Academic Catalog


IV.Special Academic Programs and Support: C. Off-Campus Study


Global experiences are integral to a Denison education. The Center for Global Programs provides individualized advising to help students explore and plan for various types of off-campus experiences to foster global competencies essential in today’s world.  With a list of more than 200 Denison-approved off-campus study programs, both domestic and foreign, students have many opportunities to learn or hone a foreign language, undertake an international internship tied to an academic program, conduct independent research, and more. The approved programs are carefully vetted for safety and academic rigor associated with a Denison liberal arts education. 

The current list is located in the Global Tools database. Students who withdraw from the university to attend a program that is not on Denison’s list of approved programs are not eligible to receive transfer credit. 

Students normally seek approval for one semester and/or a summer of off-campus study during their Denison career, though approval for an academic year is also possible. 

To pursue off-campus study for academic credit, students must first select an approved program found in Global Tools, develop an academic plan around the program, and obtain approval for study. Once approved by the Center for Global Programs, the student is then responsible for completing an application with the program provider. Students approved for off-campus study must complete an online mandatory orientation session. Failure to do so may result in revocation of approval. 

In addition to semester, or year-long study abroad, shorter term opportunities are also possible. Denison Seminars, semester-long credit bearing courses are open to sophomores and juniors, and typically include an off-campus travel component. Students can also participate in summer, short-term, faculty-led credit bearing seminars. The 2023-2024 Denison Seminar Fee for a course with a travel component outside of North America is $900. The Fee for a course with travel within North America is $530. Fees are automatically waived for those students with significant financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office. Due to the unique nature of Denison Seminars, students normally may take no more than one. Please note the following deadlines as they relate to course enrollment:

  • For Fall seminars with travel during Thanksgiving or December/January holiday break: Drop period ends August 1. Students who drop the course after this period will be assessed a withdrawal fee of $300.
  • For Spring seminars with travel during Spring break: Drop period ends December 1. Students who drop the course after this period will be assessed a withdrawal fee of $300.
  • For Spring seminars with travel after the end of the academic year: Drop period ends February 1.  Students who drop the course after this period will be assessed a withdrawal fee of $300.

Students can also participate in summer, short-term, faculty-led credit bearing seminars. Denison Short-Term Seminars are typically 2-credit courses (credit applied in the Fall semester following completion of a summer or break experience).  The short-term seminars are advertised in the Fall semester and are enrolled via contacting the instructor.  Students pay all costs unless they are determined to have very significant need by the Financial Aid Office.  Those with very significant need will pay a reduced fee, normally a $500 deposit, to enroll in the experience. Every effort is made to make Denison Seminars, Denison Short-Term Seminars, and other faculty-led travel seminar opportunities affordable for every student.

Students can pursue many other opportunities for off-campus learning, in the U.S. or abroad. The Center for Global Programs works closely with the Knowlton Center for Career Exploration and Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement to share information about such opportunities and the resources available.  

Academic Regulations for Off-Campus Study

Denison requires that students participate fully and responsibly in all academic aspects of the proposed off-campus study program, throughout the program's official dates, including required language and area studies courses, and/or a homestay stipulation. Failure to complete the academic aspects of the program will result in a grade of “TF” for the course listed on the Denison academic record for the term abroad. There are no refunds if students fail courses and/or fail to fulfill all academic aspects of the program. 

Denison students studying in a non-English speaking country will be required to take a foreign language course offered by the program or partner university. This requirement is waived for students with a documented language disability accommodation and on file in Denison's Academic Resource Center (ARC).

Students are enrolled for a holding place registration of 12 credits for each term of off-campus study in order to report full-time study to the Federal Clearinghouse to facilitate the portability of financial aid and/or to use 529 college funds. Students are, therefore, required to enroll for at least 12 transferable U.S. semester credits for each semester of off-campus study, but may choose to enroll for up to 18 U.S. semester credits per semester. Additional charges may be assessed for each registered hour in excess of 18 hours [see above]. Students should consider these costs at the time they apply to the program and consult the Denison Catalog and the Office of the Registrar for advice and further details. A student may request twice during their Denison career to take up to 20 hours and request to waive the excess credit hours fee. Fees for any hours that are not waived will remain on the student’s account. Students are limited to one course on an S/U grade base per semester. The arrangements for such a choice must be made with the program provider at the time of final registration. Students should notify the Registrar's Office of the arrangement as part of the pre-approval process for courses.

To receive transfer credit for an off-campus study experience, students must work with the Registrar’s Office and academic advisors to obtain pre-approval for their courses. Students should submit course pre-approvals to the Registrar's Office during the semester prior to their program according to the instructions in Global ToolsThe University is under no obligation to transfer coursework or apply transferred coursework toward specific degree requirements unless that coursework has been approved in advance.

Students wishing to apply a course toward a GE, major, minor, or concentration requirements must receive approval directly from the relevant department/program.  Other coursework for transfer credit will be evaluated through the combined efforts of the Registrar, the Center for Global Programs, and, as necessary, specific departments/programs.

All courses reported on the program provider’s transcript are posted to the Denison academic record with course titles, credits, and grades. This includes any course for which a student receives a failing grade. Credit will only be awarded for grades of D or better. While the grades for off-campus study coursework are not factored into the Denison cumulative grade point average, it is important to note that they could be factored into a composite grade point average should a student pursue graduate or professional school after graduating from Denison.

For more information on Off-Campus Study, see the course catalog.