Students are eligible to study away once they have declared a major and may study away for up to two semesters. Students may study away in the second semester of their sophomore year or during their junior year; students interested in doing so at different times should consult with their class dean.
Students may not participate in a study away if:
hile attending an approved study away program, courses will count towards completion of the Amherst degree according to the following criteria:
Students should be aware that the equivalent of 15 U.S. semester credits per semester away may mean more or less than four courses depending on the credit scheme at the study away program. Students should confirm with the program that enrollment is the equivalent of the 15 U.S. semester credit minimum per semester.
Credit will not count towards the Amherst College degree:
Generally speaking, courses must be taken in a semester that is 12 weeks or more. There are some institutions, however, whose semesters are slightly less than 12 weeks, which is permissible so long as the program considers it a full semester and will award the equivalent of 15 semester credits. Students may take internship courses so long as they are taken in addition to the 15 U.S. semester credits required by the College. Students interested in institutions on the quarter system or trimester need to take the required U.S. semester credit equivalent for the duration of their time away, which may mean combining two shorter terms to equal one Amherst semester.
Students who fail to transfer the equivalent of four Amherst courses (15 U.S. semester credits) may be required to make up any deficiencies prior to the start of their senior year or, in some cases, prior to returning to Amherst.
Course deficiencies incurred during study away may result in additional administrative action regarding enrollment at the College, as outlined in the Catalog. For example:
Students who incur deficiencies during study away should be in contact with their class dean as soon as possible to create a plan for making up deficiencies.
Students should closely monitor their academic progress in their courses while on study away and understand how study away fits in with their progress toward graduation. Students should familiarize themselves with course expectations and how to meet those expectations because many programs and host universities do not continually assess a student’s performance.
Students may only receive credit from a program that is approved by the College. The faculty Committee on Global Education, under guidance from the Global Education Office, has carefully chosen a robust list of programs that are pre-approved for credit and aid transfer. Students who are interested in a program not currently on the approved program list may petition for provisional approval and credit (and financial aid) transfer. More information about petitioning is here.
The Amherst Student Code of Conduct and Study Away
The Student Code of Conduct applies to students studying away. Students must also follow the academic or disciplinary policies of the host institution/program or host country laws. Any academic or disciplinary infractions issued to a student by the study away program or local authorities may result in similar and/or additional sanctions at Amherst. Incidents are reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the Office of Student Affairs and any other necessary parties.
Students are responsible for ensuring that an official transcript is issued by a foreign or domestic degree-granting and accredited institution and that it is sent to the Office of the Registrar at Amherst College upon completion of the study away program. Program providers that are not degree-granting institutions (e.g., CIEE, IES) have a "school of record" that will issue the transcript.
For the Registrar to evaluate credit from a study away transcript, students should be aware of the following:
Graduate or professional schools will likely require transcripts from all institutions attended, including study away programs. Students may need to request a transcript from their program in order for the graduate or professional school to review grades earned from study away.
Leaving Your Program Early
Students who experience an illness that prevents them from engaging with their studies for a significant period of time while on study away should contact the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Global Education to discuss whether a medical leave is appropriate.
Students who are considering leaving the program prior to completion must contact Amherst College for approval before leaving the program. Voluntary withdrawals have serious implications for credit and financial aid and may impact a student’s graduation date. If withdrawal from the program results in a “W” in every course, those course deficiencies must be made up. Alternatively, if withdrawal from the program results in an “F” in any course, readmission is subject to review by the Committee on Academic Standing. In this instance, it is possible that the student will be required to make up the deficiencies prior to returning to Amherst and/or the student may be placed on probation, warning, or dismissal from the College.
Voluntary withdrawals will result in the full cancellation of all Amherst financial aid funds paid on the student’s behalf. Students will be expected to refund the College any unrecoverable fees paid on their behalf. Federal regulations might require a repayment of federal aid funds. Cancellation of financial aid funds, both institutional and federal, will result in a charge to the student’s Amherst financial account. The balance of that account must be repaid before a student can return to Amherst College.
Students who are considering leaving their program early - a voluntary withdrawal - must contact the Director of the Office of Global Education immediately to ensure that they understand the consequences of that choice.
Accommodations through the Office of Accessibility Services
Students who have approved accommodations through the Accessibility Services Office and would like to request use of those accommodations while at another institution or program, must email email@example.com to request an Accommodation Certification Letter. Once students receive the letter, they can forward it to the appropriate contact at the program or host institution to determine which accommodations can/will be honored. Please note it may take up to two weeks for the letter to be sent by Accessibility Services Office.
It is the responsibility of the student to work with the Office of Global Education along with either the program or the host institution to learn which accommodations can/will be honored. It is important to note that the program or the host institution is fully responsible for providing, coordinating, and financing any accommodations they agree to honor. Amherst College is not obligated to finance accommodations on study away programs.
Non-program or Independent Housing
Amherst expects students to live with locals, when offered by the program, and the college does not support or recommend that students secure housing independent of their study abroad program. Housing not arranged through the program can lead to less cultural engagement. More importantly, neither the program nor Amherst would be able to provide support or resources to students living independent of the program (e.g., understanding rental contracts, assessing housing for safety and security), even in an emergency. Students who wish to pursue independent housing must do so through their program and, in many instances, programs will not support this option. In cases where a student has family in the host country, independent housing may be an appropriate option, should the program permit it. All students studying away must abide by their program's housing policies.
Students on leave or dismissal and study away
Students on academic or disciplinary dismissal may not participate in study away. Academic or disciplinary warning may also prohibit a student from studying away until the student is again in good standing. Students are encouraged to discuss their situation with their class dean in the Office of Student Affairs.
Students who are on voluntary or medical leave from the College and are considering study away when they return to their degree studies must consult with the Office of Student Affairs for a review of their proposed educational plan. This review must occur well in advance of any deadlines set by the study abroad or domestic study program, as well as deadlines set by the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Global Education.
Seniors Considering Study Away
Students may study away in the first semester of the senior year with support from their academic adviser(s) and approval from the class dean, who may grant an exception to the expectation that students remain on campus in the final two semesters at Amherst. Graduation may be delayed if the study away transcript does not arrive in time for credit to be evaluated by the Registrar. For December graduates, the transcript must arrive by August 1; for May graduates, the transcript must arrive by April 1st. It is highly recommended that students select a study away program that will be able to issue the transcript by these deadlines. Students should not attend a program that issues transcripts after the start of the final semester.
Students willing to accept the conditions above may petition to study away during the first semester of the senior year. Follow these steps to start the process:
Students then apply to an approved program and meet all College deadlines for educational leave.
Transfer Students Considering Study Away
Amherst students are required to complete a minimum of four semesters of full-time study in residence at the College. Transfer students who will study at Amherst for at least five semesters may be able to study away. Transfer students must consult with their academic advisor(s) and class dean about study away and completion of the major, particularly if the student wants or needs to write a thesis since the planning phase of the thesis may be truncated.