Students with senior standing can study abroad, including during their last term as a Berkeley student.

Application timeframe

If you are already a senior and are beginning your study abroad planning, immediately review application deadlines and verify which programs are still available to you for the term in which you intend to study abroad. If you intend to participate in a program that has language or course prerequisites, you may have limited time to complete such requirements. Consider a program with no or few prerequisite courses.

If you have missed a deadline, we encourage you to reach out to the program specific adviser to see if a late application can be accommodated. Independent (non-UC) programs sometimes have later deadlines, or options for recent graduates, if you have missed all opportunities through Berkeley Study Abroad.

Academic planning

As a senior, you will be focused on satisfying any remaining major, minor, breadth and general education requirements needed to graduate. If you have or will satisfy all requirements before or after your term of study abroad participation, you can select a program based entirely on your interests - it is not required to study in your major.

However, many seniors will need to select a program that offers compatible coursework for remaining degree requirements. Before you visit our office, verify which degree requirements you have left to complete by meeting with a Berkeley college adviser in addition to your departmental adviser(s). Determine what is allowable by your college and department for study abroad courses applied to any remaining requirements. This will assist us in recommending programs based on your academic needs. Read more about Academic Planning here.

Study abroad in your final semester or summer

It is possible to participate in study abroad in your last term with the approval of your Berkeley college and department. It is also common for seniors to seek a study abroad opportunity in the summer following their final spring term at Berkeley. Most Berkeley colleges do not place restrictions on summer participation following the final spring term.

If you are a UCEAP applicant, you cannot participate in UCEAP, or be packaged for financial aid, if your “Expected Graduation” term in CalCentral is for a term prior to the UCEAP participation term(s). You must work with your Berkeley college for approval to change your expected graduation date to your term of study abroad participation or later.

If you are a Berkeley Summer Abroad or Berkeley Global Internships applicant you must have your “Expected Graduation” term changed to the summer of participation or later in order to qualify the UC student fee rate and financial aid. Students who are willing to pay visiting student fees and do not wish to apply financial aid to participation can remain on the spring degree list.

Participating in commencement

Even if you change your Expected Graduation term to summer, it’s usually possible to walk in your spring graduation ceremony. Talk to your departmental adviser(s) if you wish to participate in spring commencement but administratively graduate with the summer degree list.

For students studying abroad during a final spring term, please note it is typically not permitted for a student to return to the US to participate in commencement if the study abroad program has not officially ended. If participating in commencement is important to you, you will need to seek a spring program that officially ends prior to your commencement ceremony date.

Senior residence requirement

Once you reach senior standing (90 units), you must complete 24 of your remaining units in residence at Berkeley. Although study abroad does not count towards senior residence, most colleges will modify the senior residence requirement for students participating on a UCEAP program. To satisfy the modified senior residence requirement you must complete 24 (excluding study abroad or extension) units in residence after you reach junior standing (60 units). At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units. Make an appointment with your college adviser to discuss the senior residence requirement if you are planning to study abroad as a senior.

Extending your stay at Berkeley

Some students consider taking an additional semester or year to study abroad. Talk to your college to see what steps you could take to qualify for additional terms, either by remaining under the unit ceiling or through petition to the college Dean. This is not possible for all colleges and/or may not be permitted for every student.

Delayed grades from study abroad

This section is for UCEAP participants only.

Depending on the host institution, UCEAP will transmit your UCEAP courses, units, and grades to Berkeley up to 90 days after your program officially ends. You cannot be administratively graduated until your UCEAP grades are reported to Berkeley, are posted to your transcript, and a degree audit is conducted.

The Berkeley Office of the Registrar only administratively graduates students (a.k.a. degrees are “posted” to transcripts) three times per year: October for students with a summer anticipated graduation date, February for students with a Fall anticipated graduation date, and July for students with a Spring anticipated graduation date. If your EAP grades arrive after degrees are posted for your term of participation, your degree will be processed and posted to your transcript with the next term’s degree list.

Consult with your BSA Campus Adviser and/or UCEAP Academics Specialist to find out the projected date when your EAP grades will be transmitted to the Berkeley Office of the Registrar. Factoring in a 1 to 4-week delay for grades to appear on your Berkeley transcript, determine when your degree is likely to be posted by the Berkeley Office of the Registrar (October, July or February).

If you determine that your grades are likely to arrive later than the term you need to graduate from Berkeley to stay eligible for your graduate program or another post-graduation opportunity, contact the program/employer you are applying to as early as possible. Ask about their policy on delayed graduation due to study abroad participation. Find out how long they can wait for UCEAP grades to be recorded on your official Berkeley transcript and for your degree to be posted by the Berkeley Office of the Registrar.

Ask your graduate program or employer if you can provide some academic information while waiting for your UCEAP grades or Berkeley diploma. If courses and grades do not yet appear on your Berkeley transcript, ask the program/employer if it will accept an official "Verification of UCEAP Coursework." This is a letter from UCEAP verifying dates of UCEAP attendance and giving the estimated dates of arrival for course titles, units, and grades. You can get this letter from your BSA Campus Adviser or from your UCEAP Academic Specialist for your program. If your UCEAP grades already appear on your Berkeley transcript but you are waiting for your degree to be posted, you can also request a Certificate of Completion. Read more about Transcripts and Diplomas on the Office of the Registrar website.