Study Abroad FAQs
What are the basic requirements?
For semester study abroad, Harvey Mudd requires applicants to have a minimum 2.5 grade point average and to be in good standing academically. Though many programs require a minimum 3.0 GPA, there are a number of programs that will accept a 2.5 or better. Applicants should be full-time students with a current student account. Any sanctions due to a judicial case against a student must be resolved prior to going abroad. In addition, a clearance to go abroad must be granted by the dean of students. The Academic Catalogue contains further information.
Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?
Not at all! In fact, many of Harvey Mudd’s approved programs have no foreign language requirement. For other programs, language preparation is essential for optimal cultural integration and may require anywhere from one to five semesters of language study. Language requirement or not, all students are strongly encouraged to study the host language while abroad. Note: First-semester language courses are only taught during fall semester at The Claremont Colleges.
When can I study abroad?
Junior year is the optimal time to study abroad, and fall, spring or full-year options are available. Engineering majors planning to study abroad should register for Clinic during the “home” semester of their junior year.
Students wishing to study abroad during sophomore spring or senior fall semester must petition the Scholarly Standing Committee two semesters prior to their study abroad semester. Applicants for senior fall semester must have completed their Clinic or research projects as a junior.
Where can I study?
All over the world! If our Approved Programs do not meet your academic needs, you can petition the Harvey Mudd Study Abroad Committee to attend a non-approved program.
Can I really study abroad as a STEM major?
Absolutely! There are many programs with advanced courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics and physics at English-speaking universities around the world. There also are options for field research in non-English-speaking countries.
How far in advance should I start planning?
It is never too early to begin planning to study abroad, and we suggest you start planning in your first year. Review the Harvey Mudd study abroad process.[link the sentence]
- Though students may decide to study abroad as late as one semester prior and still manage to complete the process, it’s best to begin researching study abroad options as a first-year student. At the very least, begin the process in September for study abroad the following fall and March or April for the following spring.
- If you are planning on studying in a non-English-speaking country and the language is offered at The Claremont Colleges, it is highly recommended to start your language courses as early as possible, even in your first year. A language placement test will help determine your proper placement. Remember, introductory language courses are offered in the fall semester only.
- Plan to expand your education by taking courses that are unavailable on campus. In order to enroll in upper-division courses in your major at a foreign university, you will need a strong background that is defined as having completed three to five courses in your subject area.
- Try to complete your physical education requirement before going abroad.
Can I attend a non-approved program?
The Study Abroad Committee (SAC), in accordance with the College’s academic standards and guidelines, has approved a diverse set of programs. Students who wish to study abroad are strongly advised to give serious consideration to approved programs.
However, students may petition to attend a non-approved program. These petitions will only be considered if existing programs do not meet a student’s academic needs. The SAC will review the merits of the student’s application, the academic quality of the proposed program, the student’s academic preparation and the appropriateness of the proposed curriculum to a student’s academic program. Approval by the SAC does not guarantee acceptance by the program sponsor.
How do I decide where to go?
- Think carefully about the type of experience you seek—cultural immersion, language acquisition, thesis research, internship, and so on.
- Think about which subjects you would like to explore and which electives you’d like to take while abroad.
- Consider which site will contribute the most to your academic and personal life. (Discuss your ideas with your OSA advisor and your study abroad departmental academic advisor.)
- Pay particular attention to program philosophy and design: U.S. classmates versus local students? Cultural integration? Fieldwork? Internships?
- Housing will play a crucial role in your cultural integration: What options do you have for living arrangements? Is self-catering important to you?
- Academic calendar in the northern versus southern hemisphere? In the latter, fall semester begins in July and spring semester ends before July. In the former, many fall programs end in mid January and require students to remain abroad during the winter break.
- Think about extracurricular and cultural activities.
- Do you want a capital city or provincial town? Capital cities have special attractions—such as museums, art shows, concert halls and opera houses—but provincial towns provide more opportunities to get to know people in their daily lives and are usually not as inundated by tourists. Small-town locals may be more open to meeting visitors.
Can I study abroad during the summer?
Many summer programs are available for those who cannot reconcile study abroad with their Harvey Mudd course of study. Students apply directly to the program sponsor and are not subject to Harvey Mudd policies for study abroad. To be eligible for transfer credit, students must use the Summer Course Approval form from the Office of the Registrar to request advance credit approval from the appropriate academic department. This form must be submitted to the registrar before the end of the spring semester. Financial aid is not available for summer study, but scholarships are available. Students are advised to research summer options offered by our program sponsors or study abroad search engines on the Resources page.
Can I apply to more than one program?
