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Short Term Policies - Undergraduate Programs

Short Term Off-Campus Programs Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

Eligibility Requirements
Academic Information
Enrollment Information
Financial Matters
Financial Aid
Health Information
Travel Information

See policies for Conduct and Discipline

A word on participating in a Short Term Program:

Students at the University of St. Thomas are encouraged to incorporate intercultural and international aspects of education into their academic plans. The Office of Study Abroad assists students in identifying off-campus opportunities that will serve as an integral part of their academic program at the University of St. Thomas. Undergraduate and graduate programs may be available for January, spring or fall (embedded or break options), or summer terms. These off-campus programs offer one to six-week intensive learning experiences that are directed by a faculty member. These programs are experiential, but are also rigorous academic experiences. They are often physically demanding as well and students should not expect a lot of free time.

Please remember that you are a guest in another person’s culture or home. Remember to be respectful and civil – these values are to be practiced off-campus as well as in the Twin Cities. When you accept a place in one of these courses, you agree to support the policies and procedures developed to help ensure the success of the program. You also have a responsibility to make the program the best possible group, personal, and academic experience. Remember that there are both freedoms and limitations involved in community membership.  Students applying for these programs are asked to sign the Off-Campus Study Application, as well as the Short-term Off-Campus Programs Agreement, stating that they have read, understood, and will abide by the information contained in this handbook.  These forms are part of the online application.

Program Sponsorship

The Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education (UMAIE) is a consortium of six institutions that share undergraduate students and faculty: Augustana College (SD), St. Ambrose University (IA), St. Catherine University, Elmhurst College (IL), Gustavus Adolphus College, and the University of St. Thomas. All travel arrangements are coordinated by Seminars International, Inc., based in Chicago, and enrollments are coordinated by their Minnesota office. St. Thomas students must apply through the Office of Study Abroad in order to participate in UMAIE programs. Students from non-UMAIE schools: see Academic Information - Non-degree Students.

St. Thomas
St. Thomas sponsors its own graduate and undergraduate programs. St. Thomas faculty are responsible for the academic content of the course and the St. Thomas Office of Study Abroad manages the enrollment and logistical arrangements.

Many study abroad program providers (e.g. AIFS, IES, etc.) offer short term programs. Students will need to meet with the Office of Study Abroad prior to applying and must complete applications through both St. Thomas and the third party program provider. The Office of Study Abroad and the program provider must each approve students' applications.

Eligibility Requirements for Short-Term Programs

In addition to the program requirements that apply to all programs, students must satisfy the following eligibility criteria to be approved to participate in short-term programs:
  1. A student must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 when applying for a short-term program. Individual programs may require a higher GPA and prerequisites.
  2. Students must complete at least one semester at St. Thomas before studying off-campus.
  3. First-year students who apply to a study abroad program prior to completing a semester at St. Thomas must provide high school transcripts.
  4. A student must complete an online application and receive approval for their program from the Office of Study Abroad.
  5. Upon review of a student’s complete dossier, the Office of Study Abroad reserves the right to require an interview with the applicant and to determine final approval.
  6. Exceptions to eligibility requirements may be granted at the discretion of the Office of Study Abroad.
Following a student’s approval to participate in an off-campus program, the student must meet applicable program requirements to maintain eligibility to participate in the off-campus program. 

Financial Matters
  1. Students will be billed by the University of St. Thomas for the cost of the program plus an Off-Campus Study Fee.
  2. A student’s account in the Business Office must be current or receive special clearance prior to participating in a Study Abroad Program.
  3. Students are subject to the cancellation policy of their specific program.
  4. Students are responsible for reviewing individual program descriptions to know exactly what is and what is not included in the program fee.

Academic Information

Requirements for Short-term Programs
Students with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and who are in good disciplinary standing are eligible to study off-campus. Additional eligibility requirements may differ for each program. Specific requirements are listed on individual program descriptions.

