Since Northwestern offers a limited number of summer programs, students may be granted permission to study abroad on Unaffiliated Summer programs as long as the program dates do not conflict with our quarter calendar, the program issues an official transcript deemed acceptable by the Office of the Registrar, and the courses are transferable to Northwestern. In some cases, the Study Abroad Office and the Office of the Registrar will need to review transcripts first in order to determine whether or not Northwestern will accept credit in transfer from the program’s transcripting institution.
Next Steps & Application process
If you seek to transfer credit back from an Unaffiliated Summer program, you must complete the following next steps:
Step 1: Verify program start date
Many summer study abroad programs begin in late May or early June when Northwestern students are not eligible to participate due to Spring Quarter exams. According to the Undergraduate Catalog, "early exams are not permitted" and may only be requested "for cause beyond the student's control," which does not include study abroad.
Step 2: Review study abroad transcript
If your selected program is found on the below Unaffiliated Summer Recommended List, proceed to Step 3.
If your selected program is NOT found on the below Unaffiliated Summer Recommended List, the Study Abroad Office may need to verify with the Office of the Registrar that the official transcript issued by the program is acceptable to Northwestern. Email the Study Abroad Office with your name, the program name and a link to the program webpage. The Study Abroad Office will let you know if the program's credits are transferable to Northwestern or if an advising appointment is necessary to discuss other options. Do not proceed to Step 3 until you are instructed to do so by the Study Abroad Office.
Step 3: Submit a Northwestern Application by March 1st
You must submit a Northwestern Application by the March 1st deadline if you are seeking credit at Northwestern for your Unaffiliated Summer program. When applying, make sure to search for “Unaffiliated Program” in the online application system.
Important Note: If you are pursuing a summer program for the experience and are not interested in transferring credit back to Northwestern, you are NOT required to submit a Northwestern Application for permission to study abroad. In this case, you would NOT receive credit at NU for summer study abroad and could NOT petition for credit for the program at any point in the future.
Step 4: Apply to your study abroad program by their published deadline
It is your responsibility to apply to your selected program by their deadline.
Students attending Unaffiliated Summer study abroad programs will be billed by Northwestern for the NU Study Abroad Administrative Fee (SAAF) through CAESAR for the summer term.
You are responsible for paying all program charges directly to your program or institution. Contact your program for payment deadlines.
Financial aid & Scholarships
Students attending Unaffiliated Summer study abroad programs are not considered enrolled at Northwestern while abroad. As a result, no financial assistance is available through Northwestern (including federal loans, federal/state grants, Northwestern scholarships, parent/private loans, and other forms of aid) for students who participate on these programs. Northwestern will not enter into any kind of financial or consortium agreement with another institution for the purposes of processing financial aid for Unaffiliated Summer programs.
Some scholarships may be available through your program sponsor or host institution; contact your program directly for information, applications, and deadlines. You may also apply for outside scholarships or funding to help with the cost of your Unaffiliated Summer program.
If your program requires a deposit to confirm your participation, it is your responsibility to pay the deposit directly to the program (not to Northwestern) by their deadline.
Arranging and paying for flights
You are responsible for making your own flight reservations and payments according to your program's specific dates and rules. Some programs include international group airfare in their program costs. Consult your program office or program literature for more detailed advice.
Billing & Financial Questions
Contact Krista Bethel, Assistant Director of Study Abroad Financial Services, at (847) 491-7400.
Transferring Credit Upon Return
Like students who participate in affiliated study abroad programs, study abroad credit is treated as transfer credit for students who have been approved to participate on Unaffiliated Summer programs. Make sure your program's official transcript is sent to the Study Abroad Office at 629 Colfax Street, Evanston, Illinois 60208.
The Office of the Registrar will review the program/foreign institution transcript and assign general, elective credit as long as students enrolled in transferable courses, took courses for official letter grades (not Pass/Fail), and earned the equivalent of a "C" or above. Read more about Credit Transfer Procedures.
