Study Abroad

Santa Clara offers students opportunities to study abroad during four terms: summer, fall, winter, and spring. Study abroad during the fall, winter, and spring may be highly competitive and not all qualified applicants may be approved. Study abroad during the summer is not competitive. Students may study abroad during the summer following their first year, sophomore year, or junior year. Students studying abroad during the fall, winter, or spring may do so once during their junior or senior year.

Many study abroad programs operate on a semester system with resulting units earned exceeding the usual maximum for courses completed on campus. Academic calendars abroad may differ significantly from the on-campus academic calendar at the University. Because the programs with which Santa Clara University areaffiliated vary in length, the Study Abroad Office evaluates each program to determine the appropriate maximum and minimum units for the term. Approved programs offer students opportunities to integrate with the host culture and foster personal reflection in the context of rigorous study. Programs may allow students to pursue independent research, attend classes with local students, participate in community-based learning, or gain professional experience through academic internships, which, in turn, can serve as a basis for senior capstone projects.

During their first two years at Santa Clara, students build a foundation for the academic work they will pursue abroad. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor early to plan for study abroad, and to explore their goals with Study Abroad staff. The Study Abroad Office values diversity and inclusion and encourages students from all backgrounds to apply for study abroad. In addition, Santa Clara students are strongly encouraged to pursue opportunities in traditionally underrepresented geographic areas of the world. The goal is for student learning in the approved programs to build on and extend the on-campus curriculum. Students from underrepresented academic disciplines such as the sciences, engineering, and fine and performing arts are strongly urged to apply.

Study abroad at Santa Clara University is a privilege, and the application process is competitive. The selection process is designed to offer study abroad opportunities to students who have thoughtfully selected programs that will significantly advance their academic, personal, and professional goals. Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a summer, quarter, or semester in a country and academic environment that will enrich their overall college experience and engender responsible participation in a global, multicultural society.

Credit earned during study abroad counts toward graduation requirements either as elective credit or, with appropriate approval, may fulfill major, minor, and Core requirements. Grades are calculated into the Santa Clara University GPA, and all credit and grades appear on the Santa Clara University transcript. The University is committed to offering equal access to study abroad opportunities and therefore extends all available financial aid to students to support study abroad during the fall, winter, and spring. However, matriculated students who study abroad while withdrawn from the University are ineligible for financial aid and scholarships, and financial aid is not available for summer study abroad programs.

The study abroad application process is a two-step process: (1) approval of the application by the Study Abroad Office; then (2) approval of a program-specific application by the study abroad program. In addition, participation is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all program prerequisites and related courses, satisfactory academic progress toward the student's major, and participation in study abroad mandatory pre-departure orientation and re-entry meetings. Normally, students apply for study abroad six months to one year prior to participation. During the selection process, the Study Abroad Office reviews applications with participation from faculty and staff from throughout the University. The Office reserves the right to redirect students to alternate programs due to institutional considerations.

To apply for study abroad, students must be admitted to degree status at the University, have declared a major with the Office of the Registrar, and expect to have completed a minimum of 88 quarter units by the start of the academic program abroad. Normally, students participate in study abroad during their junior or senior year, but sophomores with extenuating academic circumstances may request an exception to the eligibility policy. Santa Clara requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 for off-campus study; requirements for individual programs may be more rigorous. Successful applicants will meet or exceed Santa Clara's requirements and that of their proposed program. Priority admission may be given to applicants for Santa Clara's own programs, including exchanges. Students must receive approval through the on-campus application process to receive credit for major, minor, or Core requirements completed through study abroad.

Students on disciplinary probation or any form of suspension are not eligible to apply for or participate on any study abroad programs. Students who earn a grade of "D" or "F" in any course in the term preceding their program may become ineligible for off-campus study. Students must clear any outstanding balances with the Bursar's Office in accordance with the Bursar's Office payment schedule to remain eligible for participation. The University does not approve study in countries or areas with a U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4, see Withdrawn students who study abroad independently may be eligible to receive a maximum of 10 units of elective credit toward graduation requirements, in keeping with the University's policy on transfer credit---the University's transfer credit policy does not allow credit earned while withdrawn from the University to count toward a student's major, minor, or Core requirements. Students should consult the policies governing units taken at other institutions in Chapter 8, Academic and Administrative Policies and Regulations.

For detailed information about individual programs, including eligibility requirements, contact the Study Abroad Office at studyabroad\ or 408-551-3019, or visit the website at Students are urged to attend a Study Abroad 101 session to gain general information and contact SCU Study Abroad for advising in the Global Engagement Office, located on the first floor of Varsi Hall, for information about the competitive application process.

Current approved study abroad programs are listed on the SCU Study Abroad website at

Note: Santa Clara University may be obliged to alter or eliminate programs at any time.

Global Explorations

The Study Abroad Office administers short-term, faculty-led programs through our Global Explorations Program. These programs are offered during the summer and typically run for three to four weeks abroad. Subjects vary from year to year based on the faculty teaching, consequently students should consult the website for current and future program offerings.

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