Info for UCSC Advisors

Advisors play an integral role in encouraging UCSC students to pursue global learning. We require all students to meet with their campus academic advisors during the application process to ensure they stay on track to degree completion. We appreciate working collaboratively with you to achieve our common goal of seeing UCSC students thrive academically, professionally, and personally on campus, abroad, and beyond.

Why should students participate in Global Learning?

Global learning can be an extremely rewarding academic, professional, and personal experience. It provides students the opportunity to engage with and learn from another culture, develop or enhance foreign language skills, cultivate their strengths, complement their studies by earning credit toward their degree (including enrollment in courses that may fulfill GE or specific major or minor requirements), and gain an invaluable edge in an increasingly competitive global job market, among many other benefits.

Learn about study abroad or away programs

Types of Global Learning Programs

UCSC Global Seminars are designed by UCSC Global Learning in collaboration with UCSC faculty. They give students the opportunity to participate in a study abroad/away program during Summer Session while receiving UCSC credit. These short but intense programs are structured in such a way that students have the opportunity to take advantage of the program’s location both inside and outside the classroom.

Program Snapshot:

  • Students take UCSC courses and receive UCSC credit (between 6-10 units)
  • Courses can satisfy both Major and GE credit
  • Program length ranges from 3 to 5 weeks
  • Open to UCSC, other UC, and non-UC students
  • Programs fill on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Student cohort program
  • Students gain close working relationships with faculty
  • Financial aid applies and scholarships are available

UCSC Partner Programs are UCSC campus-based (not UCEAP) programs at host institutions abroad and in the U.S. Students earn UC credit while paying UC Santa Cruz tuition and fees. Some programs have pre-approved courses in certain departments.

Program Snapshot:

  • Students receive UC credit 
  • Courses can be taken for major, minor, or GE requirements, pending approval. Some departments offer pre-approved courses for students articulated for upper-division major requirements
  • Exchanges may be for one, two, or three academic quarters. As exchanges run on the semester system, the fall and spring semesters sometimes overlap with more than one quarter.
  • Programs fill on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Students pay UCSC tuition and UCSC campus fees, and living expenses at the host institution location.
  • Financial aid applies
  • Only open to juniors and seniors

UCSC Global Internships are department-specific and provide students the opportunity to intern with an international organization! Students can explore their career goals, expand their professional network and skills, and gain real work experience by participating in a global internship. Internships are customized according to their field of study.

Program Snapshot:

  • Students receive academic credit for the required course(s) through Summer Session.
  • Internship locations vary.
  • Internships are available according to a student’s field of study.  
  • Financial aid applies and scholarships are available.

The UCDC Washington Program’s mission is to provide the highest quality experiential learning program for UC undergraduates by offering professional development and internship opportunities that help inform students’ transition from study to professional practice. UCSC students are strongly encouraged to supplement their undergraduate education with real-world, hands-on experiences through internships.  UCDC offers eligible undergraduate students an exciting opportunity to combine course work, exciting field research, and unparalleled internship experience during a quarter’s residence in our nation’s capital.

Program Snapshot:

  • Students receive 12 UCSC credits for the required seminar and internship courses with an additional 4-6 units for an optional elective course
  • Students from any major have the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job experience with professionals and experts in fields that interest them.
  • Students have the chance to test-drive a career, build their portfolio or resume, and make valuable industry contacts that can be essential to landing the ideal job upon graduation.
  • Program is open to juniors and seniors (occasionally sophomores) in all majors through a competitive application process
  • Financial aid applies

UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is the University of California’s official study abroad program provider that allows students at all ten UC campuses to study abroad/away as sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate students. There are UCEAP program options available for most majors, and students can petition UCEAP courses to count toward major, minor, or GE requirements. UCEAP offers several program types including immersion, language and culture, discipline-specific, internship, and UC Study Centers. To learn more about UCEAP, review their digital viewbook.

Program Snapshot:

  • Students receive UC credit 
  • Students can study on programs during summer, quarter, semester, or year
  • Programs offered in over 40 countries with more than 400 program options
  • Most programs offer courses in English
  • Beginning to advanced language classes offered
  • Some semester programs offer full immersion into regular university courses taught in the language of the host country
  • Some programs begin with a required intensive language program (ILP) to help students prepare before host university courses begin
  • Financial aid applies and scholarships are available

Other UC Programs are usually faculty-led programs offered by other UCs during the summer. Some UCs offer quarter abroad programs.

Program Snapshot:

  • Students receive UC credit
  • Students can petition to have courses meet major, minor, or GE requirements
  • Some UCs offer domestic programs within the United States 
  • Financial aid applies and some scholarships are available through the respective UC Study Abroad office

Independent Programs are study abroad or away programs not managed or hosted by the University of California. Independent Programs can be a good option for students who are not able to find a UC program that meets their academic, professional, or personal goals.  

