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Start Now - Eligibility and Timing

Start now to learn about the steps in the study abroad process at Smeal. See when to go, when to apply and how to plan course work around the time spent in your chosen education abroad program.

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Eligibility Requirements

Established with the support of Charles H. Whiteman, Dean of the Smeal College, and Felisa Preciado-Higgins, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, the following policy applies to eligibility of pre-Smeal and Smeal students who seek to elect a semester of education abroad as part of the PSU experience. This policy applies to all students planning a Smeal business major. There are no exceptions.

~Terrence R. Guay, Associate Dean for International Programs


Summer Study Abroad

Summer is a good opportunity for students to explore study abroad if they wish to go early or for a shorter duration. Programs range from 3-10 weeks in length. Students may consider a summer study abroad program as early as the first year (two completed semesters). Some programs may have additional eligibility requirements. Check with your academic advisor to ensure you do not risk exceeding the entrance-to-major credit window by adding summer credits.

Semester Study Abroad

Full semester study abroad programs, in the fall or the spring, allow students to have a longer and more immersive international experience. Students that are planning for a Smeal major (BA and DUS) must have completed all ETM courses and be in their major before they leave for a fall or spring semester program.  Minimum GPAs and other prerequisite courses are required for some programs. Penn State World Campus is NOT a Penn State Study Abroad program. Please read this brochure for a better understanding of the differences.

Non-PSU Semester Programs

Credits taken abroad during fall or spring semester at a non-PSU study abroad program will NOT be accepted toward any Smeal degree requirements, including general education and electives. Students must attend a program from the full list of Penn State Education Abroad Office programs. Candidates for the International Business Minor must attend a program on the Choosing a Program list. Students with compelling academic motivations for considering non-PSU study abroad programs may contact the Office of International Programs to inquire about a petition process.


Application Deadlines

Fall Semester & Academic Year Abroad - March 1

The Fall 2024 and Academic Year 2024-2025 deadline is March 1st*.

*Exception - These programs have a January 20th deadline: IES: Nagoya, Nanzan University, IES: Oxford, St. Catherine's College (Fall, Academic Year, and Spring applications), Mito: Ibaraki University, Kuala Lumpur: Monash University Malaysia

Spring Semester Abroad May 15 Early Action Deadline

The Spring 2024 early action deadline is May 15th. If programs fill at this date they will be closed to applicants in later application cycles. Final deadline for application is September 10th. We highly recommend students submit all materials by May 15th.

Summer Study Abroad - January 24

The Summer 2024 deadline for all PSU-approved study abroad programs is January 24th.

Summer International Internships - January 24

The Summer 2024 deadline for all PSU-approved International Internship programs  is January 24th*.

Summer Virtual International Internships - January 24 or March 1

Apply by January 24th to be considered for Penn State Global Programs Scholarships.

Apply by March 1st as the final deadline. Scholarship consideration depends on remaining funding and is not guaranteed.


Careful planning to include an educational experience abroad from the first year at Penn State will contribute to a timely graduation.

First Year

Tell your Smeal or DUS Adviser if you want to study abroad and they will help you reserve course requirements to complete abroad. Consider a summer study abroad program as many are open to students completing their first year at Penn State.

Sophomore Year

Set goals, research programs, review course offerings and decide which semester to study abroad.  Then, apply by the program deadline; many deadlines are almost a year in advance of departure.

Junior Year

Plan specific courses to take abroad with your Smeal Adviser and your advisers for any minors.  Complete minor applications and get department permission if you want to take any courses abroad for the minor. Save syllabi from all courses taken abroad.

Senior Year

Share your experiences with other students and get your course equivalency paperwork completed so courses may be placed into your degree audit for your major and any minors.

Schedule an Appointment

An appointment with the Strickler Office of International Programs is recommended during the program selection process to ensure your goals fit well with the chosen program.  As you narrow your choices find out more about courses and other program specifics.