Classes Taken Abroad

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
pontificator
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:42 pm

Classes Taken Abroad

Postby pontificator » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:44 pm

Hello,

I took two courses at Oxford University during the summer between my second and third years of college.
The classes counted as major credit and on my transcript do not include a grade, only a P.

However, I was awarded actual letter grades for the classes which exist on a separate Oxford transcript.
Unfortunately, those two grades are significantly below my GPA average.

I was just wondering the likelihood of a LS requesting to see those grades, which from my understanding will not factor into my LSAC GPA.

Thanks

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby cinephile » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:09 pm

No, it won't be required.

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby MumofCad » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:03 pm

I disagree. We need more information on the details of this program. Did you enroll at Oxford directly?

Anything that shows up on your UG transcript will be requested by LSAC and included in your report, but they may already have the relevant information if your US institution was the only US institution involved in the study program.

I went to American U, but took a summer Arabic program study abroad through GW at a Moroccan Uni. My grades showed up as P as well on my UG transcript, and LSAC required I get a transcript. They then evaluated it into my undergrad GPA because I was apparently awarded letter grades (news to me, thank goodness they were fine).

If it was a study abroad through a US university program of any kind, it will be factored into your GPA. If it was solely you enrolled and took the classes, they will not require the transcript if it showed up merely as "T" or transfer credits. If you received a "P", it can mean either that your US institution translated your grades as such and was the only institution involved OR that there may be another US institution that has a relevant transcript that may or may not include letter grades. Individual unis may have quirks though so you could end up safe. Once LSAC gets your undergrad transcript and processes it, they will let you know immediately if you have an "unidentified transcript" that they need. You can always call and ask if you aren't certain.
Last edited by MumofCad on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby cinephile » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:07 pm

MumofCad wrote: You can always call and ask if you aren't certain.


This is probably the best course of action.

User avatar
zdamico
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby zdamico » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:16 pm

I was wondering about this too.

I spent a semester abroad, and on my transcript it just says T and doesn't have the actual grades. In addition, in Ireland the grading scale is much different. A 70% is an A, and a 45% is a C, so there would be issues converting it.

User avatar
winning
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:24 am

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby winning » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:17 pm

If it was a study abroad through a US university program of any kind, it will be factored into your GPA. If it was solely you enrolled and took the classes, they will not require the transcript if it showed up merely as "T" or transfer credits. If you received a "P", I believe that means you were enrolled somewhere in a US institution or program that transferred the credits. Individual unis may have quirks though so you could end up safe. Once LSAC gets your undergrad transcript and processes it, they will let you know immediately if you have an "unidentified transcript" that they need. You can always call and ask if you aren't certain.


Hmm... I'm not sure I understand the difference between a "P" and a "T". Does a "T" mean that you were not enrolled in a U.S. university while enrolled in the foreign university. And a "P" means that you were enrolled in a U.S. university while enrolled in the foreign university?

I can't quite remember whether or not my transcript has a "P" or "T", but I technically stopped out of my U.S. university while I studied abroad, so does that mean my grades from my foreign university will not factor into my LSAC GPA?

pontificator
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby pontificator » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:23 pm

MumofCad wrote:I disagree. We need more information on the details of this program. Did you enroll at Oxford directly?

Anything that shows up on your UG transcript will most likely be requested by LSAC and included in your report.




No, I did not enroll directly at Oxford.
I will call LSAC tomorrow and report my findings.

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby MumofCad » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:31 pm

winning wrote:
Hmm... I'm not sure I understand the difference between a "P" and a "T". Does a "T" mean that you were not enrolled in a U.S. university while enrolled in the foreign university. And a "P" means that you were enrolled in a U.S. university while enrolled in the foreign university?

I can't quite remember whether or not my transcript has a "P" or "T", but I technically stopped out of my U.S. university while I studied abroad, so does that mean my grades from my foreign university will not factor into my LSAC GPA?


I bet yours will not. I *think* based on limited experience seeing outcomes on here over the last few weeks and my own experience that the key difference is whether you enrolled directly in the foreign university or were on some sort of US-accredited study abroad program. And then whether that US-accredited program was at your school and thus, the only US credit you were ever given was simply as a "P" or whether someone else has a relevant transcript out there with something else.

I think the situation is comparable to the high school question - In some places, you can take an AP course and not be enrolled in the local CC. In other places, you are enrolled in the local CC even though you are only taking AP courses. In the first scenario, your grades don't count, in the second they do.

