Who Can Study Abroad?

Every Tar Heel can Study Abroad!

Students can study abroad as soon as their second semester at Carolina, up to graduation. Study abroad programs are open to all majors- including those in the STEM fields! For example, there are programs designed specifically for the sciences, such as the UNC Science in Scandinavia program, in which students earn five credit hours of UNC Chemistry. Proficiency in the host country’s language is not always required, so you can learn on site!

Eligibility Requirements

Each program has certain eligibility requirements, noted on each program brochure. Below are some general requirements.

  1. Based on years in residence at UNC or another university, not credit hours.
  2. Class year is at the time of participation in the program.
  3. In the summer, students are considered to have moved to the next year. So, a rising sophomore in the summer is considered a Sophomore.

Students must complete the course, and earn designated minimum grade, by the start of the study abroad program.

Students who are on probation, have active sanctions or sanctions that are pending/incomplete that are adjudicated by any campus department due to an academic and/or disciplinary violation, have a pending court case involving a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime, or have a pending Honor Court case, may not be eligible to participate in a UNC Study Abroad program.

Students may complete an application to study abroad but may not be permitted to participate in any program while any state or federal court cases or Honor court cases are pending or with any active university sanctions. Students who have a pending case, state/federal or Honor Court, or active university sanctions at time of application or before departure must submit documentation prior to departure to show completion or clearance of sanctions or charges.

All students with pending cases or sanctions will be considered on a case by case basis, with consideration given to factors including but not limited to: citation type, number of citations, type of study abroad program, severity of disciplinary issue, previous infractions, etc. UNC Study Abroad reserves the right to determine program eligibility based on open university cases and/or charges, as well as active, incomplete sanctions.

Students who are withdrawn from a program for any reason or considered ineligible due to disciplinary issues or for any other reason after committing and signing a program contract are subject to the withdrawal and refund guidelines for UNC Study Abroad programs.

  1. Required number of semesters completed by the start of the study abroad program
  2. May be completed as a course at UNC, or granted as placement credit by UNC

Example: You took an SAT subject test and placed into SPAN 204 at UNC, but decided not to take the course. Therefore, you have 3 semesters of Spanish courses, through SPAN 203.

Students must have declared the major at the time of the application.

Cumulative GPA as of the semester immediately preceding the application deadline

Example: The Summer program deadline is in February. Therefore, refer to your cumulative GPA at the end of the prior Fall term.

Resources for Specific Student Groups

Did you know?

Good news! In most cases, your Carolina Covenant funding travels with you for fall and spring semester study abroad programs!

If the program costs more than being here in Chapel Hill, additional loan funding will be offered to you. Explore Study Abroad Office Scholarships and other funding sources too! If the program costs less than being here in Chapel Hill, your Carolina Covenant funding may be reduced to match reduced costs. The Office of Scholarships and Student Aid tries to preserve as much grant and scholarship funding as possible.

Things to Consider with Your Covenant

  • Use the resources on this website to learn about study abroad and explore program options.
  • Attend a Study Abroad event to learn more!
  • When searching programs, compare the total estimated cost of a program on the budget sheet with your Covenant award amount.
  • If the program cost is more than your award amount, you can apply for additional loan funding through OSSA. Explore Study Abroad Office Scholarships and other funding sources too! As a student with financial need, you would be eligible for many funding opportunities!
  • If you were awarded work study as part of your aid package, you will be eligible for additional grant funding to help replace your work-study award.

Questions about Covenant and Study Abroad?

Contact or call 919-962-8396.

Study Abroad has the potential to hugely impact your time at Carolina. The Study Abroad Office is available to help meet your goals in expanding your campus beyond Chapel Hill.

Resources Available

  • Study Abroad 101 Info Sessions
  • Special events, such as Funding 101 and Covenant Scholars’ Info Sessions
  • 1-on-1 appointments with a Study Abroad Advisor for specific questions and concerns
  • Credit transfer information to make the most out of your academic experience
  • Peer-to-peer advising from students who have already studied abroad
  • Heels Abroad Handbook materials
  • Pre-Departure Conference sessions on budgeting and cultural adjustment
  • Diversity Abroad information – First Generation Students
  • Plus all of the information included on this website!

For more resources available to you on campus, visit the Carolina Firsts website.

Article: “Why first gens thrive abroad” from our partner IFSA.

Students from institutions other than UNC-Chapel Hill are welcome to apply for select programs. Non-UNC students are required to pay the Study Abroad Admin Fee, as well as any costs specific to non-UNC students as outlined on the program budget sheet.

To Find Available Programs

  • Use the Advanced Program Search tool
  • Under Parameters, find the Open to Non-UNC Students field
  • Select the appropriate criteria
  • Customize your search further, if desired
  • Click Search
  • Review the results!

To Apply

  • Contact your campus’s study abroad office and fulfill any requirements of your home institution!
  • Register online at
  • Follow the steps to apply online!

Important Notes

  • Follow all deadlines set by your home institution, as well as UNC Study Abroad. Timelines may differ!
  • You may be required to submit additional application materials, which will be listed on your application page.
  • Contact your home institution study abroad advisor and/or the UNC Study Abroad Advisor with any questions.

Transfer students often study abroad as part of their Carolina experience.   


  • Transfer students may study abroad after their first semester at UNC
  • The Study Abroad Office will accept and review prior institution transcripts, in addition to a UNC transcript, when determining a transfer student’s eligibility for a program

Programs available

  • Carolina offers a variety of program types, many of which would be a good fit for transfer students and allow you to satisfy degree requirements
  • Faculty-led programs are one great option, as most offer UNC graded credit
  • Many other types of study abroad programs offer transfer credit, so if these are of interest to you, just check to make sure you meet all in-residence requirements for your degree

Contact a Study Abroad Advisor for more information and to discuss your eligibility and programs that would be a good fit for you.