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Santa Clara University

Application Criteria

Santa Clara Study Abroad is competitive. Not every eligible student will be nominated.  Applicant nominations are based on the application contents and considerations related to budgets and program limits. 

It is a student’s responsibility to read and understand the eligibility requirements for their specific program as well as the overall nomination criteria before applying.

The Santa Clara GPA requirement to apply for SCU Study Abroad is 2.75; however individual programs may require a GPA higher than this. To qualify for SCU Study Abroad, students are expected to meet or exceed both Santa Clara's requirement and that of their proposed program.

Students should be prepared to address their how the specific academic program abroad fits with their major/minor and overall academic goals and trajectory.  

Academic preparation is demonstrated through significant academic background directly related to the program and country abroad. Students should insure that they have the academic background necessary to pursue the course of study that they propose in the application for SCU Study Abroad. Preparatory courses that pertain directly to the country/culture in which the student proposes to study strengthen a student's application. These could be language courses in the language of the proposed country/region, literature, history, politics of the proposed country/region, etc. 

Washington Semester applicants should contact the Political Science department for advising.


In alignment with SCU's belief in community engagment, students should research the local community abroad and determine realistic and relevant ways to get engaged that extend beyond the program specific opportunites. 

Students should demonstrate a strong understanding of potentials challenges that may arise while studying abroad. In addition, students should be prepared to discuss how they plan to overcome these challenges. 

The Study Abroad Academic Planning Form should include a student's proposed coursework for their specific study abroad program as well as their proposed 4 year plan.  In addition, after selection to SCU Study Abroad, students must secure approval for each class from major, minor, and core faculty to fulfill SCU requirements. 

Each application will be read and reviewed by the The Study Abroad Review Committee which is made up of Study Abroad staff and trained SCU staff and faculty. The Committee utilizes the Application Rubric to evaluate and score each application. Applications are evaluated according to the following methodology:

The Committee reviews each student’s individual application components to determine eligibility to study abroad. They ensure that any program-specific requirements are met (for example, some programs mandate a specific GPA or level of language ability). Students that do not meet the basic eligibility requirements for the specific program to which they applied will not be nominated.

Once basic eligibility has been determined, the Committee will evaluate an applicant’s overall fit and preparedness for study abroad, both academically and personally. This step in the review is informed by an applicant’s SCU course history, Academic Planning Form, application essays, GPA, and judicial and academic probation review. Students on disciplinary probation or any form of suspension are not eligible for any study abroad programs.

The Committee will assess a numerical score for each application that reflects the overall strength of the application. The score is based on the total points earned for each category of the SCU Study Abroad Rubric. Scores are then ranked from highest to lowest.

Once all qualified applicants are scored and ranked, the Committee will then nominate applicants using their numerical score. Based on space in a program and available budget, an applicant can be nominated for their second or third choice if their first is not available.