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Which Courses Should I Take Before Studying Abroad?

It's super important to make sure you set yourself up for success abroad by choosing the right courses to take before you get there. Whether you're registering for your first semester at Pepperdine, or planning out your four years, read on to learn which classes you should take before departure.

Are there any courses I should be sure to take before I go abroad?

All students going abroad during the academic year are encouraged to complete ENG 101, HUM 111, and REL 101 before going abroad. These three courses are common prerequisites required for specific courses, many of which are offered abroad. Depending on your program, however, you may be able to get by without completing one or more of those prerequisites. For example, you only need to complete a prerequisite if you plan to take a course that requires it.

In addition, you must earn a minimum grade of C- (or demonstrate comparable proficiency) in the first level of the language applicable to your program pre-departure. This is required for all academic year programs with the exception of London and DC. For instructions on how to register for your language course, please read below.

Below are recommended courses to complete before you go abroad during the academic year, by program:




Buenos Aires

ENG 101, HUM 111, SPAN 151

ENG 101, HUM 212, REL 101, SPAN 151


ENG 101, HUM 111, ITAL 151, REL 101

ENG 101, HUM 212, ITAL 151


ENG 101, GER 151, HUM 111

ENG 101, GER 151, HUM 212


ENG 101, FRE 151, HUM 111, REL 101

FRE 151, HUM 212, REL 102


ENG 101, HUM 111, REL 101

ENG 101, HUM 212, REL 102



ENG 101, HUM 212

*Click your program above to find the courses offered there in upcoming terms!

How do I decide what to take abroad?

Good question! This often gets overlooked, but it's super important to plan ahead. The best way to do this is to compare your DAR (Degree Audit Report), which you can access on Wavenet, to the courses offered in your program. You can view these courses by clicking on the "Academics" page from your program's page. Make sure that you take all prerequisites required for the classes you plan to take abroad before you go, and make sure that you will be registered in at least 12 units each semester you're abroad. You can also use Navigate to plan your schedule.

How do I register for classes?

Your specific registration date depends on the number of units you have completed. As the registration period gets closer, you will see a registration time designated on your WaveNet homescreen. Don't forget it! 

If you are going abroad in the summer, you will be able to register for your classes at the same time that you register for your spring classes.

As you prepare for registration, you can put courses you want to register for into your "Cart." When that day comes, you will log in to you WaveNet, open your "Cart," and register for your classes

Register for Classes Abroad

How do I register for my language course?

If you are studying abroad during the academic year you must earn a minimum grade of C- in the first level of the applicable language to retain eligibility for your International Program (Buenos Aires, Florence, Heidelberg, and Switzerland only). There are many ways to satisfy this requirement. The recommended route for those with no previous experience of the language is to take LANG 151 in Malibu before you go abroad. You can also take the required first semester language class at another institution and transfer the credit in via Onestop (get the transfer approved by Onestop before enrolling in the class). Alternatively, you can test out of 151 through the Pepperdine Language Placement Exam. Your score is valid for one year and will last for two registration periods, which will allow you to register for your fall or spring language course in your program. It is, however, advised that you take the first semester language class as close as possible to departure: if you don't use the language, you lose it! 

The IP Office partners with the International Studies and Languages Division (ISL) to assist IP students in registering for language courses prior to their program. As a result, you will not register yourself for your spring 151-level language class.* Instead, the IP office and the ISL office will register you.

As you prepare for your spring semester prior to studying abroad, create a list of your top language section that will fit into your schedule. A few days before your registration date and time, the IP office will send a link to a digital form that you will complete at the day and time of your registration for you to communicate your top language class choices. If you complete this form before your designated day and time, it will be ignored. IP will work with the ISL office to register you in a language course, and we will email you when the language registration is complete. Please keep an eye on your email for this online form.

*This only applies to the 151-level course. If you have already taken or tested out of the 151 level of a language, there are no additional language prerequisites that you have to meet in order to go abroad. You do not need to fill out the form. 

Regardless of language level, all students in campus-based programs are required to be in a language class for the entirety of their time abroad, with the exception of students in our London and DC programs. For summer faculty led programs, please check course requirements carefully and prepare accordingly pre-departure.

Who can I talk to for advising?

There are many people on campus who can assist with four-year planning and advising.

In the IP Office, Danica Harootian, the Manager of Academics and Internships, and Dr. Ron Cox, Associate Dean of IP, can assist you with what to take before you go abroad and what to take while you are abroad.

For four-year planning, it's best to talk to your major advisor, who is listed as your advisor in Wavenet, or a OneStop Academic Advising Associate. Major advisors and Office Managers of specific divisions can tell you which upper division courses may be offered during certain terms. For example, an upper division course may only be offered every Fall semester, and it's important to know the timeline in order to plan ahead. You can also use Navigate to map out your four years, and then easily send your plan to your advisor for approval.

You got this! 

Registering for the correct classes before you go abroad will ensure you're on track to graduate and academically prepared for your time abroad. If you have more questions, please feel free to email us!