Summer Study Abroad

There are many benefits to studying abroad during the Summer term. Some of the most common benefits include focusing on one skill intensively, such as language, and not missing a semester on-campus (including various student groups, athletic team events, and internship opportunities that you may be pursuing).

Summer study abroad can be an excellent complement to your time at Columbia. However, there are several considerations to keep in mind:

  • If you are a Columbia College or School of General Studies student not participating in a Columbia-Led Program, you typically can only take courses that are either language immersion courses or courses specifically related to your major/concentration that have an in situ component.
  • Summer programs generally only include study abroad students rather than classes with local students.
  • Financial aid follows the same rules as it does in the United States. For Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, students should contact the CC/SEAS Financial Aid & Educational Planning office to understand if any of your federal financial aid can be used while School of General Studies students should meet with the General Studies Office of Educational Financing, as they may be eligible for summer financial aid. There may be more applicable fellowship and scholarship opportunities. Please visit our page on Financial Considerations for more details.
  • The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) offers the Global Learning Scholarships (GLS) to support Columbia students so they may enhance their undergraduate education by participating in a summer global learning opportunity.
  • All programs listed on the Columbia-Led programs are eligible for Columbia University credit. Please note that should you wish to attend a study abroad program run by faculty, not on the Columbia-Led programs page, it will be important to check with the faculty member to determine if and how credit is awarded for that program.

Finding and Choosing a Program

Please visit our Columbia-Led programs page for Summer opportunities.

If the programs listed do not meet your interests, you may complete the SUMMER Petition | Columbia-Approved. To ensure you are adequately prepared, please review our Petitioning a Program pages for more information.

Eligibility for Summer Study Abroad

  • You must be 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
  • You can study abroad during the summer following your first year at Columbia. Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students should have completed at least one semester before applying to go abroad
  • The School of General Studies students admitted for the spring semester may go abroad during the following summer only under certain exceptional circumstances. Speak with the General Studies Study Abroad Dean for more information
  • Columbia College and the School of General Studies students studying abroad during the summer on Columbia-Approved Programs generally take language courses

For more information, please review our Eligibility page.

Academic Credit Guidelines

Columbia-Led Summer Opportunities

If you attend a Columbia-Led program, you receive Columbia University credit. The courses and grades appear on your academic transcript and impact your GPA.

During the summer, students are not able to take classes as Pass/Fail.

Summer Petition | Columbia-Approved

Please note the following for Summer Academic Credit Guidelines are only for Summer Petition | Columbia-Approved programs:

  • ​​Courses taught in a foreign language can transfer for credit toward your Columbia degree. Students seeking to take the next level of language at Columbia and students looking to complete the Core language requirement abroad connect with the equivalent department at Columbia and may have to take a placement exam. For students on scholarship programs with the Germanic Languages department (German or Yiddish), please refer to the department for guidelines on academic credit and the continuation of language study at Columbia.
  • Some programs have both a language course component and an English language culture component. In most cases, if you are a Columbia College or School of General Studies student, you will not get credit for the course taught in English. If you propose to take courses in English, each course must be approved by the department for major/concentration credit and also must be determined to be "in situ," meaning that the course offers a unique experience where the study abroad site functions as a constituent part of the course. See the petition process for further information.
  • For Columbia Engineering students, you are eligible to get both technical and non-technical courses approved. In order to get credit, you will need to petition the program and fill out the Summer/Outside Credit Form from the Center for Student Advising. Please start a petition and then connect with the appropriate Global Engagement adviser to discuss this process.

For information, please visit our Academic Credit page.

Financial Considerations

You are responsible for all academic and non-academic fees during the Summer term. Whether attending a Columbia-Led or SUMMER Petition | Columbia-Approved program, you will pay most costs (i.e., tuition, room, board, etc.) to the program directly. Some costs you will have to pay to a vendor directly (i.e., an airline, housing placement organization).

Students studying abroad on a SUMMER Petition | Columbia-Approved program will be registered for a "Summer Study Abroad" placeholder course in SSOL and charged an administrative fee of $750.

For Columbia College and SEAS students, contact the CC/SEAS Financial Aid & Educational Planning to understand if any of your federal financial aid may cover enrollment costs for a summer program. Please note the Columbia Grant is not available for summer studies.

For General Studies students, if you receive financial aid at Columbia University, you will often remain eligible for aid as long as you take a minimum of 6 points during the Summer term. Please contact the GS Office of Educational Financing for more information.

There are a wide variety of funding opportunities available to you. Please visit our Financial Considerations page and review our Fellowships and Scholarships for Studying Abroad section to learn more.


Check each program deadline to ensure you apply on time, as they may vary. Deadlines for Columbia-Led programs are typically updated in mid-December.

If you are applying for a SUMEMR Petition | Columbia-Approved program, you also need to abide by the UGE Clearance Deadline, which typically falls around March 15th. To apply for program admission, you must also complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.

Other Summer Opportunities

Study abroad is not the only option for summer opportunities. Review the resources below for additional information: