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Application Process

SCU Study Abroad is available to all eligible Santa Clara students subject to a competitive selection process. Participation in SCU Study Abroad is a privilege, not a right. While Santa Clara University values a sustained period of study in another culture and encourages students to pursue opportunities for SCU Study Abroad; it is neither a requirement nor an entitlement of an SCU education. 

The application process is a two-step process:

1. Applicants must submit the SCU Application for SCU Study Abroad to the Study Abroad Office. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present a persuasive application and observe all deadlines. Minimally qualified applications may not be approved. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • Fall Study Abroad: Application Deadline December 15 – Notification February 15
  • Winter/Spring Study Abroad: Application Deadline December 15 – Notification February 15
  • Summer Study Abroad: Application Deadline January 15 – Notification February 15

2. Students selected for SCU Study Abroad through the SCU Application are responsible, also, for submitting a program specific application and all supporting documents directly to their proposed program by the program deadline.

The SCU Application for SCU Study Abroad

The Application for SCU Study Abroad offers the opportunity for the student to articulate his/her goals for SCU Study Abroad and discuss how the proposed program fits with his/her overall academic plan at Santa Clara.


The selection process is based on a holistic review of all aspects of the application that includes faculty and staff from all parts of the institution. All applications will be reviewed by SCU Study Abroad staff. Each application will also be reviewed by at least one faculty or staff member from another office or department. Reviewers will base their evaluation on the following rubric: SCU Selection Rubric.  

Following selection notification SCU Study Abroad staff will be available to speak with students about their selection results and they may consider filing an appeal according to the SCU Study Abroad Application Appeal Policy.


In addition to the rubric, selection includes an evaluation of the following elements:

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.

Appropriateness of Selected Program and Country is demonstrated through the student's academic, professional, and personal goals essay and course proposal. Students should address their academic background related to their proposed program, and how the specific academic program abroad fits with their major or academic trajectory in the preparation essay as well. 

Academic preparation is demonstrated through the student's transcript and course proposal and articulated in the preparation essay. SCU expects that applicants meet or exceed all prerequisites for their proposed program. The application for SCU Study Abroad is the opportunity to address any concerns pertaining to adequate preparation and students are encouraged to discuss this with a Study Abroad advisor prior to submitting their application. 

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

Academic Preparation includes:

1)    Successful Completion of Courses in a Student's Major or Relevant Subjects Pertaining to SCU Study Abroad

In many SCU Study Abroad programs students are admitted by a particular academic department at a university, rather than by the institution as a whole. To present a competitive application, students are expected to demonstrate significant academic background within their major or proposed area of study while off-campus. "Significant academic background" is generally construed as a minimum of three courses within a particular academic department on direct enrollment programs.  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. In addition, preparatory courses that pertain directly to the country/culture in which the student proposes to study strengthen a student's application. Applicants should list relevant courses in the preliminary course proposal section of the SCU application.

2)    Successful Completion of Foreign Language Prerequisites  

For students who are petitioning to study in a non-English speaking country, students must meet or exceed the foreign language prerequisites required by the program prior to the semester of study abroad. If students do not meet these requirements at the time of application, a detailed and specific explanation of how, where and when the language prerequisite will be satisfied prior to the semester of participation should be included in the application for SCU Study Abroad. Students are strongly encouraged by SCU to enroll in a course in the appropriate foreign language during the semester preceding study abroad even if they meet or exceed the language requirement, and students should note that this is a requirement for admission to some programs. Students should consult the individual program information for details. Students are expected to meet all program requirements in order to qualify.

3)    Number of Units Completed

Priority may be given to students based upon the number of units completed.

The Academic Essay offer applicants the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of chosen topic and relate to their academic, professional, and personal goals for study abroad.

Personal Readiness is demonstrated through the goals essay and the preparation essay. In addition, the student's disciplinary record will be accessed and considered as part of the SCU Application.

The Study Abroad Academic Planning Form is a required component of the SCU Study Abroad Application. 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.