for Undergraduate Science Student Exchange through ANU Global Programs.
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Degree level

Guidelines for Undergraduate Science Student Exchange through ANU Global Programs

Science undergraduate students can apply to study at a partner institution as an exchange student and have credit awarded towards their current Science degree.

While on exchange, you must enrol in a full-time study load (the equivalent of 24 ANU units)* and only enrol in courses which will count towards your degree. We strongly recommend you plan on completing all of your program’s compulsory courses at ANU and use science electives or free electives for exchange. If you are in a situation in which you cannot find acceptable course(s) for inclusion in your Science degree, you will not be able to go on exchange even if you have an offer for a place at the partner institution.

If you are interested in going on exchange it is important that you map out your study plan to identify which courses you should complete at ANU and which can be completed on exchange.

Create a study plan here.

Students in degrees which have compulsory courses should be mindful and plan to complete these at ANU or identify a pre-approved equivalent course at the exchange institution (see below). When searching for courses you should seek clarification from the exchange institution that the courses will be available to exchange students.

You may not be able to find equivalent compulsory courses on exchange. In this instance you must plan to complete the compulsory courses before or after exchange at ANU.

As an example, if you are in a degree with very specific requirements such as the BSc(Psyc) or BPsyc(Hons) you should consider applying to undertake exchange semester 2 of second year. Otherwise you will need to determine whether going on exchange will affect when you are able to complete your degree as it is difficult to find equivalent courses for later year compulsory courses. 


To be eligible to apply for exchange, you will:

  • have successfully completed at least 48 units (one full year of study) at the ANU by the time you go on exchange;
  • have at least 24 units remaining on your degree to be utilised for exchange*; and
  • have a GPA of at least 4/7. (Certain partners require a GPA of at least 6).

*Unless you will be in your final semester of your ANU degree (and still have 18 units to complete) or you are registered with ANU Access and Inclusion and have official documentation that recommends a reduced load due to your personal circumstances.

Before contacting the College regarding exchange opportunities you need to register with ANU Global Programs.

At least 2 Semesters before you go on exchange:

Step 1: Attend an ANU Global Programs Exchange Information Session

If you have any further questions regarding how exchange fits into your Science degree, please either make an appointment or email For more information regarding the exchange application process, refer to the ANU Global Programs Student Exchange Program link.

Step 2: Register with Global Programs and start your online application via the ANU Global Programs System 

An important part of this application is the Room Available in Degree (RAID) questioner.  This information is used by the College to assess whether you have room within your program to go on exchange.  If you are in a flexible double degree with another college please be sure to state how many units you wish to study for each college before you submit your responses.

If you are in a degree with very specific requirements and you are unsure about which Exchange Partners to list as your preferences, please feel free to reach out to for advice.


About 5 months before you go on Exchange

Step 3: Wait for the Allocation Outcome and attend a nomination briefing

This is when you can accept (commit) or decline (withdraw) your allocated partner institution.  If you are unsure of the availability of appropriate courses to take at your allocated partner you can begin Step 4 before making a decision.

Step 4: Credit approval from the College

Prior to undertaking exchange, you must seek a credit assessment from the College. Without pre-approval from the College, credit will not be awarded. If you are not able to enrol in the approved courses due to circumstances beyond your control after you go on exchange, you must immediately contact Science Central to seek approval for your new course(s).

In order to assess your preferred exchange enrolments for pre-approval you will need to provide the following information via our web form here:

  1. A study plan indicating how you intend to meet the specific requirements of your program by outlining which semester you intend to take the required courses.
  2. A list of the courses you wish to do on exchange with an indication of the credit you are seeking from ANU (ANU wide elective, Science elective, Specified course credit).  It is recommended that you nominate a few alternative options for pre-approval so that, if for some reason you are unable to enrol in your first preferences, you have a plan B already approved.
  3. A detailed course outline for each of your exchange courses.  These must include a course description, list of topics, prescribed textbooks and readings, pre-requisites, contact hours and assessment tasks. It is your responsibility to find detailed course outlines.

