Academic Credit Opportunities

Academic credit is optional, but for those who choose it, an integral component of their program.

Pacific Discovery, the Gap Year Association & Portland State University

As an accredited member of the Gap Year Association (USA), credit is available to any student on a Pacific Discovery semester program, through Portland State University (PSU). Full details about courses available and costs are here: Portland State University credit information on the GYA website . You can also review FAQs about the PSU credit.

Portland State University is an accredited institution and credit may be transferred to your university or college so long as they approve it – please check/confirm this with your academic advisor in advance.

To enroll for PSU credit, indicated you’re interested in this on your application form, and we’ll be in touch to help you with course selection and enrollment.

Pacific Discovery & Seattle Central College

Credit is available through the Seattle Central College Office of Cooperative Education and Service Learning for individuals who wish to earn credit for their travel/study experience on our programs. You are able to undertake this optional independent-study credit while on a Pacific Discovery program regardless of your own country of citizenship or residence.

Seattle Central College is an accredited institution and credit may be transferred to your university or college so long as they approve it – please check/confirm this with your academic advisor in advance.

It is important to note that courses are mostly self-directed, and require both motivation, maturity and diligence on the part of the student to ensure their coursework is completed by due dates.

You can elect to get credit under a handful of different course titles and options, all of which come with different readings and assignments specific to the particular course. These course descriptions come from SCC and can be applied to the Pacific Discovery experience.

Criteria around credits

  • Most courses can be taken for 5 or 10 quarter credits (3 or 6 semester credits).
  • A maximum of 20 quarter credits (12 semester credits) can be taken per semester program.
  • A maximum of 10 quarter credits (6 semester credits) can be taken per summer program.

SCC course options can be reviewed on the SCC website

An selection of the SCC courses available follows…

HUM 291: Spanish Language (5 or 10 credits)
For the undergraduate student who plans on taking advantage of language study opportunities outside the USA, living with a family for total language immersion, or attending a language school while at the same time studying the culture of the country.

EDU 291: Using the World as a Classroom (5 or 10 credits)
Research outside the classroom is now a reality. Students will pick a travel destination, select a research topic, gather research data, and combine them all into a learning experience. This is a self-paced course designed to maximize learning and travel experiences.

SSC 297: Travel/Study Experience (5 or 10 credits)
Designed to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students and other individuals who undertake domestic and/or foreign travel. It offers the participant an opportunity to learn outside the classroom by taking advantage of cross-cultural activities and events, historic sites, geologic formations, museums, etc. – activities that are available through travel.

ITL 197: International Cooperative Education (5 credits)
Provides students with an opportunity to earn college credit for work experiences, internships, or volunteer service in an international setting.

ITL 198: International Cooperative Education (5 credits)
A continuation of ITL 197.

SCC Course Fees

Please review the SCC website for current course fees and enrollment procedure. As an indication, course fees for 2018-2019 are:
5 credits $ 550
10 credits $ 1075

To Register for SCC Credit:

  1.  Review the current courses of study offered (see above also) and decide which are most relevant for you – you may like to discuss this with your academic advisor.
  2.  Read through the SCC Policies and Procedures.
  3.  Complete the enrollment application. Payment to SCC must accompany your enrollment application and is made directly to SCC, not to Pacific Discovery. Payment can be made with Visa, MasterCard and Discover, or by check or money order (payable to Seattle Central Community College).
  4.  Applications and payment should be submitted to SCC (submission address and information here).
  5.  For SCC credit questions, please contact Karen Kato, tel 206-934-6998, email
  6.  When you have completed course registration with SCC and have received confirmation of this, please email Pacific Discovery, and notify us of the course/s you are taking and the number of credits you are taking each course for.

Independent or Field Studies Credit through your own college or university

You may wish to pursue Independent or Field Studies Credit through your own college or university. Pacific Discovery supports participants pursuing independent or field studies credit through their home college or university. Please contact your own academic advisor or professor to discuss options available to you on this program.