Completing SSHA Requirements Abroad
Most Flexible: Minimum Unit Requirement
"A minimum of 120 units is required to earn a UC Merced bachelor's degree; however, some majors have total unit requirements higher than this general minimum. Please consult your advisor and your UC Merced Catalog."
Any units taken on UCEAP, so long as they do not directly duplicate coursework (very rare), will count toward this requirement. The same goes with UC Summer Abroad coursework. IOP coursework is typically not an issue so long as the coursework is deemed transferable and the student does not already have 70.0 units of transfer coursework.
Second Most Flexible: SSHA Upper Division Unit Requirement
"Complete 60 units of upper division coursework"
Any upper-division units taken on UCEAP, so long as they do not directly duplicate coursework (very rare), will count toward this requirement. The same goes with UC Summer Abroad coursework. IOP coursework is typically not an issue so long as the coursework is deemed transferable and the student does not already have 70.0 units of transfer coursework.
Quite Flexible: SSHA Requirements, Sub-Group 3
"Complete four non-major upper division general education courses, totaling 16 units…"
Typically any upper-division course in a SSHA area and outside the major/minor will count toward this requirement if it is upper-division and not independent study, research, directed study, or internship credit. Typically the course numbering will fall in the 100-179 range. This coursework must be reviewed through the SSHA Course Approval Form. Another consideration is that this is based on the number of units rather than the number of courses completed.
Still Flexible: Major/Minor Upper-Division Electives
As long as the coursework returns to UC Merced (automatic for UCEAP and mostly for UC Summer Abroad, but by special process for IOP), students may use the SSHA Course Approval Form to request that coursework fulfill major/minor electives. Typically courses need to value 3.0 semester units or combine courses to meet the 3.0-unit threshold.
Least Flexible: Individual Course Substitutions
Using the SSHA Course Approval Form (or that of Natural Sciences for coursework such as MATH or BIO), students can request to replace individual courses required for their degree (e.g. intermediate microeconomics abroad to replace ECON 100 at UC Merced). These substitutions are more challenging and, therefore, less common and less flexible.
The closer you are to graduation, the more you want to hold out your most flexible degree requirements for study abroad. If you study abroad earlier in your academic career, aim for those least flexible degree requirements with the idea that you can "fall back" on those areas that are more flexible, if needed.