To learn more about summer eligibility requirements please visit our summer session page.
Fall or Spring Semester, or Academic Year Abroad
To ensure that you are prepared to study in your future host country, Columbia undergraduates must be granted permission (cleared) to study abroad prior to leaving. Each undergraduate school of Columbia maintains the authority over students’ participation in study-abroad programs and upholds standards for all potential candidates. A review of each student’s academic and disciplinary records is conducted as part of this process. Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not permitted to study abroad during the term of their probation.
Clearance procedures and eligibility will vary by Columbia School.
Academic Standing (CC/GS/SEAS)
Columbia College students should anticipate studying abroad in their junior year. Some students study abroad in their senior year if they have compelling academic reasons for why they did not opt for the traditional junior year abroad. SEAS students typically study abroad sophomore spring, with some students opting for junior year abroad. General Studies students should have a total of at least 56 credits, and completed at least two semesters and 18 credits of courses at the School for General Studies. All students should have declared their major by the time they go abroad.
3.0 Cumulative GPA (CC/GS/SEAS)
To ensure that study-abroad students can adapt to the challenges of the foreign university system and successfully integrate their major work abroad into their Columbia curriculum, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or above by the time they go abroad. Students must maintain the minimum GPA of 3.0 during the semester prior to going abroad.
Progress in the Core Curriculum (CC/GS)
In order to study abroad, both semesters of Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization, as well as University Writing and Frontiers of Science must be completed. Beyond these courses, students should have only about one core course per semester after you return from abroad. . Transfer students to Columbia College are encouraged to contact advisors in the Office of Global Programs as early as possible to discuss eligibility related to the Core Curriculum.
Foreign Language Requirement (CC/GS)
Intensive language study and immersion in the foreign environment are hallmarks of study abroad at Columbia. Many programs carry a minimum of four semesters of language study, meaning that you must complete the intermediate sequence before studying abroad. Some programs require one or two courses beyond this level, so you should check each program’s requirements.
Demonstrated Academic Interest (CC/GS)
To prepare you to make the most out of your study abroad experience, CC and GS students are required, prior to the abroad experience, to show demonstrated academic interested in the region where they plan to study abroad. There are many ways to fulfill the demonstrated academic interest requirement including studying the language of the host country. Technical or disciplinary preparation can also be considered depending on the nature of the approved program. No matter where you study abroad, you should discuss the demonstrated academic interest requirement with your advisor in the Office of Global Programs to make sure that your plan can be approved.
For more information about Study Abroad requirements for General Studies students visit the General Studies Study Abroad page.
For more information about Study Abroad requirements for SEAS students, please visit the Global Initiatives Site.