Learning Abroad Center

Placeholder Credits

What are placeholder credits?

Placeholder credits are a block of credits under a single course on your UofM student account that represents your total credit load abroad. They allow you to apply financial aid to your study abroad program and maintain your active student status while studying abroad.

Placeholder credits are separate from your enrollment into specific courses directly through your program. When your study abroad transcript arrives at the University of Minnesota after the conclusion of your program, your individual study abroad classes will replace the block of placeholder credits.

NOTE: Registration for the one-credit online Global Identity course is separate and should not be factored into your placeholder credit amount.

When do I register for placeholder credits?

The Learning Abroad Center’s Academic Services team sends registration instructions to all confirmed students approximately one week before the registration queue opens for the term. Instructions are then sent on a rolling basis to capture newly confirmed students.

If you are confirmed on a program and have not received registration instructions from [email protected], let your program contact know. 

What happens if I don’t register for placeholder credits?

If you do not register for your placeholder credits by the deadline listed in the registration instructions, the Learning Abroad Center will register you for a base number of placeholder credits. The base number is 12 credits for semester programs and 3 credits for winter and summer break programs. 

Since the base number of credits is likely less than your minimum enrollment, you may need to update your number of placeholder credits when you know the number of credits you will actually be taking. It is your responsibility to ensure your placeholder credit amount accurately reflects the number of credits you are taking on the program. You can make edits to your placeholder registration via MyU until the end of the UofM on-campus add/drop period for the term you are abroad. This does not apply to the actual study abroad courses taken on site through your program. Notify your program contact if you need to change your on-site registration.

How do I update the number of placeholder credits I plan on taking abroad?

  1. Log into the registration system through MyU and navigate to your shopping cart for the term you will be abroad.
  2. Select "Edit" on the top menu to edit your enrollment options. Select the “FOST” course in the drop-down menu, then proceed to the next step.
  3. In the field labeled units, use the drop-down menu to select the number of credits you anticipate taking. Click “Next.”
  4. Review your selection. If correct, select "Finish Editing."


If you need to make edits to your number of placeholder credits after the end of the UofM on-campus add/drop period, contact your Learning Abroad Center program advisor).