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UW Faculty-led Programs

Faculty-led Programs

Faculty-led Programs are study abroad programs where students study on programs organized and taught by UW faculty.

Quick Facts


January 31 – Summer

February 15 – Early Fall & Autumn

May 15 – Winter

November 1 – Spring break

November 15 – Spring

Summer and Early Fall programs typically open towards the end of autumn quarter

Academic year program applications typically open 9 months in advance.

Duration & Credits

Programs vary in length and credit amounts awarded. Terms generally correspond with UW terms.

Typical terms and credits are:

  • Spring Break – 1 credit
  • Summer A & B – 6-12 credits
  • Early Fall – 5 credits
  • Quarter – 12-15 credits

Students receive credit for specific UW academic courses that are attached to each faculty-led program.


Fixed costs paid to UW:

  • Program fee (instead of UW tuition)
  • Study Abroad administrative fee
  • UW Student Abroad insurance
  • CHID/Foster school programs have additional program fees

Additional estimated expenses vary based on the program and can be found in each brochure.

Application Process

Faculty-led Programs require only one application.

To get started, begin a UW Study Abroad application.

See below for more details on the application process and timeline.

Delve Deeper

UW Faculty-led Programs are well-suited for students who want coursework in specific areas of study, wish to study abroad for a period of time that mirrors the UW academic calendar, desire some on-site support, and have limited or no foreign language background. Most UW Faculty-led Programs, with the exception of those sponsored by UW language departments, are taught in English.

Program options vary each year depending on the programs proposed by UW departments and faculty members.

Each Faculty-led Program has a UW program brochure with useful information about that specific program. 

Since Faculty-led Program details vary widely and each program is unique, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the specific program brochure. Below are some things to consider:

  • Program Duration – Faculty-led Program dates can range from a week to a quarter. There are programs that run during Spring Break, Summer-A, Summer-B, and Early Fall and Quarter-long options. UW Faculty-led Program dates generally correspond with UW term dates.
  • Level of Independence – The level of independence on faculty-led study abroad programs can vary depending on several factors, including the specific program, the destination, and the preferences of the faculty leader. However, faculty-led study abroad programs typically fall somewhere on a spectrum between highly structured and more independent experiences. In summary, the level of independence on faculty-led study abroad programs can vary, but they typically strike a balance between providing structured academic experiences and allowing some opportunities for students to explore and learn independently. Students should communicate with program managers and program directors to clarify the expectations and degree of independence offered by a specific program.
  • Location – Program locations vary by term and year.
  • Academic Options – You take coursework or participate in field studies that focus on specific academic themes or proficiencies. You receive UW credit for UW academic courses that are attached to each faculty-led program. Check the academics tab in the program brochure for an exact list of courses and credits being offered.
  • Course Enrollment – You MUST attend and participate in all courses abroad and entirely complete the coursework included in the program. You may NOT drop courses on UW Faculty-led Programs. In certain instances, you can take courses Satisfactory/Non-satisfactory (S/NS).
  • Housing Options – Housing is included in your program fee and provided for students throughout the duration of the trip, including field trips. Students are typically housed in student apartments, hotels/hostels, or dorm-style rooms. Check the Housing section in the program brochure to verify exact accommodations. *Students on programs in Rome, Italy with the UW Rome Center (UWRC) are housed in apartments throughout the city of Rome. 
  • Program Cost – You pay a program fee instead of UW tuition. Program fees vary depending on the program location and duration. UW Study Abroad also charges a study abroad fee and a student abroad insurance fee that will appear on your MyUW statement along with your program fee. UW Study Abroad has many resources to help you plan to pay for study abroad. Visit the Financial Planning section of our website to learn more.
  • Cost of Living – Cost of living will be dependent on the city in which the program takes place.  Each program brochure has a cost sheet with an anticipated budget for each term a program is offered. 
  • Health Insurance – All students going abroad through UW Study Abroad are automatically enrolled in Student Abroad Insurance.
  • Financial Aid Eligibility – All Faculty-led Programs are financial aid-eligible. Visit the UW Study Abroad Financial Aid webpage for more information about how to use financial aid to pay for your program. 
  • Scholarships – There are many scholarships available for study abroad – some are location-based and some are merit-based or need-based.
  • Co-curricular Activities & Excursions – Faculty-led Programs typically have activities and excursions built into the program. Some programs include overnight trips as well. 
  • Deferrals and WithdrawalsDeferring your program acceptance to another term is not permitted once you’ve contracted. If you aren’t able to participate in the program for the term you are contracted for, you will need to submit a withdrawal request and submit a new application for a future term. Please read the withdrawal information in your contract carefully before signing. 
  • COVID Requirements – Requirements and masking mandates may vary by country. Please familiarize yourself with the UW Study Abroad COVID resources page and any requirements of the country you hope to study in.