Course Credit
Short-term programs usually carry four (4) undergraduate credits unless indicated on the program description. Students approved to study off-campus by the Office of Study Abroad are guaranteed elective credit for their course work off-campus in which they receive a passing grade (D- or better). Certain courses have been approved to meet St. Thomas undergraduate core, major, minor or allied requirements. If you wish to use any short-term program to fulfill specific requirements for which it has not been pre-approved, it is your responsibility to obtain the approval signature of the appropriate department chair or designated faculty member. Students should use a Course Approval Record form, available from the Office of Study Abroad. Keep in mind that appropriate academic committees have already reviewed St. Thomas and UMAIE courses.

Course Approval Record - Co-Sponsored Programs
Students who wish to seek course approval for a course that has not been pre-approved to meet certain requirements must provide department chairs with course descriptions when seeking approval signatures (course syllabi are sometimes required as well). The student must obtain the appropriate signatures on the Course Approval Record:
  • for major coursework credit – signature of the department chair
  • for minor coursework credit – signature of the department chair
  • for core requirements – signature of the respective department chair
Course equivalents and/or substitutions for major/minor requirements must be indicated on the form by the appropriate department chair. Students are advised to get alternate courses (i.e., more courses than they will actually take abroad) pre-approved in the event that courses are cancelled or there are scheduling conflicts abroad.

The completed Course Approval Record must be returned to the Office of Study Abroad. Students should keep their (yellow) copy, and take it with them abroad. Students who do not submit a completed Course Approval Record prior to departure may be required to meet with the Transcript Evaluator upon their return

St. Thomas policies state that all courses must be assigned a letter grade by their faculty director. If your professor is not from St. Thomas, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the director that he/she requires a letter grade before departure.

Taking Courses S-D-R
St. Thomas does allow students to take courses S-D-R according to St. Thomas policies in the current course catalog. All S-D-R requests must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before departure.

Program Evaluation
Students are required to complete an online evaluation for their off-campus study experience sent by email at the conclusion of their program.

Auditing Courses
Students may not audit short-term programs.

The Office of Study Abroad will register students for all January and summer term programs. Students cannot register or drop their off-campus program through Murphy Online.
You will not be registered if:
  • your St. Thomas student account is not current (paid to date)
  • you have a health hold or other type of hold on your record
  • you have applied for a course for which you have not fulfilled the prerequisites or sought departmental permission, if required.
For spring/fall embedded programs, students register for the regular semester course via Murphy Online.

Transcript Notation
All students who are approved by the Office of Study Abroad to study off-campus will have a notation on their transcript including the program name, and country(ies) in which their coursework was completed.

Non-degree students
Non-degree students (interested participants who are not students or who are enrolled at another institution) may apply for a St. Thomas Sponsored short-term program on a space-available basis with the permission of the faculty director and the Office of Study Abroad. Please notify the Office of Study Abroad immediately if you are not a degree-seeking student at the University of St. Thomas.

Non-degree students may join a UMAIE sponsored course on a space available basis after September 15 for a fee of $300. Applications may be submitted before September 15th, but will not be accepted until after that date.

Participants’ family members and friends are not allowed to accompany undergraduate short-term programs.

Need for Academic or Physical Accommodation Off-Campus

Students in need of academic accommodation due to a disability must have formally registered with the St. Thomas Enhancement Program-Disability Services in order to request accommodation off-campus. Note the following process for making such requests when going off-campus:
  • Student has the St. Thomas Enhancement Program formally document the need for accommodation (students must present documentation of their disability to the Enhancement Program before the office can verify need for accommodation off-campus).
  • Student requests that the director of the St. Thomas Enhancement Program submit a letter to the Office of Study Abroad outlining the specific accommodation(s) requested.
  • If the student is participating in a non-St. Thomas program, the Office of Study Abroad forwards the request on to the program sponsor or organization abroad.
  • Student should follow-up with the study abroad program, making sure to talk directly with the program director once on-site, and follow any further procedural instructions as advised.
Kim Schumann is the Director of the Enhancement Program – Disability Services 651-962-6315.

Orientation Information
Attendance at your respective program orientation is required. J-term Orientation (St. Thomas and UMAIE) will be held in November. Comprehensive UMAIE orientations will be held online during the fall semester. Summer Orientation will be held about one month prior to departure. All students will be notified of orientation schedule, dates and locations in the semester  prior to departure.

