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Study Abroad for School of Communication Students

School students of any major can - and do - study abroad! Below, you'll find the following information:

Consult information about study abroad on the SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION website

Advising & Support

Your SoC adviser will support you throughout your study abroad journey. You are encouraged to bring up your interest in study abroad early, so that your SoC adviser can assist you in pursuing study abroad along your unique academic path in the School of Communication.

As you are applying to study abroad, you must meet with your SoC adviser, and they must sign off on your study abroad application before it can be submitted. In discussing your application with you, SoC advisers will focus on:

  • The implications of study abroad on your progress towards the bachelor’s degree
  • Completion of distribution and other requirements for graduation through study abroad
  • Making satisfactory academic progress before, during, and after study abroad, including steps to maintain your study abroad eligibility
  • How well prepared you are to undertake study abroad as part of your undergraduate career

Refer to the School of Communications Undergraduate Advising page for information about how to contact your SoC adviser.

Earning Credit

Eligible credits from study abroad count as electives unless they are authorized to count toward major/minor credits by the department or as distros by your SoC adviser. You should consult your adviser during the application stage to determine the feasibility of using courses taken abroad to satisfy degree requirements.

The petition for credit process can only go forward after courses have been completed, you have completed a study abroad program evaluation, and an official transcript has been processed by the Registrar’s Office. Retain all class descriptions, syllabi, papers, readings, and other course materials from your classes abroad; they may be needed as part of the petition process. Students can consult the SoC Study Abroad Credit Articulation Form for more information.

Distribution Credit

To be eligible for distribution credit, courses must be substantially similar to courses in the various distribution areas on the SoC website. Each major has specific distribution requirements so please review the rules for your major carefully. You may be able to receive up to 3 NU units towards distribution requirements.

If you study abroad on an Northwestern-run program that offers regular NU classes, you do NOT need to go through this credit transfer process. These courses are subject to the same rules and restrictions as the same numbered courses taught in Evanston. If a course with that number when taught at NU fulfills a distribution requirement it will automatically be one when taken abroad.

Major & Minor Credit

Each major/minor department is responsible for advising students and making decisions about how study abroad credits may be applied toward its requirements. Students should have at least one major declared prior to applying to study abroad. 

Click on the links below for information about your major/minor. If an advising resource for your major/minor is not listed, it does not limit your eligibility to study abroad. Contact the Global Learning Office for more resources on choosing an appropriate program.

Timing Considerations & Graduation Issues

Studying abroad may impact your ability to graduate early and the number of courses required to be taken at Northwestern. In particular:

  • Different major/minor programs in School of Communications may have degree requirements that must be completed in a specific sequence and/or are only offered during certain terms throughout the year. If you plan to study abroad during the academic year, consult with your SoC adviser to make sure the timing of your study abroad program does not negatively impact your academic progress.
  • If you are abroad during spring of your junior year, be sure to complete and submit your graduation petition soon after your return to campus.
  • If you study abroad during the last quarter(s) of your senior year, your study abroad transcript may not arrive and be processed in time for you to graduate that quarter.
  • All Northwestern students are subject to the Undergraduate Registration Requirement (URR) and are responsible for ensuring that they meet this requirement. Only Northwestern study abroad programs offering direct credit count toward the URR. All other study abroad, including exchange programs, affiliated programs, and unaffiliated programs do not count toward the URR.

Contact your SoC adviser for more information.

Other Important Considerations

Honors and Scholarships

If you are interested in pursuing honors work in your major, you should be sure to discuss this with your department before you depart. Many of these programs require application at the end of the junior or beginning of the senior year. The same is true if you want to apply for various national scholarships such as Rhodes or Marshall when you return, where deadlines are early in Fall Quarter. Scholarship information is available from the Office of Fellowships.


Majors and Minors