Application Process: External Programs


Tufts requires that all students be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of enrollment through participation in an approved external study-abroad program. “Good standing” means that students are not on Disciplinary nor Academic Probation. 

In addition, Engineering students must also: 

  1. Have a minimum GPA of 2.75 at the time of application and the start of the program. Students should note the GPA requirements of their program, the provider may have a higher minimum.
  2. Submit a “Request to Study Abroad on an External 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, Deadlines, and Requirements

1) Application Procedures and Internal Deadlines

All students wishing to study abroad must register their intent to study abroad** in the academic year prior to studying abroad (November 1, 2022 for study abroad during 2023-24).

Students applying to external study-abroad programs must also:

  • 1) apply directly to their program provider (application deadlines vary);
  • 2) and complete Tufts Global Education’s application/program-declaration form (found via the 'Apply' button on the list of approved programs), which registers their specific program selection with our office. Students must submit this application by February 1 for programs at any point in the following academic year: fall, full year, or spring. We recommend students visit Tufts’ approved programs list, here, to access the most current list of approved programs along with links to their provider websites and Tufts’ application form.

Students should plan to begin the Tufts Global Education application process for external study abroad soon after selecting their program (item #1 above). It should be noted that program application procedures and deadlines are set by the program providers. In addition to supplying routine information, many program applications will also require additional materials; such as personal statements and letters of recommendation.

After thoroughly researching the programs on the approved list, should a student decide that their academic needs are better met by a program that is not currently approved, they should contact the Global Education team’s Program Manager for information on how to proceed.

**Students who indicate their intention to study abroad will not receive an On-Campus Housing Lottery number for the academic year they plan to study abroad, and can choose to be placed on a waitlist for on-campus housing. Questions about the waitlist and housing application should be directed to Residential Life.

2) Essay or Personal Statement

Programs often need to assess a student’s motivation for studying abroad, and may ask for a short essay or statement of purpose. It is important to highlight your academic and sometimes even professional career goals as 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.

3) Letters of Recommendation

Recommendations should come from a student’s professors or faculty advisor. The best person is an instructor who can comment on their academic abilities and how the study-abroad program will fit into their overall academic plans. To obtain a recommendation, students should ask the person who knows them and their work best, even if that instructor teaches in a department outside their 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 an international academic environment.

4) Study Abroad Advisor Approval/Home School Nomination


Many applications for study-abroad programs require the signature of, or written statement, from the Tufts Global Education Program Manager confirming  that an applicant is 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 our office. Approval/nomination forms should be dropped off to Tufts Global Education in Dowling Hall or emailed directly to the Global Education office’s Program Manager.

Note: Since approximately 500 Tufts juniors study abroad each year, it is imperative that approval/nomination forms be submitted to the Program Manager at least one week in advance of the date they are due. It takes time to review student files and prepare approvals. 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 provider unless the program specifically requests that the official transcript accompany the application form. Transcript requests can take a few business days to be mailed, so students are encouraged to plan ahead.

6) Medical Report or Health Clearance

A medical report or health clearance form may be required from your external program provider at the time of application. However, it is more often required after a student has confirmed enrollment in the program. Students may have this form completed by the Tufts Health Service or by their physician. At the time of examination, students are encouraged to find out what immunizations are recommended for the country (or countries) they will be visiting. Also, students may want to consider talking with their doctor about any physical or mental health conditions that might affect their study abroad experience. If you will need prescription medications or support services while abroad, it is essential to make these arrangements in advance.

Program-Specific Application Deadlines

Program provider 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 students do not wait until the published application deadlines to apply. Many programs offer rolling admissions and will provide a decision within weeks of receiving a complete application. Applying early improves the chances of being admitted to top choices.

Generally, if a student meets the program’s requirements (GPA, language level attained), and applies in good time, it is usually sufficient to apply to a single program. But, students are free to apply to a back-up program from Tufts’ Approved List if they choose; many providers allow you to name a second-choice program on the application.

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