Enrollment Information

Application Deadlines
  • January Term: October 1st
  • Summer Term: March 1st
*Individual program deadlines may vary. See the application checklist for priority deadlines.

How to Apply
All students must apply online at Login using your St. Thomas username and password. Select ‘Apply for a Program’ to search for a program and begin an application. An application is considered binding and all cancellations must be submitted by e-mailing from the student’s St. Thomas e-mail account. The date that such notification is received is considered the cancellation date.

Students applying to a Co-Sponsored program will also need to submit application materials to their program provider.

A $500 deposit is required at time of application for St. Thomas and UMAIE sponsored programs. Deposits can be made at the Business Office or online. Instructions are found in the online application. If a student is not accepted into a program, a deposit refund will be issued. Students on co-sponsored programs will need to follow their program provider's deposit requirements, typically deposits for these programs are required on approval.

Once Accepted
Students will receive notification that an application decision (accepted, wait listed, denied) has been made via their St. Thomas email account. They will then login to their online application to review the decision and, if accepted, approval details. Students will receive final paperwork the semester before departure.

Wait Listed Students
If a St. Thomas or UMAIE program reaches its maximum enrollment, students may be placed on a wait list. When a cancellation occurs, the program sponsor notifies students of acceptance immediately. If no cancellations occur by the final deadline, students will be contacted and deposit refunded.  There will be no monetary refund for passport/ID photos.

Confirmation of Program Status
St. Thomas and UMAIE programs are confirmed as soon as the minimum number of students for each individual program is reached. Decisions as to whether programs with low enrollment will be offered will be made two weeks before final application deadline.

Applying for More Than One Program
Students may apply for only one J-Term program at a time. If not approved for a program an application may be submitted for another program. Students must e-mail with the name of the second course to which they would like to apply.

FERPA and Off-Campus Study
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, affords students the right to authorize the release of education information to third parties. The Office of Study Abroad requests that students authorize the release of education information to third parties by signing the Off-Campus Study Application. Students sign to the following statement and direct questions to the Office of Study Abroad:
I understand that the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, affords students the right to authorize the release of education information to third parties. I also understand that studying off-campus may involve circumstances that require the University of St. Thomas to release certain information to third parties, but for which it may be difficult to obtain my prior written permission. For these reasons, I herewith authorize university officials to release my education information to parties who, in their judgment, have an interest in the off-campus program contemplated by this document provided that those officials, in their judgment, are acting in my interests as well. This authorization is valid from the time I submit this signed document to the University of St. Thomas Office of Study Abroad through a period of one semester after my program ends.

Financial Matters

Comprehensive Program Fee
Costs listed are approximate and are based on a minimum number of students per program. Every effort is made to operate the program at the stated price. However, with fewer than the minimum number of participants, costs may be increased or the program cancelled. All program sponsors, including the University of St. Thomas, reserve the right to adjust fees due to dollar devaluation, fuel surcharges and general inflation. The program fee includes: tuition; round-trip transportation from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) to program location; airport transfers; transportation to most program activities; visas (where required for U.S. citizens); CISI insurance for international programs; meals as indicated; planned excursions; administrative costs; and lodging (primarily in triple rooms in hotels, pensions, university dorms, or family homes (where indicated); roommate assignments are of the same gender).

Expenses and items not specifically mentioned herein are not covered, including but not limited to: passports; local subway, bus, and tram fares; departure taxes (except U.S.); optional entertainment & excursions; room service charges; porter’s fees; laundry and cleaning; telephone & fax; personal tips; and transportation to and from point of course departure.

Off-Campus Study Fee
A $275 off-campus study fee is charged for short-term programs, guaranteeing the posting of credit, keeping a student’s records up-to-date, and allowing St. Thomas to make program payment and to bill the student’s account. All students who study off-campus through a UMAIE program will be charged both the Off-Campus Study Fee ($275) and the UMAIE Fee ($500). 

Payment Schedule

January Term – Students will be billed in December. Charges will appear on the St. Thomas eBilling statement issued in December. The balance of payment is due in January.
Summer Term – Students will be billed in May. Charges will appear on St. Thomas eBilling statement issued in May. The balance of payment is due in June.
Spring/Fall Embedded – The tuition cost of the course will be billed to student accounts as usual. The program fee will be charged in February (spring) or October (fall).

