Off-Campus Study Information for Faculty

Colby's Office of Off-Campus Study and the Advisory Committee on Off-Campus Study are committed to providing faculty advisors, OCS liaisons and department chairs with comprehensive and up-to-date information on students' application process, opportunities, and experiences off-campus.

Policies and Procedures for Off-Campus Study (during the semester and/or academic year)

Academic Department Policies and Recommendations

How to apply for Off-Campus Study

Overview Of The Off-Campus Study Application Process & Policies


  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.7 (but no lower than 2.5) by the end of January of the year before student plans to go.
  • Probation: Good academic and social standing. No academic probation.
  • Junior Standing: With the exception of Colby’s language-acquisition programs in Salamanca and Dijon, which are open to sophomores, students must have junior standing when they study abroad.
  • Language Requirement: For regions where the spoken language is taught at Colby, students are expected to complete the equivalent of three semesters (through 127) of the given language (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian) prior to studying abroad. In other non-English speaking countries, students are required to study the language of host-country for the duration of their program.
  • Grades: Grades on all Colby programs will be calculated into the GPA. Grades from other programs will be displayed on the transcript but will not affect the GPA.
  • One Semester Limit: With only a few exceptions, students are limited to one semester of off-campus study.
  •  Semester Choice: Students will be asked to specify a choice of semester for off-campus study and to justify that choice on specific academic grounds. Semester choice is NOT guaranteed.
  • Waitlist: some students may be placed on a waitlist for approval to go in a particular semester. In most cases in past years, the wait list usually clears in time but we cannot guarantee this.
  • Financial aid:  Financial aid is portable to both Colby and non-Colby programs once plans (and petitions) have been approved by OCS.

PETITION CRITERIA & PROCEDURES: (Appointment with OCS required)

  • GPA below 2.7 (but no lower than 2.5)
  • Full Year Off-Campus (one site or two)
  •  Non-Approved Program/University
  • Study in a country under U.S. State Dept. Travel Warning (including Kenya, Nepal, Israel, Mexico, Lebanon for example)

Colby policy is that students who wish to study in a country in which there is a Colby-approved program available, for which they qualify, must attend this program. Where there are no such programs available, or when the approved programs do not meet the student’s academic needs, the Off-Campus Study Office will work with the student and the student’s major department to try to find an acceptable program for which they can petition.


  • Mandatory Sophomore Information Session (Wednesday, September 21, 2011 from 5-5:45pm in Page Commons)
  • Off-Campus Study Fair (Tuesday, October 4, 2011 from 10:30am to 1 pm in the Parker Reed Room of Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center building). Over 40 of our top off-campus study providers will be represented.

Student research and planning:

Students will still be strongly encouraged to have a preliminary face-to-face meeting with Faculty members and you may certainly require that of your advisees.  Meetings will still be required for approvals of specific courses towards major, minor or distribution requirements.
Students should declare a major prior to applying

  • Submit PRELIMINARY APPLICATION (Online) by November 15
Academic advisor approval required (electronic)

NB:  Advisors of Sophomores may wish to manage advising appointments with these deadlines in mind to avoid last minute advising meetings before the deadline. 


  • Student research and planning
  • Submit PETITIONS by March 1 if needed (online within application)
  • Submit COLBY APPLICATION(S) FOR APPROVAL (Online) by March 15

 Faculty may receive electronic notification of students’ request for approval with regard to:

  • GPA petitions
  • non-approved program petitions
  • Full year petitions
  • Foreign language evaluation (for languages taught at Colby)
  • SIT ISP review for approval  upon completion
  • Major advisor approval
  • Course Approvals for Major/Minor/Distribution credit (paper or email)
  • Submit OFF-CAMPUS PROGRAM/UNIVERSITY APPLICATION for fall/year  (deadlines vary)

            Faculty letters of recommendations

  • Submit OFF-CAMPUS PROGRAM/UNIVERSITY APPLICATION for fall/year  (deadlines vary)

            Faculty letters of recommendations

  • Pre-departure meeting for fall/year OCS (early May)
  • Pre-departure planning for fall/year away (physical exam, inoculations, passport & visa, etc..)
  • Submit Study Away Budget for Financial Aid if appropriate (for fall/year away)
  • Submit OFF-CAMPUS PROGRAM/UNIVERSITY APPLICATIONS for spring (deadlines vary)

             Faculty letters of recommendations 


  • Submit OFF-CAMPUS PROGRAM/UNIVERSITY APPLICATIONS for spring (deadlines vary)

             Faculty letters of recommendations

  • Pre-departure planning for spring away (physical exam, inoculations, passport & visa)
  • Submit Study Away Budget for Financial Aid if appropriate (for spring away)
  • Pre-departure meeting for spring away (early December)

OCS maintains an up-to-date database of students with study abroad plans. Any changes in student plans should be communicated to OCS.

Please contact Juliette Monet if you have any questions about the electronic application.
Thank you!
Feel free to contact us with any questions:
Tel: 859-4500
Nancy E. Downey, Ph.D., Director
Juliette Monet, Associate Director
Sue Forbes, Administrative Secretary