Study Abroad Policies
The Johns Hopkins University views international education as an integral component of its academic mission. Not only does the university actively encourage enrollment of a diverse international and multicultural student body, but it strives to provide students with educational opportunities throughout the world. More than 33% of Johns Hopkins undergraduates study abroad.
For undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and the Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins offers a wide variety of international opportunities including departmentally sponsored intersession and summer programs, semester-based programs, and full-year programs at major universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
Johns Hopkins accepts credit for coursework taken abroad toward major and minor requirements, as well as toward general graduation requirements. Most students who study abroad graduate on time. What is more, upon successful completion of a program abroad, students may choose to build upon their international experience in graduate or professional school. The advisors in Pre-Professional Advising, and the Career Center, work with Hopkins students to maximize the benefits of a program abroad.
Visit https://studyabroad.jhu.edu/ or call (410) 516-7856 for more information.
Study Abroad Programs
Hopkins offers students three options for study abroad: departmental programs, direct enrollment programs, and approved/vetted third-party provider programs. Programs managed by Hopkins or third-party providers offer the highest level of on-site support. Exchange programs and direct enrollment are well suited to more independent students who prefer greater autonomy while abroad. We encourage students to consider their personal background and comfort levels when choosing a study abroad option.
Johns Hopkins Departmental Programs
Many academic departments sponsor study abroad programs that directly support major and minor requirements. Whenever possible, qualified students in these majors are encouraged to participate in departmental programs. Credit is approved, and may be applied toward major and minor requirements in the sponsoring departments. Hopkins departmental programs may vary with regard to the level of support that students receive while abroad. In many cases grades in Homewood Abroad (HA) courses from these programs will post on students’ Hopkins transcript and be included in students’ Hopkins grade point average.
Johns Hopkins Departmental Programs include the following categories:
- Semester and year programs managed by Hopkins or external organizations
- Johns Hopkins exchange programs
- Johns Hopkins Summer Programs Abroad
- Johns Hopkins Intersession Programs Abroad
Direct Enrollment in a University Abroad
Students may enroll in colleges and/or universities abroad after consulting with a Study Abroad Advisor. Students apply as visiting, non-degree students, and take regularly scheduled classes with national and international students.
Major/minor credits must be pre-approved by the Hopkins Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for students’ majors and/or minors prior to participation. In most cases grades from Transfer (TR) courses from these program(s) will not post on the Hopkins transcript or be included in the Hopkins grade point average. Transcripts with grades from a U.S.-accredited School of Record will generally be available through a sponsoring institution if the direct enrollment was facilitated by an approved third-party provider.
Approved/Vetted Third-Party Provider Programs
The Office of Study Abroad and the Faculty Advisory Committee have vetted specialized programs that offer courses in specific areas, disciplines, or locations where direct enrollment may not be feasible. Sponsored by third-party providers, these specialized programs provide study abroad opportunities for language acquisition, field experience, research opportunities, and disciplinary courses often in less common locations.
Major/minor credits must be pre-approved by the Hopkins Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for students’ majors or minors prior to participation. Third-party providers offer additional support services, including assistance with applications, housing, registration, visas, and onsite support. In most cases grades from Transfer (TR) courses from these program(s) will not post on students’ Hopkins transcript or be included in Hopkins grade point averages. Transcripts with grades from a U.S.-accredited School of Record will generally be available through the third-party provider.
Johns Hopkins does not encourage students to participate in non-approved/vetted programs. Students with sound academic rationales for participation in a non-vetted program are required to meet with the Director of Study Abroad to petition approval of an alternative program.
Students are required to meet with a study abroad advisor prior to applying to study abroad. All study abroad programs must be approved by the Office of Study Abroad prior to participation in order to receive credit toward Hopkins degree requirements.
Eligibility for study abroad can vary by type of program. Students must meet the minimum eligibility requirements of both Johns Hopkins University and the program abroad.
Johns Hopkins Eligibility Requirements:
- Term GPA of 3.00 or higher the semester of application
- Students must complete at least 100 credits at the Homewood Campus
- Students must complete their last semester prior to graduation in residence at the Homewood Campus
- Students must be in good academic, disciplinary and financial standing
- Disciplinary Standing: Students currently on university probation as a result of Student Conduct Code violations may apply for Study Abroad, but must have completed their probationary period prior to the start of their program abroad. Students with disciplinary sanctions more severe than university probation (e.g. Deferred Suspension, Suspension, or Expulsion) are not eligible to apply for nor participate in Study Abroad during the pending sanction. If a university disciplinary sanction occurs between the time of acceptance to and the start of a program abroad, Johns Hopkins will review the disciplinary action and may decide to withdraw the student from their program abroad.
