General Education & Study Abroad

Interested in Developing a Study Abroad Program that carries General Education credit?

We encourage faculty-led short-term study abroad programs to consider applying for General Education credit.

What are the benefits of General Education Study Abroad programs?

For students, there are two major benefits. First, they have the amazing opportunity to complete some of their Gen Ed coursework in another country in a hands-on, immersive learning experience. Second, most students who opt to earn Gen Ed credit on study abroad programs will do so during the first half of their college career and may then feel inspired and empowered to seek out other international experiences later in their education.

For faculty, there are also two major benefits. First, study abroad is an ideal format for achieving the integrative, experiential learning central to the General Education Program. Second, the Gen Ed credit may enable students to participate in your program who feel they can only afford to go abroad if the courses fulfill a requirement.

How would I structure a General Education Study Abroad program?

There are three options:

  1. Create a new six hour Perspectives theme out of your study abroad. For this option, your program would need to include courses from at least two disciplines. If it is appropriate, you could also apply for one or more of the courses to carry a Literary Studies, Fine Arts, or Historical Studies Designation. One advantage of this approach is that students could complete an entire theme through their study abroad experience.
  2. Apply for one or more of the courses in your study abroad program to count toward an existing Perspectives theme (and, if appropriate, to carry a Literary Studies, Fine Arts, or Historical Studies Designation). For this option, your program could include courses from one discipline or multiple disciplines. One advantage of this approach is that you may be able to recruit students who have already begun, but not yet finished, the theme.
  3. Come up with another curricular configuration and discuss it with Ted Zerucha, Director of
    General Education (

How do I apply for General Education credit?

  1. Contact Ted Zerucha, Director of General Education ( to discuss possibilities (preferably before you fill out your Office of International Education and Development short-term study abroad program application in the fall).
  2. Determine how you want to structure your program (see above).
  3. If you want to create a new theme, fill out a Theme Proposal form and a General Education Part C form for each course.
  4. If you want to apply for your courses to be included in an existing theme, decide which theme would be most appropriate and contact the Theme Coordinator to find out how the other courses in the theme connect with the theme and one another. Then fill out a General Education Part C form for each course.
  5. Submit your completed forms to your department for review. If passed, your department should submit them no later than November 15 of the year prior to when you plan to take your program abroad. You can submit the proposal as early as August 15. Note that, because they are approved on a one-time basis, these proposals do not have to receive approval at the college level and can be submitted to the Office of General Education directly from the department.  The earlier you submit the proposal the better because, once it is approved by General Education Council, we can begin advertising it as an opportunity to gain Gen Ed credit abroad.