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. A&S students may be approved for a maximum of two semesters of study abroad. Begin planning early to provide yourself with the widest range of options.
Planning for your Study Abroad Experience - for sophomores in Arts and Sciences
Tuesday, October 4th, 4:45 – 5:30 p.m.
KG70 Klarman Hall, Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium
This session will give an overview of study abroad opportunities available to you in the College of Arts & Sciences, as well as how to effectively plan for a semester or year studying abroad.
GPA of 3.0
- GPA requirements are higher for some programs.
- Minimum of 3.0 in language study at Cornell (if coursework abroad will be in a foreign language). Some programs may require higher language GPA.
Good Academic Standing
- Good academic standing must be maintained, until departure.
- Any grades of "Incomplete" must be resolved before studying abroad.
Admission to Major
- Must be admitted to a major (or eligible to be admitted to a major) at the time of application to study 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)
Study Abroad in Europe and Latin America
- Whatever language requirements are required by your program. Check program website for details.
- Many programs require 4-6 semesters of language coursework at Cornell (or equivalent), so it's very important to plan ahead.
Study Abroad in Asia
- China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan - minimum of one year of target language at Cornell (or equivalent).
- India, Nepal, Hong Kong, and Singapore - no prior language coursework required.
Study Abroad in the Middle East
- Israel - minimum of one year of Hebrew at Cornell (or equivalent).
- Jordan - minimum of one year of Arabic at Cornell (or equivalent).
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 Education Abroad.
- Before completing the A&S Study Abroad Course Approval Form, review the course approval guidelines for specific majors.
- All approvals are provisional, dependent on successful completion of the courses and submission of syllabi and work to the appropriate departmental contact.
- Any changes to approved courses must be approved by your study abroad advisor prior to enrollment.
- Students may not register for independent study credit or any other Cornell courses while they are enrolled in programs abroad.
- All students must enroll in a full course load as defined by the host institution, equivalent to at least 15 credits at Cornell.
- All coursework must be eligible for Arts & Sciences credit. Maximum of one non-Arts & Sciences course allowed with prior college approval.
- All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
- No credit is awarded for grades below a C.
- Normal award is 15 credits per semester.
- Grades earned abroad are not calculated into the Cornell GPA.
- Study abroad courses may fulfill college distribution requirements (with college approval), or major requirements (with major department approval).
- Study abroad courses may not fulfill the FWS requirement, the college's foreign language requirement or the PE requirement.
- Internships, experiential learning and certain other courses do not count for credit.
- At the conclusion of your study abroad experience, and after final grades have been posted, request an official transcript from your host institution/program. For specific instructions, see the "Where Should I Direct My Transcript?" FAQ.
- Before your credits can be processed, you'll be required to complete one final credit approval form, which we'll send you upon receipt of your official transcript.
- Be sure to save all syllabi, reading lists, and completed work for all courses taken abroad. These materials are often required to confirm if a course can fulfill college distribution and/or major requirements.
- All courses taken abroad and grades received will appear on your Cornell transcript exactly as they appear on your study abroad transcript.
Study Abroad Advisors
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 Office of Global Learning.
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.