Markim Hall, Second Floor
- Who can study off-campus?
- Do I have to take courses for my major during off-campus study?
- Do I have to declare my major, minor, or concentration before I study off campus?
- Where can I study?
- How long can I go?
- When can I go?
- Can I go during J-term or summer?
- How do I find an off-campus study program?
- When do I submit my proposal?
- Why is there a single annual deadline for off-campus study?
- Can I choose which semester I go?
- Who reviews the Off-Campus Study Proposals?
- What happens after I submit my proposal?
- Do I need to wait for Macalester approval before applying to my program?
- Can I apply for more than one program?
- Will my grades count?
- How much will off-campus study cost? Is it covered by Financial Aid?
- What's available for international students?
- Where can I find complete information about the college's policies and procedures for off-campus study?
- I am an incoming international exchange student. Where can I find information about spending a semester or year at Macalester College?
Who can study off-campus?
Any Macalester student can! The college encourages all students to pursue off-campus studies and experiences as an enriching component of their liberal arts education along the path of becoming global citizens. The following majors require a semester of off-campus study: Anthropology, Asian Studies, Biology with Emphasis in International Issues, Chinese, Classics, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Hispanic and Latin American Studies, International Studies, Japanese, and Russian Studies. The following minor requires a semester of off-campus study: Hispanic Studies minor in Portuguese Language, Literature, and Culture. All students who wish to study off-campus for a semester or longer must receive approval from the Study Away Review Committee. Read the Applying for Off-Campus study section for more details.
Note: International students may use financial aid for a semester of off-campus study only if their major or minor requires study abroad (except International Studies). Macalester’s program in the Netherlands, Perspectives on Globalization is an exception; international students with any major can use financial aid for this program.
Do I have to take courses for my major or minor during off-campus study?
No, unless your major or minor requires it. Most people do earn credit towards a major or minor, but it is not required. Some people use off-campus study to explore other areas of their liberal arts education.
Do I have to declare my major, minor, or concentration before I study off campus?
You must declare at least one major by the time you submit your Off-Campus Study Proposal. You may declare a second major/minor/concentration after submitting, but you must get departmental approval for courses to count before you leave. Students fill out Coursework Approval Form(s) as part of their Proposal. The chair of the department that you would like to receive credit for will sign the form and indicate what courses will/may/will not count.
Where can I study?
You may study in nearly any destination, including other U.S. cities. Macalester does not allow students to study abroad in countries, or in some cases specific regions of countries that are listed on the U.S. State Department's Current Travel Warning list.
How long can I go?
Due to off-campus enrollment limits, Macalester students may apply for a single semester off-campus during their tenure at Macalester. Only in very exceptional cases will students be considered for an academic year abroad, and in these cases only on certain programs or in extraordinary cases where a full year of study is essential to the student's educational program. Please refer to the evaluation criteria on page 7 of the Off-Campus Study Handbook.
When can I go?
Students must complete two full semesters at Macalester prior to applying for off-campus study approval. While most students study off-campus in junior year, sophomores and seniors may do so as well.
Can I go during J-term or summer?
Yes, but the process and level of support is different than for semester programs. More information can be found on the January and Summer Programs page.
How do I find an off-campus study program?
Read more about how to find that right program for you in our Choosing a Program section.
When do I submit my proposal?
Students submit their Off-Campus Study Proposal the March before the academic year they would like to study off-campus. Whether you are off-campus in the fall or spring semester, the deadline is the same. This means that if you want to study off-campus as a senior, you submit your proposal in March of your junior year. If you want to study off-campus as a junior (as most students do), you submit the proposal in March of your sophomore year. And if you want to study off-campus as a sophomore, you submit the proposal in March of your first year.
The deadline for off-campus study in Fall or Spring of 2013-2014 is February 26, 2013 at 4:30 pm.
Why is there a single annual deadline for off-campus study?
The number of students studying off-campus in the Spring semester has long exceeded the number going in the Fall, sometimes at a 2:1 rate. This creates empty seats in classrooms and empty beds in the residence halls every spring. The main goal of the new policy is to achieve rough equality between the two semesters, which will help the college with planning and finances. By reducing the overall cost of off-campus study, college leaders hope even more students can take advantage of this excellent learning opportunity.
Can I choose which semester I go?
On your Off-Campus Study Proposal, you will indicate your semester preference. You will also have space to explain your reasons for choosing a particular semester. We cannot, however, guarantee that you will be approved for your preferred semester, as our goal is to have roughly the same number of students off-campus in both semesters.
Who reviews the Off-Campus Study Proposals?
The Study Away Review Committee (SARC), consisting of the Registrar and two faculty members, reviews and approves all proposals.
What happens after I submit my proposal?
Approval letters are usually sent to students via SPO within five weeks after the submission deadline.
Do I need to wait for Macalester approval before applying to my program?
No. In fact, students are encouraged to apply to their first choice program as early as possible, as admission is often contingent upon meeting the application deadline or granted on a rolling basis. If the program requires a "Home School Nomination" form to be signed by college staff, the International Center Director or Study Abroad Advisor can usually sign it before SARC sends out approval letters.
Can I apply for more than one program?
If your first choice is competitive, you may wish to apply to another program as a backup choice. However, you may list only one program on your Off-Campus Study Proposal. After your proposal has been approved, you may go on a different program only if you are denied admission to the program listed on your proposal.
Will my grades count?
Grades earned during off-campus study will appear on your transcript and are figured into your GPA. The majority of Macalester students actually increase their GPAs during this time. See a recent report about grades and off-campus study at Macalester.
How much will off-campus study cost? Is it covered by Financial Aid?
For answers to these questions and more, please see our Finances section.
There are two categories: WITH Macalester financial aid and WITHOUT Macalester financial aid.
- For all pursuing majors or minors that require study abroad (with the exception of International Studies), their full financial aid award, except for work study.
- Without regard to major or minor, participation in Macalester's Perspectives on Globalization program in The Hague.
- For all, participation in Macalester faculty-led January programs -- though here financial aid is limited (as it is for all students) to $500.
- The full range of semester-long off-campus study options, regardless of major or minor. Recipients of Shelby Davis scholarships may use them for study abroad.
- The full range of summer programs.
Also, we invite international students (all students) to participate in the campus-wide conversation in 2012-13 regarding learning objectives for off-campus study.
Where can I find complete information about the college's policies and procedures for off-campus study?
Detailed information can be found int he Handbook for Off-Campus Study, available for download in the “Toolbox” on the left side menu of this page.