Applying to Study Off Campus

Step One

Please see the "Application Forms" tab on the left for a mandatory online portion of the application.

More information on step 1:

STEP ONE: Applying for Grinnell Approval

1. Read the Off-Campus Study Handbook. The information in the handbook will answer most of your questions about applying. Obtain an Application for Grinnell College Approval to Study Off-Campus and read the application instructions. Applications are available from the OCS Office or website. To apply for two semesters, make an appointment with one of the directors of Off-Campus Study to obtain a Year Application. Discuss your ideas for studying off campus with your academic adviser, considering how particular programs could complement your college education as set out in your four-year plan.

2. Visit the OCS website and Resource Area. Our website features programs by geographical area and academic theme with links to additional information. The OCS resource area in Macy House has printed program information and OCS Office staff are available to answer questions.

3. Attend program information meetings. Overview Meetings cover programs by geographical region and academic theme. Individual Program Sessions normally feature one or two programs and include opportunities to talk with program representatives, advisers and students who have already participated.

4. Make appointment(s) with Program Adviser(s). There is a program adviser for every program. Plan to talk with the advisers who represent programs that interest you. The Grinnell Approval Application requires the signature of the program adviser for your fall and spring-semester option; names are listed in the back of the OCS Handbook and on the website.

The Directors of Off-Campus Study are available by appointment to help you decide on a program. To set up an appointment, send a message to ocs[at]grinnell[dot]edu, listing a range of times and days between 8:30 –11:00 and 1:30 - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Appointments are scheduled on the half-hour. Be sure to mention the program(s) you would like to discuss, as well as subject areas or parts of the world that interest you, and bring a copy of your four-year plan.

5. Discuss your final program choices with your adviser and obtain approval signatures for your four-year plans. The application includes two four-year plans, one for your fall-semester program option and the other for spring. If you have declared a major, your program choices, four-year plans, and essay must be approved by your academic adviser(s). Although you may submit an application without declaring a major, discussing your plans with a professor in your intended major department is an important part of sound academic planning. If you don't plan to declare a major by the application due date, your four-year plans must indicate an intended major and be approved by both your current adviser and a faculty member in your intended major department, ideally your intended academic adviser. If you have declared or intend to declare a double-major, signatures from both departments are required. Your adviser in your major or intended major will determine whether credits from your program will count towards the major; otherwise credit will count as general credit towards graduation.

6. Make an appointment with your concentration adviser. If you have or intend to declare a concentration and wish to receive concentration credit from off-campus study, obtain approval for specific off-campus program courses from your current or intended concentration adviser. If you do not need concentration credit, no appointment is necessary.

7. Request Professor Recommendations. Give the forms included in the application to two faculty members from whom you've taken a class. They don't have to be professors in your major or intended major department. One recommendation may be from your adviser. If your program is located in a country where the language spoken is taught at Grinnell, one of your recommendations must come from a professor from that department.

Please request recommendations at least seven days before the Grinnell Application due date and ask that they be sent directly to the OCS Office.

8. Turn in your Grinnell Approval Application, together with two photocopies, to the OCS Office by the due date: Monday, December 7, 2015.

Step Two

  • Off-Campus Study Program Application
  • To apply to the OCS program approved by Grinnell in Step One
  • Due date: Depends on program. Date will be indicated in your approval notification in Step One and set earlier than the actual deadline to give you an advantage in the rolling admission process. Fall program due dates are normally in March or April and spring dates in September or October.
  • Program applications are available on individual OCS program websites.
  • Applying to Your Chosen Program: Be sure to read instructions below.
  • The program acceptance rate for Grinnell students averages 99%. If you are not admitted, the OCS Office will help you find an acceptable alternative.

Grinnell-in-London and Grinnell-in-Washington have a one-step application due every year at the end of January.

More information on step two:

Grinnell approval in Step One is needed before submitting a program application.

Make careful note of the program application due date in your Grinnell approval notification. Applying on time is very important so please be sure to double check.

1. Application Forms. Some programs have paper applications that can be printed from their websites, but most now have on-line applications.

2. Submitting Your Application. Whether your application is on paper or on-line, be sure to submit it by the due date listed in your approval notification, not the deadline published on the program website. The OCS Office has moved most due dates forward to maximize your chances of admission.

Paper Applications: Bring your completed application and a photocopyto the OCS Office for mailing by the due date in your approval notification. A cover-letter will be added, authorizing your application and giving your program important details about Grinnell credit transfer and billing policies. The OCS Office will supply an envelope and mail your application for you.

Online Applications: Submit your application by the due date in your approval notification. Online applications normally have printable authorization forms to be signed and mailed by the OCS Office and recommendations to be sent by your professors.

3. Letters of Recommendation. Recommendation letters should be sent directly to the program by your professors unless your application instructions say otherwise. If you are submitting a paper application and are instructed to include recommendations together with your application, ask your recommenders to give you the letters in sealed envelopes, signed and taped across the flap. Bring them to the OCS Office with your completed application. Please do not ask your recommenders to send their letters to the OCS Office.

Remember that the professors you ask to support your application are busy and probably have many other letters to write so be certain to allow them enough time – at least 10 days - to write your recommendations and mail them by the deadline. Be sure to provide the program address.

4. Transcript. Complete a "Transcript Request Form" and indicate that it be sent directly to the program. You will need to supply the program address. Please remember that the Registrar requires two days notice to issue a transcript. If your program requires that the transcript be mailed together with a paper application, you may request that it be sent to you by campus mail for inclusion with your application materials.