Students with senior standing can study abroad, including during their last term as a Berkeley student.
However, it is important for seniors to discuss their study abroad plans with their college and department to confirm that they are able to complete their degree and study abroad.
- Be aware of application deadlines. Applications can be due as early as one year prior to departure, so prepare your application as soon as possible. If you are already a senior and are beginning your academic planning, immediately review application deadlines and verify which programs are still available to you for the term in which you intend to study abroad.
- Pay attention to the senior residency requirement. Once you reach senior standing (90 units), you must complete 24 of your remaining 30 units in residence at UC Berkeley. Although study abroad does not count towards senior residency, many students can study abroad on the UC Education Abroad Program as a senior through a modified senior residency requirement. Review the eligibility requirements for your college for more information.
- Determine whether you must complete degree requirements while abroad. As a senior, you likely have a declared major and may need to satisfy major and minor requirements while abroad in order to maintain progress toward your degree. Verify which degree requirements you have left to complete, what is allowable by your college and department, and whether your study abroad program offers coursework that may satisfy these requirements.
- Know how to properly declare candidacy if studying abroad your last term. Consult with your college to discuss the procedure for declaring candidacy and any college-specific policies regarding "graduating abroad." In order to apply study abroad coursework to your degree and to be eligible to fund your program with financial aid, you must be a registered continuing UC Berkeley student while on your study abroad program.
- Consider taking an additional term to study abroad. Many colleges (with the exception of the Haas School of Business) allow students an additional term for study abroad provided that they are making satisfactory degree progress and have not exceeded unit and semester ceilings. Check with your college whether a petition is required for approval of an additional term. If you receive financial aid, students remain aid-eligible for up to 10 semesters (6 semesters for transfer students).
- Decide on your participation in commencement. Many students wish to be on campus in order to participate in spring semester commencement activities. If you plan to study abroad spring semester, be aware that many spring study abroad programs will not finish in time for you to return to Berkeley for commencement. Verify the program dates of your spring study abroad program, or consider applying to a fall or summer program or participating in fall semester commencement.
- Make arrangements for graduate school. Students who plan to enter graduate school the semester after studying abroad should be aware of how study abroad works with graduate school requirements. Students should allow additional time for the posting of study abroad coursework and grades to their official transcript. If your graduate program requires course information or a UC Berkeley transcript before your study abroad grades are available, determine your graduate program's policy for delayed grades/transcripts from study abroad and how long they can wait for study abroad coursework to be recorded on your transcript. Whenever possible, you should notify your graduate program of your study abroad plans during the graduate application process and discuss how you will meet their requirements.