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Policies

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Policies covered:

Requests for programs or semesters not listed under Programs as well as petitions to study off-campus for an academic year on one or two programs are required by November 15.
The Off-Campus Study Subcommittee of the Institute for Global Engagement Advisory Board may deny an application that does not meet acceptable standards related to one or more of the following criteria:
- academic performance
- rationale essays for studying off-campus
- program selection
- conduct record
- faculty recommendation(s)
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 Subcommittee for review.
Conditional approvals vary but may be related to:
- requests for revisions of a specified part of the application, such as the essays
- academic progress and GPA requirements
- program eligibility requirements that need to be fulfilled before the program start date
- 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). Any specific deadlines to meet the condition will be indicated in the approval notification email.
OCS consults with Student Affairs to determine whether applicants have committed any conduct or housing violations and to ascertain the circumstances surrounding any such violations. In some cases, students will be asked to submit a personal statement and meet with the OCS Director to discuss the incident(s) and implications for study away. This information will be used in determining suitability for study away and may also be shared with the program provider.

Students who will be on disciplinary probation during the term(s) they intend to study off campus are not eligible unless they appeal and their appeal is successful. The appeal entails submitting a personal statement to the OCS Director and meeting with a panel consisting of staff and faculty.

Students who commit conduct or housing violations after their applications have been approved but before they study off campus may not be permitted to study away. If approval is revoked, the student would be fully responsible for all non-recoverable costs.
Students must be in residence during the fall semester before the Grinnell 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.

Students who take a leave of absence must successfully complete a semester in residence before being eligible to study off campus.
Our advising process if designed to help you apply for the program and term that will be the best fit for you and changes are discouraged. If you have a compelling reason or reasons for seeking to apply to a different program or term from the one for which you received approval, contact the OCS Director. An educational rationale as well as approval emails from your academic adviser(s) and a parent/guardian will be required to change programs and/or terms.
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 you have any questions or concerns about a course not being considered a transferable liberal arts course based on Grinnell's curriculum, please ask that the syllabus be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar. Not obtaining approval for course changes could result in credit not being transferred, so be sure to have them reviewed. This process may be done through email with a copy sent to ocs@grinnell.edu.
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 generally 15 to 18 credits.
Students who take a load of 15 to 18 credits generally integrate better into the program and can take full advantage of what Grinnell hopes a student will get out of the program when the student is approved for it by the College.
Language Commitment: As a condition of a student’s eligibility and approval for an Off-Campus Study program, students are required 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.
Credits are evaluated according to the grading and credit systems of your Off-Campus Study 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.
An official transcript issued by an accredited institution or a program partner with a School of Record is required for credit to transfer.

Note: Off-Campus Study credits do not count towards the 24 credit maximum for transfer credits. Courses count as general credit towards graduation unless approved to fulfill major or concentration requirements by the relevant department.

• Credit will be given for liberal arts coursework consistent with Grinnell offerings as long as the student earns a C or above. Non-liberal arts courses such as marketing, journalism, tourism, fashion or design, basic photography, and food tasting will not transfer back to Grinnell. 

• 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. If you have obtained the signature of a faculty member or department chair on your OCS Proposed Courses form that it will count towards your major or concentration, the Registrar's Office will process it automatically. The Registrar's Office will also accept an email from a faculty adviser authorizing major or concentration credit.
Non-Grinnell programs:
 Grades 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 with the exception of local university courses.

Courses may not be taken pass/fail or as an incomplete, regardless of individual program policy.
If you decide to withdraw, immediately inform the OCS Office by sending an email to OCS staff or ocs@grinnell.edu. 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 and be eligible for College housing.
Students are bound by Grinnell's travel policy, which is currently being adapted to align with the new U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories. Students are eligible to appeal this policy for study in certain countries and should contact the OCS Director for more information.