Responsibilities and Steps for Advisors

Each department or program within Arts and Sciences has been asked to appoint a Departmental Study Abroad Advisor. In consultation with other faculty, the advisor will develop policies and guidelines for study abroad relevant to their department.


Each Departmental Study Abroad Advisor is asked to:

  • Act as the point of contact for students, faculty, and the Overseas Programs for information regarding study abroad opportunities that are appropriate for the majors/minors within the department.
  • Inform and advise individual students as they plan to study abroad, while they are abroad, and upon return, including preliminary approval of the study plan and evaluation of the completed course work, leading to award of Washington University credit.
  • Help set departmental policies and guidelines regarding study abroad options, performance expectations (including the portfolio/project requirement), and integration with major/minor requirements.

Advising Steps

Departmental Study Abroad Advisors should take the following main steps in advising students during the study abroad process:

Program Selection

Assess the student's suitability & progress in their major(s) and discuss suitability of study abroad programs. Assess strength of rationale for any students petitioning for alternative program approval.

Study Plan

Discuss and approve the course of study and possible credits toward the major/minor and sign the Study Plan. Remind the student of any departmental policies or portfolio requirements and any relevant deadlines.

Award Credit

Evaluate coursework, program transcript, and portfolio if applicable. Award major/minor credit for relevant course. Nominate outstanding students for Study Abroad with Distinction.

Study Plan

Students must meet with their Departmental Study Abroad Advisor prior to the application deadline to approve coursework  for major/minor credit and complete a Study Plan. Students are expected to have researched course options within the department prior to meeting with the advisor. The advisor is expected to review the course titles and descriptions with the students to identify appropriate courses or subjects for satisfying major/minor requirements.

Note | Many programs do not publish their course listings as far in advance as the Overseas Programs application deadlines, so the courses approved on the Study Plan are likely to change. Please let students know how best to reach you from abroad or what criteria is required for a course to count for departmental credit.

Award Credit

Once a student has returned and the program transcript received, the Departmental Study Abroad Advisor will be asked to evaluate their work abroad for Washington University. credit. The Advisor will receive a folder that contains the student's program transcript and additional information needed for evaluating credit. The actual amount of credit should be based upon evaluation of the course work or familiarity with the course requirements. We encourage the advisors to meet with students, whenever possible, to review in person their experiences and accomplishments abroad.