Skip to content

Proposing a program

UW Faculty-led programs are an opportunity for UW students to travel abroad as a group with a UW faculty member, from a specific discipline, to an international destination. UW Study Abroad is proud to support programs led by our faculty, and we ensure that they are academically rigorous, financially accessible, and integrated with courses of study. We are particularly interested in programs that:

  • Engage students with faculty research and areas of expertise
  • Offer cross-college collaborations, blended classrooms, and service learning or internship opportunities
  • Will be offered on a continuous basis and led by multiple faculty within the department
  • Align with the UW Race and Equity Initiative
  • Thoughtfully serve students and disciplines underrepresented in the study abroad community
  • Consider the environmental impact of global travel and incorporate sustainability practices and concepts into the program design

Information sessions

Interested in leading a study abroad program? Come to an information session on proposing a new program. We will cover important policies, how to start a program spending plan and timelines. For the foreseeable future these information sessions will be held via Zoom.

If you would like to discuss an idea for a program in the meantime, contact us at to set up a meeting with a member of our staff.

How to propose a study abroad program

Step 1 – Research

  • Discuss the concept for your program with your department chair. Get their support and permission to teach off campus. Discuss your teaching load and compensation options.
  • Read the Standards, roles and responsibilities page.
  • Consult the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice to learn about programming best practices.
  • Reach out to the Faculty-led program team or attend an info session to discuss your concept or ask questions.
  • If your program will be based in Italy, consult with the UW Rome Center staff to discuss your idea, brainstorm potential program activities, and get help with your spending plan.
  • If your program will be based in Leon, Spain, consult with the UW Leon Center staff to discuss your idea, brainstorm potential program activities, and get help with your spending plan.
  • Consult the Pedagogical tools and education abroad scholarship section of our website for information on curriculum development and inclusive program design.

Step 2 – Learn the basics

  • Review the Study Abroad program policies. This page will guide you in completing the program proposal. Please consult these policies throughout the proposal process.
  • Submitting a proposal that does not adhere to these policies will delay the review of this program. 
  • Determine your program term and the number of credits:
Academic year Summer quarter Summer A & B Early Fall Spring Break
Term Autumn, winter, or spring Summer Summer A / Summer B Early fall Spring Break (W), Spring Break (Sp)
Minimum Length* 10 weeks 9 weeks 4.5 weeks 21 days 10 – 12 days off campus – must be attached to course in winter or spring quarter
Credits 12+ 12+ 6 – 12 5 1
*Programs that do not meet the minimum length for the corresponding term will not be financial aid eligible, meaning students will not be able to use their UW financial aid to help pay for the program. Use the UW academic calendar to establish program dates.

Step 3 – Gather information

  • Set up meetings with your departmental administrator (salary and appointments) and academic adviser (courses and credits) to gather information you will need to fill out the proposal and the spending plan.
  • We strongly suggest you use the Proposal Worksheet to gather this information – this worksheet is an optional tool and does not need to be submitted to UW Study Abroad.
  • Submitting a proposal with inaccurate information will delay the review of this program. 

Step  4 – Open a proposal

The proposal provides UW Study Abroad with information about the program structure, academic content and courses, on-site logistics, and finances. Submitting a proposal is required for new and recurring programs.

Proposal application

  • The individual leading the study abroad program must author the proposal. If you work with a department that provides assistance with the proposal process, please check with your department contact about how to proceed before opening an application.
  • Proposals must be approved by the department chair and dean. UW Study Abroad will facilitate both the chair and dean proposal approvals. The chair of your department does not need to have signed off on the proposal by the deadline below, unless otherwise communicated to you by your department. We do encourage you to have conversations with your chair about the program prior to proposing. Proposals that have not been discussed with the department chair prior to submission take longer to review and approve. 

Start a proposal
Tip: once you start a proposal, you can work at your own pace and save your progress by clicking the save button at the bottom of each screen. To return to your proposal application, visit the Program Director page of our website and click on the Log In icon under the banner.

Spending Plan request

  • Fill out the form below to request a spending plan template for your program as soon as you open a proposal.
  • If this is a recurring program, we will create a copy of the last spending plan used for this program. You will need to update it.
  • You will receive an email from the UW Study Abroad Finance & Administration (SAFA) team when your template has been created with further instructions for using the Spending Plan Tool.
  • UW Study Abroad will no longer accept the excel version of the program budget.
  • For more information see Creating a spending plan.

Request Form

Registration for co-leaders

Every faculty-led study abroad program must be led by at least two UW employees. For more information about who can lead a study abroad program, visit the Study abroad policies webpage

All co-leaders must register their participation in a study abroad program by filling out a Co-leader Registration. This registration should be filled out by the co-leader themself. 

Submit a Co-leader Registration

Special review for countries with travel warnings


Step 5 – Submit the proposal

  • Submit your program proposal and preliminary spending plan to UW Study Abroad via the online application system.
  • UW Study Abroad will facilitate both chair and dean approvals.
    • The chair of your department does not need to have signed off on the proposal by the deadline below, unless otherwise communicated to you by your department. Proposals that have not been discussed with the department chair take longer to review and approve. 

Your proposal must be submitted by the following deadlines:

Proposed Program Term Program Proposal Due to UWSA
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring August 31
Early Fall  October 31
Spring Break August 31

Step 6 – Proposal review

  • UW Study Abroad will review your program proposal and contact you if we have any questions.
  • We then send the proposal to the chair, administrator, and dean of the sponsoring department, college or school for approval.
  • If your proposal is approved, we will notify you and the program will move into the Recruitment phase of the planning process.
  • If your proposal is not approved, we will notify you.
  • Consult the Program planning timelines for a schedule of what to expect in the coming months.
  • Once again, proposals that have not been thoroughly completed and include inaccurate information take longer to review. The longer it takes to review a proposal, the less time a program has to recruit students, if approved. 

Notification timelines

Program departure term  Notification of review
Summer November 1
Early fall December 15
Autumn November 15
Winter January 1
Spring Break January 1
Spring January 1

Note: proposals submitted after the term deadlines posted above will not be notified of review on this timeline. UW Study Abroad will review late submissions after all other proposals have been processed.