The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

New Study Abroad Policy Aims to Improve International Experience

The policy, effective spring 2003, states that undergraduate students can only receive academic credit for study abroad programs that are formally administered and approved by UNC.

The Educational Policy Committee and the administrative boards of the College of Arts and Sciences and the General College approved the policy at a March meeting.

Madge Hubbard, senior associate director of the Study Abroad Office, said the policy is an effort to strengthen the academic standards of the study abroad programs that UNC administers.

"(Study Abroad Office Director) Bob Miles has been working with faculty members and departments to improve academic perceptions about studying abroad," she said.

But Hubbard said there are still provisions in place for students to receive academic credit for programs not approved by UNC.

Jennifer Dormady, associate director of advising at the Study Abroad Office, said that if students cannot find a UNC- administered program, they can complete a petition to receive academic credit.

The first step in the petition process is for students to meet with a study abroad adviser, who can give students a preliminary opinion of their chances to receive credit, Dormady said.

Dormady said students also will need to submit a written appeal, which must include research about the academic content, faculty reputation and reputation of the program they have chosen.

She said petitions then will be submitted to a review committee, which will determine if academic credit can be awarded.

Hubbard said the new policy will result in a more streamlined approach to the University's study abroad program.

Previously, students participating in programs not administered through UNC could receive approval from either the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Study Abroad Office, Hubbard said.

But she said the new policy will make it easier for students to receive academic credit because it will eliminate the option of going through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

"(The Study Abroad Office) will become sort of like a one-stop shop for students," she said. "All the services they need can now be offered by our office."

Hubbard said the policy also will increase the opportunity for students with financial aid to study abroad.

Prior to the new policy, students wanting to participate in programs not approved by UNC could not transfer their financial aid to cover program costs, Hubbard said.

But she said requiring outside programs to be approved by the Study Abroad Office will allow financial aid to transfer. "(The policy) will open up a lot more programs to students who are on financial aid," she said.

Hubbard said going through the Study Abroad Office also will allow students participating in non-University programs to remain registered at UNC while they are abroad.

Hubbard said the Study Abroad Office will spend the summer finalizing details of the petition process. She said the deadline to submit a petition for credit is Sept. 3.

The new policy and a complete list of UNC-administered programs are available on the Study Abroad Office's Web site.

Hubbard said she thinks the new policy will benefit students and make studying abroad a more feasible option.

She said, "The policy will help us meet each student's individual needs and will strengthen the overall study abroad experience."

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

The University Editor can be reached at

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Women's Tennis Victory Paper