To be eligible for study abroad you must:
- be a matriculated, degree seeking UVA student
- have completed at least one semester at UVA (one year is recommended and may be required by your school of enrollment)
- students in the College of Arts & Sciences, including transfer students, may not study abroad until they have completed at least one year at UVA; thus College students are not eligible for J Term, semester, and embedded programs in their first year
- the only exception made is for students in the College of Arts & Sciences who participate in a UVA Global First Program
- have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.500 (some programs may require higher GPA for admission)
- be in good academic standing (no academic warning)
- be in good disciplinary standing
- be enrolled as a full-time student
- have completed the on-line Education Abroad Workshop
Before departure, you must:
- Complete the UVA Education Abroad online application and all required paperwork by the assigned deadline
- Secure pre-approval for credit transfer
- Participate in a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation or complete required online modules (varies by program)
Your academic standing at UVA may have an effect on when and where you can study abroad, and what you need to do to apply. If you have a concern that isn't addressed below, reach out to an Education Abroad Advisor to learn more about potential options for you.
- First Year Students
With the exception of January term (for non-College of Arts & Sciences students) and the UVA First programs (students in the College), students need to wait until the summer after their first year to study abroad (if you apply to study abroad the summer after your first year, or for the fall of your second year, you will apply during your first year). Regardless of when you plan to study abroad, your first year is an ideal time to begin planning! Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your academic goals and how you can achieve them through education abroad. Begin reviewing costs of programs and your current financial resources, and identifying other sources of funding. Visit our Getting Started section for other first steps.
- Fourth Year Study Abroad
Some students study abroad during their fourth year. If you are considering studying abroad for a semester as a fourth-year student, you will need to petition with your Association Dean or School of Enrollment, and plan carefully well in advance to help ensure that you will still be on track for graduation. Students considering study abroad in their eighth semester should be aware that they will more than likely need to delay graduation, to August or even December, depending on the type of program, end date, and when transcripts or grades are issued. Fourth year study abroad can be a good opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to head out into the workforce. Note: for a few select programs for students in the Schools of Architecture and Nursing, students are required to be fourth-years to participate.
- Undeclared Students
It is not required or necessary to have a declared major or minor before studying abroad. In fact, due to the numerous new and unique educational experiences, you may even decide upon your major or minor while abroad! Undeclared students may earn elective credits. See the above Academic Credit section to learn more.
- Transfer Students
It is possible to study abroad as a transfer student! Talk to your academic advisor (and Transfer Dean, if in the College) regarding your plans. For those who have transferred in more than sixty credits, keep in mind that UVA offers an increasing number of programs that grant UVA Direct Credit. These grades are factored into your UVA GPA and count as UVA courses, which can fulfill major and minor requirements. Conduct a Program Search to find programs that offer Direct Credit. If, after consulting with your advisor and Dean, a semester abroad is not an option, you may still consider summer, January term, and semester on-Grounds courses with embedded travel during break. Students in the College of Arts & Sciences, including transfer students, may not study abroad until they have completed at least one year at UVA; this means that J Term, semester, and embedded programs are not an option for College transfer students in their first year.
- Low GPA
The University requires students to have a 2.5 GPA in order to apply to study abroad (for students in the McIntire School, the requirement is a 3.0). Keep in mind that some programs may have a higher GPA requirement. Students wishing to study abroad with a GPA below the required University/School minimum should seek permission to apply for study abroad from their Association Dean or School of Enrollment.
UVA policy prohibits undergraduate study abroad in certain countries or regions.
For a list of Alerts, Notices and Warnings, please consult our Travel Alerts, Notices & Warnings page.
For further information, please review the University Policy on Student International Travel.