Covid-19 and Study Abroad
(Last updated February 25, 2021)
For the most up-to-date information on the status of study abroad programming, please visit Cornell’s Education Abroad.
If you missed the Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Information Session for New First-Year and Transfer Students during Fall 2020 Orientation, you can view it here: Study Abroad in Arts & Sciences – Fall 2020 Orientation Information Session
Students on Study Away programs are required to take 1-2 courses from their host institution.
All A&S students are required to take a minimum of 12 Cornell online credits and cannot exceed 22 total credits (Cornell online and host course(s) total credits).
Credit for the host institution course can count toward the degree in A&S as follows:
- All academic courses will count toward the 120 A&S degree credits.
- May count in the 100 A&S credits if courses are taken in departments that are comparable to A&S departments (e.g. English, Economics, Biology, History, etc.)
- Non-arts credit will be awarded for courses comparable to courses offered by other colleges at Cornell for which general degree credit would be awarded (e.g. Business, Fine Arts, etc.).
- No credit will be awarded for courses for which A&S considers non-academic in nature (most notably, internship courses-students may take an internship course if they wish, but they just wouldn’t earn credit for it).
- Host courses cannot fulfill other college requirements (FWS, foreign language, or college distribution requirements).
- Host courses can fulfill major requirements, with the approval of the student’s major department (students can reach out to their major to determine if they will accept a course).
- Students will have a one credit OVST course added to their schedule that identifies the program location.
- Host courses must be taken with a letter grade and a final grade of C or better is required to have any credit awarded.
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 Office of Global Learning 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.
GPA of 3.0
- GPA requirements are higher for some programs.
- 3.0 in language study at Cornell (if your coursework abroad will be in a foreign language).
good academic standing
- Good academic standing must be maintained, until departure.
- Any grades of "Incomplete" must be resolved before studying abroad.
The college's language requirement for study abroad varies, depending on the program, the region of the world and whether the language is taught at Cornell.
Study abroad in non-English-speaking countries (language taught at Cornell)
- 2 semesters of language study at the 2000-level at Cornell.
- Additional coursework is strongly encouraged or required by some programs (eg: Buenos Aires, Barcelona).
Study Abroad in Asia and the Middle East
- 2 years of language study at Cornell.
- Students may be approved with fewer than 2 years of language study if they began learning the language in their sophomore year. In that case, they will be expected to enroll in language classes each semester until departure.
Study Abroad in Africa
- Language study encouraged if offered at Cornell.
- For Francophone countries, students are expected to have completed 2 semesters at the 2000-level in French.
Area Studies Coursework
All students wishing to study abroad are strongly encouraged to take a course on the history, culture, economics, politics, or social relations of the country or world region of the study abroad destination—either here at Cornell or while abroad. As you map out your academic plan, please thoughtfully consider whether your own experience abroad would be most enhanced by taking an area studies course here at Cornell before your departure, or by taking it as one of your courses while abroad.
Application Process and Course Approval
Study abroad involves both applying to your specific program as well as obtaining formal college approval for your planned course of study.
- Apply to your program through the office of Global Learning website.
- Print out and complete the A&S Study Abroad Course Approval Form.
- Arrange meetings with your faculty advisor and with the director of undergraduate studies in your major (if appropriate) to get coursework abroad provisionally approved for your major.
Please click here for course approval guidelines for specific majors. All such approvals are provisional, dependent on successful completion of the courses and submission of syllabi and work of the appropriate departmental contact.
- 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.
- No credits is given for grades below a C.
- 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.
- After you return from abroad, we will notify you once we have received your official transcript. You will need to pick up your documents and get necessary approvals from departments and from the college, so that the credits can be added to your Cornell transcript. Be sure to save all syllabi, reading lists, and completed work to show to the faculty members approving your coursework.
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.