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Apply for Grinnell Approval


1. Explore the program options available under the Program Search tab.  Consider how particular programs fit into your academic goals. 

2. Talk with your Academic Adviser about how programs best meet your rationale for studying off campus and how off campus courses fit into your four year plan.

3. Discuss the range of options with one of the Global Envoys or Off Campus Study staff members.

4. Meet with the Campus Program Adviser to find out more about the program and decide if it will be a good fit for you. Each program has a Campus Program Adviser listed in the Fact Sheet area.

5. The following components will be part of your online application:
  • The Campus Program Adviser must sign the Campus Program Adviser Form to indicate that you have spoken to them about the program. If you are applying to the same program for both semesters you will only need one signature. If your first-choice program is offered a single semester, you will need to obtain the signature of another Campus Program Adviser for your second-choice semester program.
  • Academic Adviser(s) approval is needed for a first and second-choice semester option for OCS Proposed Courses & 4 Year Plans.
Declared major - Your program courses and four-year plans must be approved by your academic adviser(s).
Undeclared - Discuss your plans with a professor in your intended major.  Your four-year plans must show an intended major and be approved by both your current adviser and a faculty member in your intended major department, ideally your intended academic adviser.
Double majors - If you have declared or intend to declare a double-major, signatures from both departments are required. Your adviser in your major or intended major will determine whether credits from your program will count towards the major; otherwise credit will count as general credit towards graduation.
Concentration credits - If you would like your off campus coursework to count towards the concentration you will need approval from the concentration adviser.
  • Short-answer essay questions.
    • 1. List your top 2 or 3 academic goals for your Off-Campus Study experience. Goals can draw from course content and/or “mode” of learning and teaching as well as a program theme, connections between courses and co-curricular learning, and how a program engages with a local community or place.
    • 2. Describe how the program will help you meet those goals, providing specific examples of the courses you think you’d like to take as well as any community engagement opportunities you may pursue (research, internship, service-learning, etc.).. [approximately 250-300 words]
    • 3. Discuss ways in which your overall learning experience while off-campus may connect to your studies when you return as well as your potential plans after graduation. [approximately 250-300 words]
    • 4. Provide a few examples of how you plan to learn about the region, country and/or host culture before you go and while you’re onsite. [approximately 100-150 words]
  • Recommendations: Students should meet with faculty prior to inputting their name into the system. The system will generate an email request for the recommender to fill out a form within the student's application.
  • Recommendations must be from two faculty members from whom you’ve taken a class. They don't have to be professors in your major or intended major department. One recommendation may be from your adviser.
  • Discuss recommendations at least 7 days prior to the application due date as a courtesy. The system will send out an email and you should advise the faculty member that they will be receiving it.
  • If you wish to apply for a year off campus, please meet with one of the OCS Directors
  • If your program is located in a country where the language spoken is taught at Grinnell and more than 1 semester of language is required, one of your recommendations must come from a professor from that department.
  • Waiver, Release & Indemnification forms release the College from liability, the assumption of risk and loss from the student's participation in off campus study. The form requires a guardian or parent signature. There is a Waiver, Release & Indemnification for 1 semester and a Waiver, Release & Indemnification Academic Year (for Japan Study at Waseda, London School of Economics, Hamilton in France, and College Year in Athens). If you wish to participate in an internship on Grinnell in London or Grinnell in Washington, there is an Internship Waiver form.

6. Apply Now: After reviewing these components, you are ready to start an application. Using the Program Search, find your first choice program. Click the Apply Now button. Use your Grinnell College login. Save your work frequently.  Do not submit items until completed. Required components are stored within the application and can be downloaded from and uploaded to it. You can return to the application anytime by using the Login button on the Home page.