Study Abroad

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The College of Arts & Sciences encourages study, both on campus and abroad, that provides a greater understanding of the world’s peoples, cultures, economies and environments, and prepares graduates for the challenges of international citizenship in the 21st century. Study abroad programs approved by Arts & Sciences provide educational immersion through study at foreign institutions alongside degree candidates, rather than in self-contained programs with courses specially designed for foreigners. Our college approves only those study abroad proposals demonstrating realistic and coherent academic goals consistent with the philosophy of a liberal arts education.

Your Arts & Sciences study abroad advisor and the Cornell Abroad office work in partnership to help you choose the program that best meets your academic goals. Begin planning early to provide yourself with the widest range of options.


You must be in good academic standing and hold at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of application to be eligible for study abroad. Some universities require a higher GPA (3.3 - 3.8). Good academic standing must be maintained after approval by the college. Any grades of “Incomplete” must be resolved before study abroad.

If you are applying to study abroad in a language other than English, you must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in language study at Cornell, in addition to the overall GPA requirement.

Summary of eligibility requirements:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher and good academic standing
  • Language study at the required level
  • Area studies coursework
  • Program of choice meets Arts & Sciences study abroad policy

See the full version of the College of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Policy here

Language Requirement

For all study abroad in non-English-speaking countries, you must complete at least two semesters of language study at the 2000 level at Cornell. Additional coursework is strongly encouraged and is required by top programs in locations such as Buenos Aires and Barcelona.

Study abroad in Asia or the Middle East normally requires a minimum of two years of language study at Cornell, but if you begin language study in your sophomore year you may be approved for language-intensive study abroad with two to three semesters of prior study; you’ll be expected to enroll in language classes each semester until departure.

Study abroad in Africa follows direct-enrollment rules for Anglophone countries and language immersion rules for Francophone countries.

Area Studies Coursework

You are required to complete one upper-level course of three or more credits in the history, culture, economics, politics or social relations of the country or world region of destination. If you are planning to study in Australia or New Zealand and cannot fulfill this requirement at Cornell, you must enroll in an area studies course while abroad. For more information about area studies courses, click here.

Application Process

All application instructions and materials are maintained by Cornell Abroad.

Follow this process:

  • Print the completed Cornell Abroad Program Approval Form.
  • Obtain the signatures of your major faculty adviser(s) and DUS where directed.
  • Return the completed form along with your statement of academic purpose to the Arts & Sciences Advising Office, KG17 Klarman Hall.
  • The Arts & Sciences study abroad advisor will review your form, issue college approval and forward your materials to Cornell Abroad.

Academic Credit

  • All students must enroll in a full course load as defined by the host institution, equivalent to at least 15 credits at Cornell.
  • All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • All coursework must be eligible for Arts & Sciences credit. Maximum of one non-Arts & Sciences course allowed with prior college approval.
  • Major and minor credit is only approved by the department after completion.
  • Normal award is 15 credits/four courses per semester.
  • All changes to approved courses must be approved by the college.
  • All courses taken abroad and grades received will appear on your Cornell transcript. Grades earned abroad are not calculated into the Cornell GPA.
  • Study abroad credit may count as distribution or upper-level credit with college and departmental approval.
  • Internships, experiential learning and certain other courses do not count for credit.

See the full version of the College of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Policy for more information.

Academic credit earned during study abroad will be added to your transcript after the college has received your official transcript. Addition of credit is NOT automatic. You will be notified via email to pick up your documents when the college has received your transcript from Cornell Abroad. Return the completed form to the Arts & Sciences Academic Advising Office. You will receive confirmation when the credit has been added to your transcript.

Summer Study Abroad

Summer study abroad is not subject to the Arts & Sciences study abroad policy.

If you wish to study abroad during the summer, you may apply independently to the program of your choice and do not need the permission of the college to do so.

Summer study abroad opportunities administered by Cornell earn Cornell credit that appears directly on your transcripts, is factored into your GPA and may fulfill Arts & Sciences distribution requirements when so designated. Enrollment in Cornell programs is offered through the School of Continuing Education and Summer Session.

Summer study abroad on outside programs counts as transfer credit, and may not fulfill any general Arts & Sciences requirements. Grades do not appear on the Cornell transcript. Each course must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies of the relevant department at Cornell. Complete the Application for Credit from Other Institutions form.


Students receiving Cornell financial aid may apply their financial aid package to the cost of any approved study abroad program during the academic year. Please consult with Cornell Abroad for all details of your specific program and financial aid package.

Cornell grant aid is not available for Summer Session or Winter Session programs.  Students interested in such program may utilize a variety of funding sources. Students receiving Cornell financial aid should also meet with their financial aid officer to discuss funding strategies.

Arts and Sciences African Experience Travel Award provides up to $2,500 toward travel expenses for Cornell-run programs in Africa during the summer and winter sessions, as well as the academic year.

Cornell Abroad Off-Campus Opportunities Fund provides assistance for a variety of international and domestic programs and opportunities.

Many Cornell summer programs, both credit-bearing and experiential, provide financial assistance to students; contact specific programs for further details.

Advisors & Contacts



Dean Clare McMillan: 
Study Abroad walk-ins: Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4 PM.
(Or call for an appointment.)

Arts & Sciences Advising Office
KG17 Klarman Hall