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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 Off Campus Study Directors.

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. Complete the OCS Pre-Application Checklist before beginning your online application. Consider all the application components.
  • 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.
  • If you are unable to complete your major, concentration, courses in sequence or complete the prerequisites for your off campus study program, you have an academic impediment that may exempt you from studying off campus a particular semester.  Ask your Academic Adviser to fill out the Academic Impediment Form which you will upload to your application. 
  • 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.
  • Outline an essay to explain your program choices and how each fits into your academic goals and objectives. Explain how studying off campus will deepen and supplement your education at Grinnell, explaining your choice of program in terms of its relationship to your four-year plan of study, including your major, concentration, and/or other areas of interest in the liberal arts. Give examples of ways in which you will have prepared yourself, both academically and personally, for this off-campus experience and how you will build on it after your return. Discuss any additional objectives you may have that are not directly related to your primary academic goals for attending the program. 
  • 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. You will also need to ask your adviser to write a statement of support within their recommendation regarding your academic plan to spend a year off campus. 
  • 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.

NOTE: Grinnell in Washington and Grinnell in London have a later application deadline and do not require a direct application as Grinnell programs.

6. Once you have all forms filled out and the information needed you are ready to begin the application. Using the Program Search, find your first choice program. Click the Apply Now button. Select your first choice term; fall or spring semester or academic year.  Use your Grinnell College login. Submit only one application. You will not need to submit an application for your second choice program. You will be asked to indicate your second choice program. Save your work frequently.  Do not submit items until completed. You can return to your application anytime by using the Login button on the Home page.