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Academic Policies


Students remain under the jurisdiction of the Denison code of academic integrity along with the policies of the program in which they are participating. Should an incident involving academic integrity occur while a student is studying away, Denison adjudication procedures will be invoked as appropriate. Denison requires that students participate fully and responsibly in all academic aspects of the proposed off-campus study program. Failure to do so will result in a grade of "U" (Unsatisfactory) for the off-campus study placeholder course listed on the Denison academic record for the term abroad.
Students are required to enroll for a minimum course-load of twelve transferable U.S. semester credits for each semester of off-campus study. Whatever the final course-load, it must include all courses that are mandated by the program curriculum (e.g. language courses, area studies courses, etc.). Students are limited to one course on an S/U grade base per semester, and the arrangements for such a choice must be made through the program provider at the time of final registration.

To receive transfer credit for an off-campus study experience, students must seek pre-approval for courses they will pursue on their off campus program by completing the Course Approval section on Global Tools. Denison is under no obligation to transfer coursework or apply transferred coursework toward specific degree requirements unless that coursework has been approved in advance.

Students wishing to apply a course toward a major, minor, concentration requirement, or GE requirements must receive approval directly from the relevant department/program. Other coursework will be assessed for its relevance to the Denison curriculum through the combined efforts of the Registrar, our office, and, as necessary, specific departments/programs.

All courses reported on the educational partner’s transcript are posted to the Denison academic record with course titles, credits, and grades. This includes any course for which a student receives a failing grade, even though credit will not be awarded. While these grades are not factored into the Denison cumulative grade point average, it is important to note that they could be factored into a composite grade point average should a student pursue graduate or professional school after graduating from Denison.

Students at Denison may transfer 6-9 credits as part of an internship towards graduation. Internship credits are evaluated on the student’s transcript with an S or U.
Denison encourages, and sometimes requires, students who study abroad in non-English settings to enroll in one introductory language course to develop basic language skills to be used while abroad. Some programs require participants to enroll in a language course to build a basic understanding of the host country language. Students planning to continue the study of a language for which college credit already earned should check in advance with the Modern Languages Department at Denison to ensure that there is no duplication in courses taken abroad.
Students may apply for an Educational Enrichment Leave of Absence (EEL) to pursue experiential learning opportunities that are not credit bearing or structured educational opportunities whose coursework is not applicable to a Denison Baccalaureate degree. Examples of structured educational opportunities whose coursework is not applicable include specialized technical or training programs, religious education, internships, culinary education, and outdoor and leadership programs such as the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Outward Bound, and Global Citizenship Academy.

Students wishing to pursue an EEL are required to meet with and an advisor in Global Programs, as well as their academic advisor, and then to submit a written rationale to the Director of the Center for Global Programs. The rationale must articulate a clear connection between the student’s broader educational goals and the proposed enrichment program. A student may opt to pursue study at a local institution as an adjunct activity as part of an EEL.  However, this coursework may not exceed eight credits and must be approved in advance through the normal transfer credit evaluation process. The written rationale should address the plan to obtain credit elsewhere. Please note that there are two deadlines for EELs: the last day of registration in the Fall for the following Spring; and the last day of registration in the Spring for the following Fall. Students should carefully refer to the EEL guidelines described in Global Tools for specific elements to include in the written rationale and submit the rationale electronically to the Director of the Center for Global Programs.

During an EEL, the student retains their Denison enrollment deposit and information systems privileges. However, the student is considered withdrawn from Denison during their period of leave for the purposes of financial aid and loan deferment.  EEL’s are usually for one semester, but may extend to an academic year. See the Student Handbook for specific details regarding the processes for registration, housing, and financial aid following a leave. If a student does not enroll at Denison following the EEL, the leave reverts to a Withdrawal and the enrollment deposit is forfeited.
Students on off-campus study may wish to conduct research with human participants while abroad. In some instances, students are required to do research as part of an abroad course or an internship. In either case, students need an IRB review of their research plan prior to conducting a research project that involves human subjects. Those students must consult with their Faculty Advisor/course instructor before submitting an Approval Form to the University IRB.”  Click here for more information.
Please note that in some study abroad/away programs students may not learn about the need to conduct a human-subjects research project until after the term/semester begins. The Center for Global Programs strongly urges students to work carefully with the abroad/away instructor to construct a sound and complete IRB submission as soon as possible, and follow the instructions Carefully review the following information concerning the process of submitting a proposal to the IRB: and scroll down to the subheading “Off-Campus Study and Human Subjects Research.”
Sensitive topics that may require Full IRB Review typically averages 6-8 weeks. That interval begins at the time a researcher successfully submits a complete set of materials to the IRB, can include one or more reviewing cycles with the IRB communicating with the researchers and ends with an approval notification from the DU IRB. If you are not sure what a Full Review means, see the DU IRB Guidelines Part 5 on Levels of Scrutiny
For other one-semester projects on less sensitive topics (i.e., for Expedited review or Exempt screen by the IRB—see DU IRB Guidelines Part 5 on Levels of Scrutiny) an expedited review or exempt screen typically requires 2-6 days depending on both the nature of the research project and the number of submissions already in our queue. Please direct any questions that you have about the IRB process to University IRB Chair at
Recognizing the role of students as ambassadors of Denison, the special privilege of participating in off-campus programs, and the level of maturity required for students to be successful negotiating the challenges and potential risks associated with study away, our office routinely consults with the Office of Community Values and Conflict Resolution to assess students’ disciplinary history as part of the approval process for off-campus study. Frequency, severity, community impact of violations, and student’s disciplinary status (e.g., Disciplinary Probation) are the disciplinary variables that may impact eligibility. Students on disciplinary probation or suspension are not eligible to participate in off-campus study during the semester of probation or suspension. Students must be on campus and cleared of any disciplinary sanctions during the semester prior to study away.
Violations that occur after a student has been approved for study abroad, but before their departure for off-campus study may also influence a student’s eligibility to participate. Denison reserves the right to withhold or rescind approval for any student based on their disciplinary history or violations, regardless of the number of incidents on the student’s record.  

