Recognition of Credits and Course Substitution

The recognition of courses is a process that involves several departments at the University of Vienna. This section provides guidelines as well as the necessary forms you must submit to successfully recognize courses that you have either taken in a different department of the University of Vienna or at a higher education institution as part of an exchange program. The Büro Studienpräses provides all the information concerning credit recognition (in German).

 Step-by-step guidelines


  • 1. Before you apply for course recognition

    Before you apply for course recognition (Anerkennung) at the StudienServiceStelle (SSS) for Sinology & EcoS, make sure the courses you wish to have recognized fulfill the necessary criteria. For more information, see the section “Courses and modules eligible for recognition/subtitution” below.

    The Büro Studienpräses also lists additional information (in German).

    After chosing the courses that you want to take as part of your studies abroad or at a different department of the University of Vienna, make sure to send the pre-recognition form to the Vice-SPL for EcoS, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jerome De Wit, MA. The Vice-SPL must approve your study plan in advance, as this will expedite the recognition process later on.

    Note: Non-EU exchange students will receive a separate pre-recognition form (Vorausanerkennungsbescheid) with their study plan. The SPL needs to sign the first page before the trip.

  • 2. Courses and modules eligible for recognition/subtitution

    Language Courses

    • Option 1: Six weekly hours (6 SWS) of adequate language courses taken abroad can be recognized for one semester of language courses in Vienna (15 ECTS).
    • Option 2: Four weekly hours (4 SWS) of language courses taken abroad can be recognized for the following courses focusing on oral communication in Vienna: ‘Japanese communication’ or ‘Business Japanese’; ‘Koreanische Praxis 1’ or ‘Koreanische Praxis 2’; ‘Sprachlabor 1a+Sprechpraktikum 1a’ or 'Sprachlabor 1b+Sprechpraktikum 1b’
    • Please be aware: In the case that the student has already passed the language courses in Vienna and wishes to take language courses abroad, the grades of the courses taken abroad will replace the grades earned in Vienna in the electronic record of examinations (Prüfungspass). Note that the above options replace earlier ways of recognizing language courses taken abroad

    Non-language Courses

    • You are allowed to substitute up to 16 ECTS.
    • Courses eligible for substitution must be at the graduate-level.
    • M2-M3: Students can substitute one of the VU courses, either M2 (VU Economic Development) or M3 (VU International Relations), as long as the course is equivalent to the VU to be replaced both in terms of content and ECTS credits. Seminar courses cannot be substituted.
    • M4: When selecting courses as substitutes, make sure they are related to the fields of economics, politics, and society in East Asia. The courses should cover topics relevant to the EcoS study program and have a regional approach, meaning they should cover more than one East Asian country. Courses focusing on a single East Asian country may not be authorized for substitution.
    • Ultimately, students should refer to the program's curriculum to determine whether a course is eligible to be substituted. 

  • 3. Submission of your course recognition application

    According to regulation § 78 UG, after finalizing your semester abroad or concluding the examination of courses taken at another department of the University of Vienna, you must fill out a) the official recognition form (Antrag auf Anerkennung) and b) the excel file in which you list all the courses to be recognized and the EcoS course they will substitute. We provide guidelines (in English) to fill out the official form.

    You must also include a transcript of records from the university abroad or the department at the University of Vienna where you took your courses. This transcript must include: the date of issue, date of examination, the title of the course, type of the course SSt/ECTS, name of the examiner, grade, semester allocation of the course within the study program offered at another post-secondary educational institution, and signature. If possible, highlight the relevant courses on the transcript. If the document has been issued in a language other than English or German, you must provide a certified translation.

    Send all your documents from your u:account email address to the SSS Stefanie Yu (

    Note: The SPL needs to sign the second page of the pre-recognition form (Vorausanerkennungsbescheid) of non-EU exchange students upon their return from their semester abroad.

  • 4. Receipt of approval and upload of grades

    Once your application has been approved, the SSS will send the confirmation to your u:account e-mail address. Currently, all certificates are issued with an online signature (Amtssignatur). After receiving the document, you have 4 weeks to check if the information is correct. Should there be some inconsistencies, make sure to contact the SSS immediately. After 4 weeks from issuing the document, it will become legally binding (rechtskräftig).

    In total, the recognition process may take up to 8 weeks from the moment the SSS receives your application.



  • What is the ECTS equivalent of a credit?

    For reference, 1 credit equals 2 ECTS.

  • I am applying to a Non-EU Exchange Program, how do I recognize my credits?

    Within the Non-EU Exchange Program, the recognition of courses taken at the partner university is mandatory (min. 12 ECTS/semester, or 3 ECTS/month). For more details, see the official information on Recognition of Planned Courses and the Learning Agreement. It is advisable to take this into consideration when choosing between a semester and a year abroad.

    Students applying to the Non-EU Exchange Program must send the pre-recognition form listing the courses they wish to study abroad to the Vice-SPL for EcoS, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jerome De Wit, MA. Please fill out a pre-recogintion form for each university you wish to apply to. After the Vice-SPL for EcoS has confirmed that course recognition as indicated on the pre-recognition form is possible, you must upload it in the Online Tool.

    Students are advised to include back-up courses in the pre-recognition form. In case a course is no longer offered at the partner university, this will provide additional, pre-approved course options. If any additional changes to your study plan are made during your semester abroad, you must contact the Vice-SPL for EcoS in order to verify whether any new courses you had to select could be recognized after returning to Vienna.

    Once you have completed your courses abroad, proceed as outlined in the guidelines above.

  • Who gives advice on course recognition?

    For questions concerning course recognition, you can contact the Vice-SPL for EcoS, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jerome De Wit, MA

  • How long does it take until the process is complete?

    The complete process (from when you first hand in your application to when you receive your confirmation of recognition) may take up to 8 weeks. This official limit may get extended if documents are missing and/or we require further information. If this is the case, the SSS will send an e-mail to your u:account to notify you of the delay.

  • What documents do I need?

    You need to fill out a pre-recognition form and get the approval of the Vice-SPL before you plan your studies abroad or plan to take a course at another department of the University of Vienna. 

    You also need a recognition form, the excel form listing the courses for recognition, and the transcript of records to get your courses recognized after the examination.

  • What can be recognized?

    First of all, it is important to note that we can only recognize courses. Skills or experience such as being a native speaker of an East Asian language, internships, or having worked as a teacher cannot be recognized.

    The only courses that can be substituted are those belonging to "M1 languages" (up to 15 ECTS) and "M4 society" (up to 16 ECTS).

  • When do I need course recognition?

    You require recognition when:

    1. you take courses abroad at an institution of higher education as part of an exchange semester
    2. you take courses at another department of the University of Vienna, and the course is not part of the extended curriculum of the EcoS program.