Study Abroad

Study abroad programs provide a wonderful opportunity to enhance a Columbia education, especially given the numerous programs either sponsored or approved by Columbia in foreign countries around the world. All study abroad programs, including Columbia-led study abroad programs, must be approved by the appropriate GS Study Abroad Advisor. For study abroad-related questions, please email


  • You must be an enrolled student in good academic and disciplinary standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. You must maintain a 3.0 GPA during the semester before you go abroad.  
  • You must meet the prerequisites of your chosen program. Please be aware of any disciplinary and language requirements;
  • If you are on leave or withdraw from the term in which you are applying to study abroad your application you will not be eligible to study abroad and any prior approval will be rescinded.
  • All incomplete or AR grades must be resolved before departure for program
  • Students can study abroad for a maximum of three semesters
  • Studying abroad in your final semester requires special permission and is typically only possible for Columbia-Led programs. This will result in a delayed graduation date as your degree cannot be conferred until we have received your transcripts.

Additional Fall, Spring and Academic Year Requirements

In addition to the eligibility requirements listed above, the following conditions apply to students studying abroad in the fall, spring, or academic year.

  • Students are required to have a minimum of 56 points earned toward the degree and have declared a major.
  • Students must have demonstrated an academic interest in the region where they plan to go abroad. Students can show this interest through relevant language study, taking a course that focuses on the region of the host country, or taking a course in a discipline directly related to the focus of the study abroad program. 
  • Students must take at least one course while abroad towards their major or towards their core requirement. . Students may petition this requirement if they have completed their core and their major requirements.
  • Prior to going abroad, students are expected to have begun language study and completed university writing.

Additional Summer Requirements

Students must be registered for two semester at General Studies before departing on a study abroad program.

Reasons for Rescinded Decisions: 

Study abroad approval may be automatically rescinded if a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, if a student fails to meet good academic and/or disciplinary standing, or if a student has an Incomplete in coursework the term immediately prior to departure. Students must be registered in the program prior to departure. If the student cannot be registered in the course, their clearance may be rescinded. Other conditions as imposed by the GS Study Abroad advisor and/or Dean of Students may apply.

Course Approval and Limit of Transfer Credits

Credits from non-Columbia programs may be counted toward the GS degree, however, a student's total number of transfer credits may not exceed 60. Please review the UGE website for more information on Academic Credit.

Transfer Credits

  • To be eligible to transfer to Columbia, courses must be pre-approved by the General Studies Study Abroad advisor. Approved courses will count towards the 124 credits required for graduation. Students must complete the General Studies course approval questionnaire, located on the UGE website's online application.
  • Credit is not granted for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • Only courses in which a grade of C or higher is earned are eligible for transfer credit. 
  • Credit is not granted for courses in business, education, journalism, or other subjects at Columbia's professional schools.

Major Course Approval

  • If a student wishes to have courses from a particular study abroad program count toward major requirements in a department, the student must consult the relevant academic department separately for approval. Courses that are not approved by GS for transfer credit cannot be counted by a department toward major or concentration requirements.

Important Dates: 

Program application deadlines vary by program. Some program application deadlines are quite early and can be up to a year in advance of the term you will be studying abroad. You must meet both campus and program deadlines, so be sure to apply early.

Study Abroad Clearance Deadlines

Spring Semester: October 1
Fall Semester: March  1

Academic Year: March 1

Summer Semester: Please check the program’s website. Most range between February 1 and May 1.

Global Core Petition Deadlines

  • October 1
  • March 1
  • July 1

Studying Abroad in Your Last Semester at GS

Seniors who elect to study abroad while completing their last semester of coursework for the degree must meet with their respective GS advisors to apply for graduation prior to going abroad. This option is typically only open for students attending Columbia-led study abroad programs. Students should note that their degree conferral date may depend on the actual completion date of the study abroad program, especially for those programs wherein the academic calendar ends later than the Columbia University Arts & Sciences Calendar.

Study Abroad Fee

Students studying abroad on Columbia-Approved programs are charged an administrative fee of $750 per semester (summer study counts as one semester.)