Students hiking to their study location.

Identifying Goals/Interests

  • What are your primary academic goals for your semester or academic year studies off campus?
  • Do you need major credits off campus?  General education distribution credits?
  • Is language acquisition a priority?
  • Are you seeking in-depth cultural immersion?
  • Do you want to take classes at a university with local students abroad or study at a study center with other students from US colleges?
  • Is hands-on learning or field studies a priority for you or do you prefer a more traditional classroom learning environment?
  • Would you prefer to live with a host family, local students or with other US study abroad students?  
  • Is attending a program with the option of doing an internship or research a priority?

Gather Information

  •  Attend OCS Fair in October
  •  Attend an OCS First-Step Meeting (spring of First Year or fall of Sophomore year)
  •  Check out student blogs & digital stories (link to “Student Voices”)
  •  Read Program Evaluations on program brochure pages completed by past participants
  •   Search for programs in myOCS 
  • Read through  Student blogs

Whitman Requirements to Study Off Campus (Semester/Academic Year)

  • Attain junior status (58 credits) prior to departure for your OCS program
  • Min cumulative GPA: 2.8 
  • Min major GPA: 2.8
  • Sufficient progress in major(s) including:
    • 1) at least two graded courses in the major before submitting OCS application 
    • 2) completion of major courses recommended for first and second-year students listed in   Advising by Major  on OCS home page under “Planning Tips”

OCS Program Eligibility

  • The off-campus studies programs in myOCS are Partner Programs of Whitman College and have been approved by the Off-Campus Studies Committee (OCSC) for credit. To obtain credit, students must complete the Whitman OCS application process [in myOCS], be approved by Whitman OCS and apply for admission and be admitted to their chosen program. Students are not permitted to transfer semester credit back to Whitman from OCS programs or universities outside the United States other than those on the approved program list. Whitman College reserves the right to withdraw programs from the list for security or other reasons.


Attend OCS First Step Meeting

  • First Years can attend a First-Year First Step OCS Meeting at the end of their first year.
  • Sophomores who did not attend the First Year First Step meeting should attend a First Step meeting, ideally during the fall of their sophomore year.
  • Attending one OCS First Step meeting is a prerequisite for beginning the advising process with an OCS Adviser.

Schedule an Advising Appointment with an OCS Adviser

To schedule an advising appointment email with the following information:

  1. Days and times that are best for you
  2. Semester(s) that you want to study off-campus
  3. Countries or programs that you are considering
  4. Your graduating class

Complete On-line Advising Questionnaire in myOCS

The  Advising Questionnaire should be completed in the fall of your sophomore year after attending an OCS First Step Meeting and just prior to your first OCS advising appointment. 

Discuss OCS Plans with Major Adviser(s)

  • Make a course plan for graduation in 4 years
  • Discuss when/how you will fulfill major and distribution requirements
  • Identify specific course requirements you will need to fulfill while abroad

Finalize Program Choice with OCS Adviser

  • Schedule a second advising appointment with your OCS adviser to finalize program choice and selection of OCS courses 

Complete Whitman OCS Application in myOCS

  • Once your program choice is finalized your OCS adviser will grant you access to the online Whitman Application.
  • Meet with your major adviser(s). You major adviser(s) must sign off on your  OCS Course Approval Form and approve any OCS courses you are taking for major credit. You will scan and upload the  OCS Course Approval Form to your   OCS Application in myOCS.

Complete Program Admission Application

  • Apply directly to your program for admission at the same time you are applying to Whitman OCS. Do not wait to be approved by Whitman OCS to start a program application.  
  • Your program application, including any required letters of recommendation and essays, should be submitted directly to your program by the Whitman OCS deadline or the program’s own admission deadline whichever is sooner.