Overview of Faculty-Led Programs

Faculty-led programs are credit-bearing study abroad experiences that are developed and led by UNC Charlotte faculty and/or staff members, managed by UNC Charlotte, and that deliver specific UNC Charlotte courses partially or mostly abroad. Faculty-led programs include many group activities in their curriculum and provide a very structured study abroad experience. These programs offer the opportunity to put academic content into an international context in a meaningful way.

  • The majority of programs travel abroad for a shorter amount of time, such as over the summer or spring break
  • Students travel as a group with a UNC Charlotte faculty member(s)
  • Program activities, visits, excursions, etc. are determined by the Faculty Director
  • Great way to get to know a UNC Charlotte faculty member(s) outside of the classroom
  • Specific UNC Charlotte course credit is pre-approved; programs typically focus on a specific subject area or foreign language*
  • It's possible to participate in these programs the semester you graduate! Research program offerings and then check in with your Academic Advisor to make sure you are staying on track
  • Program offerings vary from year to year
  • Program offerings are published and applications open on the OEA website beginning in the Fall of each school year

*Participating in a faculty-led program offered by your major department is not your only option for getting credit towards your degree - you will get UNC Charlotte credit no matter the type of study abroad program.

There are two types of faculty-led programs. The main differences between these types is in how course registration works, how grades are processed, and how the costs are structured. Use the following buttons to learn more about the different faculty-led program types: 

Embedded Faculty Led Programs   Freestanding Faculty Led Programs

When researching programs, you will know if a given faculty-led program is embedded or freestanding - and thereby how it will work - from its online program brochure. The eligibility and application process information in the following sections apply to all faculty-led programs.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

The minimum requirements to be eligible to participate in any faculty-led study abroad program (regardless of the type) are:

  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at time of application and prior to departure abroad
  • Only students approved to study abroad on the applicable faculty-led program will be permitted to participate in the course
  • All participants are required to receive academic credit for the study abroad experience - it is not possible to audit the course or participate in a non-credit-seeking capacity
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (short-term programs, e.g. spring break and summer programs)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (semester programs)

Program Specific Eligibility Requirements

Additional eligibility requirements vary by program; each online program brochure lists the eligibility requirements specific to that program. Please note the following:

  • Individual program GPA requirements could be higher than the aforementioned minimum 
  • The "Area of Study" listed under the Fact Sheet on a program brochure simply indicates the type of course credit to be received for the program; this does not necessarily mean that you have to be a major in that department in order to participate
  • Some, but not all, programs are limited to students with specific majors or certain class standings

Review additional eligibility considerations here and in individual program brochures.

The following applies to any faculty-led program, regardless of the type. All students are required to complete an online study abroad application with the Office of Education Abroad in order to receive approval to study abroad.

When do Applications Open?

Term Abroad Applications Typically Open
Spring Break August - September
Summer September - October
Spring September - October; April for Semester in Spain
Fall Break & Fall Late Spring or over the Summer; October for Semester in Spain

All dates are approximate. Please check this page and the specific program brochure often for updates on when applications open.​​

When Are Applications Due?

Faculty-led study abroad programs have 2 main deadlines and typically operate on rolling admissions bases:

  1. Application deadline: the latest date by which students may submit an application. Incomplete applications are withdrawn from consideration after this date
  2. Confirmation deadline: the latest date by which students who have been approved may complete the confirmation steps to hold their spot in the program. Approved applicants who have not completed these steps are withdrawn after this date
    1. The final confirmation deadline is usually one week after the final application deadline
Term Abroad Typical Final Application Deadline
Spring Break & Spring October - November
Summer January - March
Spring October - November
Fall Break & Fall Spring (March for Semester in Spain) or over the Summer

Deadlines vary by program. Please review individual program brochures for details.

Rolling Admissions

Most faculty-led programs accept applications on a rolling basis and can only admit a limited number of participants. This means that students can apply at any time before the program's final application deadline and that applications are reviewed as they are submitted, not after the application deadline. This also means that the program could fill up before the final deadlines listed in the online program brochure. Should the program fill up prior to the final application or confirmation deadlines, the program will close and further applications will no longer be accepted.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the following steps as soon as possible before final program deadlines.


Please visit the How to Apply page of our website for step-by-step instructions. Note that beginning Summer 2019, clicking “Apply Now” in the program brochure will direct students to complete Study Abroad 101 and will not start a program application automatically.

Confirmation Steps

Once approved for a faculty-led program, students cannot participate in the program until they hold their spot by completing the required confirmation stepsConditionally approved students can complete the steps as usual as well.

Approved students must complete BOTH of the following confirmation steps within their online OEA application:

  1. Submit the non-refundable program deposit in full
  2. Review and electronically sign the Participant Agreement

Both of these confirmation steps must be completed by no later than the program's final confirmation deadline OR before all spots in the program are filled. Otherwise, the OEA cannot confirm a student's participation in the program.

The OEA will send all confirmed participants an email notifying them of their next steps within 3 weeks after the program’s final confirmation deadline.

The Program Deposit

The deposit constitutes the first program payment. The deposit amount, payment instructions, and final confirmation deadline are indicated in the student’s OEA application and in the program’s brochure. The deposit cannot be deferred nor broken up into several payments in anticipation of future funds (e.g. financial aid or scholarships) the student may expect to receive - the deposit must be paid in full by no later than the final confirmation deadline or before the program fills up, no exceptions. Please review the “Cost Structure” sections of each faculty-led program type page for more information.

Confirmation Deadlines and Use of Deposits

UNC Charlotte faculty-led programs are designed to run with a certain minimum number of confirmed participants. The OEA needs to make arrangements for included program expenses (as indicated in the program brochure, such as included accommodations, activities, etc.) on participants’ behalf well before the program actually travels abroad and uses participants’ deposits to begin paying for these included expenses for the students. We set confirmation deadlines because we need to know by a certain date how many students are enrolled in a program in order to confirm participant numbers with program vendors and to begin making these logistical arrangements to vendors according to their deadlines. 

Program Cancellations

If we do not have enough students confirm their intent to participate, we may have to cancel a program. So, it is very important that if you plan to go on the program that you confirm your participation as soon as possible - your completing the confirmation steps helps move the program closer to its minimum required enrollment!

If a program is cancelled after the student has confirmed their participation, the OEA will send the student official notification of the program’s status and information on the student’s options moving forward. In the event the program is officially cancelled, the OEA will refund the student’s deposit; note that depending on the payment method used it may take 2-4 weeks for the student to receive the refund.

The Participant Agreement

The Participant Agreement is a legal document that outlines important policies to which students agree by confirming their participation in the program. This includes information about what happens if the student fails to maintain stated eligibility requirements, what happens if the student requests to withdraw from the program after confirming their participation, and financial, academic, and participation expectations. Students cannot participate in the program if they do not electronically sign this important document.



Faculty And Staff

Faculty or staff interested in leading a Faculty Led study abroad program will need to submit a program proposal by the applicable deadline; please contact the Office of Education Abroad if you have any questions.

Photo by Melissa Tran, South Korea