Study Abroad

Eligibility | Application Process | Transfer Credits
Studying Abroad in Last Semester | Fee Information | Contact

Study abroad programs provide a wonderful opportunity to enhance a Columbia education, especially given the numerous programs either offered 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. Students may be approved for a total of three terms (inclusive of summer) however, students will need to have good academic reasons for studying abroad for multiple or extended programs.


GS students who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible for study abroad. Prior to going abroad on an approved program, students are expected to have begun language study and taken at least one course, other than a language, related to the region of the world in which they plan to study. Before departing on an approved study abroad program, GS students should have completed at least two semesters and 18 points at GS, have a minimum of 56 points earned toward the degree, and have declared a major. Exceptions to some of these requirements may be granted for students applying to Columbia-led programs.

Application Process

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 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).

Study abroad approval may be automatically rescinded if a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, if a student fails to meet good academic and/or disciplinary standing, or if a student has an Incomplete in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.

Students interested in studying abroad must start a profile on the Office of Global Programs website to obtain the required Clearance, Course Approval, and Registration forms. Students should visit the Office of Global Programs website to view available programs and start their applications. Please note, 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. As soon as students have begun their online profiles, they are expected to complete the GS study abroad clearance form  to obtain official clearance to study abroad. Clearance meetings are not required for Columbia-led programs but are typically required for Columbia approved programs and Columbia-led programs offered during the fall/spring terms.  As soon as they have obtained official clearance, students are also expected to meet with the regional advisor in the Office of Global Programs to continue with their specific program applications and complete the remaining application forms by the appropriate deadlines.

Study Abroad Clearance Deadlines
Spring Semester: October 1
Fall Semester or Summer Term: March 15

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Limit on and Approval of Transfer Credits

Credits from Columbia approved programs may be counted toward the GS degree, however, a student's total number of transfer credits may not exceed 60. Students should meet with their GS academic advisors to discuss their eligibility and plans to study abroad before scheduling their clearance meeting with a GS study abroad advisor.

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.

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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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