Learning Abroad Center

Nonaffiliated Programs for UofM Students

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMTC) students are occasionally interested in participating in programs that are not vetted or approved by the Learning Abroad Center (LAC) or another unit on campus. These programs are referred to as "nonaffiliated programs." Directly enrolling in a foreign university is included in this category. The nonaffiliated process exists to facilitate participation on a program or at an institution that the UofM does not have contractual relationship with.

The University of Minnesota strongly encourages students to participate in UofM-sponsored or affiliated programs, which have been vetted and approved by the Learning Abroad Center or another unit on campus. The UofM has close working relationships with hundreds of affiliated programs that are high quality in terms of academic standards, housing, cultural immersion, health and safety and administrative support services.The UofM strongly encourages you to choose one of the program options found on the Learning Abroad Center website. If you still decide to choose a nonaffiliated option, note:

  1. Transfer Credit: Transfer credit is the only type of credit you will earn on a non-affiliated program. Transfer credit does not count towards your UofM GPA. Not all programs or courses available abroad are eligible for transfer credit at the UofM. 
  2. Independence: Pursuing a non-affiliated program requires significant independence from you, as the LAC and the UofM is not able to assist you with your program arrangements before, during or after your participation. You will need to explore program details including housing, cultural immersion, health and safety issues and support services on your own as well as facilitate your own transfer of credit once back on campus.

LAC Role

LAC staff do not advise on the safety or quality of nonaffiliated programs or the application process to any specific program.  If you gain the approval and support of your college, the LAC will assist with registering you for placeholder credit, which allows you to retain your UofM student status and still have access to financial aid, loans, or Learning Abroad Center scholarships during your time abroad.


If you choose to pursue a nonaffiliated program, you must work closely with your college to gain their approval and support to participate in the program.  Refer to the nonaffiliated programs page for faculty/staff for detailed information about eligibility and the steps you and your college will need to follow.