- Financial Standing: Students on financial hold at the time of registration for their program abroad must be cleared by the Office of Student Accounts. Registration and dispersal of financial aid may be affected if financial holds are not lifted prior to the start of a student's program abroad.
- Leave of Absence: Students may not apply for study abroad while on any Leave of Absence type. Students must be enrolled in residence at the Homewood Campus the semester prior to taking a semester abroad. Study Abroad may not be deferred due to a Leave of Absence, and students will be required to reapply for Study Abroad upon their return from Leave of Absence.
Program Eligibility Requirements
Many programs have additional eligibility requirements. In some cases those requirements will be more stringent than the Hopkins minimum eligibility.
The program specific eligibility requirements might include:
- Language proficiency requirements: students must demonstrate language proficiency at the college level, either through courses taken at a U.S. college or university, AP credit, or university administered placement exams
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (e. g. Oxford requires a GPA of 3.7 or higher)
- One year or more of college-level education
- Course prerequisites: students must have met course prerequisites, as determined by the host institution, in order to register for classes abroad.
Credit and Residency Requirements for Study Abroad
For the purposes of fulfilling university residency requirements, up to 30 credits from study abroad courses are considered “in-residence” and may be included in the 100-credit JHU residency requirement. A student may be awarded a full-year of credit from Homewood Abroad (HA) courses, or up to 30 credits from study abroad courses taken through direct enrollment or vetted programs, toward their undergraduate degree.
Students may transfer a full-year of credit from Homewood Abroad Courses (HA) or up to 30 credits from authorized Study Abroad Transfer Courses (TR) toward their Hopkins undergraduate degrees. Students may apply up to 12 additional transfer credits from pre-approved programs abroad, with a 42-credit transfer credit maximum from all study abroad (HA/TR) and domestic courses combined. Students on Homewood Abroad Courses (HA) will be held to the same course load guidelines that apply to course loads and over loads on the Homewood Campus.
Students may enroll in study abroad in a combination of semester and/or summer/intersession abroad programs, but students may not enroll in three consecutive fall/spring semesters abroad.
Students may participate in summer and intersession programs abroad any term after matriculation.
Students must have completed at least three semesters of coursework on the Homewood campus prior to enrolling in a semester/academic year program abroad. This means a student may study abroad for a semester, or academic year, beginning with the second semester of their sophomore year through the fall semester of their senior year. An exception to this policy is the Hopkins Oxford St. Anne’s College program which offers a full year abroad for sophomore students.
Study Abroad in Home Country/Country of Citizenship
International students are encouraged to take full advantage of study abroad opportunities by pursuing studies outside the United States and their home countries. Johns Hopkins will not approve study abroad at locations where students have completed secondary education or where they have lived and/or worked within eight years of matriculation at Johns Hopkins. Students who wish to take courses at universities in their home countries will be asked to petition the Faculty Advisory Committee for Study Abroad. Students must present a strong academic rationale for the program.
All students on study abroad programs who have completed the mandatory procedures established by Johns Hopkins prior to departure remain enrolled as full-time, matriculated students. This official status is recorded as off-campus matriculated.
Credits Required for a Semester/Academic Year Abroad
Students are required to enroll in the equivalent of 15 credits per semester while abroad. Students who wish to take fewer than 15 credits, or more than 18 credits, a semester must obtain written permission from the Director of the Office of Study Abroad.
Credit for Courses Taken Abroad
Students may earn up to 30 credits for study abroad from any combination of academic terms – semester, academic year, summer, and intersession.
Students may transfer a full-year of credit from Homewood Abroad Courses (HA) or up to 30 credits from authorized Study Abroad Transfer Courses (TR) toward their Hopkins undergraduate degrees. Students may apply up to 12 additional transfer credits from pre-approved programs abroad, with a 42-credit transfer credit maximum from all study abroad (HA/TR) and domestic courses combined.
As part of the Hopkins application process, students are required to have pre-approval for transfer of credit for all overseas course work prior to studying abroad. Pre-approval of transfer credits toward major and/or minor requirements is granted by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in the student's academic department(s). Pre-approval of transfer credit toward distribution requirements is granted by the Director of Study Abroad. Final approval of credit and transfer of courses occurs after students have returned to Hopkins.
Courses must be completed with a grade equivalent of C or better to be eligible for transfer of credit toward a Hopkins degree. Transcripts from the program abroad should be sent to the Director of the Office of Study Abroad for credit evaluation and transfer of credit. The Director will contact the students when their official program transcript has been received.