Foreign study abroad seems to be the same. A few days ago there was a girl who had direct enrolled in an exchange program in Poland - her university got a student from them, they sent her. Her grades didn't count and showed up as "T" credits on her UG transcript. LSAC did not require her to get a transcript from the foreign university.

Mine was a study abroad program organized through GW, so mine required a transcript from GW and my letter grades were counted into my GPA. They just completed my academic summary a few days ago, added two columns. One was for my AP courses from high school, and the other was for my study abroad 6 credits from GW. In both cases, it has a row for the GPA that semester and both are filled out. Then there is another row for cumulative GPA at the bottom. I can't be 100% positive that they converted the grades because I had a 4.0 and I'm not sure if a "P" counts as a 4.0 in LSAC's scale. But all the columns say 4.0. Its not blank.

In the case of Irish or Oxford grades, unless they were converted by an American institution, LSAC will probably not request them or calculate them on our GPA scale. If they do, they won't be factored into your GPA like a 73% is a C or what not. Doesn't Ireland do the same grading scale as the UK? If that's the case, a 73% is an A according to my British transcripts. They came with a chart for conversion to the American system. Everything that was a distinction was considered an "A," Merit was a "B." Pass was a "C," and fail was fail. LSAC did not use this though, they just went with the superior, etc. chart. I think this will always be the case unless a US institution has accepted the conversion chart and credited you in their own transcripts accordingly. Since the previous Poland experience I mentioned was credited by the US institution merely as a 'T' it was treated as such. Since my university credited mine as a "P," but there was another US institution that had a transcript on file with the actual grade, LSAC requested it. No foreign transcripts were involved.

So it all comes down to whether or not there is another US transcript out there that has more on it than the UG one you are sending to LSAC. If not, then I don't think they will request it and they almost certainly won't calculate it into your GPA. If there is, then they will do both.
Last edited by MumofCad on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
zdamico
Posts: 167
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby zdamico » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:37 pm

LSAC actually explains this pretty thoroughly on their website.

Do not have a transcript sent from an international institution if your bachelor's degree is from a US, US territory, or Canadian school, AND:


the total amount of work you completed at all international institutions combined is equal to or less than the equivalent of one year of undergraduate study in the United States, its territories, or Canada, OR
your work was completed through an overseas study program that was clearly sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school.

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby MumofCad » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:43 pm

zdamico wrote:LSAC actually explains this pretty thoroughly on their website.

Do not have a transcript sent from an international institution if your bachelor's degree is from a US, US territory, or Canadian school, AND:


the total amount of work you completed at all international institutions combined is equal to or less than the equivalent of one year of undergraduate study in the United States, its territories, or Canada, OR
your work was completed through an overseas study program that was clearly sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school.


Yes, this is the key distinction here: "OR
your work was completed through an overseas study program that was clearly sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school."

What they leave out is: "If it was sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school, we will still not request the foreign transcript, but we will request a transcript from the sponsoring US institution. If grades are assigned by that US institution, these will count into your UG GPA even if you primary UG transcript reads only "P."

That's the distinction it fails to make, which almost got me. I read that and thought there was no need to request anything but my undergrad transcript. In one case I was right (a senior semester abroad in the UAE sponsored by more home institution that showed up as "P"). In the other case (my sophomore summer abroad program sponsored in part by a different US institution), it was not entirely accurate. In either case, they weren't interested in the foreign transcript, but in once case they were interested in the grades.
Last edited by MumofCad on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

pontificator
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby pontificator » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:21 am

MumofCad wrote:
zdamico wrote:LSAC actually explains this pretty thoroughly on their website.

Do not have a transcript sent from an international institution if your bachelor's degree is from a US, US territory, or Canadian school, AND:


the total amount of work you completed at all international institutions combined is equal to or less than the equivalent of one year of undergraduate study in the United States, its territories, or Canada, OR
your work was completed through an overseas study program that was clearly sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school.


Yes, this is the key distinction here: "OR
your work was completed through an overseas study program that was clearly sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school."

What they leave out is: "If it was sponsored by a US, US territory, or Canadian school, we will still not request the foreign transcript, but we will request a transcript from the sponsoring institution. If grades are assigned by that institution, these will count into your UG GPA even if you primary UG transcript reads only "P."

