Independent Minds, Working Together
"Cave" taken by Lauren Huffman in New Zealand.

Lauren Huffman '08, New Zealand


Policies, Procedures and Protocol

The objective of the Off-Campus Study Program is to send the maximum number of qualified, eligible students on College endorsed off-campus study programs. The College of Wooster officially endorses a wide variety off-campus programs, both domestic and abroad.  The official endorsement of a program means that credit will transfer back to the College and appear on the student's College transcript. Links to Endorsed Programs can be found on the OCS website.

The policies and procedures below are for Semester and Full-Year Off-Campus Study ONLY. Summer OCS (without transfer of financial aid) and Wooster in... Programs have separate policies. Contact OCS, the program or the faculty director for further details. If financial aid is used for summer OCS, the policies below will apply.

Application Process

The Off Campus Study Program encourages students to submit the strongest proposal.  Proposals will be ranked by quality to distribute institutional financial aid.  Students must complete two steps: an off-campus study proposal and an application to the specific program.

1) The College of Wooster Off-Campus Study Proposal: The proposal is to the College for permission to study off campus and to receive institutional financial aid.  “The College of Wooster Off-Campus Study Proposal” is an online process accessible via the OCS website.

2) Application to Specific Program: The application is to the specific program to which the student is applying. The student is responsible for submitting the program application directly to the provider and making a copy for OCS office records.  

College Policies for Off-Campus Study

Eligibility Requirements

In order to study off-campus, students must:

  • Attend an OCS 101 informational session and meet one-on-one with the OCS Director prior to submitting a proposal;
  • Meet with the academic advisor prior to submitting a proposal;
  • Have sophomore or junior standing while participating in the program;
  • Be enrolled at Wooster the semester preceding off-campus study;
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (some programs require a higher GPA); [Note: Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.75 or who are placed on academic probation at the end of a semester prior to their off-campus study program will not be allowed to participate in the off-campus program.];
  • Maintain good standing under The College of Wooster’s Codes of Academic Integrity and Social Responsibility;
  • Submit all Off-Campus Study Proposal forms by February 1st;
  • Attend the mandatory pre-departure orientation;
  • Create an e-portfolio: upload essays and resume prior to OCS, revise essays and resume after OCS;
  • Complete an OCS Program Evaluation, to be submitted electronically to OCS within three weeks of return to campus. Failure to do so will result in a hold placed on registration for the following semester.

Fall vs. Spring Enrollment

The Off-Campus Studies Office and Advisory Committee strive to accommodate all qualified proposals. However, in order to plan for and utilize on-campus resources in an effective manner, the off-campus study participation between fall and spring semesters will be split 55%/45%. You will be informed if your preferred term of off-campus study has been accepted.

Financial Aid

The College of Wooster will apply all financial aid to an approved proposal for one endorsed off-campus program (semester or year-long) subject to the following conditions:

  • The student must be enrolled at Wooster the semester following off-campus study. [Note: If a student applies institutional financial aid to an off-campus program and does not return to The College of Wooster after the program, the student will be billed for the amount of aid distributed.]
  • When the number of proposals exceeds the projected off-campus study budget for any given year, OCS will rank proposals to distribute institutional financial aid based on the quality of the proposal (see “The College of Wooster Off-Campus Study Proposal”  for criteria).  If a student’s proposal is not granted institutional financial aid, the student may still study off-campus, but institutional financial aid will not be available.


The amount of tuition that will be billed by The College of Wooster for an approved proposal will be equal to the tuition portion of Wooster's comprehensive fee, or the program's actual tuition charge, whichever is higher. Other fees billed by The College of Wooster will be based on the off-campus study program's non-tuition fees (e.g., room, board, health insurance). All financial aid will be applied to approved proposals for endorsed programs. Note: Certain program elements (housing options, extracurricular activities, courses in specific departments) incur additional charges that will either be billed through the Wooster invoice or directly by the program. Exception: Students enrolling in Global Student Teaching will pay all GST fees plus the Wooster Off-Campus Study administrative fee. GST students are not eligible for Wooster financial aid. 

Administrative Fee

An Off-Campus Study administrative fee equal to 1% of the Wooster comprehensive fee will be assessed to defray the cost of arranging Wooster's participation in the program, granting course credit for the program, maintaining the student's registration records, coordinating the billing and payment of fees, and carrying out other administrative tasks related to the program.

Leaving a Program

If a student leaves an off-campus program for any reason, he/she will not be allowed to return to The College of Wooster for the duration of the approved off-campus program. Depending on the program, students who cancel their participation for any reason are responsible for all expenses incurred by the program on their behalf and will be required to reimburse funds according to the cancellation penalties.

Attending a Program Without Wooster Approval

If a student does not receive approval from The College of Wooster to attend an off-campus program via the OCS Application or Petition Process, but still chooses to attend the program, the student must officially WITHDRAW from The College of Wooster (processed through the Dean of Students Office). To return to the College, students must reapply for admission.  If readmitted, credits earned off-campus are subject to review by the Office of the Registrar and by Department Chairs, and may not be accepted by The College.


Petitions for any exceptions to the above requirements, and for permission to transfer financial aid to a non-endorsed off-campus program, must be submitted in writing to the Director of Off-Campus Studies no later than February 1. Petitions for special one-time endorsement of non-endorsed programs must contain compelling academic reasons in order to be granted.  Consult the OCS Petition Guidelines for more information.

Safety and Security

The College of Wooster reserves the right to revoke approval of a program based on safety and security issues in the country or location of study, as determined through consultation of reputable news and governmental sources. If the decision is made to revoke approval, the Off-Campus Studies office will work with the student to find an appropriate alternative program.