Undergraduate exchange

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 (24 units)* and only enrol in courses which will count towards your degree. We strongly recommend you plan on completing all of the 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. Students in degrees which have compulsory courses should be mindful and plan to complete these at ANU or identify an equivalent course at the exchange institution (you should email science.enquiries@anu.edu.au to assess if the course is equivalent). 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.

Step 1: Register with Global Programs

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

Step 2: Complete Room available form

If you meet the above criteria and have registered with Global Programs, complete the Room Available in Degree form and submit it to Science Central or book an appointment with the Science Sub-Dean. If you email your form we will return it via email to your ANU email account. This form is where the college will 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 the Room available in degree form.

If you are in a degree with required courses, include a plan of your degree, outlining which semester you will be taking the required courses should you go on exchange. For example, if you are in the B Med Sci and you plan on going on exchange in semester 2 of your second year, make a plan indicating when you will be taking BIOL2142 General Microbiology should you not be able to take it on exchange.

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

Step 3: Credit approval from Science

If you are successful in your application, you will be officially nominated to a partner institution. Prior to undertaking exchange, you must seek a credit assessment from the College. To do this, email science.enquiries@anu.edu.au a detailed course outline for each of your exchange courses. It is your responsibility to find detailed course outlines. 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).

Course outlines must be in English and include:

  1. Detailed course description
  2. Detailed list of topics covered
  3. Prescribed textbook and other required reading
  4. Prerequisites including the outlines or descriptions of those prerequisite courses.
  5. Contact hours
  6. Assessment tasks and weighting

In your email, you need to list the courses you wish to do on exchange next to which ANU course you wish to receive credit for. If you are wishing to receive elective credit indicate this next to each exchange course.

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.

Step 4: Enrolment for 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.

Step 5: Returning to ANU from exchange

Upon successful completion of exchange, Science Central will have the agreed credit posted in your Science degree once an official transcript from your exchange institution is provided by ANU Global Programs. 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 23 February 2019


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