That's the distinction it fails to make, which almost got me. I read that and thought there was no need to request anything but my undergrad transcript. In one case I was right (a senior semester abroad in the UAE sponsored by more home institution that showed up as "P"). In the other case (my sophomore summer abroad program), it was not entirely accurate. In either case, they weren't interested in the foreign transcript, but in once case they were interested in the grades.


Okay. Excuse me for being a bit slow.

The program I was referring to was sponsored by my American school (UVA), and my UVA transcript shows the classes as Ps.
However, on a separate Oxford transcript, there are grades that were given on an American scale.

Since the program was less than a year long and was sponsored by UVA, my understanding from the LSAC quote would be that they will not want those grades. But you seem to be providing evidence to the contrary.

So when you were doing your summer abroad, was it through an American institution, or were you just enrolled freestanding at the other school?

Also, what do you think the chances are that a school requests to see those grades separately?

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Classes Taken Abroad

Postby MumofCad » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:56 am

pontificator wrote:
Okay. Excuse me for being a bit slow.

The program I was referring to was sponsored by my American school (UVA), and my UVA transcript shows the classes as Ps.
However, on a separate Oxford transcript, there are grades that were given on an American scale.

Since the program was less than a year long and was sponsored by UVA, my understanding from the LSAC quote would be that they will not want those grades. But you seem to be providing evidence to the contrary.

So when you were doing your summer abroad, was it through an American institution, or were you just enrolled freestanding at the other school?

Also, what do you think the chances are that a school requests to see those grades separately?


In your case, no, they won't request a separate transcript from Oxford. Yes, I was enrolled in the program through a US uni, but it wasn't my home institution. My home institution credited the courses as "P" but the other US institution credited the courses as letter grades. Either way, even if they had been "p," I had to get a transcript from the other institution (GWU). In your case, your only relevant US transcript is the one they already have and they won't request another. No matter what Oxford gave you, your US institution interpreted it as a P. That's the credit that counts into your LSAC GPA.

There is just that one caveat to the clear rules that I fell into, whereby my home institution did not (or allowed me to choose, I can't remember) accept my foreign study credits as anything but "P". BUT another US institution did accept them at face value. Thus, they became part of my US record (even though not at MY home institution) so I had to get the other relevant US transcript and that counted into my GPA. I hope this helps clarify - LSAC is interested only in your degree-granting foreign grades (master's/Phd/undergrad) and your UG US record. For some of us, the undergrad US record includes classes we hadn't anticipated from other institutions due to study abroad or high school courses or what not. Its complicated. I ended up having to give LSAC 5 transcripts, when I expected to only need 3 based on their website.

I would have been pretty frustrated if due to this little caveat and the apparently different treatment of my foreign evaluations at GW versus AU had suddenly dropped my GPA significantly. I don't believe I was ever informed of my grades at the foreign institution - it was just a summer Arabic program that I didn't take seriously in terms of grades because I knew I was only going to "P". I didn't skip classes or anything, but I def took advantage of any time off to actually get off the secluded campus to practice using my Arabic with some local friends. I also made sure I saw the country. What's a trip to Morocco if you don't get robbed in Tangiers? The problem was, the class I was taking was Modern Standard Arabic (academic) and the dialect in North Africa is totally different. Of all the dialects I've been exposed to, it is the most removed from MS Arabic IMO. So my adventures to use the language weren't particularly helpful to my classroom success, but incredibly beneficial in my overall acquisition of the language for communicative purposes. I also fell directly in between two of the courses offered, and chose the more advanced course thinking it would push me to speak and write more than the other course. Anyhow, I wish I had know I could have been hurting myself in the future! I wouldn't have probably done anything differently because I try not to ever let grades dictate my choices, but its always better to make important choices based on all relevant information. It certainly makes the consequences easier to accept! I know some on here are very serious about this or borderline candidates still in school considering study abroad so I wanted to make sure this information was available to them. Do not assume your foreign grades will not count towards your LSAC grades! Find out how they are being credited through ANY sponsoring US institution involved, not just your home institution.

I hope this is clear. I am not trying to confuse anyone. Just help someone avert one of the many "Terrible new situation, X grades counted" threads I've seen the last few weeks. You absolutely won't need foreign transcripts, and they won't be translated into US grades. You will need all relevant credit and transcripts you got at ANY US institution involved in a study abroad program.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MSNbot Media and 7 guests