Santa Clara University

Study Abroad

Academic Information

students in classClasses
There are three “colleges” or “schools” at Santa Clara University: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Engineering. Students enroll in one of these schools and choose their major (or course of study), although they may take classes in any of the schools as long as the prerequisites are met. 

The College of Arts and Sciences offers courses in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences with majors in 36 subject areas. The Leavey School of Business offers majors in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management, Marketing, and OMIS (Operations and Management Information Systems). The School of Engineering has programs in Civil, Mechanical, Computer and Electrical Engineering, and Engineering Management.

Santa Clara is on a quarter system, offering classes in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Classes at Santa Clara generally meet either Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (MWF) or on Tuesday and Thursday (TR). While classes at SCU vary, most of them involve in-class lectures, student participation, homework, and mid-term and final exams. Some classes may involve lab work, group projects, or other coursework outside the classroom. The professor will provide you with a syllabus on your first day of class outlining the expectations for the course. Please make sure to speak with your professor if you have any questions about what is required of you for the course, or if you are unfamiliar with any of the terms or requirements on the syllabus.

Class Registration
You can decide what classes you are interested in taking by checking out our website. A schedule of classes is available at (You can open a pdf file of the class schedule for the term you are interested in. Classes for the quarter you will be attending are on the computer generally 2 to 4 months before classes begin and registration takes place during this time. You can also search for open classes by looking at our CourseAvail site Make sure to specify undergraduate classes, and the term you are looking for. The course availability page will show you if classes are still open. If classes are closed, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to take the class, but we will try to add you into the class. 

For your F-1 student visa you are required to take a minimum of 12 units. Most classes are either 4 or 5 units, so you will need to take at least three classes per quarter. For your first quarter at Santa Clara we do not recommend that you take any more than three full courses. There will be enough for you to do adjusting to the language and culture and we do not want you to be too overwhelmed.

** You can add or drop classes up to one week after classes begin without concern, and later if necessary (pay attention to posted deadlines on the academic calendar, located at

Santa Clara students normally register themselves for classes using the online system called “E-Campus” at SCU. You can access this system at Each student needs an ID and a password in order to log into the system. Both are automatically generated when you are admitted as an exchange student into the SCU system. You should receive an email after you are admitted into the SCU system to the email address that you listed on your application materials for SCU. For this reason, please make sure that you list an email address that you can check and keep while you are abroad. Also make sure to write CLEARLY or type this information.

If you do not receive an email from SCU about how to activate your e-campus account (it will come from, please let us know.

Students having difficulty logging into e-campus can send a message to Please be sure to provide your name, SCU student ID number, and email address.

Tips for students using ecampus can be found here:, including registration and log-in advice.

If you are having trouble registering yourself via e-campus, or prefer to have someone register you for your classes instead, you can email a list of the classes you are interested in taking to Barbara Colyar ( in the International Programs Office by the following dates:

Coming to Santa Clara Fall Quarter (September)             May 1st  
Coming to Santa Clara Winter Quarter (January)      November 1st
Coming to Santa Clara Spring Quarter (April)        February 1st

You will need to email the following information:

1) Your full name and SCU ID number if you know it.
2) The top three classes you want to take (please make sure to include the 5-digit SECTION NUMBER which tells the system which class you want to add)
3) One or two alternate classes, in case you are unable to get into your first choices.

Once you get to campus, please make sure to come by the International Programs Office so that we can make sure that each one of you has the information you need about your classes.

If for any reason you are unable to attend the classes you have registered for on the first day of class, please let Barbara Colyar in the International Programs know.  Professors have the right to drop students who don’t attend the first class—and you may discover that you are no longer enrolled if you don’t show up.

Academic Calendar
For a detailed calendar of important dates, including holidays, registration periods, and the dates for the Winter and Spring Quarters, check out


Adjusting to the Academic Culture at SCU

The classroom experience at SCU can be very different from what you are used to on your home campuses. Here are some areas that may surprise you:

Our professors may be less formal in dress and language than what you are used to in the classroom.

Classroom Participation
Participating in class may be a requirement in some of your classes, and you may be graded on this. Discussion style classes are very popular. We encourage you to email your professors if you need clarification on course requirements or have questions about participating. Also, all professors will have office hours when they will be available for questions or for talking. We encourage you to stop by the office hours and introduce yourself to your professor.

Grades may be assessed differently at Santa Clara than what you are used to. Grading is often done incrementally with many quizzes, papers, tests, participation, and projects all taken into account toward your final grade. Make sure to review the syllabus given to you at the beginning of the class to see what the graded components of the course will be. Assessment is not typically done with only one final test, although your final exam or project may be worth a large portion of the grade. Make sure to ask your professor if you have questions about how you will be graded.

The University is committed to academic excellence and integrity. Students are expected to do their own work and to cite any sources they use. A student who is guilty of a dishonest act in an examination, paper, or other work required for a course, or who assists others in such an act, may, at the discretion of the instructor, receive a grade of F for the course. If you have any questions about plagiarism or the University’s academic integrity policy, please check with your professor or the International Programs. You may ask your professors if you can use an English dictionary in class or during a test if appropriate.

Please let us know if you have any questions about academics. We look forward to welcoming you to Santa Clara!