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Policies

Policies covered:

Appealing a Decision
Conditional Approval
Conditions of Grinnell Approval
Disciplinary Records
Residence Policy
Changing Programs
Course Changes
Course Load
Credit Transfer
Grades
Canceling your plans
U.S. State Department Travel Warnings

 

Appealing a Decision

The OCS Board may deny an application that does not meet acceptable standards related to one or more of the following criteria:
  • academic performance
  • written rationale for studying off campus
  • choice of program
  • faculty recommendations
Appeal of any denial must be made within ten days of the original notification to the OCS Director, who will forward it to the OCS Board for review.

Conditional Approval to Study Off Campus

Conditional approvals vary but may be related to:
  • requests for revisions of a specified part of the application, such as the essay
  • GPA issues
  • final approvals from the Committee on Academic Standing to study off campus in the final semester
The OCS Director will communicate the decision to the student and academic adviser for discussion as to how best satisfy the condition(s). Deadlines to meet the condition will be indicated in the decision letter.

Conditions of Grinnell Approval

  • Approval will be cancelled if the $200 advance tuition deposit is not paid by the due date.
  • Students placed on academic probation prior to their leave will have their approval to study off campus automatically cancelled . 
  • Students who receive an academic warning may have their approval cancelled at the discretion of the Committee on Academic Standing.
  • Students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to sign a Waiver, Release and Indemnification Agreement prior to studying off campus, which includes the understanding that Grinnell is not liable for financial loss or loss of academic credit caused by any difficulty encountered while registered for or enrolled in a college-approved program.  Included are losses resulting from actions taken by program sponsors or Grinnell College based on Travel Warnings, Public Announcements or other advice received from the U.S. State Department.

Disciplinary Records

Please be aware that some program providers ask us verify if a student has a disciplinary record. This may prevent a student from being accepted to a program. If you have concerns, please let us know so that we can contact the provider in advance to find out if this will be prevent an application from being accepted.

Residence Policy

Students must be in residence during the fall semester when the Grinnell Approval Application to Study Off-Campus is due. After receiving Grinnell College approval to study off campus, you must remain in residence during the semester(s) preceding the off-campus study semester. Therefore, you must spend at least two consecutive semesters in residence before studying off campus. Read more about the College Residence Requirement.

Changing Programs

If you wish to apply to a different program from the one for which you received approval, please make an appointment with the Director of Off-Campus Study. The approval of your Adviser(s) and the Off-Campus Study Board will be required to change programs.

Course Changes

The courses listed in your application are considered to be an academic contract between you and Grinnell. Your academic adviser and OCS must approve any changes to your course plan after you receive your approval to study off campus. If the changes are approved by your adviser, the OCS Office will then confirm that the course is transferable to Grinnell. Not obtaining approval for course changes could result in credit not being transferred, so please sure to get them approved. This process may be done through email with a carbon copy sent to ocs@grinnell.edu.

Course Load

  • A course load of 12 to 18 credits is necessary to be a full time enrolled student. You are expected to take a full course load as defined by your program or Grinnell College, which is 15 to 18 credits.
  • Students who take a full load of 15 to 18 credits generally integrate better into the program, and a full load takes fullest advantage of what Grinnell hopes a student will get out of the program when the student is approved for it by the College.
  • As a condition of a student’s eligibility and approval for an off-campus program, students are expected to either study the language of the host country or take courses taught in the language of the host country, if offered by the program and not the student’s native language. This standard applies whether or not language study is required by the program. Students are also expected to take advantage of at least one course that helps them learn more about the host culture and country.
  • Courses count as general credit towards graduation, unless approved to count towards the major.
    • Credit will be given for liberal arts coursework consistent with Grinnell offerings. Non-liberal arts courses such as marketing, journalism, tourism, fashion or design, basic photography, and food tasting, will not be given credit transfer.
    • Individual academic departments and concentrations determine their own policies for accepting off-campus program credits.  Approval is on a course-by-course basis. It may be granted in advance, on the basis of the course description and syllabus, or determined after your return to campus, based on course materials that you bring back and your own academic work.  Some departments do not approve off-campus credit to count towards the major or limit it to certain kinds of courses.

Credit Transfer

  • Credits are evaluated according to the grading and credit system on your off campus program.
  • Course credit listed in program information is usually equivalent to the Grinnell credit. However, credits from programs on the unit system (1 credit per course) will be converted into 4 semester-credits on the Grinnell College transcript.  Many programs operating on the same semester-credit system as Grinnell offer only 3 credits per course or 15 credits for the semester for 5 courses.
  • Transferring over 18 credits will be assessed an overload charge.
  • The Transfer Course Approval Form  requires a transcript from either the program provider or educational institution.
  • Note: Off-campus study credits do not count into the 24 credit maximum for transfer credits.

Grades

  • Non-Grinnell programs:
    •  grade and credits for courses in which you earn a "C" or above will appear on your transcript.
    •  grades for courses below "C" will also appear but no credit will be transferred.
    •  grades are not calculated into your GPA.
  • Grinnell in London or Grinnell in Washington:
    • grades and credits will appear on your transcript and are calculated into your GPA. 
  • Courses may not be taken pass/fail or as an incomplete, regardless of individual program policy.

Canceling your plans

Immediately inform the OCS Office by email. If you have already applied to your program, inform the program that you will not be participating. Please note program deposits are normally non-refundable. There may also be substantial additional charges, depending on how close to the start of the program you decide to withdraw. Students must notify OCS in order to pre-register for on-campus courses or be eligible for college housing.

Travel Warnings

Students will not be allowed to begin a study-abroad program in a country or area considered to be unsafe by the U.S. Department of State. If a Public Announcement or Travel Warning comes into effect before the start of a program, students will need to work with the Off-Campus Study Office to make alternative plans. If a Public Announcement or Travel Warning is issued while a program is in progress, a decision to cancel a student’s approval to study off campus may be made based on the advice of the U.S. Department of State.