International and Domestic Programs Office Selection Process

Participation in an international or domestic program is an opportunity available to Pomona College students, subject to a selection process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present a persuasive case and to observe all deadlines.

The International and Domestic Programs Committee (IDPC) evaluates applications for all programs and selects students for participation. The Committee is composed of four faculty members, the Director of  International and Domestic Programs, the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean of Students, the Staff Director of Oldenborg Center, the Registrar, the Associate Dean of the College with responsibility for international initiatives, and two students who have participated in Pomona’s international or domestic programs appointed by the Senate of the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC).  The four faculty members represent the three academic divisions of the College (Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences) and languages and literatures. Selection for off-campus programs is based on a written application. Some programs may be more competitive than others. The IDPC's review of each application is confidential.

Appeals will be considered only in the case of 1) demonstrated administrative error, or 2) an extraordinary change in circumstances, normally beyond the student's control. An appeal is not an opportunity to restate the proposal; the original application is the time to present the strongest case. If a student believes there are grounds for an appeal, he/she must make an appointment with the Director of International and Domestic Programs within one week of the date of the notification letter. The committee's decision is final.

Selection for off-campus programs is a two-step process. Applicants are reviewed by the IDPC and, if approved, are referred to the respective programs. Each program has its own selection criteria, which may differ from the criteria used by Pomona. The number of applications program sponsors receive from other institutions may also affect the selection process, and a competitive situation can occur in programs with a limited number of available spaces. In direct enrollment programs at foreign universities, students usually have to be accepted by a division of the university (often referred to as a Faculty or School) as well as the international office of the university. Because some programs have early application deadlines, notification from the program sponsor may occur prior to the final decision of the IDPC. Students must have approval from both the IDPC and the program sponsor.

Selection for Pomona Programs (Cambridge; Cape Town: Globalization, the Environment and Society; Caracol Archaeological Project; Edinburgh) may also include review by a selection committee appointed by the IDPC, particularly in years where there are more applicants than available places. The ad hoc selection committees include the program’s faculty liaison(s), a member of the IDPC, and 1-2 other faculty members. The selection committee reviews applications and makes a recommendation to the IDPC on selected students. The IDPC makes the final decision.

Applicants must demonstrate the following seven qualifications:


Academic Background

Evidence of academic competence and preparation in the proposed area of study is required. Students must complete all prerequisite courses before participating in the program. For international programs, preference is given to students who have completed background courses for the location in which they intend to study. Strong language preparation is especially important for non-English language programs, and preference will be given to students who will have taken an appropriate language course in the semester preceding their anticipated study abroad. Students should note that many programs in non-English language environments require the completion of at least one college-level course at the designated level. Students may not fulfill this requirement through AP or SAT-II scores.

Academic Appropriateness of Program

Applicants should present reasons for the appropriateness of the program in terms of academic, linguistic, and/or cultural goals. This may be within the context of a liberal arts education, or specific academic goals, normally focused on a student's major subject. In addition, the proposed program must be suitable in terms of academic content; students should be neither under- nor overqualified.

Suitability of Destination

The proposed destination should be suitable in terms of a student's stated goals for the semester off-campus. The IDPC will consider the academic resources of the proposed program, as well as if and why a proposed city, country, or region presents a particularly advantageous environment in which to pursue one's stated goals.

GPA Requirement

While the IDPC has no GPA minimum for approved programs, a student's academic record is considered. The IDPC cannot approve the application of a student who does not meet the overseas program's minimum GPA and/or language requirement. Specific program requirements are indicated on the International and Domestic Programs website. Meeting a program's GPA requirement does not, however, guarantee admission.

Initiative, Maturity, Responsibility and Adaptability

The successful completion of an off-campus study program requires individual initiative and a sense of maturity and responsibility concerning social matters as well as academic duties. Students also must be responsible about representing the College well. Participation requires adaptability and a willingness to adjust to living and studying conditions very different from, and often much less comfortable than, those in Claremont. All of these qualities will be taken into account when the IDPC assesses the suitability of each candidate.

Normal Progress Toward Graduation

The proposed program may not impede students' normal progress toward graduation. Students must indicate in their application how they plan to complete major and graduation requirements. Students' advisors and department chairs must approve and sign the application.

Ineligible Students

A student who is on academic or conduct probation, social supervision, or who has delinquent accounts, is not eligible to apply for or to participate in an international or domestic program. Students should be aware that the IDPC may access their disciplinary record.

Students are expected to be enrolled full-time on campus in the semester prior to participation and must complete the semester with grades in each of their courses. Participation approval will not be granted (or will be revoked) for students who withdraw before the end of the semester or who take incompletes in their coursework. Students who have been on leave status or who have withdrawn from the College must successfully complete one academic semester (fall or spring) of full-time coursework on campus before participating in an international or domestic program.

Priority Considerations

The IDPC considers the following when selecting students for programs abroad:

  • Semester Enrollment Balance

The College seeks to achieve enrollment balance between the fall and spring semesters. The International & Domestic Programs Committee may find it necessary to manage semester enrollments to avoid imbalance in view of residence hall occupancy.

  • Priority for Majors Requiring Study Abroad

Students majoring in Africana Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Chicano/a Latino/a Studies, Classics, Environmental Analysis, International Relations, Media Studies, Religious Studies, and modern languages are normally required or encouraged to complete an academic experience abroad. In programs with limited places, qualified applicants from these fields receive special consideration by the IDPC.

  • Priority for Students Applying for a First Experience Off-Campus

Qualified students applying for their first program off-campus will be given priority.

  • Two Different Semester Programs Off-Campus

Applications for a second semester off-campus on a second program will be considered by the IDPC if there are exceptional academic reasons for doing so. Participation in a second program depends upon successful completion of the first program and space availability.

  • Class Year

Although Pomona permits students to study away as early as the second semester of the sophomore year, many programs do not accept sophomores. Seniors normally are ineligible in the second semester. If there are more qualified first semester applicants than places available, preference will be given to qualified seniors and juniors.

  • Other Claremont Colleges Students

Pomona students receive priority, although there is space for qualified applicants from other Claremont Colleges on some programs. Pomona College does not accept applications from students not enrolled at The Claremont Colleges.