Study Abroad Policies

Table of Contents


Eligibility Requirements

Class Standing

(semesters/terms in which students may study abroad)

Freshmen: Summer term (if earned 7 units during first year)

Sophomores: Spring semester & Summer term

Juniors – Fall semester, Spring semester & Summer term

Seniors – Fall Semester or Spring semester

Grade Point Average & Academic Standing

You must meet the GPA requirement for your program (2.5 and up).

If you are greater than .10 away from the required GPA, you will need to demonstrate that you have met the GPA requirement for at least two semesters. For example, if a student had a 2.85 GPA and needed a 3.0 GPA for the program, you would need to have two semesters under your belt where you had a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Students with a GPA lower than 3.0 are required to write an additional essay as part of their Puget Sound Application.

Students must be in good academic standing (no sanctions at the time of application or prior to program departure), and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and a term GPA of at least 2.0 for the semester before going abroad.

If placed on academic suspension, or probation the semester a student will be going abroad, Puget Sound will revoke the approval to study abroad.

Conduct and Financial Holds


Students on Conduct Probation Level II (CP II) are not allowed to represent Puget Sound, and no waivers are permitted. Students may not apply for study abroad, nor may they participate in a study abroad program while on CP II.

Students on Conduct Probation Level I (CP I) are not allowed to represent Puget Sound, unless they obtain a waiver for a specific purpose. A student wanting to apply to study abroad may petition for a waiver by following the process outlined here. If a waiver is granted, the IEC may consider the student’s application, or may consider allowing the student to study abroad.


Students must have no financial holds at the time of application and prior to study abroad.

Study Abroad Participation 

You must be on campus the semester while you are applying (Spring) and the semester before you go (Fall or Spring).

Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete one year in residence before studying abroad for a semester.

Transfer students must be enrolled on campus the semester when applying and the semester before a going abroad.

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General Information about the Study Abroad Application Process

Study abroad at Puget Sound is competitive

Students must be approved by Puget Sound in order to study abroad. To seek approval students must submit a Puget Sound Application to Study Abroad by the application deadline.

Puget Sound has one application deadline in January and is for the following summer, fall and spring semesters.

It is important to note that study abroad operates within budgetary and enrollment parameters set by the University of Puget Sound; as a result there may be a limit to the number of students who can be approved each semester to study abroad. Simply submitting an application does not guarantee the University of Puget Sound’s approval to study abroad.

The Puget Sound Application process is a 2-step process

  1. Puget Sound Study Abroad Application - Students must complete a Puget Sound Study Abroad Application by the deadline and be approved to study abroad by the International Education Committee
  2. Program Specific Application - Students must complete their program specific application and be accepted by their specific program

Selection Criteria

The following selection criteria will be used:

  • Good academic and judicial standing (not on probation)
  • Students meet their selected program requirements
  • Highest Priority: Students going on Puget Sound sponsored programs (e.g. Dijon, Oaxaca…), students with majors that require study abroad, and students in language immersion programs
  • Faculty Recommendation
  • Student essay(s) - priority given to students who provide strong and detailed academic, linguistic, and cultural connections in their responses
  • Students may be limited to a single program (semester or year) taken on a case by case basis
  • Preference to rising seniors who have not previously studied abroad, then rising juniors, then sophomores
  • GPA will be considered.  Students with below a 3.0 GPA may have lower priority.

The final decision regarding acceptance rests with the Director of International Programs and the International Education Committee.

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Student Code of Conduct Abroad

All Puget Sound students sign a student agreement before studying abroad. Students must abide by the student agreement. Violation of the student agreement will result in removal from the program.

Consistent with the educational objectives of these programs, student participants are expected to exhibit sensitivity to the host culture, to respect and observe local rules and laws, and to conduct themselves in ways that demonstrate a high regard for the intellectual and cultural experience in which they are engaged.  The University of Puget Sound or its agent reserves the right to dismiss any participant for reasons of unacceptable personal behavior or inadequate academic participation.  Such dismissal will be without refund, return transportation will be at the student’s expense, and the student’s parent/guardian may be informed of the student’s dismissal.

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Credit Transfer

Classes are reviewed for transferability on a case by case basis by the Transfer Credit Evaluator in the Registrar’s Office

All Puget Sound students need to complete a Course Evaluation Form prior to studying abroad to determine credit transfer. The Course Evaluation Form can be downloaded from the Forms section of the Study Abroad website.

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Study Abroad Programs

To receive academic credit, students must select a program from the approved program list and participate in the program through the University of Puget Sound. 

If a student feels the current approved program list does not offer a program that meets the student’s academic needs/goals, the student may petition the International Education Committee to have a new program added the approved program list.  Petitions are due October 1st, the year prior to participation in the study abroad program.  The Petition Form is available on the Study Abroad Forms webpage.

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Pre-Departure Orientations

Prior to studying abroad, all Puget Sound students must attend a pre-departure session and submit all required forms and documents.

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Program Specific Application Procedures

After approval by Puget Sound, all students must attend an application meeting and apply to their specific program by the deadline set by Puget Sound. Failure to submit your program specific application by the Puget Sound deadline may result in revoking your approval to study abroad.

Students can only apply to the program in which they were approved to study abroad by the International Education Committee.

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Student Housing While Abroad

All Puget Sound students, on any program, must stay in program-approved housing. Students are not permitted to find their own accommodations or independent housing while abroad even if this is permitted by the program. Some programs allow students to seek their own accommodations outside of the housing provided by the study abroad program either at the beginning of the program or after completing some portion of the program. This is not permitted for Puget Sound students.

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Study Abroad Program Extensions

Students wanting to extend their study abroad program must request approval for an extension in writing and have the extension request reviewed by the International Education Committee. Requests for an extension will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

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Travel Warning Policy

The Office of International Programs is delighted that you are planning to study abroad and we want to let you know that the vast majority of study abroad programs take place without incident. From time to time, however, world events beyond our control call into question the wisdom of supporting particular study abroad programs. Please note that the University of Puget Sound reserves the right to cancel or withdraw approval of a program at any time if it involves risk to students traveling to that country or those countries. Typically the university will cancel or withdraw approval of a program in areas for which there are travel warnings, alerts, or advisories issued by the US State Department (DOS) or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). See the Travel Abroad Policy for High-Risk Areas for detailed information.

When applying to any program, but especially to those for which a travel warning or advisory might be issued, we strongly recommend that you...

1. Develop a back-up plan that you might pursue should the university cancel your program;

2. Check in frequently with the Office of International Programs and consult the DOS and CDC Travel Advisory lists regularly as you apply to study abroad. You may find these at the web sites listed below.

3. Become familiar with the refund policy deadlines of the program(s) to which you are applying and be aware of the financial implications to you and your parents should the university cancel approval of the program;

4. Notify International Programs as soon as possible when you have been accepted to the program. The university may offer, but does not guarantee, a liability waiver permitting study in an area for which a travel warning or advisory has been issued.