Colby has several Academic Policies and a Travel and Registration Policy that govern off-campus study. Please refer to those pages for detailed information, and use them as references as you plan your experience.
An important part of your preparation to study off-campus is familiarizing yourself with OCS policies and understanding the process of selecting and obtaining Colby credit for your courses. Schedule an individual meeting with an OCS advisor during the fall semester to discuss OCS policies and procedures.
To participate in a semester or year long off-campus study program, you must meet certain eligibility criteria.
You need a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7. to be approved by Colby to study off-campus.
If your GPA is lower than 2.7 (but no lower than 2.5), you may be permitted to petition the Advisory Committee on Off-Campus Study. Students with a GPA below 2.5 after Jan Plan will generally not be considered eligible to petition.
With the exception of Colby’s language-acquisition programs in Salamanca and Dijon, which are open to sophomores, you must have junior standing when you study abroad. If you wish to study off-campus during your sophomore or senior year, you must contact the office of Off-Campus Study. Students participating in year-long study abroad in one site or two are required to apply ahead of time, as part of the application due February 20th. The college plans its enrollment in advance. Extending your stay for another semester once on site is not permitted.
Students who were not able to participate in study away their junior year are permitted to study away first semester of senior year; please contact us.
Note: Colby requires seniors to spend their last semester on the Waterville campus.
Colby believes that foreign languages are the key to understanding foreign cultures.
You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing to be approved for off-campus study at Colby. This means that you may not be on academic or disciplinary probation. If you are on disciplinary probation, please contact us to discuss your options.
An important part of your preparation is understanding the process of selecting your courses and transferring them to Colby for credit. You will be meeting with your academic advisor, who will help you to choose the right courses and understand your academic progress towards graduation. Before your meeting, take time to research your host university or program web site and pre-select courses which you find interesting and/or which you think you need to fulfill your requirements.
You must register for a full course load, equivalent to 15-16 Colby credits per semester. Credit transfer is determined by Colby. Do not assume that the credits which appear on your transcript for your program will automatically convert to the same number. If you have doubts about whether you are taking the correct number of courses to fulfill 15-16 credits, please check with your academic advisor and OCS. On-line courses will not be approved. Colby does not give credit for courses taken on-line either here or away. See the Required Course Load for Programs/Universities with Variable Credit.
You will be asked to select courses early in the process and your course proposal will be a part of your Colby application to study off-campus. As part of the application process, you will be meeting and consulting about your course selection with OCS and with your academic advisor. Important considerations for you and your academic advisor are what courses you still need to complete at Colby, what courses your department will allow you take off campus and what other recommendations your academic advisor might have.
Colby Course Approval Structure:
|TYPE of CREDIT||APPROVED by||NUMBER or LIMIT|
|General Credit||Academic Advisor||Full course load (depends on credit value)|
|Distribution or Diversity Requirement||Departmental representative||No limit|
|Major or Minor credit||Departmental representative||Varies by department|
Departmental Chairs & Liaisons CONTACT LIST
All-College Distribution Requirements CONTACT LIST
You must take courses for a letter grade; no pass/ fail is allowed. Minimum grade for transfer of credit is C and grades below that will not receive any credit but they will appear on your Colby transcript. The non-US grades will be converted to US grades according to established conversion scales provided by the issuing institution.
While abroad, students are expected to follow the policies of their institution or program. You are expected to attend classes regularly and to comply with all the requirements of your program. Be aware that if you leave your program early or for extended periods of travel while classes are in session, the amount of credit you receive might be reduced. Please familiarize yourself with exam policies as you plan your stay abroad. You are required to take the regular and final examinations for all courses in which you are enrolled. You are required to abide by the add/drop period of your program. While your grades do not factor into the g.p.a. for non-Colby programs, they will appear on your transcript, so it is imperative that you take your studies seriously.
Note: Students attending approved fall semester programs which continue into January should expect to stay into January to complete their courses and exams, unless there is an early start program in September.
