The Danish and U.S. grading systems and traditions are very different; in the U.S., the grading will take place continuously with participation, various tests and assignments counting toward your final grade in contrast to only one assessment for the final grade in Denmark.

At present, there is no official comparison of the Danish seven-point scale, the EU grading scale, and the American grading system. However, for overview we have created an unofficial comparison. You can read more about the Danish educational system here.

ECTS and Credit points

The Danish ECTS system

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a unit of measurement that denotes the workload in an educational program and is a common European measurement system. Each subject or course in a degree is awarded a number of points that represent the workload the student must undergo in order to complete the individual unit of education.

An academic year’s workload is represented by 60 ECTS points, whereas a semester’s workload is typically represented by 30 ECTS points. Project work, internships, and theses may also be awarded ECTS points if these make up part of the degree, but check with your institution to see if there are any specific rules about this.


The American credit system

In the U.S., a credit or credit hour system is used instead of the ECTS system. To put it simply, credits are what universities in America use to determine whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Each course is worth a certain number of credits, which usually corresponds to the number of hours the course meets per week.

As an international student, you will need to make sure that you are taking enough credits to be considered a full-time student at your host university. In general, American universities require full-time students to take 12-18 credits per semester, so please check with your host institution to determine how many credits are required. If you are an exchange student, you should have your Danish university confirm that the number of credits you are taking meets the ECTS requirement.

Please keep in mind that in order to obtain a student visa in the United States, you must be a full-time student.


Fulbright Denmark offers grants for American and Danish students and scholars. To learn more about Fulbright Denmark, please click here.

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