Study Abroad: The Most Frequently-Asked Questions about Study Abroad:

The Application Process
Courses, Credits, and Grades
Cost and Financial Aid


What are the basic requirements?
CMC requires a minimum 9.0 cumulative CMC GPA for fall semester study abroad and 8.5 cumulative CMC GPA for spring semester. Most overseas programs require a GPA of 9.00. Applicants must be full-time students. Students with a cumulative CMC GPA below 8.5 may, under special circumstances, petition the Off-Campus Study Committee for approval to study abroad.

Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?
No. Many CMC approved programs have no foreign language requirement. Other programs may require anywhere from one to five semesters of language for acceptance. Despite the level of language required for acceptance, all students are required to study the host language while abroad. With a very few exceptions, if the host language is taught at The Claremont Colleges, students must complete at least one semester of the foreign language at the college level prior to studying abroad.

NOTE: First semester language courses are only taught during fall semester at the Claremont Colleges.

When can I study abroad?
Study abroad is available to second semester sophomores with a well-articulated academic trajectory. Affording the added benefit of gaining an international experience early in their academic career, and allowing them to spend a full two years in upper-level courses and having discourse with faculty at a more in-depth and sophisticated level.  Students may also study abroad during the junior year, based upon program selection for fall semester, spring semester, or the academic year.

Can I study abroad during my senior year?
In general, studying abroad during the senior year is not recommended and should only be a last resort. Students wishing to study abroad during the fall semester of their senior year must petition the Off-Campus Study Committee for special permission.


Begin Planning Freshman Year.

Can I study abroad during the summer?
Many summer programs are available for those who cannot reconcile study abroad with their CMC course of study. For non-CMC administered summer programs, students apply directly to the program sponsor and are not subject to CMC policies for study abroad. However, students must request transfer credit approval in advance from the registrar to be eligible for credit. Final credit determination may be made upon the student's return. Approval by department chairs or faculty alone does not guarantee credit. As a rule, summer study at programs approved for study during the academic year will receive favorable consideration. No credit will be granted for summer study on programs reviewed, but not approved by the Off-Campus Study Committee. Financial aid is traditionally not available for non-CMC summer study. Students are advised to research summer study options at More information on studying abroad during the summer can be found here.

I am a science major. Can I study abroad?
Absolutely – and you are encouraged to do so! Science majors will find a multitude of advanced courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Health at English-speaking universities as well as an impressive list of options for field research in non-English speaking countries.

I am an ME major. Can I study abroad?
Management-Engineering majors can study abroad but must plan on finishing their mathematics, physics and economics requirements before leaving. Meeting with the ME faculty adviser and the study abroad director during the first year is advised. ME majors normally study abroad during the spring of their junior year, their last semester before leaving CMC.

I am a pre-medical student. Can I study abroad?
Yes, it is not only possible but highly recommended to study abroad. In fact, your semester abroad may be very important during medical school interviews. Early planning is crucial and, depending on what science courses you still need to complete, your options will vary greatly. How can it be done?

Please review the Pre-Health website for study abroad scheduling.  If you have additional questions please contact Ms. Jill Jones, Pre-Health Professions Advisor, JSD at or Kristen Mallory, Director, CMC OCS

Option 1  and Option 2

 I am a psychology major. Can I study abroad?
Psychology majors are encouraged to take advantage of CMC’s study abroad programs but need to consider the following:

Options for students planning to study abroad during the entire junior year:

  • Complete Psychology 109. Introduction to Statistics for Psychologists, or the equivalent, in the fall of the sophomore year; and the Research Methods (110-111) courses in the spring of the sophomore year.
  • With special permission of the department chair, in unusual circumstances students may take the Research Methods courses (110-111) and Statistics (109 or equivalent) in the same semester of the sophomore year.

Options for students planning to study abroad for one semester during the junior year:

  •  Students planning to do a one-semester senior thesis, rather than a two-semester empirical thesis may, with the permission of the department chair, complete the Research Methods (110-111) courses in the fall semester of the senior year. This option allows students to study abroad for one semester during the junior year and complete Statistics (109 or equivalent) in the other semester. However, it is still strongly recommended that all students complete the Research Methods courses before the senior year. Students with a one-semester thesis are not eligible for honors in psychology.
  • Take Statistics (109 or equivalent) in the summer or during the sophomore year and the Research Methods (110-111) courses during the semester they are on campus in the junior year.
  • With permission of the department chair, students may complete Statistics (109 or equivalent) while abroad. This option is only available at selected programs.