Wait Listed Students
Please reference the Wait Listed Students section.

Cancellation Fees and Refunds – St. Thomas and UMAIE Sponsored Programs

Cancellation policies are noted in online applications and at Students are responsible for understanding the cancellation policy for their program.
  • There is no monetary refund for passport/ID photos.
  • No refund is given to students who wish to omit portions of the itinerary.
  • Cancellations due to medical emergencies or U.S. government shut down (such as passport offices) do not guarantee a full refund, and in some cases, may involve no refund.
How to Cancel
All cancellations must be submitted in writing to the Office of Study Abroad by e-mailing from the student’s St. Thomas e-mail account. Cancellations by phone or in person are NOT accepted.

Cancellation Fees and Refunds – Co-Sponsored Programs
Students will be charged a cancellation fee equivalent of their off-campus study fee if they cancel from their co-sponsored study abroad program after the following dates:
  • December 1 for January Term and Spring programs
  • May 1 for Summer programs
  • August 1 for Fall programs
It is each student’s responsibility to know the cancellation policies for their specific program. Students are responsible for all payments made on their behalf to their programs by St. Thomas. Withdrawing from most programs once they have begun often does not result in any refund of charges. Withdrawing from most programs prior to departure results in forfeited deposits and any pre-paid program expenses. Carefully review your program’s literature for its refund and cancellation policies. In the event a student must cancel from a co-sponsored program, written cancellation must be submitted to BOTH the Office of Study abroad AND the program provider.

Financial Aid

Studying off-campus can be very exciting. You are embarking on a life-changing experience and making an investment in your future. Like any investment, studying off-campus requires careful planning, diligent management, creativity, and perseverance. The rewards will last you a lifetime.

January Term/Summer Session Financial Aid Eligibility:
Financial aid at St. Thomas is typically offered for the academic year with half of the funds awarded for the fall semester and the other half awarded for the spring semester. The financial aid office combines J-Term with spring semester when awarding and disbursing your financial aid. While you register for these terms separately and the business office will bill you separately, your financial aid funds will be disbursed spring semester. Most students use their full eligibility for financial aid in the school year leaving little eligibility for summer session. 

A student is expected to use personal funds to make any required study abroad deposits for January Term and/or summer session and have sufficient funds to cover all personal expenses associated with the program. Obtain the cost information for your program on the study abroad website:

To apply for January Term or summer financial aid, submit either a January Term or summer financial aid application to the Office of Financial Aid. The January Term application is available to download from the Office of Financial Aid website in early November; the summer application is available to download in early April.

Most financial aid funds require that you enroll as a full-time student each semester to receive the aid funds offered. Provided you remain enrolled in your January Term course as of the 10th day of spring semester classes, your combined registration for January Term and spring semester will be used to determine your spring semester financial aid eligibility. Your financial aid funds may be reduced, returned, or cancelled if you withdraw or do not enroll in the number of credits that your award was based upon.

In the summer, most financial aid funds require that you enroll as at least a half-time student to qualify. Your combined registration for all summer sessions will be used to determine your summer financial aid eligibility.

Supplemental Loans
A student may request consideration for supplemental educational loan funds to assist with the additional expenses associated with the short-term program expenses. Loan terms, eligibility requirements, and approval are determined by the lender selected.  Visit the undergraduate financial aid website for private and Federal Parent Loan options. Loan funds received prior to the posting of any off-campus study charges will first be applied to current charges. If your student account is paid in full, the Business Office will issue a credit balance refund. You may request that the Business Office hold loan proceeds on your student account to be applied to your future off-campus charges.

For January Term
A student is encouraged to submit a supplemental loan application in the summer requesting the total amount desired for the upcoming school year, including your short-term expenses.  One half of the loan funds will be disbursed to your student account following the 10th day of each semester provided you continue to meet all eligibility criteria at the time of each disbursement. You may apply for a supplemental loan one semester at a time if you prefer to budget on a term-by- term basis. You have an opportunity in late fall to submit a January term financial aid application to receive consideration for additional supplemental loan funding.