Program Snapshot:

  • Students may receive transfer credit as long as their program issues a transcript from an accredited university and is approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction
  • Financial aid is not currently available for these programs, but many scholarship opportunities are available
  • Transfer students interested in these programs should make sure that they have not reached the maximum number of transfer units (70 semester or 105 quarter units)
  • Program locations are offered all around the world; many times in places in which UC does not offer programs
  • Students can study abroad or away for a summer, quarter, semester, or year
  • Students can participate in various program types including domestic, language and culture, host university immersion, discipline-specific, internships, research, service-learning, or volunteer work

Academic credit earned on global learning programs

  • Global Seminar and Global Internship – UCSC credit. Courses offered to satisfy major, minor, or GE requirements.
  • UCSC Partner Programs – UC credit, meaning all courses, grades, and units will automatically be added to a student’s UC transcript. For partner programs, a student must petition for courses to be approved for major/minor requirements with their major or minor advisor. To have courses fulfill GE requirements, students can request pre-approval by completing a proposed program evaluation through the Office of Admissions. We strongly recommended that students request pre-approval rather than assume their UCSC Partner Program courses will count toward GEs. After their Program courses have been added to their transcript, they can submit a review of transfer credit online to request their pre-approved GE be applied to their Program course. For department-based exchanges, many courses have already been pre-approved for certain major requirements by the major. 
  • UCDC – UCSC credit. Students can take 12-18 units for the quarter. Participants must be enrolled on a full-time basis (12 units) and must take two required courses: a seminar (UCDC 194A; 5 units; P/NP or Letter Grade; meets PR-S GE) and internship (UCDC 194B; 7 units; P/NP only). Seminars are taught 1 day a week for 3 hours and there are typically 5-6 Seminars to choose from. The seminar features group meetings and tutorial sessions related to the student’s internship placement. Each student completes a research paper, which is an essential component of the Washington program. For the internship, there are a wide variety of internships available in ANY field! Students are responsible for finding their own internship, typically after selection into the UCDC program. Staff in Washington, D.C. will assist students in this process, providing guidance and internship leads.  Upon acceptance to UCDC, participants will gain access to the UCDC Internship Database, containing active internship listings by internship sites that routinely hire UCDC interns. In addition, students may choose one upper-division optional elective course from a range of classes offered by faculty at UCDC. These elective classes are 4 units each, and are in several disciplines. If students do take an elective, they are eligible for 2 additional independent studies units. 
  • UCEAP – UC credit, not transfer credit. To see what courses UC students have taken in the past for each program, students can visit the UCEAP Course Catalog. In order to have courses count toward major or minor requirements, students must petition to their major or minor department. The UCSC Campus Credit database is a resource to see what UCEAP courses have been approved in the past for major, minor, elective, or GE credit. To have courses fulfill GE requirements, students can request pre-approval by completing a proposed program evaluation through the Office of Admissions. Once UCEAP courses have been posted to their transcript, students can submit a review of transfer credit online to request their pre-approved GE be applied to their UCEAP course. Typically, UCEAP grades can take up to 4 months after the program end date to post to a student’s transcript. 
  • Other UC Programs – UC credit. Similar to UCSC exchanges and UCEAP, students must petition to have courses count towards major, minor, or GE requirements with their major or minor advisor or through the Office of Admissions.
  • Independent Programs – transfer credit. However, to earn transfer credit from an IP, students must have an official transcript from their program sent to the Office of Admissions.  Upon receipt of their official transcript, the Office of Admissions will award transfer credit for courses deemed UC-transferable. Transfer courses do not affect students’ cumulative UCSC GPA.  Once their courses are transferred in and added to their UC transcript, students can speak with their major/minor advisors about how those courses may be counted toward major/minor requirements. Students must submit a review of transfer credit to the Office of Admissions for GE credit.

Global Learning advises students to work closely with their academic advisors.

  • BEFORE their program, we require students to get approval by their department and college advisor to participate in a UCSC Exchange or UCEAP program. During this process, students are encouraged to discuss their proposed course plan in order to see how courses might satisfy requirements.
  • DURING their program, we encourage students to reach out to their major or minor advisor if they register for a course not previously discussed with the advisor in order to see if that course may meet major or minor requirements.
  • AFTER their program, we advise students to meet with their major/minor advisor to formalize their credits. We encourage students to keep copies of all syllabi, coursework, tests, papers, notes, and other course information for their department to review.
Financial Aid

Students can receive financial aid for all UC programs, however, summer aid is limited to the student’s leftover aid from Fall, Winter, and Spring and depends upon unit enrollment. Currently, UCSC Financial Aid does not package for Independent Programs. If a student receives financial aid, their financial aid package goes with them on their program and is redesigned to meet their program costs. This means that a student may receive the same percentage of financial aid that they receive while attending UC Santa Cruz. Students can also request an estimate of how much financial aid they can expect to receive for a program before they apply. More information on requesting an estimate from a financial aid advisor can be found here.