As part of your off-campus study experience, you will participate in the OCS Faculty Mentor Program, designed to help you fully integrate your education and learning experiences away from Mayflower Hill into your Colby course of study.
Prior to departure, you will be assigned to a small cohort of students advised by a faculty mentor outside of your major. Your faculty mentor will engage with your group prior to, during, and after your time away from campus. You will be given advice and guidance during special orientation and mentoring sessions to identify and develop your final research or cultural engagement project. Additionally, as part of the assignment, you will be participating in the student-run Off Mayflower Hill Blog. Upon completion of your semester(s) away, you will receive a one-credit non-graded course notation which will be included in your Colby transcript.
Upon successful completion of your program, you will typically receive 15-16 Colby credits per semester. You may transfer a maximum of 20 credits for a semester and 32 for a full year back to Colby. You may also be granted more than 16 credits for work that exceeds the normal course load of the program, but this requires a petition to the Registrar. You are required to receive a grade on your transcript (including internships, independent study, research) in order to receive Colby credit and all courses must be taken for a letter grade and not as pass/fail. You must receive a C or above in order to get credit for a course. Credit transfer is determined by Colby. Do not assume that the credits which appear on your transcript for your program will automatically convert to the same number. If you have doubts about whether you are taking the correct number of courses to fulfill 15-16 credits, please check with your academic advisor and OCS. On-line courses are not approved and Colby does not give credit for on-line courses in any case.
We encourage international or domestic internship programs, but to receive academic credit, the internship must be non-paid, include considerable academic work done in tandem with the work placement, and not exceed 4 credit hours. Typically, an internship is one of four 4-credit courses. Please consult with OCS and your academic advisor to ensure that your internship will receive credit.
Jan Plan credit will be awarded for:
If you were on a non-Colby Program, your letter grades will appear on your Colby transcript, but will not be factored into your Colby GPA. It is, however, legitimate for you to include them for the purpose of employment or graduate school. For Colby Programs – Salamanca, Dijon, and Bigelow- grades will appear on your transcript and will factor into your Colby GPA. Grades below a C will not receive any credit but will appear on your Colby transcript.
In order to have your off-campus transcript released to the registrar, you must submit your OCS Program Evaluation. The information you provide is very important for our program review process as we strive to offer high-quality programs and satisfactory experiences for Colby students. We value your input and feedback and constructive criticism.
You will be asked by most program providers for an address to which your transcript will be sent. Please use this address:
4622 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8845
You may ask to have an additional transcript sent to your address for your own records. Programs typically send transcripts within eight weeks of the close of the program, but in some cases, it may take longer.
Educating students for our increasingly globalized society is integral to the mission of Colby College. In approving global experiences for our students, safety and security are of paramount importance. The College bases its decisions for approval of international travel on a number of resources including the Consular Information and Travel Advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State (www.travel.state.gov/traveladvisories) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) as well as resources on the ground . Countries designated as level 3 or 4 by the U.S. State dept. for reasons OTHER than Covid-19 may require a petition.
For a copy of the guidelines for petitioning a country designated level 3 or 4 by the U.S. State dept. for reasons OTHER than COVID-19, please contact OCS at 207-859-4500 or [email protected]
Faculty and staff traveling on Colby business and students traveling for Colby credit are strongly encouraged to register their travel. Registering only takes few minutes and will ensure that the College can assist you in the event of an emergency while abroad. You only need to register once within a calendar year, but if you are a frequent traveler, you will need to update your itinerary before each trip.
You do not need to complete this step if you have applied for semester and year-long off-campus study through the Colby on-line portal system or if you are going on faculty-led Colby JanPlans.
Proceed to register on the Colby OCS online portal system. BEFORE registering, you are required to read the Colby College Student International Travel Policy (in the link above the Travel Registry).
If you have questions, please contact OCS at 207-859-4500 or [email protected]