Eligibility Requirements

These are the basic eligibility requirements that students must meet in order to be approved to go abroad. Eligibility requirements (e.g. GPA, class standing, foreign language) can vary by program, so students must also check these criteria on the brochure/website for each individual program.


All students participating on a UNC Charlotte study abroad program must be 18 years of age or older at the start of the program. Minors can apply to study abroad but must turn 18 before the program’s start day.

student status

Study abroad programs offered or supported by UNC Charlotte serve currently-enrolled, degree-seeking students. Students who are not currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte cannot go abroad for academic credit or receive support from UNC Charlotte Education Abroad (EA). Alumni who are interested in going abroad can read through our resources for graduating students; however, please note that EA does not offer support or services to students who are hoping to go abroad after graduation and will not enroll them as a UNC Charlotte student.


All students are required to be in good academic standing both at the time of application and prior to departure in order to be permitted to go abroad. In addition, students must have a certain cumulative GPA in order to be eligible for a given program. EA will evaluate a student’s GPA at the time of application and prior to departure. Please note that some programs have higher GPA requirements than those listed below. This will be noted on the program brochure or website. The basic minimum cumulative GPA requirements are as follows:

ProgramMinimum GPA Requirement
Semester or Year-Long2.5
Short-Term (Spring Break or Summer)2.0


All study abroad students are required to be in good disciplinary standing both at the time of application and prior to departure. EA works with the UNC Charlotte Dean of Students Office to verify students’ disciplinary records. Students currently on probation/suspension will not be considered at the time of application. Similarly, students who are approved to go abroad, but who are then placed on probation/suspension after approval but prior to departure will not be permitted to go abroad. Applicants who have prior incidents on their disciplinary record but who are not currently on probation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.



The first time a UNC Charlotte student is eligible to go abroad is the summer after their freshman year, or after they have completed two full-time semesters at UNC Charlotte. However, sometimes it is possible to go abroad as early as spring break of freshman year, on a faculty-led spring break program – certain programs allow freshman participants however, most freshman will receive a conditional approval until they have established a UNC Charlotte GPA. If freshmen are eligible to participate, this will be reflected in the program’s online brochure.


Students can study abroad their senior year. However, depending on the program, most students will be unable to graduate the same semester as their study abroad program and will need to aim to go abroad during their second-to-last semester (e.g. during the fall if they plan to graduate in the spring). If students choose to study abroad the semester of their intended graduation date, they will need to be comfortable with delaying their graduation. The reason it is generally not possible for a student to go abroad the term they plan to graduate is because EA does not receive host university transcripts in time to process the grades by graduation. The only time it may be possible to graduate the same term of a study abroad is via participation in a faculty-led program, as with these programs, it is possible for grades to be processed in time. 

Remember that you must be an active student at UNC Charlotte during the term of travel in order to go abroad. This means that students cannot go abroad the term after they graduate (e.g. a student who graduates in the spring cannot study abroad over the summer). This is also the case for students who are interested in going abroad the term between their undergraduate and graduate degree.

Other than these considerations for freshmen and seniors, individual programs may also be restricted to students of a certain class standing or level (e.g. undergraduate or graduate only). Always review the eligibility section of program brochures/websites carefully for details.


Transfer students can, and do, study abroad! Transfer students generally need to have a UNC Charlotte GPA established at the time of application in order to go abroad the subsequent semester. However, some exceptions are made for faculty-led programs and transfer student applicants may apply and be considered for admission to the program with a conditional approval. Transfer students will need to be sure to work with their academic advisors to determine when it would be the best time for them to go abroad based on their degree requirements. 


While there are some programs that require students to have completed a certain number of university-level language courses prior to application or departure, most programs do not require that students have proficiency in a foreign language in order to participate. Be sure to check out the eligibility section of the program brochure/website to determine what the language prerequisites are, if any, for admission to a program. 


If a student does not meet an eligibility requirement at the time of application, but are close, it may be possible for the student to still apply for the program and receive a conditional approval to participate. Students who have any concerns about their eligibility should schedule an appointment with an EA advisor, but remember, Study Abroad 101 must be completed before a student can make an appointment.