For Summer
A student is encouraged to submit any supplemental loan application before May 1st.  Loan funds are disbursed in installments that correspond with the last day to officially register for the classes for each session(s) you will attend provided you continue to meet all eligibility criteria at the time of each disbursement.

Study Abroad Scholarships
University-sponsored and private study abroad scholarship opportunities are available.  Visit the scholarship section of the Office of Study Abroad website for information, eligibility criteria, application materials, and deadlines. Select “Costs & Financial Aid” at

Recipients of the City of Minneapolis Scholarship, Dease Scholarship, Full-tuition Science, Math, and Engineering Scholarship, Three Sixty Journalism Scholarship, and some ROTC scholarships may request to use their scholarship for an off-campus study opportunity.  As soon as your registration is complete, submit a January term or summer financial aid application to the Office of Financial Aid.

Spring/Fall Embedded Programs
Funding for any course that includes an optional or required short-term program during a break is extremely limited. Determine how you will finance this opportunity before making any deposit or commitment to the program.

Tuition Remission
Tuition remission includes study abroad for dependent children of St. Thomas employees. This applies to a single (one) program approved by the Office of Study Abroad. The amount of tuition remission applied to any study abroad charges will be the lesser of (a) the actual tuition for the select program, or (b) the cost of tuition at St. Thomas for the corresponding number of credits employee's dependent is enrolled while abroad. Employee dependents may use tuition remission for a study abroad program during any term of enrollment (fall, J-term, spring, summer or an academic year). However, all programs, regardless of length, will count equally as one program for purposes of this benefit. To receive this benefit, the dependent must be a full-time St. Thomas student seeking their first baccalaureate degree and apply for approval to study abroad directly to the Office of Study Abroad.

Health Information

Proof of Sufficient Insurance
Students must verify that they have sufficient insurance coverage while off-campus on their Short-term Off-Campus Programs Agreement and Health Questionnaire.

Insurance Coverage Abroad
St. Thomas requires that ALL students participating in international off-campus programs have a level of insurance that meets or exceeds the insurance provided by the University’s policy thru Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). Insurance coverage through CISI is included in the program cost for St. Thomas and UMAIE sponsored programs.

Some co-sponsored program providers include insurance as part of the program fee. St. Thomas has reviewed all co-sponsored insurance policies and determined that some provide equal coverage to CISI.  Students on these programs are exempt from the CISI insurance requirement but do have the opportunity of enrolling if they would like the additional insurance coverage.  They will be notified prior to the beginning of their semester abroad. Students required to carry CISI will be automatically enrolled, and the premium posted to their St. Thomas student accounts. 

Students should keep their existing domestic health insurance coverage in force at all times. U.S.-based program participants should use their U.S. health insurance provider for any medical needs while on the program.

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)
St. Thomas’ CISI Plan is designed specifically for students traveling abroad. In addition to providing health insurance, the plan covers medical evacuation and repatriation as well as security evacuations should they become necessary. Students enrolled in CISI will receive complete plan information prior to departure.

Mental Health Off-Campus
Studying off-campus is an exciting experience that is also challenging and can be stressful. If you have experienced depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns in the past, we encourage you to check in with your counselor or one of the staff at Counseling and Psychological Services to make a plan to ensure your success. If you are on any psychotropic medication (e.g. antidepressants, anti anxiety medication, etc.), remember to follow the advice under Prescription Medication. This is not the time to stop taking your medication!

General Health
When preparing for your upcoming travel, it is important to address general health issues as well as any specific health concerns unique to you and your destination. Some programs may require a statement of good health or a physical before you leave. This can be obtained through a healthcare provider. If you have any chronic health conditions, such as asthma, migraines, seizures, anxiety, depression, or other chronic health problems, be proactive and consult your healthcare provider prior to departure. Develop a plan of care should you have any problems. If you require a medical alert bracelet, wear it during your travels. If you have a chronic disease, become familiar with the words that describe it in your host country’s language. If you have a chronic health condition, identify a health care facility and provider within your host country in case you should need to seek medical care. See your dentist prior to departure.