To be eligible for a Faculty-led Program, you must:

  • Be in good academic standing
  • Meet all program-specific eligibility requirements as described in the program brochure. This may include a minimum class standing and/or a minimum GPA. Some faculty-led programs require you to be in a certain department, others are open to all students. 
  • Be cleared for study abroad by UW’s Community Standards and Student Conduct Office.

The Faculty-led Program application includes:

  • Three short answer questions
  • Electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad.
  • One short recommendation survey (not a full letter) from a professor, or academic adviser – most programs include this requirement, but some do not. If you do not see a recommendation request field in your application, the program does not require it.

Summer and Early Fall programs typically open toward the end of autumn quarter. Academic year programs typically open 9 months in advance.

Faculty-led program deadlines vary based on the program term.

  • January 31 – Summer
  • February 15 – Early Fall & Autumn
  • May 15 – Winter
  • November 1 – Spring break
  • November 15 – Spring

  • UW Study Abroad Application – Begin a UW Study Abroad application. 
  • Application Review – Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Your application will be reviewed by the faculty members in charge of the program and a decision will be made to accept, waitlist, or decline your application. Once a decision has been made, you’ll be notified by the study abroad system via email on or after the ‘Decision Date’ listed in the Dates/Deadlines table in the program brochure.  
  • Program Acceptance – After you’ve been accepted to a program, you have 3 weeks to commit to the program and sign your contract. 
  • Orientation – You will have 3 pre-departure orientations with the faculty program directors. These orientations are mandatory and will provide detailed information about the program.
  • Program Preparation and Pre-departure Requirements – Take a look at the Get Ready page to see everything you need to do before you leave. You must complete several mandatory pre-departure requirements that are outlined in your study abroad application (submit a copy of your passport, attend orientation, submit payment contract, complete a health survey, etc.) in order to be concurrently enrolled.
  • Passport & Visas – A valid passport or travel document is needed for faculty-led programs. Some programs are short enough to not require a visa, but please look at visa requirements early! Visit our Passports and visas page for more details. 
  • Course Enrollment While Abroad – All UW students participating in a program for UW credit must be enrolled with UW Study Abroad. Your study abroad enrollment maintains your student affiliation with UW while away, allows resident UW credit for courses taken abroad, and may allow you access to financial aid if the term is eligible. Students are automatically enrolled in a 12-credit placeholder course called FSTDY 300, after the deadline of the completion of pre-departure requirements. If you participate in a short-term program, you will be enrolled in the actual number of credits you are expected to earn (ex. 5, 6, or 8 credits).
  • Credits and grades – Once your program has ended and all coursework has been evaluated by your program director, the courses and grades will be reported to UW Study Abroad. Then, we will transfer these credits onto your UW transcript, usually within a week or two of receipt of the grade report. Early Fall coursework is reported at the end of autumn quarter. No action is needed on your part.

Below are some terms that you may encounter during your application process:

  • Commit – this lets us know that you plan to participate in your program. There is no financial obligation to commit.
  • Contract – once you sign a payment contract, you are financially obligated to the program and will owe the fees specified in your contract. 
  • Program Director – The UW faculty member who is organizing and running the faculty-led program. This is your main contact for questions regarding the structure, academics, housing or set up of your program.
  • Program Manager – The UW Study Abroad staff member who organizes the all of the administrative aspects of your program.

  • How competitive are Faculty-led Programs?
    • Competitiveness varies a lot between individual programs and is difficult to predict. We recommend that students apply to more than one program so that they have a back-up plan. 
  • When do Faculty-led Program applications open?
    • Summer and Early Fall programs typically open toward the end of autumn quarter. Academic year programs typically open 9 months in advance.
  • What if I don’t get accepted to my first choice?  
    • We recommend you apply to multiple programs in the same term to increase your chances of acceptance (you can apply to up to 3). Some programs will extend their application deadline after the initial deadline passes, so you can sometimes apply to programs late depending on space.
  • What can I study on a Faculty-led Program? 
    • Each faculty-led program has different courses that students take on the program. You can see the courses available on each program in the Academics tab of the program brochure.
  • How many credits should I take abroad? 
    • Participants receive 12-15 UW credits for full quarter options, 6-12 credits for Summer A or Summer B programs, and 5 credits for Early Fall programs.
  • Is there a foreign language requirement for Faculty-led Programs?
    • Most UW Faculty-led Programs, with the exception of those sponsored by UW language departments, are taught in English. If there is a language requirement, it will be listed on the program brochure.

Ready to Apply?

Visit our upcoming programs page to see a list of open Faculty-led Programs.

Upcoming Programs