Yes. Though most students are accepted to their first choice, we recommend students select a second program to increase their odds of approval. Your study abroad advisor will gladly assist you in this process.
When are the Harvey Mudd College deadlines?
Harvey Mudd applications are due on Feb. 15 for upcoming fall and full-year programs and on Sept. 25 for the following spring. Once a student has received study abroad approval from the SAC, the program sponsor application can be submitted. Remember to pay close attention to all application deadlines.
What happens after I apply?
The SAC reviews all applications for approval; special attention is given to the student’s progress toward graduation and his or her academic preparation for the program, as well as the student essay and faculty recommendation. Students will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision.
Once approved, students are eligible to complete the program sponsor application. Students are notified directly of their approval by the program sponsor. Students may then begin completing study abroad forms for both Harvey Mudd and the program sponsor.
If a student is placed on academic or disciplinary probation, permission to study abroad for credit may be rescinded and the student stands to lose the commitment deposit. Approval of the application also presupposes the students will participate in the mandatory pre-departure orientation meetings and submit all the required forms before leaving the College. The Office of Study Abroad carefully monitors the U.S. Department of State’s consular information, and it reserves the right to rescind approval in cases of political instability or travel warnings.
While students are approved to receive academic credit at the College for their study abroad courses, they will be enrolled in programs sponsored by organizations that have their own rules and regulations, and Harvey Mudd students are expected to abide by these regulations. Costs, refund policies and the number of credits awarded can vary considerably.
Courses and Grades
Do I receive credit for courses I take abroad?
Yes. You receive credit toward graduation from Harvey Mudd if you participate in a program of study officially approved by the College’s Study Abroad Committee. To receive credit:
- the courses must be approved by the department chair of your major and your HSA advisor prior to your semester abroad;
- you must be enrolled full time with the equivalent of least 12 Harvey Mudd credits; and
- you must receive a minimum grade of B for major courses and C for HSA courses.
Can I count courses completed abroad in my major?
Individual departments determine the number of credits that can be applied toward a major. It is your responsibility to consult your academic advisors and submit the necessary course petitions. Any changes from this plan should be communicated in writing to the advisor and the OSA. The College’s acceptance of coursework completed abroad is contingent upon approval by the student’s major department and the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts.
Can I complete a Core requirement abroad?
Probably not. Except under special circumstances, the Common Core should be completed before studying abroad.
Do my study abroad grades count in my Harvey Mudd GPA?
No. All grades and credits received will appear on your transcript, but the actual grades are not computed into your Harvey Mudd College GPA.
Do study abroad programs have different academic requirements?
Yes. Program-specific academic requirements are listed within each program description. [link to programs page]
Can I participate in an internship or research project while abroad?
Many providers offer internships as part of the normal program course load. Research opportunities may also be available. Currently, the College does not award credit for internships or research; however, students may still participate to gain experience. In some cases, this may mean taking an additional course to achieve the necessary credit requirements.
Cost and Financial Aid
Do I pay Harvey Mudd tuition while abroad?
Harvey Mudd students participating in study abroad are billed in the normal manner by the Office of Student Accounts. Students are charged Harvey Mudd tuition and a study abroad fee that is equal to the cost of tuition, room and board (12-meal plan) at the College. This fee covers the costs of the academic program, reasonable room and board in the host country and an allowance for round-trip transportation priced from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to the program site. An allowance for international health insurance may also be provided. Visit the Information and FAQs For Families page for more financial details.
What expenses should I expect to pay out of pocket?
Students will have expenses for many of the same items they must budget for on campus such, as: books, school supplies, local transportation, clothing, comprehensive US medical insurance coverage as required by the College, medical treatment charges, laundry/bedding/towels/cutlery (when not provided by program) postage, recreation, phone bills, snacks, independent travel, etc. The following additional expenses are unique to study abroad participation and are the responsibility of the student:
- the non-refundable application fee charged by the program provider;
- photos, passport charges and fees for the visa or residency permit;
- cost of the mandatory medical examination and any applicable immunizations
- pre-flight arrival/departure Covid-19 testing and possible in-country quarantine expenses, where applicable;
- refundable security deposits against damages for housing, and loss of library books, keys or other property on loan to the student – such deposits will be refunded directly to the student by the program sponsor after the program has ended, less any charges for damages;
- any surcharges for class overloads;
- cost of optional class trips or program field trips and all personal travel;
- gym/club fees;
- internet/computer printing costs;
- meals and accommodation for optional travel and during the breaks between terms or semesters or extended school vacation periods, e.g., spring break in the UK.
