Selection Process

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. 

Application Deadlines  

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.

Application Deadlines
 Dickinson  Feb. 10  Feb. 10  Sept. 21  Feb. 1
 Partner  Feb. 10  Feb. 10  Sept.10  Feb. 1
 Non-Dickinson  Feb. 1  Feb. 1  Sept. 10  N/A

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

Visiting Students from Other Institutions

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.

Situations Requiring Special Permission

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.

Selection Criteria for Off-Campus Study

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 required 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 at www.dickinson.edu/departments/reg.

Ineligible Students

Students who are on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension, or who have delinquent accounts, 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.

Summer Study on Non-Dickinson Programs

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.

Transfer Credits

Grades and Credits

In general, coursework taken at cooperating institutions abroad is transferable provided that:

  • Grades of “C” (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better are earned;
  • The coursework is consistent with a liberal arts curriculum;
  • Coursework taken abroad does not duplicate coursework for which students have already earned Dickinson credit.

Final determination of credit will be made by the registrar. Determination of credit to fulfill major, minor or distribution requirements will be made by the relevant academic department. Students participating in off-campus programs are expected to take a normal full-time course load as defined by the host program or institution. For Dickinson Programs and Partner Programs a normal full load is generally defined as 4 or 4.5 credits per semester; some programs require a separate pre-program orientation course that may yield an additional credit. To take more than 4.5 credits per semester on a Dickinson or Dickinson Partner Program, a student must petition the Center for Global Study and Engagement. If a student registers for more than the maximum credits allowed without permission of the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer.

Students studying on non-Dickinson programs should consult a representative of their host program regarding the number of courses that constitutes a normal full load; the host institution's normal full load will transfer back as 4 Dickinson credits. To take more than 4 credits per semester on a non-Dickinson program, a student must petition the Center for Global Study and Engagement. If a student registers for more than the maximum credits allowed without the permission of the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer.

Transfer Credit Policies for Semester and Academic Year Programs

Courses taught at Dickinson centers abroad are recorded on the transcript with titles and grades. Only grades for "Dickinson courses" (defined as courses approved by the Academic Program and Standards Committee and taught by faculty members approved by the Faculty Personnel Committee) will be included in the cumulative grade point average. For courses taken at a cooperating institution (e.g., the University of Toulouse, the University of Bologna, etc.) or on a non-Dickinson program, the equivalent letter grades earned are recorded on the Dickinson transcript, but the grade is not included in the Dickinson GPA (see exceptions below). Although Dickinson students will not earn credit for grades of C- or below, the letter grades will nonetheless appear on the transcript.

The following courses taken at cooperating institutions have been approved as "Dickinson courses" by the appropriate academic departments. Letter grades earned will be included in the GPA for:

  • University of East Anglia (Norwich, England) courses in English, American Studies, economics, film studies, Art and Art History, theatre, music, history, philosophy and religion. Courses in sociology except for core courses 240, 241, and 330/331, for which pre-approval is required.
  • University of East Anglia (Norwich, England) courses in biology, chemistry, environmental science, environmental studies, earth sciences, mathematics, psychology, and computer science.
  • University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) courses in psychology.
  • Institut Catholique de Toulouse (Toulouse, France) courses in psychology.
  • All courses taken through the School for Field Studies on approved Parter Programs.
  • All courses taken at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome, Italy.
  • DIS Psychology classes
  • All psychology courses previously approved by the Psychology department.

Upon return to the Carlisle campus, students must complete an Enrollment in Another Institution Form. Seniors are required to submit these forms prior to the course request period for their last semester. If the form is not in the Registrar's Office by that time, the student will not be permitted to participate in course request.

For Dickinson or Dickinson Partner Programs: Please note that the Enrollment in Another Institution Form is required only when a student is seeking major, minor, or distribution credit for coursework completed at a cooperating university. The form is not required for Dickinson Center courses, or for courses at a cooperating university for which a student is seeking only general credit. After obtaining the required signatures, the student should bring the form back to the Center for Global Study and Engagement. The form will then be forwarded to the Registrar's Office.

For Non-Dickinson Programs: Please note that the Enrollment in Another Institution Form is required whether a student is seeking major, minor, distribution, or general credit. After obtaining the required signatures, the student should bring the form to the Center for Global Study and Engagement for approval by the Associate Director of Education Abroad. The form will then be forwarded to the Registrar's Office. Students should work directly with their host program to ensure that an official transcript is sent to the Registrar's Office as soon as possible after the program ends.

Overseas Internships:  Dickinson College's international programs are distinguished by their emphasis on sustained engagement with local society and rigorous learning about host cultures. Many Dickinson Programs offer students the opportunity to intern with a company or organization as a way of fostering this engaged learning. Internships may be completed for academic credit or done on a non-credit basis. See the study abroad program pages for more information about internship and research opportunities available on Dickinson and Dickinson partner programs.  In recent years, Dickinson students have held these and other international internships-some of which have led to permanent employment opportunities:

  • Book marketer, England
  • Winery marketing assistant, France
  • Assistant at ecology center, Germany
  • Assistant accountant, Ireland
  • Art museum intern, Italy
  • Marketing assistant, Mexico
  • English teacher, Russia Radio station intern, Spain
  • Media intern, China