The following are the basic eligibility requirements that all students must meet in order to be approved to go abroad:
Education abroad programs offered or supported by UNC Charlotte serve currently-enrolled, degree-seeking students; students who are not currently matriculated at UNC Charlotte cannot go abroad for academic credit or receive support from the OEA. Please review the "Seniors" section on this page for what this means for graduating students.
Academic Standing & GPA
All students are required to be in good academic standing both at time of application and prior to departure in order to be permitted to go abroad. In addition, students must have a certain cumulative GPA in order to be eligible for a given program. Basic minimum cumulative GPA requirements are as follows:
|Minimum GPA Requirement|
|Semester (Fall, Spring), or year-long programs||2.5|
|Short-term programs (e.g. Spring Break or Summer)||2.0|
IMPORTANT NOTE: This chart displays the Office of Education Abroad's basic minimum requirements. However, some programs may have higher GPA requirements. Students will be able to find a given program's eligibility requirements on the online program brochure or website.
At the time of application (the semester before students will go abroad), the Office of Education Abroad will evaluate the student's academic standing and GPA. Students currently on academic probation will not be considered at the time of application. Similarly, students who are approved to go abroad but are then placed on probation after approval but prior to departure will not be permitted to go abroad.
All students are also required to be in good disciplinary standing both at time of application and prior to departure in order to be permitted to go abroad. The OEA works with the UNC Charlotte Dean of Students Office to verify students' disciplinary records. Students currently on probation/suspension will not be considered at time of application. Similarly, students who are approved to go abroad but are then placed on probation/suspension after approval but prior to departure will not be permitted to go abroad.
This does not mean that if you have ever had something on your record you are ineligible, just that if you have any outstanding sanctions or probation this must cleared before you can be approved to study abroad. Applicants who have prior incidents on their disciplinary record (but who are not currently on probation) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The first time a UNC Charlotte student is eligible to go abroad is the summer after their freshman year, or after they have completed two full-time semesters at UNC Charlotte. This typically means you could first submit a study abroad application during the spring of your freshman year.
However, sometimes it's possible to go abroad as early as the spring break of your freshman year on a faculty-led spring break program; certain programs allow freshman participants. If freshmen are eligible to participate, this will be reflected in the program's online brochure.
Students can study abroad their senior year. However, depending on the program, most students will be unable to graduate the same semester as their study abroad program and will need to either aim to go abroad during their second-to-last semester (i.e. during the Fall if they plan to graduate in the Spring) or to defer graduation until the following semester. If students choose to study abroad the semester of their intended graduation date, they will need to be comfortable with delaying their graduation date. The reason it is generally not possible to go abroad the term you plan to graduate is because the OEA does not receive host university transcripts in time to process the grades by graduation. The only time it may be possible to graduate the same term of a study abroad is via participation in a faculty-led program, as with these programs it is possible for grades to be processed in time for graduation.
Remember that you must be an active student at UNC Charlotte during the term of travel in order to go abroad. This means that students cannot go abroad the term after they graduate. If you want to go abroad the term after your intended graduation date, you would need to consider delaying your graduation date until after the study abroad program; always discuss the implications of delaying your graduation date in order to go abroad with your Academic Advisor(s). This is also the case for students who are interested in going abroad the term between their undergraduate and graduate degree.
Other than these considerations for freshmen and seniors, individual programs may also be restricted to students of a certain class standing or level (i.e. Undergraduate or Graduate only) - always review the eligibility section of individual program brochures/websites carefully for details.
Transfer students can and do study abroad! Transfer students have to have a UNC Charlotte GPA established at the time of application in order to go abroad the subsequent semester. Transfer students will need to be sure to work with their Academic Adivsors to determine when will be the best time for them to go abroad based on their degree requirements.
While there are some programs that require students to have completed a certain number of university-level language courses prior to application or departure, most programs do not require that students have proficiency in a foreign language in order to participate. Be sure to check out the eligibility section of the program brochure/website to determine what the language prerequisites are for admission to a program, if any.
Don't Quite Meet Eligibility Requirements?
If you don't meet an eligibility requirement at the time of application, but are close, don't stress! It may be possible for you to still apply for the program and receive a conditional approval to participate. Please do not heastitate to schedule an appointment with an OEA advisor if you have any concerns, but remember, Study Abroad 101 must be completed before you can make this appointment.
All information listed is subject to change.