Policies and Procedures Eligibility, credit transfer, finances and fees, etc.

Only work comparable to that at Washington and Lee in level, nature, and field may be accepted for degree credit. In order to receive Washington and Lee credit, all documentation (official transcripts, required W&L forms, etc.) must be received by the University Registrar before the end of the first term in which the student is enrolled at W&L or, for students returning from study elsewhere, before the conclusion (last day of classes) of the first 13-week term completed by students upon their return to W&L.

No more than 60 of the 120 credits required for the W&L degree may be earned elsewhere or by any other means than through courses offered at W&L or through formal exchanges (e.g., VMI, Mary Baldwin, Spelman). In other words, first-year incoming credits, transfer credits, courses taken abroad, etc., will not count in the 60 credits to be taken at W&L.

Eligibility for Study Abroad

1) In order to apply for study abroad for W&L credit, students must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.500 and at least a 2.500 GPA in the most recently completed fall or winter term. 2) Students are not eligible to study abroad while on academic or conduct probation. Students placed on academic probation that will be in effect during their planned term abroad may submit a request for an exception to this rule to the Committee on Courses and Degrees by contacting the faculty member who serves as Associate Dean of The College. Students placed on conduct probation that will be in effect during their planned term abroad may submit a request for an exception to this rule to the International Education Committee by contacting the faculty member who serves as Associate Dean of The College. Students accepted into study abroad programs who are then placed on academic or conduct probation will be liable for the full costs of the program even if they withdraw from the program.

Students must consult with their academic adviser(s) to ensure that their proposed course of study will enable them to make normal progress toward completion of major and degree requirements in a timely fashion. To study abroad, students should consult with a Study Abroad Adviser. Students will be expected to disclose relevant information regarding physical or mental health-related conditions and/or treatment needs so that appropriate consultations can occur with deans, Student Health and Counseling Services, etc., to determine whether all critical needs can be met during the student's time away from campus. Seniors engaged in approved study abroad will have the first term of the three-term senior residency requirement waived.

Program Approval

Undergraduate students seeking to study abroad for W&L degree credit are strongly encouraged to select a program from our list of approved programs. If the program in which you wish to participate is not approved, you must submit a petition and receive approval from the International Education Committee. Program approval is based upon a variety of factors, including student learning objectives, precedent, past experience, faculty, departmental and administrative knowledge and recommendation of a program, and/or site visits, whenever possible, to the program by a W&L faculty member or administrator. A Study Abroad Adviser in the Center for International Education can guide you through the process of selecting a program or petitioning.

Course Approval

Students studying abroad are required to seek approval in advance from the appropriate department head, departmental designee (or academic dean when no W&L equivalent) and academic adviser for all courses to be attempted while abroad. Such approval is granted through the student's Application for Degree Credit for Off-Campus Study. Students must maintain a full-time load of academic course work comparable to that at Washington and Lee in level, nature, and field, applicable to a W&L degree program. Course approvals must be secured prior to taking the course(s) so that the student is clear on the transferability of all courses and credits. Should students' course selections change for any reason after submission of their application, substituted courses are not transferable unless approved by an appropriate Washington and Lee department head (or academic dean or designated person) and academic adviser. Such approval requests should be submitted as soon as possible through the application for degree credit site. Credit will not be transferred for any course for which a student has not obtained preapproval unless retroactive approval is granted by the appropriate department head or dean after the student's return. Such retroactive approval is not guaranteed and must be obtained before the conclusion of the first 13-week term completed by the student upon his/her return to W&L. 

Award of Credit Hours

The approval of credit hours applied to major requirements and the level at which they are applied (100, 200, etc.) will be determined only by the appropriate department head or departmental designee if W&L equivalent or dean for nonequivalent courses at W&L, as recorded on the student's Application for Degree Credit for Off-Campus Study. Those credits approved as equivalent to a specific W&L course number will meet the same requirements that W&L course does. Those credits approved as non-equivalent electives may be applied to major requirements with permission of the department head, but in order to meet general education (foundation and distribution) requirements will require a separate petition to the Committee on Courses and Degrees.Credit for courses taken off campus will only be transferred once an official transcript for the work completed has been received by the W&L University Registrar and approval for all courses has been given by the appropriate department(s), as noted above. Approvals must be obtained and official transcripts received before the conclusion (last day of classes) of the first 13-week term completed by the student upon his/her return to W&L. Late submissions will be charged an initial fee of $100 and $50 per term beyond the deadline. Exceptions to this rule may be granted by appealing to the Faculty Executive Committee. Credits may be transferred only if a grade equivalent to a C (2.0) or better is received. The actual grade on an abroad course is not transferred to the student's W&L record and therefore does not affect the W&L cumulative grade-point average.

Required Language Study Abroad

Students studying abroad in a non-English speaking host culture will be required to study the language of that culture at an appropriate level during the period of their enrollment there. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the International Education Committee. This policy is not intended to cover W&L Spring Term Abroad programs.Students studying in a host culture whose language is taught at W&L are strongly encouraged to undertake at least one year of study of that language prior to their abroad experience. Language study abroad must be approved in advance by the head of the relevant language department at W&L, or if there is no department offering that language, such approval must be sought from the Dean of The College. Approval must be sought prior to departure; approval is not guaranteed if not obtained in advance. Students who seek credit for foreign language study at a program that has not been pre-approved may be required to take an oral, aural, and/or written test upon their return to W&L before a determination of credit approval is made.

Financial Aid for Study Abroad

Financial assistance, both grants and loans, may be transferred to help cover the costs of approved study abroad for fall or winter term or full year. The level of assistance will be adjusted to reflect actual costs of the study-abroad program. Students are responsible for paying deposits required by the host institution or program. W&L does not pay the host institution or study-abroad program directly. Students are responsible for filing a refund form with the W&L Business Office directing payment to themselves or their parents. Normally, such payments are available by mid-September for the fall term and mid-January for winter term. In cases where full payment is required by the study-abroad institution or program prior to availability of financial aid funds, most programs will defer payment for the amount of the transferred financial aid upon the request of W&L. Students wishing to defer such payment should contact the W&L Financial Aid Office.

The W&L Business Office will forward the student's financial assistance disbursement after reducing it by any existing charges on the student's account and the required study-abroad fee (included in calculating the student's aid). Students should have a zero or positive balance on account at the time funds are transferred.

Students (and parents) are encouraged to discuss the use of financial assistance for study abroad with the Director of Financial Aid prior to committing to attend any institution or program, so that the availability of assistance and the flow of funds are clearly understood.

Study Abroad Fees

The student will pay the study abroad fee to W&L for non-W&L administered programs for each term abroad AND is responsible for paying all costs directly to the University or program abroad. It is important that a student ascertain which services are included in the program fee and the dates by which payments must be made. The student will pay the program fee or W&L tuition for W&L sponsored and administered programs.