Frequently Asked Questions

You asked… we answered!

What if I missed Alma College’s deadline to register for off-campus study but still want to apply?

The deadlines are set to ensure adequate time to complete the OCS Registration, the program provider’s application process, and not be declined admittance because the program is full.  Registration beyond Alma’s deadlines requires submission of the CSO Petition. Begin by creating an account on the Off-Campus Study website.

How do I know if an off-campus study course fulfills a course requirement?

Talk with your adviser about your decision to study off-campus to find out the courses you need for graduation. Once you have completed the Registration for Off-Campus Study and are approved to complete the program application, you will work with faculty to approve courses in advance for academic credit.  Full instructions are outlined in the off-campus study enrollment process.  Depending on the program, courses may have already been approved in advance for Alma College credit.  Those that haven’t received prior standing approval must have course descriptions and/or syllabus submitted to the department chair for review, prior to departure for the program.

Who can I talk to that has already attended the program?  

Contact a Student Ambassador!  Off-Campus Study can provide the names of student ambassadors if you send an email to with your name and program of interest.   

Will financial aid go with me on an approved off-campus program?

Alma College financial aid can be used for fall or winter term, although federal and state aid is available for more than one term of off-campus course work. Alma scholarships and grants are reduced by 25% for students studying off campus.  Exceptions to this policy are Modern Language majors who study for a full academic year in one international language program and students with a double major in two languages who may receive aid for up to two terms if the programs are needed to fulfill language requirements. Only students who are U.S. citizens and reside in the U.S. or a U.S. territory are eligible for Alma College aid.  Contact the Student Financial Assistance office for more information. 

Can I attend a non-Alma program and get Alma College financial aid, academic credit and/or internship credit?

Alma College financial aid, academic credit and/or internship credit is available to students attending Alma College approved programs. The programs that have been evaluated by multiple faculty members and used successfully by students for many years are available at this link:  Approved Programs Overview. Participation in Alma approved programs include an orientation, pre-and post departure support, and Alma’s international health and travel insurance.

It is important for students who consider studying on a non-Alma approved program to discuss off-campus study options with several staff on campus including their Academic Advisor, the Assistant Director of CSO for Venture and Off-Campus Study, the Registrar, and the Director of Student Financial Assistance.  Students who opt to study fall or winter term on a non-Alma approved program will likely to required to withdraw from Alma for the term and be formally admitted back to campus.  For students who choose to study summer term on a non-Alma approved program, it’s reasonable to expect academic credit will not transfer back to Alma. 

What are the requirements of a language major studying off-campus?

It is mandatory that students speak with their Modern Language Professor and Modern Language Department Chair on campus before committing to a program.  The off-campus study requirements for a language major may include the following, and are subject to change.

  •  Successful completion of a minimum of three language courses
  •  A research paper written in the language covering a topic agreed upon in advance by Modern Languages
  •  Enrollment in intensive language exam preparation to sit for and pass while abroad

According to the most recent academic catalog, language majors must enroll in a minimum of 12 language credits on an approved semester program.  A maximum of 16 credits in language studies per term will count towards a language major/minor.