Academic Policies: Study Abroad During the Academic Year
Approval to study abroad is given by the Committee on Examinations and Standing. While all students are encouraged to study abroad during the academic year, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met.
- Class standing as a spring-term sophomore, junior, or fall-term senior.
The earliest most students study abroad is spring of sophomore year. Students interested in studying abroad in fall of sophomore year should discuss their plans with a study abroad adviser and submit a petition with a letter of support from a faculty member.
- GPA of 3.0 or above for the fall and spring of the academic year prior to semester/year of study abroad.
Students whose GPA falls slightly below 3.0 should discuss their situation with a study abroad adviser. An exception will be considered if
- the lower GPA is a result of a particular situation, such as switching majors, a medical leave;
- the student has strong support from advisers and their residential college dean;
- the student has a compelling academic reason for pursuing a particular program abroad.
- Seriousness of purpose and a clear reason for choosing the program abroad.
- Departmental approval.
Students need the support of their department or prospective department.
- Student Conduct.
The OIP will consult with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students to determine whether the applicant has a disciplinary record and will discuss the nature and circumstances of any infraction with the student and the impact this may have on eligibility for study abroad. Such information may also be shared with the student’s study abroad program. Students who will be on disciplinary probation during the term in which they plan to study abroad are normally not permitted to study abroad through Princeton.
The minimum prerequisite for study in a country where a language other than English is used is completion of a Princeton language course at the 107/108 level, but most students have taken at least one 200 or 300-level course before they go. Princeton’s expectation is full immersion in the language of the country, both in terms of the language of instruction and in daily life, so the stronger your language skills, the better.
In certain cases, there may be a compelling academic reason to take some or all coursework in English while studying in a non-English-speaking country. This is certainly the case in countries where the local language is not taught at Princeton, though students are still encouraged to study the local language as one of their courses. Certain languages, such as Near Eastern and Asian languages, require a longer time to achieve fluency. In such cases it is possible to take discipline-based courses in English while continuing to work intensively on the language. In all other cases, taking coursework in English must represent a discipline-specific opportunity that would not be available at Princeton, such as an Art History, Architecture, or Classics concentrator taking courses supported by field trips in Italy or an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology concentrator doing field work in Panama.
|Type of credit||Approved by||Number Limit|
|Departmental requirement||Departmental representative||Usually 2 courses per semester; 3-4 per year|
|Distribution area||Relevant departmental representative||2 in any of the areas|
|Certificate requirement||Certificate program director||Varies|
|Elective||Study abroad staff in OIP||Usually 4 courses per semester|
- To be awarded credit, courses must be passed with at least a C or its equivalent. Courses abroad cannot be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
- Credit cannot be transferred until the official transcript and the Study Abroad Evaluation Form (.doc) are received and processed. It is the student’s responsibility to have a transcript sent to the OIP at the end of the term abroad.
- Note: If you had a course pre-approved for credit but did not seek distribution credit before studying abroad, you may use the Distribution Area Requirement Form (.pdf) after you return to campus to seek permission to use the pre-approved course to fulfill a distribution requirement.
Departmental Independent Work
Students who are required to complete junior independent work abroad are advised either by a Princeton faculty member on campus or by an academic abroad who has been appointed by Princeton to supervise the paper. The paper is submitted to the adviser by the pre-set due date. As is the case on campus, students may request an extension of the due date if circumstances warrant. In some cases, when the academic calendar abroad differs significantly from Princeton’s calendar, the due date for Junior Independent Work will be adjusted to fit the different schedule.
Grades, GPAs, and Transcript
The Princeton University transcript records the program or university attended, its location, and the credit-bearing courses taken. The grades for Junior Independent Work and for courses completed on the Tropical Biology Program in Kenya and Panama are recorded on the transcript and are included in the calculation of the departmental grade point average. Grades for courses in other programs and foreign universities do not appear on the Princeton transcript and are not included in the departmental grade point average. A "T" appears on the transcript to indicate transfer credit.