Faculty-Led

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, enriching international experience. 


  • The majority of programs travel abroad for a shorter amount of time than a traditional semester abroad, 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 - ideal for students seeking a structured experience 
  • Great way to get to know a UNC Charlotte faculty member(s) outside of the classroom
  • Specific UNC Charlotte course credit to be received is pre-approved; programs typically focused 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 - what was offered last year may not be offered this 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. One type is not better than the other, they simply work differently. 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 standing at time of application and prior to departure abroad
  • Good 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.

APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Complete Study Abroad 101

Students should complete Study Abroad 101 before moving forward with the application steps to understand all their program options and resources.

2. Research Program Options and Resources

  • Review the program type information on the OEA website to familiarize yourself with the different cost and academic structures and policies 
  • Review additional resources on the OEA website, including the Steps to Studying Abroad, cost information, and financial resources
  • Research program offerings using the links on the applicable faculty-led program type (Embedded or Freestanding) page. Students should review all tabs of program brochures carefully
  • Reference the UNC Charlotte catalog and/or discuss your study abroad plans with your Academic Advisor to ensure you understand how the credit you will receive for your program(s) of interest will fit into your curriculum requirements

3. Submit OEA Application ASAP Before Final Deadlines

Once you have determined which specific faculty-led program is a good academic, financial, and personal fit for you and as soon as possible before the final application deadline:

  1. Click the "Apply Now" button in the brochure
    1. Students are not required to meet with an Education Abroad Advisor to open an application or to participate in a faculty-led program, with the exception of the Semester in Spain program. Students who wish to apply to the Semester in Spain program will need to meet with an Education Abroad Advisor in order to open an application
  2. Follow the detailed instructions provided carefully to complete all items
  3. Click “Submit” (applications are not considered until they are submitted)

Students may apply for more than one faculty-led program at a time, but will have to pay the non-refundable application fee for every application submitted. Note that if the "Apply Now" button does not appear in the brochure, the program is not currently accepting applications.

OEA Application Components

OEA application requirements generally include:

  • Non-refundable application fee (amount listed in program brochure)
  • Personal statement
  • Unofficial UNC Charlotte transcript
  • Disciplinary clearance from the Dean of Students

Note that the aforementioned list may not include all requirements; requirements may vary by program. Additional requirements will appear in the application once the student is approved.

Application Review and Decision
  1. Once complete, the OEA will review applications to confirm that applicants meet the basic academic and disciplinary eligibility requirements to study abroad and of the program
  2. If eligible for the program, the OEA will pass applications on to the Faculty Director for final review
  3. The Faculty Director will make final admissions decisions
  4. The OEA will send email notice of admissions decisions by email within 2-3 weeks after application submission

The OEA will send students regular email updates to their UNC Charlotte email as their application is processed.

4. Complete Confirmation Steps

Once approved, students cannot go abroad on a program unless they complete BOTH of the steps to hold their spot in the program, called the confirmation steps, in their online OEA application by no later than the program's final confirmation deadline (listed in the program brochure) OR before the program reaches its maximum enrollment. Otherwise, the OEA cannot confirm a student's participation in the program. The next section describes the confirmation process in more detail.

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 steps.

In order to participate in the program, approved students must complete BOTH of the following confirmation steps within their online OEA application:

  1. Submit the non-refundable program deposit in full (amount provided in the student’s application and in the online program brochure)
  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 (listed in the program brochure and in the student’s application) 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 (not necessarily after the student completes the confirmation steps).

Rolling Admissions

Unless otherwise stated, faculty-led programs have rolling admissions and can only admit a limited number of participants. Approved applicants do not need to wait until the confirmation deadline to confirm their place on the program, and are strongly encouraged to complete these steps ASAP once they are approved (even if it’s before the application deadline!) in order to ensure they don’t lose their spot to another student. Conditionally approved students can still complete the confirmation steps as usual.

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 student well in advance. We set confirmation deadlines for faculty-led study abroad programs 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.


Important Updates

  • 2019 Faculty Led Spring Break programs are now open!
  • 2019 Faculty Led Summer Programs are still under construction, check back in late September for program offerings
  • Be sure to review the information on our website to familiarize yourself with program and cost structure, eligibility, and more.

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.