The next application deadline is Sep 15, 2024
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Discover insights into other cultures and develop new perspectives by studying abroad during the Semester or Academic Year. Although we encourage you to choose programs listed on our Find a Program page and apply to our Columbia-Led or Columbia-Approved programs, we understand that there is a wide variety of opportunities available to you.

If you would like to study abroad on another program during the Semester or Academic Year, you must complete a petition application by clicking the "Start Your Application" button above. You are strongly encouraged to consult with the listed UGE Adviser.

To ensure you are adequately prepared, please review the Academic Credit Guidelines > Columbia-Approved and Financial Considerations pages.


Clearance procedures and eligibility will vary by Columbia undergraduate home school. In addition to working with the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, we also encourage you to talk with your CSA Academic Advisor about your plan to spend a Semester or Academic Year abroad.

Please review the eligibility requirements listed below:

Columbia College

  • You must be an enrolled student in good academic and disciplinary standing to study abroad;
  • You must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA to study abroad. You must maintain a 3.0 GPA during the semester before going abroad;
  • You must meet the prerequisites of your chosen program. Please be aware of any disciplinary and language requirements;
  • During the academic year, you must study abroad as a junior or senior. If you study abroad as a senior, you must petition the Committee on Academic Standing;
  • You must have declared a major;
  • You must have demonstrated progress in the Core Curriculum and your major requirements. You must have completed Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilizations, University Writing and Frontiers of Science. You should only have one Core Course per term remaining after you return from study abroad;
  • If you are a transfer student, you should meet with an Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) adviser to discuss eligibility; and
  • You must show demonstrated academic interest in the region or program where you plan to study abroad. This course must be taken prior to your study abroad semester. You should discuss this with your UGE adviser.‚Äč There are a few ways to fulfill this requirement:
    • You can take a course with content related to the politics, culture or history of the country or region;
    • You can study the language of the host country; or
    • If the program has a specific theme (i.e. human rights, computer science), you may take a course related to the theme.

Columbia Engineering

  • You must be an enrolled student in good academic and disciplinary standing to study abroad;
  • You must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA to study abroad. You must maintain the 3.0 GPA during the semester before going abroad;
  • You must meet the prerequisites of your chosen program;
  • During the academic year, you must study abroad as a sophomore, junior or senior. You will most likely go abroad sophomore spring;
  • You must have declared a major; and
  • You must have made adequate progress in your first and second requirements and major requirements.

The School of General Studies

For more information about the School of General Studies eligibility requirements, please visit the General Studies Study Abroad page. You may also contact the GS Study Abroad Advisor at

Semester Considerations

Studying abroad can be an excellent complement to your time at Columbia. However, there are several considerations to keep in mind and we encourage you to explore our Why Study Abroad? page to learn more.

Academic Credit guidelines

On a Columbia-Approved Program, you will receive general transfer credit. Course titles and grades for these programs do not appear on your Columbia transcript nor factor into your Columbia GPA. But, your work abroad is considered part of your academic record at Columbia and will add to the points that you need to graduate as long as you meet the minimum grades, which are noted below.

To receive this credit, you must obtain a transcript from the host institution or official School of Record. The transcript must be from a degree-granting institution and must include the notation of earned credits and grades, whether in the U.S. or foreign credit system.

Semester and Academic Year Credit Guidelines:

  • Credit is not granted for courses in business, education, journalism, or other subjects at Columbia that professional schools teach.
  • Credit is not granted for internships or internship courses.
  • Credit is not given for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis. The minimum grade necessary for a Semester or Academic Year general credit transfer is:
    • Columbia College: C-
    • Columbia Engineering: C
    • School of General Studies: C
  • You must take a full course load while you are abroad, according to both Columbia and your program and/or host institution. For Columbia College and SEAS students, a full-course load is a minimum of 12 U.S. credits. For General Studies, check with the GS Study Abroad Liaison for more information.
  • As a Columbia College or SEAS student, your last two semesters before graduation must be at Columbia University or on a Columbia-Led program. For exceptions, you need to submit a Senior Year Petition to Study Abroad to the Committee on Academic Standing.
  • In order for a Global Core Requirement to be satisfied on a Columbia-Approved program, you need to complete the Global Core Petition Form with your Academic Advisor. It can only be satisfied if the petition is approved by the Global Core Committee.
  • Language courses taken abroad do not automatically satisfy the Columbia Foreign Language Requirement. Students are subject to the language placement exam upon arrival back to campus, and credit is determined based on the results of the exam.

For more information and additional insights about gaining Major/Concentration Credit while abroad, please review our Academic Credit> Columbia-Approved page.

Financial Considerations

Cost is an important factor when deciding to study abroad. You may be surprised to learn that in many cases, the cost of going abroad is comparable to staying at Columbia. The majority of students receive financial assistance when studying abroad, though the amount or type of support depends on a variety of factors. With careful planning and research into opportunities, you should be able to afford a study abroad experience while at Columbia.

For more information, please visit our Financial Considerations page. We encourage you to reach out to the Columbia Financial Aid and Education Financing (CC and SEAS) or the Office of Educational Financing - General Studies for more detailed information about your financial aid package and how it will be applied to your Semester or Academic Year abroad.

Finding a Program

The first step in finding a program that fits your academic, personal, and social goals is to ask yourself what you want from your study abroad experience. We encourage you to explore our Choosing a Study Abroad Program page to let us now help you decide which semester, program and experience is right for you.

If you have specific questions, please contact the UGE Adviser listed below.

Columbia-Approved Recommended Programs

  1. American Councils offers comprehensive study abroad opportunities for Russian, Korean, or Mandarin language learners.
  2. CET equips students with language immersion opportunities in China, Taiwan, Brazil, Japan, Jordan, and more.
  3. CIEE provides a variety of opportunities in Botswana, China, Japan, Spain, Jordan and more.
  4. IFSA hosts study abroad opportunities at a wide variety of local universities in China, Scotland, Peru, Mexico, Italy, and more.
  5. Middlebury offers total immersion experiences in locations such as Brazil, China, Jordan, Kazakhstan and more.
  6. School for Field Studies (SFS) pushes you to get creative and work to understand the critical environmental issues of our time in locations such as Cambodia, Kenya, and Costa Rica.
  7. SIT Study Abroad developed immersive programs that allow you to view the world and understand critical global issues from a range of perspectives in Argentina, Cameroon, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Serbia, and more.
  8. Visiting Student / Freemover Programs offers students the opportunity to directly enroll into a local university. At this time, we are unable to expand our exchange agreements with other institutions.

Columbia-Led Programs

Attend a Columbia-Led program, and receive Columbia Univeristy credit. Learn more about our wide variety of opportunities in Paris, Berlin, Kyoto, and more!

Columbia Global Collaboratory

Take part in the Global Columbia Collaboratory to learn more about global issues from international experts and peers around the world. Learn more about the Collaboratory's growing summer opportunities by contacting

How to Apply

You are strongly encouraged to consult with the listed UGE Adviser. To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary, and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:

  • To apply for UGE Clearance to Study Abroad (approval), click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage.
  • To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

You should consult the Petitioning a Program page for general guidance on the process.