Application Process: Non-Tufts Programs


Tufts requires that all students be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of enrollment in a non-Tufts study-abroad program. “Good standing” means that you are not on Disciplinary Probation or on Academic Probation. 

In addition, Engineering students must also: 

  1. Have a GPA of 2.75 at the time of application through participation in the program, except where the host university’s requirements are higher.
  2. Submit a “Request to Study Abroad on a Non-Tufts Program for Students in the School of Engineering” by March 1 for fall/full-year programs, or by October 1 for spring programs.

Application Process and Requirements

1) Application Procedures

You will apply directly to your program; Tufts does not have an internal application process for students planning to study abroad on a program that is on Tufts’ list of Recommended ProgramsYou should begin the application process soon after selecting your program from that list. For most programs, you will download the most up-to-date application from the program’s website or submit your application information directly via an online application form. Application procedures and deadlines are set by the program providers themselves.  In addition to supplying routine factual and biographic information, many program applications will also require additional materials.

If, after thoroughly researching the programs on the recommended list, you decide that your academic needs are better met by a program that is not on the list, you must petition for approval. To do so, you must first meet with the Foreign Study Advisor to discuss the program and the petition process; a letter of support from a faculty member in your major department will be required. Petitions are due March 1 for fall/full-year programs, and October 1 for spring programs.

2) Essay or Personal Statement

Programs need to assess your motivation for studying abroad, and will ask you to write a short essay or statement of purpose. It is important to highlight your academic reasons for studying abroad; focusing simply on a desire to travel will not be well-received. Some programs also look carefully at the essay as an example of your ability to write clear, coherent prose, free from grammatical and mechanical errors. Be sure to put your name on all pages of your essay if submitting your application in paper form.

3) Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations should come from your professors or faculty advisor. The best person is an instructor who can comment on your academic abilities and how the study-abroad program will fit into your overall academic plans. To obtain a recommendation, ask the person who knows you and your work best, even if that instructor teaches in a department outside your major. Be respectful, and ask for recommendations with at least a couple of weeks advance notice. (Unless a character recommendation is specifically requested, it is not advisable to ask an employer or someone else who might be unfamiliar with your academic strengths or weaknesses. While they may be most familiar with you as an individual, they will likely not be able to comment on your potential to succeed in a foreign academic environment.)

4) Foreign Study Advisor Approval/Home School Nomination

Many applications for study-abroad programs require the signature of, or brief statement from, the foreign study advisor testifying that you are in good academic and disciplinary standing and will receive transfer credit upon successful completion of the program. This approval is, in most cases, routine and does not require an individual appointment with the Foreign Study Advisor. Approval/nomination forms should be dropped off to the Office of Programs Abroad in Dowling Hall or emailed directly to the foreign study advisor.

Note: Since over 500 Tufts juniors study abroad each year, it is imperative that you submit your approval/nomination forms to the foreign study adviser at least one week in advance of the date you wish to have the approval. It takes time to review your student file and prepare your approval. Requests for same-day approvals are not accepted.

5) Transcripts

To order an official transcript, please follow the steps outlined on the Registrar website.  Official transcripts should be mailed directly to the program to which you are applying unless the program specifically requests that the official transcript accompany your application form. Transcript requests can take a few business days to be mailed, so make sure to plan ahead.

6) Medical Report or Health Clearance

A medical report or health clearance form may be required at the time of application, but is more often required after you have confirmed enrollment in your program. You may have this form completed by the Tufts Health Service or by your family physician. At the time of your examination, be sure to find out what immunizations are recommended for the country (or countries) you will be visiting. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any physical or mental health conditions that might affect your study abroad experience. If you will need prescription medications or support services while abroad, it is essential to make these arrangements in advance.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for fall or full-year programs typically range from December 1 to mid-April and from September 15 to mid-November for spring programs. Be sure to check application deadlines carefully. For more competitive programs, you should apply as early as possible.

It is recommended that you do not wait until the published application deadlines to apply. Many programs offer rolling admissions and will provide a decision within weeks of receiving your complete application. Applying early improves your chances of being admitted to top choices.

As long as you meet the program’s requirements (GPA, language level attained), and apply in good time, it is usually sufficient to apply to a single program, but you are free to apply to a back-up program from Tufts’ Recommended List if you choose; many providers allow you to name a second-choice program on the application.

Note: When submitting applications to study abroad, you must assume responsibility for checking on the status of your completed applications.