General Application Instructions

Once you have selected a program, it's easy to apply. All required materials must be submitted by the specific deadline or your application will not be considered. Return all materials to 261 MSC. 

  • Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. Some programs may have additional requirements so check the program's webpage or contact a Study Abroad coordinator.
  • You may apply for a program as soon as your grades are posted for the term prior to the application deadline. For example, you may apply in June for a following spring program if your previous spring grades have been posted.
  • Check your program page for your deadline. Click here for the most common deadlines.
  • Review and understand the additional information for all programs.
  • Not an UMSL student? No problem! You are welcome to participate on most of our faculty-led programs as well as the Missouri-Africa, Missouri-Greece, and Missouri-London programs. Contact a Study Abroad Coordinator for details and click here to apply.

UMSL Students:

The following materials are required (make certain to submit the supplemental materials based on your program type):

1. Study Abroad Application (required)

2. Scholarship Application & Scholarship Essay (optional). For details and eligibility visit our Scholarships and Finances page. Notifications of recipients will go out at the end of the semester applied, and awards will be disbursed approximately 10 days before the start of the program semester.

3. Supplemental Materials: (required). Based on your program type, you will have different application material requirements:

  • Faculty-Led Programs: 
    • Submit your program fee deposit to be paid by check or money order made payable to 'UMSL'. Neither credit cards nor cash is accepted. The deposit will be refunded only if you are not selected to participate in the program or the program is cancelled. The deposit is part of the total program fee. Please refer to your program's specific website for the amount of the program deposit. Please note, the program fee is in addition to your tuition costs. 
    • Review the webpage of your selected program to identify any additional supplemental materials. 
  • Exchange or Study Abroad:
    • Two Academic Reference Forms (Summer program applicants need only one). Must be completed by UMSL professors with whom you have had a course. If you will be participating in a program where the language of instruction is not English, one recommendation must be from a foreign language professor. Notify the reference of the deadline and the fact that your application cannot be processed until it is received. You should pick up the letter in a sealed signed envelope from the reference and include it in the application packet so all materials can be submitted together. The reference may also send it directly to our office (261 MSC). 
    • One-page Study Abroad Essay (~500 words).The essay should answer some of the following questions:  
      • What led you to select this particular study abroad program?
      • How will this program complement your academic goals? Specifically, how will this program build upon your education and connect to your degree plan?
      • Why is studying abroad important to UMSL students?
      • When you look back on your study abroad experience, what do you hope to say that you have accomplished or learned?
      • Foreign Language Essay. If your program has a language of instruction other than English, you must submit the statement both in English and in the language of instruction. It may be a translation of the essay as written in English.
    • Official Transcript: Request your transcript online or in-person to have your most current transcript sent to our office. There is a $5 fee payable to the Records Office. 
    • Course Equivalency Form (this document is not due until Dec. 1 for Spring, or May 1 for Fall/AY/Summer). It’s up to you to make sure that your department gives you credit for the classes you complete at your international university. The burden is upon you to complete a Course Equivalency Form and know how or if the credit will apply toward your degree. This process can take several weeks and up to months. That is why it is suggested that you begin exploring course selections immediately and begin work to complete this form at the time of your application. 
  • Non UMSL Programs:
    • One Academic Reference Form.  Must be completed by UMSL professors with whom you have had a course. If you will be participating in a program where the language of instruction is not English, one recommendation must be from a foreign language professor. Notify the reference of the deadline and the fact that your application cannot be processed until it is received. You should pick up the letter in a sealed signed envelope from the reference and include it in the application packet so all materials can be submitted together. The reference may also send it directly to our office (261 MSC). 
    • One-page Study Abroad Essay (~500 words).The essay should answer some of the following questions:  
      • What led you to select this particular study abroad program?
      • How will this program complement your academic goals? Specifically, how will this program build upon your education and connect to your degree plan?
      • Why is studying abroad important to UMSL students?
      • When you look back on your study abroad experience, what do you hope to say that you have accomplished or learned?
      • Foreign Language Essay. If your program has a language of instruction other than English, you must submit the statement both in English and in the language of instruction. It may be a translation of the essay as written in English.
    • A description of the program for which you are applying, including information about accreditation (printed information from a website will suffice). Additionally, read and understand supplemental information as it relates to Non-UMSL programs.
    • Deadlines: Non-UMSL program participants may apply for their program at any time and up to one month prior to the start of the program. Students participating on Non-UMSL programs who wish to be elgibile for scholarships must submit their application in full by the Exchange programs deadline ("Most Deadlines")
    • Course Equivalency Form (this document is not due until Dec. 1 for Spring, or May 1 for Fall/AY/Summer). It’s up to you to make sure that your department gives you credit for the classes you complete at your international university. The burden is upon you to complete a Course Equivalency Form and know how or if the credit will apply toward your degree. This process can take several weeks and up to months. That is why it is suggested that you begin exploring course selections immediately and begin work to complete this form at the time of your application. 

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Application for Non-UMSL participants
The following materials are required:

1. Study Abroad Application (required)

2. Supplemental Materials (required):

  • Submit your program fee deposit to be paid by check or money order made payable to 'UMSL'. Neither credit cards nor cash is accepted. The deposit will be refunded only if you are not selected to participate in the program or the program is cancelled. The deposit is part of the total program fee. Please refer to your program's specific website for the amount of the program deposit. Please note, the program fee is in addition to your tuition costs.
  • An additional $100 application fee is required for all Non-UMSL applicants. This is in addition to program fees and tuition. The application fee is payable by check or money order to 'UMSL" and is nonrefundable.
  • Official Transcript. Include an official transcript from your home university, if a current student. If it is not possible to have an official transcript issued directly, please request that it be sent to the UMSL Study Abroad Office. UMSL welcomes Non-UMSL students and community members to participate on several of our Faculty Led programs.
  • Faculty Letter of Recommendation, if a current student.

3. Review the webpage of your selected program to identify any additional supplemental materials. 


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Additional information for all programs


Deadlines. The Study Abroad Office is organized around deadlines so that paperwork and forms can be processed in a timely manner. Working with other offices on our campus and especially with foreign institutions requires us to expect all study abroad students to turn in the required materials and enrollment in a timely manner.

Interview. Some programs require an interview. Once we have received your complete application a coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview should one be required.

Acceptance: If you are accepted for the program, you will be notified of additional steps to take and forms needed and of the pre-departure orientations for your particular program.

Passport. If you do not have a passport, apply for one. If you have a passport, make certain it will be valid for at least six months after you plan to return from abroad. Whether or not you are accepted to the program, U.S. passports are valid for ten years and can be used for future travel. There is a passport application acceptance facility on the UMSL campus.

Academics while Abroad. Make certain to review and understand how UMSL academics abroad apply to your grades and degree.

Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientations: All UMSL students who study abroad are required to attend pre-departure orientation, as well as complete an online orientation. These sessions will cover registration and financial aid, credit transfer, travel, health and safety topics, culture shock, and much more. Details will be distributed upon acceptance.

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Common Deadlines

Deadlines are dependent upon the program you are applying for. See the webpage of your program for exact deadline.

Spring & Most Winter Intersession Programs Deadline 
July 23
August 23
September 23 - Most Deadlines
October 23

Fall & Academic Year Programs Deadline
January 16
February 16 - Most Deadlines
March 16
April 16

Summer Programs Deadline
Faculty-Led Summer programs: see program webpage
Summer exchange programs deadline: February 4