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College Catalog


  • Most students study off-campus during their junior year or the first semester of their senior year. Some programs, including the Lake Forest College in Greece Program, accept rising second-semester sophomores, but priority generally will be given to juniors and seniors. Internship programs require junior status.

    In addition to the requirements set by each specific program, Lake Forest College has its own eligibility requirements before allowing our students to study abroad for credit.

    To be eligible to participate in an off-campus program, students must meet the following requirements:
    • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing, with no serious or sustained academic or disciplinary issues
    • Maintain a minimum of a 2.5 GPA
    • Have spent at least one year on the main campus of Lake Forest College. (Transfer students must spend one semester on campus before participating in an off-campus program)
      • Students may not participate in an off-campus program in their first semester back after a Leave of Absence, Judicial Suspension, or Medical Withdrawal.
    • Meet all College deadlines for applications and pre-departure materials
    • Demonstrate the maturity, independence and readiness to participate in a program off-campus, as shown by approval from academic advisors and Dean of Students

    Each program may have its own GPA, language, coursework, or level-in-school requirements. 

    Students must meet the requirements of both Lake Forest College and their host program; being deemed eligible by the College does not guarantee a student will be accepted by a host program or university.

    Some programs may have a minimum number of participants before the program will run. Certain programs may need to be reviewed each year for safety reasons due to their locations and/or government warnings, and will only be approved on a conditional basis but require final review and approval from President Schutt. To avoid disappointment, confirm a program’s requirements before applying.

    Students must also be in good judicial standing, and those who have displayed a pattern of disregard for College policies may be ineligible. A student that is currently under disciplinary or academic probation, or will be under probation during any portion of their off-campus program, is not eligible to study off-campus.  In addition, students are required to maintain all eligibility requirements, including GPA, for the semester(s) prior to departure for their off-campus program.

    Should any aspect of the students’ application or status change after the application deadlines, the application will be further reviewed by the Global Engagement Office, the Dean of Students, and other appropriate personnel to ensure the student is still eligible to participate in an off-campus program. Reasons for such a review may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Taking a leave of absence after initial approval of application
    • Dropping below the minimum GPA required for the program, or required by Lake Forest
    • Falling below the minimum required credits to stay on track for graduation
    • Change of major
    • Having a semester GPA below 2.0 in the term prior to going off-campus
    • Going on disciplinary or academic probation

    The Dean of Student’s Office and the Student Center for Health and Wellness will conduct a final review of students in the weeks prior to a student departing for an off-campus program.

    Students who go on disciplinary or academic probation AFTER receiving initial approval from the College, will have that approval revoked.  The College will inform the student and the host program in this instance.  The student will not receive a refund of any deposit, tuition, or program fee for their off-campus program.  Students who are removed from a program due to disciplinary or academic issues may be responsible to their host program for withdrawal fees.

    Students denied participation on academic or conduct grounds may petition the Academic Appeals Board to consider their case.  The Academic Appeals Board is unable to consider cases of students denied by non-Lake Forest program hosts.

    Late Applications

    Late applicants who do not meet campus deadlines may still be allowed to participate in ISEP Exchange programs or Lake Forest College in the Loop, if approved by the Global Engagement Office.

    Appeal Process

    Students denied participation on academic or conduct grounds may petition the Academic Appeals Board to consider their case.  The Academic Appeals Board is unable to consider cases of students denied by non-Lake Forest program hosts.

    Approval by the Academic Appeals Board (AAB) is required if:

    • You do not meet eligibility and program requirements by the time of participation (NOTE: Each program may have eligibility requirements beyond the 2.5 required by campus. The AAB cannot overrule requirements by a third party.)
    • You have selected a summer program not on the approved list.  This will also require GEO Committee Approval.  (Approval for a semester program not on the approved list requires an appeal to the Curricular Policies Committee, and takes a bit longer.)
    • You will be participating in an off-campus program as a first semester sophomore or during your final semester
    • You intend to earn credit from an internship on an off-campus program before you achieve junior status
    • You intend to earn credit from direct enrollment in a non-U.S. institution (including Canadian universities) that are not through ISEP or another pre-approved program
    • You intend to participate in more than 2 semester-length off-campus programs (not including the Loop)
    • You intend to complete more than three total terms off-campus (ie, 2 semesters off-campus, plus 2 semesters in the Loop)

    GEO will send all student applications for an appeal to the AAB. Your academic advisor must also send the AAB a written statement of support. You must copy Ashley Sinclair on all emailed appeals.  If an AAB approval is needed, you will not get approval from GEO unless AAB also approves of your participation.

    An appeal to President Schutt is needed if a student intends to study in a location where there is an active Travel Warning. See Ashley Sinclair for details.