Students should remember to save electronic copies of syllabi, course descriptions, reading lists, assignments, papers, and examinations. Students will need to submit these to the Director of Study Abroad and/or the DUS for their major(s) and/or minor(s) in order to complete the credit evaluation, and the transfer of credit.
Transfer of Credits from International Institutions without Pre-Approval
Students who pursue coursework at an international institution without pre-approval may request these credits be transferred after completion. However, these credits will be reviewed and, if acceptable, will be processed as transfer credits, not study abroad credits. Therefore, these credits are subject to the 12 credit transfer maximum.
Grades and Transcripts
Courses taken at overseas programs are entered onto the official Hopkins transcript along with the name of the host school and location of the study abroad program.
Grades from most Hopkins Departmental Programs (Hopkins Departmentally Sponsored Semester and Year Programs, Hopkins Summer Abroad and Hopkins Intersession Abroad) are posted on the JHU transcript, and are calculated into students’ term and cumulative GPAs. These courses will appear on the Hopkins transcript as AS/EN/HA courses with Hopkins course numbers (e.g. HA.100.320 – History of China).
All students on Hopkins Approved Programs (Vetted Programs and Direct Enrollment) must take courses abroad for a grade. Students will not receive credit for pass/fail courses taken abroad. Students must receive the equivalent of a C or higher in order to receive Hopkins transfer credit. Grades from Hopkins Approved Programs do not appear on the Hopkins transcript, and will not be calculated into JHU GPAs. These courses will appear on students’ transcripts as TR courses (e.g. TR.100.300 – History of China). Students’ transcripts reflect how credits earned abroad have been awarded toward their Hopkins degree.
Johns Hopkins University vets and approves study abroad programs based on academic quality, cultural immersion, and health/safety practices. Housing is an integral aspect of the abroad experience in that it promotes language and communication skills and provides opportunities for personal growth. In addition, housing organized by program sponsors provides an additional layer of safety and security.
For these reasons, JHU requires the use of program-established housing in home stays, residences, dormitories, or program-provided apartments by all Hopkins students on approved study abroad programs. Furthermore, JHU strongly encourages students to participate in a home stay experience if that option is available. Students who want to make independent housing arrangements should set up an appointment to meet with the Director of Study Abroad to discuss options and petition for approval.
Study Abroad at Locations Under Department of State/WHO/CDC Travel Warning
Travel Warnings are issued by the United States Department of State to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff. The WHO and CDC post travel warnings and alerts in the event of public health crises.
JHU does not permit undergraduates to study abroad in locations with travel warnings. Despite this warning, if a student believes he or she has a sound academic reason to study at a chosen site, the student may file a petition for individual exemption in order to have their course work recognized for academic credit at Johns Hopkins.
Financial Structure of Study Abroad
Departmental Programs (semester/academic year)
Students studying abroad in semester and/or year JHU departmental or exchange programs are charged Hopkins tuition. In most cases, an additional fee is assessed to cover services that might include housing, international health insurance, emergency services, and logistical and academic support. Students are billed through the Hopkins Student Accounts Office.
Departmental Programs (intersession/summer)
Students studying abroad in a Hopkins departmental summer or intersession program are charged the program fee and billed through Hopkins. Fees vary by program, with some including charges for services such as airfare and/or meals.
Direct Matriculation and Vetted Programs (semester/intersession/summer)
Students who study abroad through an external program (direct enrollment at a university abroad or approved provider) are charged the cost of their program as established by the host university or provider, and a study abroad and application fee equivalent to 12% of JHU tuition. JHU is responsible for making direct payments to host universities and providers on behalf of students. Fees will be posted to a student's Hopkins SIS account by the Homewood Student Accounts Office.
Additional Costs Associated with Any Program Type
Students are responsible for all additional costs that are not included in mandatory fees. Additional costs may include: housing, airfare, personal expenses, meals, visas, and other incidental expenses. Some programs may include costs for many of these services as part of their mandatory fees. In those cases Hopkins will include those fees when making direct payment to the provider on behalf of students.
Study Abroad fees will be assessed to students' SIS accounts by the Homewood Student Accounts Office.
The Homewood Student Accounts Office posts charges in SIS on or about July 1 for the fall semester, December 1 for intersession, December 1 for the spring semester, and April 1 for summer. Payment arrangements may be made through the Homewood Student Accounts Office.
The Office of Study Abroad creates a program financial budget worksheet for each student which reflects the estimated cost of attendance for his or her program, and details which fees will be posted on student's JHU account. The financial budget worksheet should be used to assist students and their parents in calculating expenses (the cost of attendance) associated with an academic program abroad. In addition, the Office of Study Abroad provides sample financial worksheets for programs commonly attended by Hopkins students.
