When should I start the study abroad application process?
You should schedule a meeting with a study abroad adviser to discuss your study abroad plans. Ideally, this should happen at the end of your first semester at Princeton so you can learn about all your options and understand how to go about selecting a program. You should have a good sense of which program(s) you want to apply to about one year before the applications are due. Once your plan is in place, you should create an application the semester before you want to go abroad (with some exceptions, e.g., Oxford, for which you need to apply earlier).
For example, if you want to go abroad the spring semester of your junior year, you would need to apply during the fall semester of your junior year. Please see below for more information:
- Study abroad during fall or full year: program applications due February-May; Princeton application to be completed by the end of April.
- Study abroad during spring: program applications due August-November; Princeton application to be completed by the end of October.
Students will be able to apply for their programs via Princeton’s Global Programs System (GPS).
Please note the following application tips:
- There will always be two deadlines on a GPS page: one is the Princeton deadline (see above) and one is the program deadline. Please make sure to take note of both.
- There can sometimes be additional application steps, depending on a program. For instance, some programs require a nomination, which has to happen before you can apply (nomination deadlines are noted in GPS).
- Because of this twofold application process, you may be accepted by Princeton before you have heard back from your host institution (or vice versa). Be sure to discuss this when meeting with a study abroad adviser.
- One of the most important pieces of the Princeton application is the course approval form, which takes some time to complete due to the approval signatures that must be gathered. The sooner students submit this form, the better.
What do study abroad applications usually require?
Requirements vary by program, but programs and universities usually ask for the following: personal and academic information, personal statement, letter(s) of recommendation, language evaluation, resume, and official transcript. When it comes to asking for letters of recommendation, think about a professor who knows you well academically and can attest to the quality of your academic work. Be sure to give your recommender ample time to submit the letter.
The Princeton GPS application asks for a copy of your passport, study abroad course approval form, emergency contact information, and various other materials. Please refer to the specific program information in GPS to understand which documents you will need, and by what deadline.
How do I submit my study abroad application?
- Click on “Apply Now” on the GPS program page and create an application. Once you have completed all materials and you see check marks for all items, your application is considered complete and ready for your study abroad adviser’s review and approval.
- Apply directly to the host university or program – For most host programs, you are responsible for sending in your application materials or completing the application online through an application portal. Each program works differently, however, so be sure to meet with a study abroad adviser to learn if there are any specific tips to keep in mind when applying.
When should I expect to hear back from a host program?
This very much depends on the program. Some universities or programs have rolling admissions, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you hear back. It is always a good idea to apply early.
I have heard that Oxford and Cambridge have earlier deadlines – is this true? Are they also more competitive?
The universities of Oxford and Cambridge typically require students to apply a full year in advance. For instance, if you want to go to Oxford during your junior spring, you would need to apply during the winter of your sophomore year. Oxford and Cambridge are much more competitive and have higher GPA requirements (3.5 – 3.7). They also have more extensive applications, including 2 letters of recommendation, 2 samples of work, transcript, and personal statement. If you are interested in attending either of these programs, please schedule an appointment with the appropriate adviser.
If the GPA required by the host study abroad program is higher than the one required by Princeton and I do not meet the higher GPA, may I still apply?
The program abroad may be flexible when it comes to GPA requirements, but it depends on the program. You should always discuss this with a study abroad adviser and be sure to bring up any concerns you may have about your GPA.
When do I typically hear back from Princeton about having been approved for study abroad?
Study abroad advisers will take various steps before you can be approved. We review your application materials and complete a disciplinary and well-being check to make sure all students are prepared to go abroad.
Princeton deadlines fall at the end of October (for spring semester programs) or at the end of April (for fall and academic year programs). The sooner you submit all your required materials, especially the study abroad course approval form, the sooner you will receive notification from Princeton. This typically happens 2-3 weeks after the Princeton deadline.
Are study abroad programs very competitive, and what are my chances of getting in?
Generally speaking, if you apply on time and meet the eligibility requirements, you have a very good chance of getting accepted. If a program works based on rolling admissions, it is a good idea to apply early in order to make sure the program does not fill up. As always, be sure to discuss this with your study abroad adviser in your meeting.
Some programs have higher GPA requirements and are more competitive than others. Occasionally, a program may have limited availability; for instance, some of our exchange programs only allow a specific number of students each term. Other programs require students to be nominated by Princeton before they can even apply.
- Who We Are
- Fellowship Advising
- International Internships
- Novogratz Bridge Year
- Getting Started
- Meet Your Advisers
- Explore Programs
- Financial Matters
- How to Apply
- Returning Home
- Our Students
- Contact Us