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 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, 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.
  • Students must be actively enrolled during the term of application submission. Additionally, if a student is on leave or withdraws from the term in which they are applying to study abroad, they will no longer be eligible to study abroad and any prior approval will be rescinded.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 must be registered for two semesters at General Studies before departing on a study abroad program.
  • Students may study abroad for a maximum of three semesters (inclusive of summer).

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.
  • Premedical and other prehealth students cannot satisfy prehealth academic requirements with courses completed abroad.
  • Prior to going abroad, students are expected to have completed or plan to complete their language while abroad and completed University Writing.

Study Abroad Academic Clearance:

Columbia Approved Programs

  • Students participating on non-Columbia programs (Columbia Approved) receive academic clearance from the GS Study Abroad Advisor by first completing the clearance questionnaire in their UGE application and then by making a study abroad clearance appointment with the advisor. To make a clearance meeting, you must first request a study abroad clearance advisor on the student portal

Columbia-Led Programs

  • Students participating on a Columbia-Led Fall, Spring, or Academic year program receive academic clearance by completing the online questionnaire. They do not need to meet with the GS Study Abroad Advisor. 
  • Students participating on Columbia-Led Summer programs do not need to receive academic clearance from GS. Any program or application questions should be directed to UGE.  

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.

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. In the event that clearance is rescinded, students will be responsible for travel expenses accrued. 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 Credit Approval

  • 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 or for online courses.
  • 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.

Core Course Approval

  • GS Study Abroad advisor will approve core courses with the exception of Global Core. Students should speak with their Advising Dean about core courses taken on Columbia-Led programs.

  • A special petition process is required for approval to fulfill a Global Core Requirement with a course taken abroad on a Columbia Approved Program, or a course taken at the local university on a Columbia-Led Program. The course may satisfy the requirement only if the peition is approved by the Committee on the Global Core. Columbia Committee on the Global Core: Petition to the Committee on the Global Core for Course Approval. 

  • The Global Core Petition Deadlines Are: 

    • October 1
    • March 1
    • July 1

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.

Studying Abroad in Your Last Semester at GS

Because students must complete their final semester at Columbia, study abroad in term of graduation is typically only possible in programs led by Columbia faculty. Doing so may also result in a delayed graduation date as degrees cannot be conferred until official program transcripts have been received by Columbia.

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).