University of Otago Courses

You are required to maintain a full-time course load through your time in New Zealand. A full-time course load as defined by Arcadia University is 13.5-18 U.S. credits per semester. Courses can be found on University of Otago’s website.

  • Make sure your credits transfer back for credit with your home school – this is your responsibility.
  • Please be flexible about courses. We can't guarantee placement in specific courses.
  • Please review your course choices with your academic or study abroad advisor, and submit the online course registration form to The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University.

Course Registration

A full-time course load is equivalent to three to six courses at the University of Otago.

University of Otago Credit Point UnitsU.S. University Semester Hours of Credit
9 2.5
12 3.0
13.5 3.5
18 4.5
24 6
27 7

When selecting your courses from the overseas website, you should be aware of some differences in terminology. In New Zealand, most subject departments are referred to as faculties. In the U.S., we would refer to the Economics Department; in New Zealand, it is the Faculty of Economics. Individual courses are referred to as papers and course descriptions are referred to as prescriptions.

Courses listed as being on offer Semester 1 will run from February to June and Semester 2 will run from July to November.

The Otago course catalog lists an alphabetical directory of subjects on offer. Click on the subject(s) of your interest and scroll down to 'Papers’. Click on the link for a full list of courses. You'll find relevant details for each course, including course descriptions, point value and semester the course is on offer.

Students must take at least one upper-level (200 or 300-level) course per semester. As part of the course approval process, University of Otago faculty will review your home school transcript to ensure that you have completed the equivalent pre-requisites.

When completing the Preliminary Course Form, list 200 or 300-level courses first, followed by 100-level courses.

Enrollment Process

Course registration will begin online and will be finalized before arriving to Otago, so it is very important that course selections are limited to your final four choices (listed first), and three alternate choices (listed below your first choices), which will only be assessed if any of your first four are declined. The preliminary course form must indicate which courses you actually want to be enrolled in while you are studying at Otago, so please consider your course selections very carefully. You cannot take more than 4 courses per semester.

Once you have registered, you will need to be aware of the add/drop policy at the University of Otago before making further alterations to your schedule. You should also inform your home institution of any alternations you make to your schedule once you’ve arrived.

The University of Otago requires a copy of your passport in order to officially register you as a student. Please submit a copy of this document along with your course selection form.


Additional course fees may be associated with some of your overseas course work, such as courses that include laboratory work, field excursions or theater trips. Many fine art or production courses will include a supplemental fee for the materials used in the class. Please refer to the online course description to determine whether the courses you have selected have additional fees associated with them.

If you intend on enrolling in studio art, graphic art, media production, drama, dance or music courses, you will need to submit a portfolio or audition tape on slides or a CD. Submit between 8-12 examples of your work. Because your work will be sent to Auckland, we are unable to return the art portfolio to you. Some fine arts courses in New Zealand are year-long courses that begin in February.