Study abroad is an opportunity available to Pomona students, subject to a selection process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to present a persuasive case, and to observe all deadlines.
The Study Abroad Committee (SAC) selects students for study abroad. The Committee is composed of faculty members representing all three academic divisions (Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences); four ex-officio members (a representative of the Dean of Students, Registrar, Director of Oldenborg Center, and Director of Study Abroad); and two students appointed by the Senate of the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC). Selection for study abroad is based on a written application. Some competition may occur within the various programs. The SAC'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 Study Abroad within one week of the date of the notification letter. The committee's decision is final.
Selection for study abroad is a two-step process. Applicants are reviewed by the SAC and, if approved, are referred to the respective study abroad programs. Each program abroad 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 SAC. Students must have approval from both the SAC and the program sponsor.
Selection for Pomona Programs (Cambridge, Cape Town: Globalization, the Environment and Society, Edinburgh, London Molecular Biology, London Neuroscience, Tokyo) may also include review by a selection committee appointed by the SAC, 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 SAC, and 1-2 other faculty members. The selection committee reviews applications and makes a recommendation to the SAC on selected students. The SAC makes the final decision.
Applicants must demonstrate the following seven qualifications:
1. 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. 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 foreign language programs, and preference will be given to students who will have taken an appropriate foreign language course in the semester preceding their anticipated study abroad. Students should note that many programs in foreign 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.
2. 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.
3. Suitability of Destination
The proposed destination should be suitable in terms of a student's stated goals for the semester abroad. The SAC 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.
4. GPA Requirement
While the SAC has no GPA minimum for approved programs, a student's academic record is considered. The SAC cannot approve the application of a student who does not meet the overseas program's minimum GPA and/or foreign language requirement. Specific program requirements are indicated in the Study Abroad Guide and on the Study Abroad website. Meeting a program's GPA requirement does not, however, guarantee admission.
5. Initiative, Maturity, Responsibility, and Adaptability
The successful completion of a program abroad 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. Study abroad 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 SAC assesses the suitability of each candidate.
6. Normal Progress Toward Graduation
The proposed period abroad 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.
7. 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 a study abroad program. Students should be aware that the SAC may access their disciplinary record.
The SAC takes into account the following considerations when selecting students for programs abroad:
- Semester Enrollment Balance
The College seeks to achieve enrollment balance between the fall and spring semesters. The Study Abroad 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 SAC.
- Priority for Students Applying for a First Experience Abroad
Qualified students applying for their first program abroad will be given priority.
- Two Different Semester Programs Abroad
Applications for a second semester abroad on a second program will be considered by the SAC 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 abroad 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.