Students may want to consider the cost of living in the various locations when choosing between program options. It can be less expensive to live in towns outside the capital or in countries with favorable exchange rates or a lower cost of living. Students who have returned from study abroad have great advice on budget-friendly shopping options. The largest personal expense for most students is typically for optional travel, but there are many ways to enjoy and experience the culture with free or low-cost activities to take full advantage of the time abroad.
Do I continue to receive financial aid if I study abroad?
Yes. You continue to receive federal and state aid as well as private and merit scholarships and up to 100 percent of Harvey Mudd grants, not to exceed the costs of a semester (or full year) at the College. You may continue to receive financial aid while studying abroad for either one semester or for one full academic year.
Note: U.S. work study is not applicable when studying abroad. Some countries, however, will allow students to work up to 20 hours weekly. Contact the Office of Study Abroad (email@example.com) for more details.
What happens if I withdraw from participation on an HMC Study Abroad program?
Receiving a refund upon withdrawal is determined by the program provider and the date of the withdrawal, not by Harvey Mudd College. Most programs have a requirement for official written notification of withdrawal and a schedule that determines the amount of a refund due, based on when official notification is received. After confirming participation on a program, and depending on the time of withdrawal, there may be a cancellation penalty charged by the program provider, plus any unrecoverable charges already paid out by the College on a student’s behalf. Students and families are advised to carefully read the program provider’s commitment documents before accepting a place on a program to understand the withdrawal procedures and refund policies. The program provider policy determines the availability and amount of any refund due to the student in the event of a withdrawal (withdrawals due to medical reasons may receive special consideration, but there are not guarantees). After a certain point in the semester (this varies by program), there is no possibility of a refund.
My chosen university in the United Kingdom offers a pre-session in the autumn term for an extra fee. Is this covered?
You will need to petition the SAC for permission to take this term and request have Harvey Mudd College pay for the session.
How should I purchase my ticket and apply for airfare reimbursement?
The process begins with each student submitting their program dates to the Office of Student Accounts who will, in turn, provide students with an airline quote to purchase their ticket. Students may use any avenue to purchase tickets, however, we strongly recommend students use Corniche Travel, an agency used by the Claremont Colleges. Students are required to submit a copy of the airline itinerary and ticket receipt to the Office of Student Accounts for reimbursement. Reimbursements are issued after the student has submitted all Harvey Mudd study abroad forms.
Students are reimbursed for their airline travel directly to and from the host country. Harvey Mudd reimburses the student the lesser of the actual price paid by the student for round-trip airfare or the average price of airfare from LAX to the destination airport in the host country.
Although students may choose to depart from an alternate airport (i.e., nearer to home), travel expenses from home to Harvey Mudd College are still considered the responsibility of the student. By providing their program dates to the Office of Student Accounts, students will receive an average ticket cost from LAX to the host country. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the cost of airfare falls within the price range provided. Once the ticket is purchased, the student may send the receipt and a copy of the itinerary to the Office of Student Accounts for reimbursement. Please note that layovers, stopovers, baggage fees and costs exceeding the average ticket price quoted by the Office of Student Accounts are not reimbursable.
Example 1: Quoted ticket price is $1,100. Student purchases a ticket for $1,150. College will reimburse $1,100, and the student is responsible for the remaining $50.
In some instances, the program provider sponsors group flights, and students have the option of participating in these flights or planning their own travel. Some group flights depart from the East Coast, and if the student lives on the West Coast, he or she may need to purchase an additional round-trip ticket for travel to and from the East Coast. In some cases, this separate ticket, combined with the group travel fare, may be more than the average ticket price provided by the Office of Student Accounts. Either way, the group flight charge should be in accordance with the average flight costs provided by the Office of Student Accounts, and any costs exceeding the average ticket price quoted by the Office of Student Accounts are not reimbursable.
Example 2: Program-sponsored group flight from the East Coast to study abroad destination is $1,100. Student round trip flight from Seattle to East Coast is $550. College reimburses $1,100, and the student is responsible for $550.
How do I receive my meal stipend?
Students will send their housing assignment information to the Office of Student Accounts. This information must be submitted prior to going abroad to ensure receipt of the money in a timely manner.
What withdrawal fees should I know about?
Students who withdraw their application after the program commitment deposit is submitted are responsible for reimbursing Harvey Mudd. Withdrawal due to medical reasons may receive special consideration. Withdrawals close to or after the program start date may incur additional fees as determined by the program provider and Harvey Mudd.
If I have additional questions, where do I go?
Stop by the Harvey Mudd Office of Study Abroad in the Joseph B. Platt Campus Center and speak with Rhonda Chiles, director of study abroad. You may also send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.