First and Second Choice SemesterThe college must balance the number of students studying off campus between fall and spring. Every effort is made to approve preferred programs and semester. However, some students may not be granted their first choice. Decisions are made on a competitive basis, taking into account the academic rationale for studying off campus, reasons behind the first-choice program and semester, GPA, and recommendations. Most programs are offered in both fall and spring and students can submit just one program option for both semesters. Students are required to designate a program for the fall and spring semesters unless they have an academic impediment.
Some programs are offered for a single semester in the academic year. In these cases, you must find an acceptable second choice program for the semester your program is not offered. You may make an appointment with one of the OCS Directors to discuss options to pursue other academic interests as part of your liberal arts education.
If you have a strong semester preference but have no actual academic impediment to studying off campus in either semester, you must still list fall and spring program options. You will submit an application under your first-choice program and semester and list your second-choices in your application. Explain the reasons behind your semester preference in your application essays clearly. Although every effort is made to accommodate personal and extra-curricular needs or commitments, substantive academic factors are given highest priority when determining the allocation of semester placement.
Academic ImpedimentsIf you have an academic reason that you are unable to study off campus in a particular semester, ask your adviser to sign the form Academic Impediment for Fall or Spring. Upload the form into your application to be exempt from designating a choice for that semester. Please keep in mind that the OCS Board normally accepts only the following impediments:
- inability to complete a major
- inability to complete a concentration
- inability to take courses in the appropriate sequence
- inability to complete the prerequisites for the OCS program.