The program provider may request information from the student about their disciplinary record as part of the admission process.  In these cases, the student will be asked to sign a waiver allowing Denison to provide this information to the program. If you have concerns about how your disciplinary history may affect your eligibility for study away, please convey these to one of our staff during the advising process.
Denison accepts proposals for off-campus study in countries with no travel warning, or with an overall Travel Advisory Level of 1 or 2 according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory guidelines. Any destinations with a Level 3: “Reconsider Travel”- designation, or Level 4: “Do Not Travel” are not approved for off-campus study.  

Please note: For summer and fall off-campus study 2021, unless otherwise announced, Denison will permit an exemption to the general restriction on travel to Department of State Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” advisory locations when that advisory is solely and exclusively related to COVID-19. A number of countries still carry the Level 3 designation because of COVID-19, but off-campus study providers and/or programs may be resuming operations because they have implemented health, safety and risk mitigation measures. Destinations carrying the Level 3 Advisory due to other factors/conditions (e.g. civil unrest) or a combination of factors that include COVID-19 (e.g. civil unrest, terrorism, armed conflict, arbitrary enforcement of laws, crime, kidnapping) will not be permitted. Due to the ongoing and unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 global pandemic, this exemption can be rescinded at any point in time. The Center for Global Programs continues to monitor the situation and will appraise students of any changes to policy as necessary. (Revision 2/2021).

Denison reserves the right to rescind approval for study on a program should the country be re-designated Level 3 or 4 Advisory in advance of the student’s participation in the program, even in cases when the student’s proposal had received prior approval. In the event that Denison rescinds approval based on State Department Advisories,  we will work with students and their Faculty Advisors to identify a suitable alternate.

All students studying abroad are required to register with the STEP: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program from the U.S. Department of State. This is incorporated into the “Prepare” phase of the application process on 

A special note for Gilman Scholarship Winners: In accordance with Gilman Scholarship guidelines, students who apply for and receive a Gilman Scholarship will not be permitted to travel to destinations that are Level 3 or Level 4. If a Travel Advisory changes to a Level 3 or 4 after a student has been granted an award, the program will work with the student to select a suitable alternate destination that falls within the guidelines of the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory system. Please consult Gilman Scholarship guidelines for up-to-date information.
Denison reserves the right to withdraw its approval for study if a WHO travel advisory is in place for the program location at the start of the program. Withdrawal of approval for an off-campus study program bars a student from receiving Denison credit for the program and from applying financial aid to the program costs. To make certain that a student can make an informed decision regarding participation on a program, the issue of potential loss of Denison approval for an accepted program will be brought to the student’s attention as far in advance of the program start date as is feasible.

COVID-19 and Off-Campus Study:

Due to the fluid nature of all of the aforementioned  warnings by different organizations (Department of State, CDC, WHO) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to discuss this matter during advising appointments. Our office will keep students informed of any program changes stemming from COVID-19.  In the case of a CDC, WHO or State Department travel advisory that is elevated after a program has started, Denison will work closely with the educational partner and other informed parties to determine an appropriate course of action. Should a student be required to return home, Denison will pursue reasonable steps with the program provider to mitigate the financial and academic impact of such an action.
While traveling abroad you are an ambassador for the university and your country. You are expected to behave responsibly. You are required to observe host-country national and local laws, U.S. laws for domestic programs, and Denison University standards for student conduct according to Denison’s Student Code of Conduct. Illicit drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, harm to self or others, physical, sexual, emotional harassment, bullying and other behaviors are reasons for requiring a student to return home. Should an incident involving any of the above occur, eligibility may be immediately revoked and you will be removed from the program.
Drinking alcohol is part of social and cultural life in some, but not all, parts of the world. U.S. laws and norms around alcohol consumption differ from many other countries in terms of purchase and consumption, and studying off-campus may represent your first opportunity to legally drink. You are encouraged to use good judgment, and to be sensitive to others’ attitudes about drinking. While binge drinking is on the rise in many places, moderation is far more the norm. Excessive and irresponsible drinking leading to intoxication and behavior that impacts/injures the rights of others is subject to immediate disciplinary action, including termination of participation in your off-campus program, parental notification, and return to the U.S. at your own expense. 

When drinking in public places, be sure to purchase your own drinks, never go home with a stranger, and always go out with at least one other friend and return with that friend, if possible.

In a nutshell: know the law, local customs and your own limits when it comes to alcohol consumption.
Use of illegal drugs is strictly forbidden. Attempting to buy or smuggle drugs across international borders is extremely risky. Customs officials are highly trained to detect and identify drug smugglers. Customs officials have the legal right to search you and your belongings if you appear suspicious. Drug paraphernalia can also get you into significant trouble, whether you intended it for use with illegal drugs or not. In some countries it is illegal to enter the country with drugs in your system. This is referred to as “internal possession” and is grounds for prosecution.

Police and/or customs officials in these countries can demand a urine sample upon entry to the country without providing any cause. Penalties for possession and/or trafficking/smuggling are often harsh. Once you travel beyond US borders , US laws and constitutional rights no longer protect you.