    Pre-Departure Orientation

    All Lake Forest students participating in an off-campus program must participate in the mandatory pre-departure orientations.  One session is done online, and can be completed at any time before the start of finals.  The other session is in-person, taking place once per semester.  Failure to participate in orientations makes a student ineligible to participate in an off-campus program.

    Limits on Off-Campus Terms

    Students may participate for credit in a total of two semester-long programs chosen from our list of 200+ programs in 70 countries, but should keep this information in mind:

    • The Lake Forest In the Loop Program is not included in this limitation. Students may go on two semester-long off-campus programs and still remain eligible to participate in one term in Lake Forest In the Loop. Alternately, the student may participate in two semesters in the Loop and one semester on a different approved program. The total amount of programs completed is not to exceed three semesters, with no more than two semesters in a single program.
    • One of the two non-Loop semesters MUST be an Exchange program.
    • If a student has a truly compelling reason to study off campus for a third semester in a program other than Lake Forest College In the Loop, the student may petition the Academic Appeals Board (AAB) for permission. The student’s advisor(s) must approve of this plan in order to move the application to the AAB. The College does not favor such petitions, however, and the AAB will very rarely approve one. More information is available from the Director of Off-Campus Programs.
    Outside Programs

    Students that wish to participate in a program not on our approved list, must appeal to the Global Engagement Office during the Program Eligibility Application. These applications will only be reviewed if allowed by the overall College budget, and the budget of the Global Engagement Office. This is not guaranteed to happen each year, and it is not anticipated that the budget for the 2019-2020 academic year will allow for outside applications.

    To lodge an appeal, students must currently be in good judicial standing, and meet the current eligibility requirements set by Lake Forest College.

    The appeal must show that the outside program is fundamentally different than those offered in the current portfolio (i.e. not in a current country/city that is already represented, or offer a completely different type of coursework than currently represented among the entire portfolio), and must outline:

    • Strong academic justification for choosing an outside program versus an existing Lake Forest-approved program
    • Academic rigor and quality of the program
    • Appropriateness of the student’s plan to his/her overall academic plan/major
    • Strength of student’s preparation at Lake Forest College
    • Level of cultural immersion or integration in the host country, and, where applicable, linguistic immersion

    If reviewed by Global Engagement Office, the application may be approved, if the Committee would consider adding this program to the approved list.  Further approval from the College’s Curricular Policy Committee may be required, depending on the program sponsor. If added, the student would pay their normal Lake Forest tuition + a program fee, and financial aid would be transferable to the new program.  If denied, the student would not be able to transfer their aid or bring credits back for that particular program.

    Academic Workload

    Students must remain full-time students while participating in an off-campus semester program, which is the equivalent of 3 Lake Forest credits, up to 4.5 Lake Forest credits.  Falling below 3 credits will mean that the student is not eligible to receive aid.  Taking more than 4.5 credits will result in additional overload fees.

    Students should note that they may be taking more or fewer courses than they do on Lake Forest’s main campus. This can mean as few as 2 “tutorials” at Oxford, or as many as 10+ short courses in Japan.

    See the Registrar or Ashley Sinclair to determine the equivalent number of credits for your programs of interest.  

    Behavior on Off-Campus Programs

    Students are held to the Lake Forest Student Code of Conduct, as well as any conduct codes of their host program, while off-campus. Students that break rules on their program will face a conduct hearing, either while abroad or upon their return to Lake Forest.

    Ineligibility to Participate in Off-Campus Programs

    Students may be declared ineligible in the application process to participate in a study abroad program based on recommendations of their academic advisor or the Dean of Students Offices. Most often, if this occurs, it happens during the application process in either Stage 1 or Stage 2.

    Students should note that all approvals to participate in an off-campus program are conditional on the basis that a student must remain in good academic and judicial standing.  Should a student go on academic or disciplinary probation at any time before or during their off-campus program, or if the Dean of Students Office believes that the student should no longer participate, any approval will be rescinded.

    Students declared ineligible to participate in an off-campus program will be removed from the roster.  Students will be responsible to their program host(s) for any withdrawal fees, and may lose non-refundable deposits, airfare costs, or other cancellation costs. The College will not refund or reimburse students for these or other costs.  

    Participation in a program without approval from Ashley Sinclair, or while ineligible to study off-campus, will mean that any credits earned on the program will not transfer to Lake Forest, and financial aid will not be applicable to the program.  

    Credits earned while ineligible for off-campus programs will not be posted to the transcript once a student returns to good standing.  However, once in good standing, that student may choose to apply for an off-campus program to take place in a future term.

    Leave of Absence

    Students who do not complete all required forms for off-campus study—including eligibility, program confirmation, and pre-departure documents — or who have been declared ineligible, or have chosen an non-approved program, may NOT study abroad on Lake Forest College Approved Program Leave and should not assume transferability of credit from another program.