Eligibility and Key Deadlines

Gemmell_Jennifer_2012_MadagascarTo study off-campus, you must meet the eligibility guidelines and be aware of the information below:

Minimum GPA: You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7. If your GPA is lower than 2.7 (but no lower than 2.5) you may be permitted to petition the Advisory Committee on Off-Campus Study, if you can show compelling academic reasons to study abroad, and meet a variety of other conditions.

Probation: You must be in good academic and social standing to be approved for off-campus study at Colby. This means that you may not be on academic probation. If you are on disciplinary probation please discuss this with OCS.

Language Requirement: To study abroad in 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, Russian). In other non-English speaking countries, students are required to study the language of host-country for the duration of their program.

One Semester Limit: You should expect to study off-campus for one semester. With only a few exceptions (language and area studies majors, Dartmouth dual-degree participants and students who have participated in a program abroad during their first semester at Colby), you are limited to one semester of off-campus study.

Semester Choice: You will be asked to specify your choice of semester for off-campus study and to justify that choice on specific academic grounds. Semester choice is NOT guaranteed. Due to the College’s need to balance enrollment across the fall and spring semesters, students may not be able to study off campus in the semester of their choice. By vote of the faculty, academic reasons for needing to study away during a specific semester take precedence over extracurricular and athletic participation.

Waitlist: When an enrollment imbalance is created if too many students choose to go abroad during one of the semesters (usually spring) some students may request to be placed on a waitlist for their first choice. In most cases in past years, the wait list usually clears in time for students to go off-campus on the program and semester of their choice but we cannot guarantee this.

Changing Semester Choice: After you have submitted your choice of semester in your preliminary
application, you cannot simply switch your semester abroad without consulting OCS and making a formal request in writing. You may be placed on a waiting list for the semester of your choice.

Petitions: If your GPA does not meet the criteria outlined above, or you wish to study off-campus for a year, or to apply to a non-approved program, or study in a country under U.S. State Department Travel Warning you will need to petition the Advisory Committee on Off-Campus Study by the deadline of March 1.

Grades: Grades on all Colby programs (Colby in Salamanca, Dijon, St Petersburg, and Bigelow Laboratory) will be calculated into your GPA. Grades from other programs will be displayed on your transcript but will not affect the GPA.

Billing & Financial Aid: For off-campus study, program fees will be paid by the student and directly to the program (not Colby tuition) and a $1,000 credit transfer fee will be billed for non-Colby programs. Financial aid is portable to both Colby and non-Colby programs as long as your plans (and your petition) have been approved by OCS.

Note: Keep in mind that each off-campus program or university has their own eligibility requirements that you need to be able to meet in order to apply (check with your program/university).

Key Deadlines

Tuesday, October 2, 2012: Off-Campus Study Fair from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. pm in Page commons  Wilhelms_Lucy_2012_Germany

November 15: deadline for completion of your preliminary application form to indicate your intention to study off-campus either in the fall semester 2012 or the spring semester 2013.  All sophomores will receive an email notification when the application is accessible. Must be approved electronically by your advisor/s. Please submit it to your advisor/s no later than November 10.

March 1: deadline for petitions of any kind. These may include: low GPA (under 2.7), study abroad for more than one semester, non-approved programs, and/or study in a country under U.S. State Dept. Travel Warning.  An appointment with OCS is required to petition.

March 15: final deadline for admission to Colby programs and/or application for approval of participation in non-Colby programs regardless of whether you plan to study abroad in the fall semester of 2011 or in the spring semester of 2012.

Program Deadlines (variable): Program/University Applications in addition to the Colby Application for Approval. Except for Colby programs abroad (Colby in Salamanca, Dijon, St. Petersburg, or Bigelow Laboratory) where there is only one application form. Check the deadlines and application process for your non-Colby program.

Back to Getting Started