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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on a question below to view the answer.









Can I meet with someone from OCSE to discuss my options?

Yes! You can visit our advising website to book an appointment or email . Same day appointments are often available and we are happy to meet in-person (starbuck 202) or on zoom. 

What courses do I need to take while off-campus?

You should talk to your academic advisor regarding courses in your major or minor or courses toward all-college requirements that can or should be taken off campus. It is a good idea to sit down and plan out the semesters before and after your time off campus as well. This will help you see if or when you have room for flexibility when choosing a curriculum for your time off campus.

Can I take courses outside of my major?

Yes. Student can typically take courses in subject areas other than their major. Some programs abroad, however, may limit enrollment options in this regard—be sure to check your program's requirements prior to submitting an application. You should also inform yourself of what requirements you need to fulfill while off campus and be sure you understand how major, minor, or all-college requirements will affect your program and course choices.

Will I stay on track to graduate on-time?

With careful planning off campus study should help, not hinder, your progress toward graduation. In addition it offers important opportunities to enhance the academic work you are engaged in on campus.

Is the program I want to attend approved by my department?

You should review the Approved Programs List developed by your major or minor department to determine which off-campus programs are approved by that area. The programs included on the various departmental Approved Programs lists are those that fit academically with that major or minor. The Approved Programs list include both Skidmore and non-Skidmore programs abroad and in the U.S./Canada. Students should consult with their major or minor department and an advisor in Off-Campus Study & Exchanges on securing credit approval.


What is the difference between Skidmore Programs and International and Domestic Approved Programs?

Skidmore Programs and Approved Programs are treated the same when it comes to billing. Please see the sections below on 'Grades and Credits' and 'Finances' for additional details regarding how the various programs are handled.

  • Skidmore Programs are study abroad programs that have been developed by the faculty and OCSE to directly support certain aspects of Skidmore's curriculum. Skidmore programs are administered through OCSE, which also has general oversight for these programs.
  • International and Domestic Approved Programs are study abroad programs that have been reviewed and approved by Skidmore's academic departments, the OCSE and the Committee on Educational Policies and Planning (CEPP). They are high quality programs that offer academically rigorous programs and a strong on-site administrative structure, and are available in a wide variety of destinations around the world.

What if I need credit toward my major or minor while I'm off campus?

If you want off campus credit to count toward your major/minor, you should first review the programs from the Approved Programs list for your major/minor department. While you are not limited to only participating on a program approved by your major/minor department, this is a good place to start exploring what programs will work for your major/minor. Regardless of what program you select, you will work with your major or minor department on securing course credit approval for courses on all Approved Programs. 

What if I don't need credit toward my major or minor?

If you don't need credit toward your major/minor, you will still search for programs on the college-wide Master Approved Programs list. The Master List is available through OCSE and online here.

What if I can't find any Approved Programs that meet my academic needs?

If you cannot find an appropriate program in the existing program lists, you may petition to participate on a study abroad program that is not already approved by Skidmore. The petition must have an academic focus and have support of the students' major/minor department. Students wishing to petition for a non-Approved Program must consult with OCSE for details.


When can I study off campus?

Customarily, juniors apply to study off campus. Students at other stages in their Skidmore education must submit a letter of intent and a letter of recommendation from their academic advisor to study off campus.

What are the GPA requirements?

You need a GPA of 2.75 or better in order to study off campus. You must also be in good academic, social and financial standing with the College at the time of departure. You should check with your specific program regarding any additional requirements.

Do I need to declare my major before studying off-campus?

Yes. You must declare your major and, in fact, you must do so before applying to study off campus through OCSE. This rule applies to all students applying for a semester/full year program, including those who will study off-campus during their sophomore year.

Do I need to have completed any prerequisite courses?

You will need to check with your specific program of interest for prerequisites to specific programs and courses. Some programs have language requirements or ask that you complete certain culture- or discipline-based coursework before participating.

