School of Record
The University of South Florida (USF) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the following degree types: Associates, Baccalaureates, Masters, Specialist, and Doctorate degrees. Located in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota, Florida, USF holds the Carnegie Classification of a Research Very High institution and is one of the largest public universities in the nation, and among the top 50 universities, public or private, for federal research expenditures. In 2019, USF was awarded the APLU Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement. In addition, USF has received national recognition for its commitment and successes in access, diversity and equity in international education (Heiskell Award Winner for Access and Equity in 2019, and the EDIIE Institutional Award from Diversity Abroad in 2017). For more information about USF, please see our annual USF Facts publications.
USF recognizes the importance in higher education for institutions to ensure high academic standards in education abroad and recognizes that Schools of Record play a key role in ensuring that students have an academically rich educational experience abroad and receive appropriate credit for the academic work completed abroad. In accordance with the Forum on Education Abroad’s Guidance on School of Record Relationships for Education Abroad, the University of South Florida proudly serves as the accredited institution documenting and awarding U.S. credits for courses in partnership with the Florence University of the Arts-The American University of Florence (FUA-AUF), Sea|Mester, and International Studies Abroad by Worldstrides (ISA).
USF’s School of Record Processes:
USF conducts regular site visits to its partner institutions to ensure academic and programmatic integrity and quality. A member of the USF community also sits on the advisory boards of each of its School of Record partners.
USF faculty from relevant departments evaluate each syllabus from our partner institutions to determine the USF course equivalency. In addition, the curricula vitae and copies of transcripts or diplomas of our partner institutions’ faculty are reviewed and approved by departmental chairs and college deans to ensure that they are qualified to teach in the academic discipline and/or area of specialization.
USF considers partner institutions’ courses to be, in every respect, the equivalent of a USF course. However, since USF recognizes that students are enrolled in our partners’ courses, the credit is shown as “transfer” rather than “institutional” credit on the USF transcript. The original foreign-taught course title, course number, number of credits and grade are included on the transcript, followed by the USF equivalent. This most accurately represents the connection between the foreign course and the USF equivalent.
Students who require duplicate official transcripts from a previous study abroad experience through FUA-AUF, SEA|mester or ISA by WorldStrides should contact the Education Abroad Office for assistance. Standard transcript fees are assessed. Information on obtaining additional transcripts can be found here.
Florence University of the Arts (FUA) is an internationally recognized institution and leading provider of study abroad programming in Florence. It is an Italian non-profit educational institution certified by the European Union, and is accredited by the Region of Tuscany Ministry of Education.
USF faculty evaluate each course from FUA to determine USF equivalencies. Each course equivalency must be approved by the USF chair of the department and dean of the respective college. The curricula vitae and copies of transcripts or diplomas of Palazzi faculty are reviewed and approved by departmental chairs and college deans for qualification to teach in their academic discipline and/or area of specialization. USF is currently undertaking the process to create USF courtesy appointments for all FUA teaching staff.
USF considers these FUA courses to be, in every respect, the equivalent of a USF course. However, since USF recognizes that students are enrolled in FUA courses, the credit is shown as “transfer” rather than “system/institutional” credit on the USF transcript. The original FUA course is included on the transcript, followed by the USF equivalent. This most accurately represents the connection between the FUA course and the USF equivalent. Students are able to obtain additional official USF transcripts through the Office of the Registrar.
In building this School of Record agreement, all levels of the university were consulted and asked to approve the relationship, including but not limited to the Office of Decision Support, Office of the Provost, Office of the Registrar, the USF Undergraduate Counsel, the Academics and University Environment Workgroup reporting to the Board of Trustees, in addition to the individual colleges and departments throughout the University of South Florida System. USF also sent official notification to SACSCOC regarding the SoR relationship between USF and Palazzi/FUA.
In developing the School of Record relationship, USF and Palazzi have closely consulted and followed the Guidelines for School of Record Relationships developed by the Forum on Education Abroad with input from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices.
USF has had a long-standing relationship with Palazzi – in 2006 courses of Apicius, the hospitality and culinary institute of Palazzi, were approved by USF’s Undergraduate Studies in Tampa. Further, over the past 10 years, more than 1800 USF students have studied at FUA, and more than 50 USF faculty and staff have visited FUA. Under the SoR agreement, every two years, a delegation consisting of USF administrative and teaching staff conduct a site visit to Palazzi, conversely Palazzi staff visit USF on a biannual basis. The School of Record relationship between USF and FUA-AUF was established in 2012.
Sea|mester programs are undertaken on sailing vessels that circumnavigate the globe. Students live on board the ships with professional sailing and teaching staff. It is an ongoing learning experience with programs ranging from 20 to 90 days in duration. The voyages take students to the Caribbean & Lesser Antilles; Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean; Pacific Ocean and Polynesia; Australia and Indonesia; and to Asia, India and Suez Canal. Each vessel accommodates all students (up to 26) and faculty and crew (up to 7) on the largest vessels, Argo and Vela (112 feet), and on Ocean Star (88 feet) up to 16 students and 4 staff. In 2011, Sea|mester was awarded the prestigious Sea Education Program of the Year Award by Tall Ships America (Formerly the American Sail Training Association). Sea|mester offers a limited number of courses each year (typically under 10) that relate to marine biology, oceanography, meteorology, geology, navigation skills, and leadership.
The SoR relationship was established in 2014 by recommendation of faculty from the Integrative Biology department who had worked on the SEA|mester program for several years.
ISA was established in 1987 to provide academically challenging and culturally thorough study abroad programs for US college students. Their first established program was a partnership with the University of Salamanca that still exists today. Since then, ISA has grown to a global provider offering a wide variety of international education opportunities throughout Western Europe, Africa and Latin America. In 2015, ISA was acquired by WorldStrides, making it part of the largest educational travel company in the U.S. The SoR relationship between USF and ISA was established in 2021. Initially, USF will serve as the School of Record in ISA’s study centers in Meknes, Morocco and Sevilla Spain, as well as for all internship and service-learning programs and courses.
Education Abroad, USF World