How to Use the Course Equivalency Database

When choosing a study abroad program, one of the most important considerations is the academic aspect: what do you hope to learn, and how will you use the credits you earn? Credits earned abroad can be used to fulfill your degree requirements for majors/minors, baccalaureate core, upper-division elective credit, and/or general electives.

As you work with your academic advisor to plan your course selection for your study abroad program, you can reference this database, which provides information about how specific courses have been articulated at OSU in prior terms.

Processing Overseas Coursework

All courses from approved programs are articulated, which means they are assigned a course code and number for your academic records. OSU Global Opportunities relies on the content experts in the academic colleges to evaluate overseas coursework which determines how a course is articulated. Overseas coursework may be articulated as an equivalent course or as a non-equivalent but credit-bearing overseas course.


No overseas course is exactly the same as what is offered at OSU, but some courses are similar enough to be considered equivalent. Academic colleges compare the overseas course to those available in the OSU course catalog to determine equivalency. For example, the course below was determined to have covered enough of the same content as the corresponding OSU course to be considered equivalent, and will appear in MyDegrees as if it was taken at Oregon State.  

  • University of Stirling – ECNU112: Introductory Macroeconomics
  • Oregon State University – ECON 202: Macroeconomics


When courses are not determined to be equivalent by the appropriate academic college, they are typically articulated with an O-Code. An O-Code is used to record three pieces of information within the course code: course delivery location, provider name, and level of difficulty. For example, the course below was completed on an API program at the Universidad de Salamanca:

  • Universidad de Salamanca – Spanish Art (taught in Spanish)
  • Oregon State University – OAPI 388: SPAN: Spanish Art

Notice that the subject designator, which is normally part of the course code, gets moved to the course title when using an O-Code.

O-Code Course Naming Key
  1. Overseas Credit designator - O
  2. Course Level - 3 (for 300 level)
  3. Course Provider Name - API
  4. Subject designator - SPAN

Important Considerations for Advisors and Students

OSU GO cannot guarantee that the courses listed in this database will be offered every term for the institutions listed.

OSU GO works with faculty to evaluate courses for equivalency and articulation only. Academic advisors determine how courses are applied to a student’s degree plan, and which requirements may be met by specific coursework. OSU GO encourages and expects advisors to use course overrides when applying study abroad coursework to degree requirements. 

If an advisor evaluates the syllabus for a course not currently listed in the Course Equivalency Database and determines a course equivalency or articulation, this information should be recorded in the Notes section of the student's MyDegrees for future reference.

The Course Equivalency Database is not an exhaustive list of the courses that are available at our partner institutions, but a record of the courses that have been taken and how they were articulated at OSU.

Questions regarding the articulation of study abroad coursework should be directed to [email protected].

This database is updated quarterly.
Global Opportunities