Study Abroad

Eligibility | Reasons for Rescinded Decisions | Who to Talk ToApplication Process | Transfer Credits
Studying Abroad in Last Semester | Important DatesFee Information | Contact

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-sponsored study abroad programs, must be approved by the appropriate GS Study Abroad Advisor

For the students interested in the SEE-U program, the study abroad policies are the same; however, the application process is different. Please review the SEE-U page for more information.


GS students are required to have minimum GPA of 3.0 and in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students must confirm that they have met all eligibility requirements for the Columbia-led or Columbia-approved program, including any pre-requisite language study which may be a semester or two beyond the GS core requirement of four semesters of language study. 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are applying to study abroad your application you will not be eligible to study abroad and any prior approve will be rescinded.

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. 
  • Prior to going abroad, students are expected to have begun language study and completed university writing.
  • Exceptions to some of these requirements may be granted for students applying to Columbia-led programs.

Reasons for Rescinded Decisions: 

  • Study abroad approval may be automatically rescinded if a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, if a student fails to meet good academic and/or disciplinary standing, or if a student has an Incomplete in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 prior to departure. 
  • Other conditions as imposed by the GS Study Abroad advisor and/or Dean of Students may apply.

Who to Talk to: 

As you are are thinking about studying abroad there are a couple of important questions to ask yourself: When can I study abroad? What courses do I need to take for progression in my major and core? Where can I study abroad? What will my financial aid cover? Can I participate in a Columbia Administered or a Columbia Led program? The offices listed here can help you make informed program decisions: Who to Talk to

Application Process

The study abroad student checklist provides an outline for planning and applying to study abroad programs. Please refer to these steps throughout your study abroad application process. The Office of Global Programs and Fellowships website has detailed information on the steps to study abroad and available programs.

  • Students applying to one of Columbia's approved study abroad programs must complete the relevant application forms and meet all specified deadlines as well as the GS study abroad clearance and registration forms.
  • Students must start a profile on the Office of Global Programs website to obtain the required clearance, course approval, and registration forms.
  • Please refer to the OGP website for application instructions for Columbia Led and Columbia Approved programs, as there are differences between these two programs.
  • The application must be initiated several weeks prior to the relevant clearance dates to ensure that students are able to obtain clearance on time. Students who encounter any difficulty in finding their program or logging into the system should email for assistance. 
  • Students who wish to study abroad in programs other than those run by Columbia University may petition to do so only if the program is one approved by the Columbia Undergraduate Study Abroad Committee (see Columbia-Approved Study Abroad Programs). Please note, General Studies clearance meetings are not required for Columbia-sponsored summer programs. 

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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.
  • Courses must be approved by the General Studies Study Abroad advisor in order for the courses to transfer to Columbia and count towards 124 credits required for graduation. Students are required to complete the General Studies Course approval questionnaire, located on the Office of Global Program’s online application.
  •  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.
  • Credit is not granted for courses in business, education, journalism, or other subjects at Columbia that professional schools teach.
  • Credit is not given for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis. The minimum grade necessary for semester or summer general credit transfer is a C. 
  • Please review the OGP website for more information on Academic Credit. 

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Important Dates: 

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

Program application deadlines will 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 abroad. You must meet both campus and program deadlines so be sure to apply early.

Here are some helpful steps we recommend that you take while planning and applying for a Study Abroad program: Study Abroad Checklist

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.

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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.)

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For study abroad-related questions, please email

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