Example of format

Course name at exchange university

Course value at exchange university (include units e.g. ECTS)

Course credit at ANU

Biology 1a



Astrophysics Introduction


Science elective

Accounting 101


Non-science elective

How credit is articulated

There are three ways for credit to be articulated in your program from courses studied while on exchange.

ANU-wide free electives (i.e. out of college electives)

  • Counts as elective credit in your program.
  • Will appear on your transcript as SCNC1903 or SCNC5953 (Unspecified non-college generic elective first year or later year).
  • Students who are in a flexible double degree with only one component within Science have no out of college electives in their program therefore this is not an option.

Science course (Science electives)

  • Counts as college specific elective credit in your program.
  • This is for courses where the content is related to Science however the course is not a compulsory specified course in your degree or in a major/minor/specialisation you are attempting.
  • Will appear on your transcript as SCNC1901, SCNC2901 or SCNC3901 (Unspecified Science elective 1000 level, 2000 level or 3000 level). Or may appear as unspecified discipline credit (i.e. BIOL1901, BIOL2901, or BIOL3901). In this case, these courses are not permitted to count towards a major/minor/specialisation or named degree unless approved prior to departure.
  • The Science course list includes courses registered as 'other courses'.

Specified course credit – can only be given towards compulsory courses

  • Course is approved and counts as a specific ANU course.
  • This can only be used where the specified course is a compulsory course in your degree, a major or a minor or a specialisation. For example, a student completes a course overseas called “Communication in Science”.
  • With convenor approval, and dependent on the course having an equivalent credit load as one course at the ANU, the course may count as the ANU course “SCOM1001 – Science Communication 1: Science and Public Awareness”.
  • Please note the content must be at least 85% equivalent to the ANU version of the course to be eligible for specified credit.

Once the College has assessed your course preferences you will receive a formal letter of agreement clearly outlining what credit will be awarded upon your return to ANU.

Step 5: Apply to your Allocated Partner by the required deadline

This can be done concurrently with Step 4.

Step 6: Enrolment at ANU while away on exchange

While you are away on exchange you must have active enrolment for that semester on your ISIS account. This is not something you can enrol in yourself and therefore must be done via an application to the college.

You need to submit an Application for enrolment change form to enrol in the Science Exchange course (SCNC5920) at the ANU while you are on exchange. If you are a single Science degree student, you will have to enrol in 24 units for SCNC5920. If you are a double degree student with another College, your total unit load for exchange has to be 24 units for the duration of the semester. In your application please specify how many units (6, 12, 18, or 24 units) you wish to allocate towards the Science component of your Flexible Double Degree. You will be enrolled in the nominated units under course code SCNC5920.

Returning to ANU from exchange

Upon successful completion of exchange, ANU Global Programs will provide the College with an official transcript from your exchange institution.  This can take up to 6 months depending on the partner’s processes.  Once we receive your official transcript, Science Central will apply the agreed credit to your program.  Credit that appears on your record will not include the grade you achieve at the exchange institution.

Exchange semester as the last semester before you graduate

If you go on exchange in your final semester of your Science degree, please keep in mind that you may not be approved to graduate in time for the semester graduation ceremony as the agreed credit cannot be posted until an official transcript from your exchange institution is provided. If the transcript is received after the release of results for the semester, you will not be able to attend the graduation ceremony.

In addition, if you intend to undertake honours, a delay in receiving your transcript may affect your ability to be assessed as eligible for honours and could impact when you are able to commence honours.

Exchange semester grades and your ANU GPA

The results of your coursework taken elsewhere to ANU are not added to your cumulative ANU GPA. However, the results may be used in academic assessment and/or ranking for further study options depending on the program, nomination or scholarship requirements (e.g. Honours, University Medal, Medical School or Post-graduate study).


Approved by Deputy Dean Education 03 March 2022