Do I need to submit supplemental or special materials with my application (i.e. art portfolio)?

Fine arts programs do tend to require that samples of a student's work, and possibly a discipline-related résumé, accompany the primary program application forms. In additional, programs offered in a language other than English may also require verification of a student's proficiency in the foreign language. Please check with your specific program of interest to determine what, if any, supplemental materials are required for your application.


Will I receive Skidmore or transfer credit from my off-campus program?

If you participate on a Skidmore Program your credits will come back as Skidmore credits. If you participate on  an International Approved Program or a Domestic Approved Program your credits will come back as transfer credits. That means you must earn a "C" or better in order for the courses to count.

Will grades from off-campus be calculated into my Skidmore GPA?

If you participate on a Skidmore Program, your grades will be calculated into your GPA. If you participate on an International Approved Program or a Domestic Approved Program your grades will NOT be calculated into your GPA.

What about maturity-level credits?

All courses at the 300 level will be applicable to the all-college requirement for maturity-level credits. Each department determines how many maturity-level credits may be brought in from off-campus study for the major or minor. Therefore, you must work with the appropriate Department Chair or Program Director before departure to determine which of the 300-level courses taken while off campus will fulfill departmental or other requirements.

What about my all-college requirements?

All-college requirements may be completed while studying off campus. You will need to seek pre-approval through the appropriate department or the Registrar's Office.


How will I be billed for off-campus study?

Students participating on Skidmore Programs and International or Domestic Approved Programs will be billed by Skidmore for the Skidmore comprehensive fee. The comprehensive fee includes the current rates for Skidmore tuition, room at the on campus apartment rate, and board (if applicable). In return, Skidmore will manage payment to the program provider, as the program provider will bill Skidmore/OCSE directly. Skidmore will pay the provider for tuition and mandatory academic fees, room, board (if applicable), and mandatory medical insurance. Students are responsible for any refundable deposits payable to the program provider, transportation costs to and from the program, passport and visa fees, and personal expenses. NOTE: Some programs do not include meals in their fees or they include partial meal plans. If this is the case, Skidmore will not bill you for board or will bill for partial board only, and you will be responsible for your meals.

How does my financial aid work?

You can use most financial aid for off-campus study for up to two semesters.

What will my financial aid package look like?

You may use most financial aid on all semester off-campus programs. If you receive aid, you should speak with a Financial Aid representative to review possible aid changes based on increased expenses.

Health & Safety

Does Skidmore provide international health insurance?

Yes. Skidmore College has secured international travel insurance through GeoBlue. 

Students approved to study off-campus in a country other than their home country will be covered under this plan, receiving details of coverage via email directly from the carrier shortly before their program start date. You can read more about the coverage here.

In terms of health & safety, what criteria is Skidmore using to assess program viability?

Skidmore, like many program providers, will utilize the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as our primary source for health, safety and security assessment of locations. However, we also monitor and receive updates from multiple risk management organizations and advisories from overseas governments. We also have the benefit of receiving real-time information and updates from onsite program staff.

We then assess program viability based on information received on public health infrastructure, societal restrictions, transportation infrastructure, political instability, travel restrictions and emerging security risks. At this time, we must also consider the number of COVID-19 cases and the impact that the virus has had on health facilities and their capabilities to provide patient care.

Is the COVID Vaccination required?

As a member of the Skidmore community, the college requires that you are fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 and submit proof of your vaccination status to Skidmore College’s Health Services.  This requirement was implemented for the fall 2021 semester for students studying on the main campus in Saratoga, as well as pursuing off-campus study.  The college’s vaccine mandate continues as we seek to combat the ongoing pandemic and protect ourselves and others. 

If you have received a religious or medical exemption from Skidmore College, please understand that the exemption does not extend to your off-campus study program.  It is your responsibility to report your unvaccinated status to your program.  If there is a process to request an exemption from your program, you must follow and adhere to those requirements.