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 gsstudyabroad@columbia.edu.

Please Note: International travel is suspended through the fall term of 2020. Please check with The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement for future study abroad semesters.

Eligibility

  • You must be an enrolled student in good academic and disciplinary standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and must maintain a 3.0 GPA during the semester preceding the study abroad program.
  • 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which you are applying to study abroad, you will no longer be eligible to study abroad and any prior approval will be rescinded.
  • Grades of Incomplete (IN) or AR must be resolved prior to departure for all study abroad programs.
  • Students may study abroad for a maximum of three semesters (inclusive of summer).
  • Studying abroad in your final semester requires special permission and is typically only possible for Columbia-Led programs. This may result in a delayed graduation date as degrees cannot be conferred until official program transcripts have been received by Columbia.

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 study 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 core requirements. Students may petition this requirement if they have completed their core and their major requirements.
  • Premedical and other prehealth students cannot satisfy prehealth academic requirements with courses completed abroad.
  • 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 for 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.
  • A special petition process is required for approval to fulfill a Global Core Requirement with a course taken abroad on a Columbia-Approved Program. The course may satisfy the requirement only if the petition is approved by the Committee on the Global Core.

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 in which 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.

The Global Core While Abroad

You may petition the Columbia Committee on the Global Core to confirm whether a course taken on a Columbia-Led Program may fulfill the Global Core requirement: Petition to the Committee on the Global Core for Course Approval.

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 departure. 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).