If you take a prescription medication, you need to arrange for an adequate supply of medication necessary for your travel duration. This needs to be coordinated through your healthcare provider and your insurance company. Keep all medications in their original containers. Do not mix different medications, prescription or over-the-counter, in one bottle. Know both the brand and generic names of your medications. Carry a copy of the original prescription with you. If you are bringing controlled substances such as ADHD medications or antidepressants, have your healthcare provider provide you with a letter stating they prescribed the medication and you are under their care. Make sure the medications are legal in your host country; this will help you avoid problems at customs. Reference the on-line Drug Translation Tool on the CISI  portal for additional assistance.

Make sure you are up to date on your routine U.S. vaccinations. This includes MMR, Tetanus, and Varicella vaccines (if you have not had chicken pox). St. Thomas makes the following recommendations to all students studying abroad:
  • Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver spread via contaminated food and water. The  Hepatitis A vaccine is a series of two vaccines administered over six to twelve months.
  • Hepatitis B is a virus spread through body fluids such as saliva and blood and can lead to significant liver failure. It is a series of three vaccines administered over one year.
  • Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes of the spinal cord and brain. It is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. It is recommended that all students be immunized for meningitis.
  • Seasonal influenza is a contagious viral respiratory infection, spread via respiratory secretions. It can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes death.
  • H1N1 Novel Influenza (originally swine flu) is a new form of influenza and is a contagious viral respiratory infection, spread via respiratory secretions. It can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes death.
Destination-Specific Health Concerns
Be familiar with health issues in your host country and any country you plan on making a side trip to. Areas in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have unique health concerns such as Typhoid, Malaria, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, and others which require appropriate travel preparation to avoid illness. Appropriate vaccines and medications beyond the above listed routine recommendations need to be researched. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) details information regarding immunizations, health risks, and disease outbreaks specific to a destination. A formal travel consultation is recommended for such destinations for optimal travel preparation, ideally six or more weeks prior to departure.

Travel Preparation Resources
Consult with your primary healthcare provider regarding your individual health concerns and how to manage any chronic health issues you may have during travel. Confirm your routine vaccines are up to date. The CDC provides information on both health concerns and vaccine recommendations within a country. The World Health Organization provides additional information on current heath conditions specific to a country. The St. Thomas Travel Clinic ( provides travel health education, required/recommended vaccines, and prescriptions for recommended medications specific to your destination.

Reporting Requirements
Minnesota Statutes Section 5.41 requires that certain health and safety incidents that result from participation in a study abroad program be reported to the Minnesota Secretary of State.  Specifically, St. Thomas must report on:
  1. Deaths of program participants that occurred during program participation as a result of program participation; and
  2. Accidents and illnesses that occurred during program participation as a result of participation that required hospitalization.
Currently, the law does not require that we share any personally identifiable information, nor any specific medical information. St. Thomas is required to report to the State of Minnesota annually for all St. Thomas students who study abroad. If you are on a co-sponsored program, your program provider must report incidents to St. Thomas.

Travel Information

Flight Deviations
Program Fees are based on group arrangements. Thus, a service charge plus any difference in fare will be levied for all flight deviations. St. Thomas-sponsored programs will only allow for land-only requests. Deviations and land-only requests may not be available in all cases. Requests must be in writing by October 1 (J-Term) or March 1 (June/Summer).

Students are responsible for obtaining a passport on their own and applying in sufficient time so as to not jeopardize their ability to travel as planned. Application and renewal information is available at The Office of Study Abroad cannot issue, or ensure issuance, of a passport.

Student Visas
If a program destination requires a visa, the program provider will provide information to students upon acceptance. The ability to issue a visa rests solely with the host country. St. Thomas and the Office of Study Abroad cannot provide legal advice or ensure issuance of a visa. Students are responsible for obtaining a visa and applying in sufficient time so as to not jeopardize their ability to travel as planned. International students often have requirements differing from those for U.S. students and may require a visa when U.S. students do not. International students must notify the Office of International Students & Scholars immediately upon acceptance to a study abroad program to learn about requirements for studying abroad.

Web Resources
If want to know more about your destination(s), check out the following web sites.