Petition for a Permit to Study Abroad on a Non-AU Program
PERMITS ARE GRANTED ONLY EXTREMELY RARELY
AU invests significant resources to offer a wide range of study abroad offerings that reflect the diversity of our students’ interests, meet their academic needs, and coordinate with AU’s curricula. Because we have over 145 different programs available, many of which are partnerships with top-ranked universities abroad where the entire curriculum may be open to our students, permission to study abroad on a non-AU program is only very rarely granted.
In order to be approved, the petitioning student must document that the non-AU program:
- Meets the student’s academic needs in a way that no AU Abroad program can
- Offers a sustained experience directly interacting in a single culture
- Meets AU’s academic quality standards and learning objectives
Costs and Financial Aid
Students studying away on Permit status are not enrolled in AU courses and therefore cannot receive any AU institutional aid during that time. AU will charge an administrative fee of $2000/semester ; $1000/summer and $500/inter-session to any student who participates on a program abroad via a Permit to Study Abroad when the Permit has been granted and is processed by the Office of the Registrar.
Credit and Grades for Non-AU Programs
Students will receive transfer credit for work completed on their program. Students should note that AU academic regulations state that "grades for transfer are not recorded on the American University permanent record, and they are not computed in the student's grade point average, though approved courses will count in the total number of courses needed for graduation."
The student must request that a transcript be sent to the Office of the University Registrar for appropriate recognition of credit. The student is eligible for automatic readmission to American University according to the provisions on the Permit to Study Abroad.
Prior to applying for a Permit
Students should not begin the process with a non-AU program already in mind. Students who are uncertain whether or not an AU Abroad program can meet their academic needs are required to schedule an appointment with an AU Abroad advisor to discuss their options. If the student had a particular regional interest, he/she should meet with the AU Abroad advisor
who covers that region. During this meeting, the AU Abroad advisor will review all available AU Abroad options with the student; if no AU Abroad option meets the students’ specific academic needs, the AU Abroad advisor will assist the student in identifying an appropriate non-AU program. After this meeting, the advisor MAY open the Permit portal and the student may make the application.
Applying for a Permit
In making an application for a Permit, the student is required to submit the following documentation:
- Program name and weblink for detailed information, including course descriptions and if possible course syllabi
- Program location (city and country)
- Program start and end dates
- How the student identified this program
- A one-page essay outlining the student’s academic program and needs while studying abroad
- A detailed statement demonstrating that the student has thoroughly investigated all relevant AU Abroad program options and additionally demonstrating why none of these programs offer courses that meet the student’s acadmic needs. A complete analysis of the course offerings on at least two (2) existing AU Abroad programs closest in location and content to the program being requested must be included in this statement.
- A detailed statement demonstrating that the chosen non-AU program can meet the student’s academic needs; this statement must include a complete analysis of the program’s course offerings and an explanation as to how those courses will correlate with the student’s AU curriculum.
- A letter of support from a full-time, permanent AU faculty member in the academic field of interest. This letter must confirm the following:
- that the student has demonstrated a serious interest in the proposed program of study;
- that the faculty member has personally reviewed ALL relevant AU Abroad programs in the academic area(s) concerned and confirmed none of them meet the student’s academic needs in any way;
- that the faculty member has reviewed the proposed non-AU program and confirmed this program meets the student’s academic needs
- This letter must be co-signed by the relevant AU Dean’s Office.
- A letter from the student’s academic advisor confirming that the student will stay on track for on-time graduation while participating in the proposed program given that the student will recieve only transfer credit.
- Disciplinary Review from the Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services.
Complete applications must be submitted before the end of the semester prior to the anticipated study abroad program. No retroactive permits will be allowed. Only complete applications with all required documentation will be reviewed by the Director of AU Abroad. Permit applications will only be approved if ALL the requirements are clearly met.
REMEMBER: PERMITS ARE GRANTED ONLY EXTREMELY RARELY. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.