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Academic Regulations & Procedures

Off-Campus Study

All students considering off-campus studies must work directly with the Office of Off-Campus Studies, Leighton 119, on all aspects of planning, applying, and confirming participation in any off-campus studies program.

First-year students are not permitted to study off-campus. College regulations for off-campus study are explained online at and in handouts available in the Off-Campus Studies Office.

Off-Campus Studies Petition

All students considering a non-Carleton off-campus study program must complete an Off-Campus Studies petition and other appropriate paperwork, available in the Off-Campus Studies Office. Students must consult with an Off-Campus Studies adviser about the OCS petition which is due in the Off-Campus Studies Office by the third Thursday of the term prior to departure.

If the OCS petition is approved, credits are applicable toward general graduation credits, and financial aid will follow the student off-campus on one non-Carleton program (except for work study; see "Financial Aid" below).

Submission of the OCS petition commits the student to studying off campus for the designated term, pending acceptance into the program and approval of the OCS petition. Once the student submits the OCS petition, the student is not eligible for registration or room draw for the term designated for off-campus study.

Approval of Program

Every off-campus program for which a student plans to receive Carleton credit must be approved in advance of participation by the Off-Campus Studies Committee. A list of affiliated programs is available in the Off-Campus Studies Office and online at

If a student is interested in a program which is not included on the list of affiliated programs, the student must submit a "Program Review" as part of the OCS petition. Students should consult with an OCS adviser about any unaffiliated program. Prior use of an unaffiliated program does not guarantee approval for that same program for another student.

Students will be notified by the Off-Campus Studies office about approval or denial of their OCS petition.


Students should contact the Office of Off-Campus Studies about all deadlines for OCS petitions and Carleton seminar applications by calling ext. 4332 or e-mailing

Late petitions will not be considered. Withdrawal from a Carleton seminar after signing a letter of participation also has financial consequences. Refer to the OCS website at for details about Carleton's policies concerning missed deadlines or canceled participation.


A student may apply a maximum of 54 credits earned off-campus to the total number of credits required for graduation. These 54 credits represent two semesters or one full year on a non-Carleton off-campus program. Students must be registered for the equivalent of 12 Carleton credits minimum on any off-campus program. Credit overloads are not permitted on any off-campus study programs.

Carleton off-campus study seminar credits are considered Carleton credits and do not count toward the 54-credit off-campus credit limit. They also count toward the College residency requirement.

Transfer students must earn a minimum of 108 credits on campus, including the senior integrative exercise, toward their Carleton degree and must be in residence for a minimum of six terms.

Credit for participation in an off-campus study program will be recorded at Carleton only after the Registrar has received an official transcript from the student's program of study. A student's registration for upcoming terms may be held pending receipt of this official transcript.

Whether or not a student needs these OCS credits to complete course requirements, the Registrar must receive official transcripts documenting completion of all non-Carleton OCS programs in order to clear a senior for graduation. If these are not received in time for commencement, an asterisk will be placed next to the student's name on the commencement program.

Approval of credits toward general education, concentration, or major requirements

Students must submit an Approval for Special Credits for Off-Campus Studies form, available in the Office of Off-Campus Studies and the Office of the Registrar, to the Registrar, upon approval of the appropriate department, for credits earned on non-Carleton off-campus study programs.

Grade Point Average

All grades earned on approved off-campus study programs appear on a student's Carleton transcript. Only Carleton off-campus seminar grades are counted in the Carleton GPA.

Required Leave of Absence

Students participating during the summer in Carleton seminars (e.g., Carleton Economics Seminar in Cambridge) will be required to take a leave of absence one term (typically winter) during the following academic year. In the case of non-Carleton summer programs, no leave of absence is required, and credits earned during the summer are received as additional credit if approved in advance.


Upon acceptance into a Carleton off-campus seminar, participating students must register with the Office of the Registrar in the same way they would for any other Carleton term.

Students participating in non-Carleton off-campus programs are not eligible to register for the term designated for off-campus study.

Financial Aid

Financial aid applies to one non-Carleton off-campus study program approved by the College. Students participating in non-Carleton off-campus study programs pay a $500 administrative fee. The fee will be charged to the student’s Carleton account after the Off-Campus Studies Petition has been approved. Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Services and the Business Office about billing procedures. Contact the Off-Campus Studies Office for more details and a budget worksheet.

Students must be enrolled full time to receive financial aid for off-campus study (15 credits for Minnesota State Grant Recipients and at least 12 credits for other financial aid recipients).

If students receive other scholarships or travel grants for off-campus studies, they must report those to the Office of Student Financial Services before departure.

See also Credit Maximum and Minimum, Credit Unit, Declaration of Major, Drop/Add, Grade Point Average, Leave of Absence, Senior Residency, Summer Independent Study, and Summer Study at Other Institutions.



Keywords: off-campus study, credit maximum and minimum, credit unit, declaration of major, directed reading, drop/add, grade point average, lave of absence, senior residency, summer independent study, summer study at other institutions

Last Reviewed: Jun 18th, 2013

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