-Students studying abroad during the (second semester of the) junior year must obtain a thesis reader before going abroad.
-Students studying abroad during the second semester of the sophomore year can complete the Research Methods (110-111) courses and Statistics (109 or equivalent) during the junior year.

Can I attend a non-approved program?
The faculty-led Off-Campus Study Committee has reviewed and approved over 100 study abroad programs in 48 countries. In rare cases students may propose study on a non-accepted program offering specialized curricular opportunities, associated with the student's major(s), that are not afforded by any of the programs on the accepted list. Approval for such proposals is made on an individual basis.

The Application Process

Planning ahead is vital! Students should start serious planning spring semester of the Freshman year.  To assist with this process, the Off-Campus Study holds many, many information meetings during the academic year. After attending the information meeting, students should meet with a study abroad advisor, complete a preference to study off-campus form, and request a program application.

The steps to study abroad are as follows:

1.      Attend a study abroad information meeting

2.     Meet with an OCS staff member

3.     Complete a Preference to Study Abroad form by the CMC OCS deadline

4.     Select a program. You will apply to only one program.

5.     Meet with an OCS staff member to pick up a CMC application AND a program provider application. You will only receive an application after you have discussed your plans with an OCS staff member and selected your study abroad program.

6.     Submit your CMC application and a copy of your program application no later than the CMC posted deadline.

7.     Mail, or apply online, your program provider application no later than the CMC posted deadline.

Courses, Credits, and Grades

Do I get credit for courses I take abroad?
Credit is awarded provided that students receive approval from the CMC Off-Campus Study Committee, enroll full time (not minimum full time), and obtain grades of C or above while abroad. Credit/No-Credit is NOT an option. Courses from abroad must be the equivalent of at least 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours to satisfy GE or major requirements. Courses of lesser value may be used only for elective credit, and only if approved by the CMC Registrar.

Can I count courses completed abroad towards my major?
Individual departments determine the number of elective credits that can be applied towards a major. In most instances, CMC students can receive up to two courses per major per semester abroad with prior approval from the chair of the department. Core courses should be completed on campus. Not every course students take needs to satisfy a major or GE degree requirement. Studying abroad is a chance to broaden one's education and to take courses unavailable on campus.

Can I complete a General Education requirement abroad?
Some academic departments will allow students to complete a GE requirement abroad. However, courses can be difficult to find because survey introductory courses are often taken at the foreign high-school level or are specific to CMC. It is highly preferable to plan to complete your GE requirements at CMC. Please remember that students may not complete more than four general education requirements off-campus, to include any combination of summer school, advanced placement, and study abroad. The Off-Campus Study Committee expects students to complete most GE requirements before studying abroad.

Do my study abroad grades  get factored into my CMC GPA?
No. Students' grades from abroad will not be computed in the CMC GPA but they will be reflected on students' transcripts, including C-, D, D- and F. 

Do study abroad programs have different academic requirements?
Absolutely. Program specific academic requirements are listed within each program description and region or country specific requirements are listed at the end of the region or country section on the Off-Campus Study Office web site. 

Can I do an internship abroad for credit?
Students may receive one-half CMC credit for an internship completed while attending an approved program abroad. To be eligible for credit, the internship must require an internship course that must be completed for a letter grade. Internships that fail to meet these criteria are not eligible for credit. Receiving compensation for the internship does not preclude the granting of credits.

What happens if I don't follow the academic policies?
CMC has specific rules that MUST be followed and are outlined in the Academic Policies for Study Abroad. If you do not follow them, you will not receive full credit for your semester abroad. If there is any question about the requirements for your program, please ask our office!

Cost and Financial Aid

CMC students participating in study abroad or international exchange are charged CMC tuition and the CMC Study Abroad Program Fee (a fee equal to the cost of room and board at CMC). Students are billed in the usual manner. CMC pays the academic program abroad and room and board, as well as provides each student with an airfare allowance, which is a contribution towards the cost of round-trip transportation from Los Angeles to the program site, as well as all administrative costs incurred by CMC for each semester. An allowance for local transportation and for international health insurance may also be provided.

Students studying through CMC off-campus study should expect to personally pay for passport and visa fees, cost of medical examinations and immunizations, and refundable security/damage deposits. On site, students pay for personal needs such as: books, supplies, clothing, medical charges, laundry, postage, recreation, entertainment, phone bills, snacks, and weekend or holiday travel. These costs may vary considerably from site to site, and are likely to be higher than in Claremont.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad
Students on financial aid continue to receive all financial aid while abroad, including state and federal aid , as well as private and merit scholarships.  Students with CMC grants-in-aid will also continue to receive their grants. 

Estimated Personal Expences