Johns Hopkins extends portability of federal, state and institutional financial aid to Johns Hopkins Departmental Study Abroad Programs, Approved Study Abroad Provider Programs, and to Direct Enrollment in a University Abroad for the fall semester, spring semester or academic year. Financial aid, including institutional aid may be applied toward the cost of these programs.
For the semester study abroad, the JHU Grant will not increase, even if the study abroad cost is greater than the cost to attend Hopkins. However, the JHU Grant for the semester study abroad may decrease if the study abroad cost is less than the cost of attendance at Hopkins. Students’ financial aid will be credited to their student accounts.
Only loan assistance can cover additional expenses. In most cases, financial aid does not apply to summer and intersession programs. Students may be eligible for external study abroad scholarships.
Students with credit balances may request a refund. Refund requests cannot be processed any earlier than 10 days prior to JHU’s first day of classes for each semester. Refund information is available at https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/student-accounts/refunds/.
Students should consider study abroad options carefully prior to making a commitment. Students who withdraw from a study abroad program after having submitted their program acceptance form(s) or Hopkins acceptance form(s), are responsible for all non-recoverable costs associated with their program. After receipt of a final billing statement from the student's program, Hopkins will refund recoverable expenses, excluding non-refundable deposits. Recoverable expenses are determined by the program provider in consultation with JHU. If for any reason study abroad plans change, the Office of Study Abroad should be contacted immediately so that the financial impact of the voluntary withdrawal can be determined.
Students involuntarily withdrawn or dismissed from a program for cause will receive no refund, may not be eligible for credit for coursework completed on the program abroad and are responsible for any costs incurred by early dismissal.
Should Hopkins cancel or suspend a study abroad program, we will work with students to either refund recoverable costs or apply fees toward alternate academic programs.
Conduct and Ethics
Students are responsible for their own actions, activities and behavior while participating on a program abroad. Serious consideration of health and personal circumstances should be taken in to account by students when applying for or accepting a place on a program abroad.
Students are obligated to be aware of and comply with local laws and customs while abroad. Respect of local customs includes the conscious awareness of cultural attitudes toward alcohol use and sexual behavior. As representatives of JHU in other countries, we ask that students behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others.
Conduct considered unacceptable to Johns Hopkins University includes, but is not limited to, excessive consumption of alcohol; loud and/or abusive behavior; sexual harassment; criminal conduct of any kind, including the purchase, sale, possession or use of drugs other than prescribed medication for legal medicinal purposes. Students’ must notify JHU Office of Study Abroad of any disciplinary or legal issues while abroad.
Students participating in programs abroad are expected to adhere to the Johns Hopkins University Undergraduate Student Code of Conduct, the policies of the program abroad and the terms set forth in the Study Abroad Conditions of Participation agreement.
Violations of the Code of Conduct, Conditions of Participation and Program Policies
Students who are alleged to have violated the Hopkins Undergraduate Student Conduct Code, the policies of the program, and/or standards of academic integrity while abroad will be reported to the program director, and the JHU Director for Study Abroad. If a violation is determined to have occurred, the program director in collaboration with the JHU Director for Study Abroad will take appropriate disciplinary action, which may include immediate dismissal from the program.
A student dismissed from a program for cause will receive no refund, may not be eligible for credit for coursework completed on the program abroad, and is responsible for any costs incurred by early dismissal.
Students must maintain both academic and disciplinary eligibility through the designated start of their study abroad program. Students’ academic and disciplinary records may be reviewed prior to departure. If records indicate a significant decline in GPA, if a cumulative or term GPA falls below JHU or program requirements, and/or if academic and/or disciplinary sanctions are imposed prior to departure, a student may be involuntarily withdrawn from an approved study abroad program.
All study abroad students are bound by the Johns Hopkins University Code of Academic Ethics both during the application process and while abroad. Students are obliged to refrain from acts which they know, or under circumstances have reason to know, violate the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic ethics include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; submitting the same or substantially similar work to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission; submitting as one's own the same or substantially similar work of another; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in academic records; falsification, forgery, alteration, destruction or misuse of official University documents or seal. All students must sign a Conditions of Participation agreement to adhere to this policy as part of the application process.
Institutional Research Board (IRB)
Students participating in or conducting research abroad must complete the Hopkins IRB process in addition to any institutional review that may be required by the host institution. Failure to comply is a serious breach of research ethics. Students who fail to receive appropriate HIRB review of their research will not be able to use the research or data for projects, theses, courses or requirements at Johns Hopkins.