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External Opportunities

When making the decision to study abroad, the Office of International Programs encourages students to choose from the list of Study Abroad Opportunities. We feel there are certain benefits connected to using the programs and institutions on this list, however, if students have looked into our list of opportunities and do not want to use one, they can appeal for an exception to the policy which restricts study abroad to these programs. Students must submit an Appeal Form to the Office of International Programs and receive approval on two levels before continuing with the study abroad process.

The first part of the Appeal Form is to submit information on the external opportunity and have the program approved. If the external opportunity is approved, the second part is for the student is to secure course approvals from department chairs in order for them to find enough courses to study for one semester as a full-time student. Once a student has the approvals on both levels, the student can continue with the study abroad process.

The philosophy of Loyola's international programs is to provide students with an in-depth experience of another culture by focusing on one program. Therefore, programs like Semester at Sea and similar programs would not be acceptable. The Office of International Programs must approve any international program that a student wishes to obtain credits from while enrolled at Loyola University Maryland.

In order to receive approval for an external opportunity, the program must meet one of the following criteria:

  • The external opportunity must be offered through an accredited, four-year, degree-granting institution in the United States providing an American transcript upon completion of the program OR
  • The program or university abroad must have a U.S. educational provider that can verify the accreditation of the university abroad and furnish Loyola with a translation of the foreign transcript (courses, grades and credits) at the conclusion of the program. 

An appeal form is available in the Office of International Programs and requires the following information:

  • Name and location of the program;
  • Academic reasons why this study abroad program meets the student's need better than any of the Loyola study abroad opportunities;
  • Course titles and American credits for each course;
  • The chairs' signature from the department in which each course falls and the equivalent Loyola courses selected by the chair (course descriptions may be required);
  • Academic advisor's signature; and
  • Verification that the study abroad provider enjoys at least regional accreditation in the United States or national accreditation in the host country (provided by the U.S. educational provider).

Students who are interested in pursuing this option should contact Madison Leadley in the Office of International Programs at to get information on how to obtain approval for an external opportunity.

In order to use an external option, students must first apply to Loyola University Maryland. You must select an external opportunity as one of your choices on the study abroad application at Loyola. We recommend that you select an external opportunity as your third choice and not your first or second choice. The Loyola application is merely a screening process. Once you have been cleared by the Office of International Programs, students will receive approval to apply directly to the external program. The host institution will review your admission materials and render a decision.

Students must receive written approval from Office of International Programs before submitting an application to Loyola University Maryland and to the external opportunity.

Students must realize that participating in an external opportunity means they will be placed on a leave of absence from Loyola University. 

Admission Requirements

  • First, students must meet the admissions requirement at Loyola University. If you do not meet the admission criteria at Loyola University Maryland, you will not be allowed to use an external option;
  • Admission requirements vary from program to program. However, Loyola requires that all students who intend to apply to an external opportunity must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA regardless of the host institution's admission requirement;
  • Some external opportunities may require a higher cumulative GPA for admission;
  • A student applying to an external opportunity cannot be on any type of disciplinary probation nor have a history of serious disciplinary problems at the time of application; and
  • Students must schedule an academic interview to discuss potential courses.

Loyola Application Deadline

  • Second Wednesday after Thanksgiving break for both the fall or spring semester.

Students interested in applying to an external opportunity must apply by Loyola's application deadline and must complete the Loyola application first. Second, a student must submit an appeal (part I and part II) and receive approval on both part I and part II. Once the online Loyola application  and appeal application (paper ) have been received and approved, the Office of International Programs will contact the student to inform her/him if he/she can proceed to the final step, which is to apply directly to the host institution.

Policies Governing External Opportunities

  • Students who use external opportunities will be placed on a housing wait-list for the returning semester. If there are no on-campus housing spots available, then students will have to move and find off-campus housing. There is the possibility that once a student moves off-campus, they may not be able to return to campus housing;
  • To satisfy the residency requirement at Loyola, once a student completes a program from an external opportunity, he/she will not be allowed to take their remaining course requirements at another institution. This includes summer courses;
  • Loyola monies (including but not limited to academic and athletic scholarships/grants) cannot be used to cover expenses incurred in external opportunities.
  • Once a student has been accepted and in some cases, paid a study abroad deposit, the student forfeits the right to register for courses and go through the housing selection process at Loyola for the semester the student plans to be abroad. Even if a student has not received his/her formal acceptance from the external program, the student will not be allowed to register for courses and housing at Loyola;
  • All students studying abroad at an external option will have to drop their housing before receiving a final decision on admission; and
  • Students will be billed a non-refundable, study abroad deposit of $800 for the semester.

Grades and Credits

  • Only courses and credits transfer from External Opportunities;
  • In order to receive transfer credit, students must receive a 2.00 (C) or higher in each approved course;
  • Grades from abroad will be calculated into a student's Loyola QPA if that student becomes a candidate for Honors at graduation;
  • Students must register for courses abroad that will allow them to transfer the equivalent of what they would take during a semester at Loyola, which are 5 courses and 15 credits; and
  • It is the student’s responsibility to select an external opportunity that will keep them on track for graduation.


  • All courses must be approved prior to studying abroad.
  • Course offerings change from semester to semester.
  • In the majority of cases, registration occurs while abroad at the host institution.
  • Try to have as many alternates for abroad, in the case there is a major course change abroad.

Registration Abroad

  • Try to save as many electives for abroad, just in case core and/or major courses are closed or canceled;
  • Not all external opportunities offer the same major/minor/core courses as Loyola. Course offerings for a particular semester may not be available until two months prior to departure; and
  • Host institutions reserve the right to make course changes without notice.

Housing Abroad

  • Housing options vary from program to program.
  • It is recommended that you visit the website for each program you are interested in using before applying.

Cost and Fees

  • All tuition, housing, program fees and any other incidental costs are paid directly to the study abroad program;
  • All students using an external opportunity will be charged a study abroad fee by Loyola. Currently this fee is $800 and will be billed to you. The fee is subject to change;
  • Eligibility for financial aid for external opportunities is limited to Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized), Federal Direct Parent Loans (PLUS), Federal Pell Grants, and most forms of state grant/scholarship assistance; and
  • Institutionally controlled forms of financial aid including academic scholarships, athletic scholarships, need-based grants, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Grants, and federal work-study are forfeited and cannot be used to assist with educational expenses incurred for these study abroad programs.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

Contact Us

Phone: 410-617-2910
Office: Humanities 132

Additional contact information


In order to apply, all students must attend a Study Abroad 101 session before the application deadline. The application deadline for all Fall, Spring, and year-long opportunities during academic year 2024-25 is December 6, 2023.

The deadline for opportunities taking place during academic year 2025-26 will be announced during the Spring 2024 semester.

Study Abroad 101