Study off campus is an opportunity available to Dickinson students, subject to a selection process. It is the responsibility of the student to present a persuasive case for off-campus study and to be aware of all prerequisites and observe application deadlines. Program committees select students for off-campus study. Committees are composed of faculty members and administrative staff from the Center for Global Study and Engagement. Selection is based on a written application and, in some cases, an interview. Admission to programs may be competitive.


Applications must be submitted by the following deadlines. Please keep in mind that applications for most programs are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, some programs may reach capacity prior to the final deadline. Students are strongly encouraged to submit applications as early as possible.
Dickinson Feb. 15 Feb. 15 Sept. 15 Feb. 1
Partner Feb. 15 Feb. 15 Sept. 15 Feb. 1
Non-Dickinson Feb. 1 Feb. 1 Sept. 15 N/A

NOTE: Some programs have earlier deadlines. Please see individual program descriptions for exceptions to the above due dates.  


Each year, more than 40 students from other institutions participate in Dickinson study abroad programs, some through special arrangements. These students are warmly welcomed as "guest students" of the college for the duration of the program. As such, they enjoy all the rights and privileges granted by the program, the one restriction being ineligibility for Dickinson grant money and endowed scholarships.


Off-campus study in the final semester of the senior year requires special approval from the Academic Program and Standards Committee. Special approval also is necessary for participation in more than two semesters of study off campus. Petitions should be addressed to Samantha Brandauer, Director of Education Abroad, Center for Global Study and Engagement, and should include the following:  

  • An essay describing how study off campus fits in with overall academic goals and plans;
  • Letters of support from the academic adviser, department chair, program coordinator and/or resident director, as applicable;
  • An audit showing in detail how off-campus courses will fit in with graduation requirements.


Successful applicants must demonstrate the following qualifications for off-campus study:

Academic Background

  • Students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses before participating in a program.
  • Preference is given to students who have completed background courses for the program in which they intend to study.
  • Strong language preparation is especially important for foreign language programs.
  • Preference may be given to students who have taken an appropriate foreign language course in the semester preceding their anticipated study abroad.
Academic Appropriateness of Program and Location 

Applicants must justify their program choices in terms of appropriateness for their academic, linguistic and cultural learning goals. This may be within the context of a liberal arts education, or specific academic goals, normally focused on a student's major field. The location of a program is less important than how the program uses a location to foster learning.

GPA Requirement 

Generally, a 2.8 GPA is the expectation for acceptance into an off-campus program. Some programs have higher GPA requirements. While a student's GPA is an important factor in the selection process, meeting a program's GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance.

Initiative, Maturity, Responsibility and Adaptability 

The successful completion of an off-campus program requires initiative, maturity, responsibility and adaptability. Studying off campus requires tolerance and a willingness to adjust to living and learning conditions very different from and often much less comfortable than those in Carlisle. While studying off campus, students are responsible for representing Dickinson College well in all of their behaviors. As part of the selection process, therefore, Student Life records are taken into account.

Progress Toward Graduation

The proposed off-campus stay may not impede students' normal progress toward graduation. Students must indicate in their applications how they plan to complete major and graduation requirements. Students should discuss their off-campus plans with their academic advisers.

Declaration of Major

Students will not be allowed to study off campus on a semester or academic year program until they officially declare a major. Major declaration forms are available in the Registrar's Office, located in Biddle House, or on the Web here.

Ineligible Students

Students who are on academic or disciplinary stayed suspension or suspension are not eligible to apply for or to participate in off-campus study.

Application to and Selection for Non-Dickinson Programs

Students may participate in a non-Dickinson program only when they can demonstrate compelling reasons why a Dickinson Program or Partner Program cannot fulfill their academic objectives. Students interested in a non-Dickinson program should contact the Center for Global Study and Engagement for selection criteria and details on how to apply.

Students may not apply to programs with the same academic focus as Dickinson Programs or Partner Programs, nor may they apply to programs in countries that host Dickinson Programs or Partner Programs, without demonstrating compelling academic reasons why they choose not to apply to the Dickinson Program or Partner Program. The location of the alternative program will not be considered a compelling reason in and of itself. Students will be expected to study on Dickinson or Dickinson Partner Programs except when:

  • The student’s academic major cannot be accommodated by a Dickinson Program or Partner Program;
  • Another program fits the design of the student’s personal independent study or career goals; or
  • The student applies to, but is not accepted into, a Dickinson Program or Partner Program.
Under no circumstances may a student study, enroll or register independently at an institution where a Dickinson Program or Partner Program currently exists. If a student does study, enroll or register at one of these institutions, the student will receive no transfer credit in any subject for the coursework.

Once a student is accepted by Dickinson for study on a non-Dickinson program, he/she is given a letter of permission and can then apply directly to the host program. If a student applies to a program without official approval from Dickinson College, the credits from the program will not transfer.


Students interested in participating in non-Dickinson study abroad programs during the summer are not required to complete a Dickinson application. However, the following steps must be followed in order to transfer in any credit from summer study abroad programs: 

  1. Students must fill out an Enrollment in Another Institution Form, listing the course (or courses) they plan to take.
  2. Students seeking major, minor, or distribution credit must obtain signatures from the chairs of the relevant academic departments, who may want to see course descriptions and/or syllabi.
  3. Students should then bring the signed form to the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE), along with an unofficial copy of their transcripts.
  4. CGSE will check to make sure that the student has at least a 2.0 GPA (the minimum required to transfer in credit); that the proposed summer course does not duplicate coursework the student has already completed for credit at Dickinson; and that the student has not already transferred in four summer and/or January-term credits (the maximum number allowed).
  5. If everything is in order, CGSE will forward the Enrollment in Another Institution Form to the Registrar's Office, where it will be kept on file pending receipt of the summer transcript.
  6. Students must earn grades of "C" or better in order to transfer in credits. Courses taken for pass/fail will not be accepted for transfer credit.