Students must enroll in a minimum of 2 semester credits to a maximum of 10 semester credits total on their program (2 semester credits = 1 NU quarter credit, 10 semester credits = 4 NU quarter credits). Courses worth 1 semester credit will not transfer to NU.
Northwestern is not affiliated with these programs; however, students have participated during past years and have been eligible to transfer credit to Northwestern.
- Suggested Program Partners & Institutions
Many of the universities and study abroad program partners NU is affiliated with for academic year programs also run summer programs, and their study abroad transcripts are accepted by Northwestern. They include:
- Alliance for Global Education
- American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR)
- Arcadia University, College of Global Studies
- Boston University
- The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
- Danish Institute for Study Abroad
- Duke University
- IES Abroad
- The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler)
- London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)
- School for International Training (SIT)
- Syracuse University Abroad (SU Abroad)
- University of Minnesota
- Arcadia Summer in Chile (Session II)
- Boston University Argentina Cultural Studies Summer program
- CIEE Summer Language & Culture in Lima, Peru (Session II)
- IES Buenos Aires Summer - Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
- IES Buenos Aires Summer - Language & Argentine Studies
- SIT Summer in Argentina: Art, Memory, and Social Transformation
- SIT Summer in Panama: Marine Ecology & Blue Carbon Conservation in the Pacific & Caribbean
- Arcadia Summer in Cape Town: Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom
- Arcadia Summer in Cape Town: Public Health through Mobile Clinics
- IES Cape Town Summer
- SIT Summer in Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems
- SIT Summer in South Africa: Shelter Innovation Lab
- SIT Summer in Uganda and Rwanda: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin
- Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Intensive Language Program
- Alliance for Global Education Summer in Beijing
- CIEE Taiwan: Summer Business + International Relations (Sessions II and/or III)
- Ewha International Co-Ed Summer School
- Hokkaido International Foundation Language and Japanese Culture Program (HIF)
- ICU Summer Courses in Japanese
- IES Beijing Summer - Language Intensive
- Inter-University Program (IUP) for Chinese Language Studies
- International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) at National Taiwan University
- Korea University International Summer Campus
- Princeton in Beijing
- Seoul National University International Summer Institute
- Syracuse Summer Program: Internships in Shanghai
- Waseda University Center for Japanese: Short-Term Japanese Program
- Yonsei International Summer School
- ACTR-Russian Language and Area Studies (be sure to check start dates; generally begins in early June)
- Arcadia University Summer Programs, various locations
- Boston University Padua Italian Studies Summer Program
- Bryn Mawr College in Avignon
- CIEE Abroad Summer Programs, various locations (Sessions II and/or III; France & other various locations)
- Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA) in Barcelona - Memories of the Spanish Civil War: Consensus and Divergence
- DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia Summer Session
- Duke in Oxford Program
- Duke in Geneva Globalization: Issues in Management and Political Philosophy Program
- Exeter Summer Programme at Exeter College in the Oxford University
- Georgia Tech Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Program in London
- IES Abroad Summer Programs, various locations
- IFSA-Butler Summer Programs, various locations
- Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland
- London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) Summer Sessions
- Loyola University Chicago: Summer program in Rome
- New York University Summer Abroad Programs (Paris, Dublin, London and other various locations)
- Penn Summer Abroad (various locations)
- SIT Iceland: Renewable Energy, Technology and Resource Economics
- Summer Institute of Hispanic Studies in León, Spain
- The School of Russian & Asian Studies (SRAS)
- Turkish Language & Culture Program (TLCP)
- Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha Intensive Spanish Language Program
- University of Deusto Summer Spanish Language and Culture in Bilbao
- University of Deusto Summer Business and Spanish in Bilbao
- University of Minnesota Intensive French Language in Montpellier, France (all language levels)
- University of Sussex International Summer School
- University of Virginia in Valencia
- Middle East & North Africa