Skip to content Skip to navigation
Bobcats without Borders

Study: Study Abroad Students Earn More Academic Credit

UC Merced Study Abroad Stories of Interest

Infographic: study abroad students earn more academic credit

Controlling for other variables, study abroad students graduate with more units of credit

New data from the CASSIE (The Consortium for Analysis of Student Success through International Education) project explores the impacts of study abroad on student academic success. The CASSIE project report, released in spring 2022, studies metrics for student success for more than 30,000 students across 36 U.S. universities of various profiles. Controlling for numerous academic and demographic factors to tease apart correlation from causality, the project aims to identify how study abroad impacts student success.

Summarized findings

Over the last two weeks, we highlighted improved academic success with study abroad student graduation rates and then with improved GPAs. This time we are highlighting that this project shows that study abroad leads to students earning additional academic credit at graduation. Based on UC Merced's enrollment profile, the predicted additional academic credit earned is projected to be an extra 3.02-5.45 units. This holds true across a number of student groups, but the impact is magnified for students who might fall into the following categories:

  • Need-based financial aid recipients
  • Underrepresented minority groups*
  • First-generation college students
  • STEM and non-STEM students alike, but greater gains for non-STEM students

Why it matters

Completing more units has several positive implications:

  1. It can help you reach your degree goals sooner,
  2. It gives you extra courses for personal enrichment, professional or academic development, or courses potentially toward a certificate or professional degree program,
  3. It makes you more likely to complete your degree

But the CASSIE project measured student success using other metrics. We'll continue to look at what other CASSIE findings suggest.


* Underrepresented minority groups, as defined by the CASSIE project includes the following:

  • American Indian/Alaskan Native,
  • Black or African American,
  • Hispanic, and
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

Start Your Application

Ready to apply? Head over to the MyStudyAbroad Portal to begin your find your progam and being your application today.