Academic Integration

Academic Integration (AI) is a collaboration between UCSC academic departments and UCSC Global Learning to fully integrate global learning into the college experience and academic degree requirements (major/minor). The goal is to make global learning more accessible to UCSC students while at the same time ensuring that global learning supports a student’s academic progress and timely graduation. AI seeks to resolve obstacles to student participation by working with academic departments to develop academic advising tools that promote student participation in global learning opportunities. UCSC Global Learning is committed to working with academic departments, including but limited to the following:

  • Mapping global  learning by creating major advising pages that may include pre-approved courses
  • Department-specific workshops and outreach materials
  • Early academic advisement that provides 3 and 4-year academic planning guides that identify clear pathways for students to participate in global learning
  • Supporting department participation in the UCEAP Academic Integration Grant initiative
  • Increasing faculty engagement

If your department is interested in starting or continuing conversations related to AI, please contact our Global Learning Director, Alice Michel (

Additional Resources

Advisor Guide – A quick snapshot of global learning academic features, finances, getting started, and global learning opportunities. We also provide a program types chart.  

Programs with Lower GPA Requirements – A shortlist of programs that are available to students with GPAs under 2.5.

Recommended Programs by Subject – Please note, the majors listed here are top-sending majors for study abroad. Not all UCSC majors are represented, but there are programs for all majors available.

UCSC and UCEAP Comparison Cost Charts by Term – Comparison charts to determine if a UCEAP program is less expensive or comparable in cost to the same term(s) at UCSC.

Most Affordable Programs – List of most affordable program types and programs. 

UCEAP Language Programs – There are many options for learning languages as part of UCEAP programs. This page shares programs that are specifically for language learning.

Data Request

Are you interested in study abroad participant information for your department or college? Participant data may include location, duration, courses taken, GPA, among others. We can create a custom report to assist with academic integration and other efforts to support the increase of study abroad participation. If you are interested in receiving data for your college or department, please contact Alice Michel, Global Learning Director, with your request.

General FAQs

Q: Can students participate in more than one study abroad or away program?

A: Yes! As long as the programs do not overlap in time, students can participate in more than one program.  Students interested in back-to-back programs, such as a fall program directly followed by a spring program, should speak with their UCSC Global Learning Advisor to make sure there are no visa restrictions that would prevent their participation.

Q: Can students participate in a study abroad program after they graduate?

A: For UC programs, students must be active students at UCSC in order to participate.  If a student wants to study abroad after they have completed their UCSC degree requirements, they must delay their graduation in order to be eligible to study abroad.  Non-UC study abroad programs vary and may allow a student to participate after they graduate.  However, if a student participates in a non-UC study abroad program after they graduate, they will not be able to have any of their coursework satisfy any degree requirements at UCSC since their degree will be completed.  Students may want to consider service learning, peace corps, teaching English, or research/grad school abroad opportunities after they graduate.

Q: Can students spend their senior year or final quarter before graduation abroad?

A: Yes, if it is a UCSC Exchange or UCEAP program.  As part of the application process for these programs, students are required to submit an Academic Planning Form signed by their academic advisors, confirming there are no restrictions to their participation or impact on their degree progress should they study abroad.  In general, we inform students that pending their campus academic advisors support, they should be able to study abroad their final term as long as they have not exceeded the unit cap prior to departure and they will have completed all of their degree requirements either before they leave or during their time abroad including their senior residency requirement. 

For UCSC Exchanges and UCEAP programs, grades from abroad can take up to a quarter after the end of their program to be posted to their UCSC record.  Although students do not need to return to campus or enroll in courses, they should expect to delay their graduation until their grades have been added to their transcript. 

Q: Can students take their financial aid on their study abroad program?

A: All forms of financial aid (UC, state, and federal) are accessible to UCSC students participating on UCSC, UCEAP, or other UC study abroad programs.  The UCSC Financial Aid Office will adjust a student’s financial aid package according to the cost of the program. UCSC students who participate on a non-UC study abroad program are not eligible for financial aid.  Students are encouraged to meet with a Financial Aid Advisor prior to applying to a study abroad program to receive an estimate of how much financial aid they can expect to receive while abroad.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for study abroad?

A: Eligibility requirements vary by program. UCEAP has programs for sophomores, junior, seniors, as well as graduate students and program GPA requirements range from a 2.0 to a 3.5, with most programs requiring a 2.85 or above.  UCSC Faculty-Led, UCSC Exchanges, and non-UC study abroad vary greatly by program. At a minimum, students should be in good academic standing.

Q: When is the best time for students to study abroad?

A: The best time for a student to study abroad is at a time that best meets their academic goals.  While most study abroad programs require students to have junior or senior class standing, students should consider their academic progress in completing major, minor, and/or GE coursework by studying abroad at a time that will not delay their time to degree.

Q: Can transfer students study abroad?

A: Yes!  We encourage transfer students to study abroad and to start the process as early as possible. Although transfer students can not spend their first term at UCSC abroad, we will work with transfer students before they start at UCSC to study abroad as early as their first year at UCSC.

Q: Can students receive GE credit for courses taken on UCEAP?

A: Yes. To learn more about the process, students should visit one of our Academic Planning pages.

Q: How can students satisfy the senior residency requirement on UCEAP?

A: The credit requirement for residence is applied differently to students participating on UCEAP.  Students may satisfy the requirement in either of two ways:

  1. Complete 35 of final 45 credits at UCSC before participating on UCEAP
  2. Complete 35 of final 90 credits at UCSC with a minimum of 12 credits completed at UCSC after UCEAP participation.
Last modified: May 06, 2024