Credits and Grading at OSU

Courses at OSU vary in credits; many are 3 lectures per week and 3 credits, but science often has small recitation (discussion) sections and labs and the the courses are 4 or 5 credits. The credits assigned for labs (practicals) are 1 credit for each 2-3 hrs in lab per week. The average course load is 15 credits per term; there are three 10-week terms with a one-week exam period at the end of each term. There will also be exams given in the term. Students from the UK usually aim for 13 to 15 credits per term.

The grading is A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F which is roughly:

A (1st class), A- & B+ (upper 2nd), B & B- (lower 2nd), C (3rd), D (pass), F (fail)

The %'s are more variable than in the UK and are set by each professor.

Registration and the Course Schedule

Incoming international exchange students from Lancaster, Nottingham, and Wales are registered for Fall Term by the study abroad coordinator in the College of Science. To make changes, or to register in subsequent terms, you must go to Student Online Services ( and login using your Student ID number and General Access PIN. These have been assigned by the study abroad coordinator in the College of Science. You may use the Class Search feature at the bottom of the Registration screen to search for classes. Many courses require two Course Reference Numbers (CRN) – one for the lecture and one for the lab or recitation time. Generally 100 and 200 level courses are taken by first and second year students, while 300 and 400 level courses are taken by third and fourth year students. Graduate students (post-baccalaureate) take 500 level courses and up.

Many international exchange students are interested in courses (modules) related to the marine environment. Most of these courses can be found in the following departments:

Catalog course descriptions are searchable. Putting in "Oceanography" with no course number brings up all the oceanography courses. Putting in "Fisheries and Wildlife" will bring up all fisheries and wildlife courses. Putting in "Zoology" brings up all zoology courses, etc.

You will be able to register using a web browser. If you don't have CRN numbers, you can just use the class search mode and it will show all available sections. Choose what you want (many courses will require two CRN numbers to get the course since you need to specify the lecture time and the lab time (or recitation time). Online services is very useful.