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Graduate Students

France by Martha Geering

Education Abroad and Graduate Students

Expand the sections below for details.

The Education Abroad office offers a few formal study abroad programs that facilitate courses/credit for graduate students. These are primarily focused in Germany and available to students in German or Engineering graduate programs (as well as a few options for Law students). You can see the limited list of programs offering graduate-level credit. Beyond these options, graduate students would organize their own study/research abroad. Each graduate student is so different in terms of interests/focus that it is very difficult to offer organized programs.

Occasionally, graduate students will choose to attend a study abroad program and earn undergraduate credit. This is most common when a graduate degree requires reaching a certain language level, but also possible if the subject matter pertains to your interests and/or research areas. Speak with your department and the Graduate School about how this may fit into your plans.

While many graduate students receive partial or full funding here at CU Boulder, this rarely applies to study abroad. Aside from smaller scholarships, students must provide the necessary funds.

If you have additional questions about pursuing a formal study abroad program for credit, please contact


Most graduate students who go abroad pursue independent research through department connections. We recommended that you discuss this possibility with your faculty advisor to explore any potential connections that the department may have for research/collaboration opportunities. Education Abroad does not offer formal options for conducting research abroad. Rather, this is something that you would organize on your own, perhaps in conjunction with your department.

If you are able to arrange for a research experience abroad, we recommend that you coordinate/report your plans with the following three campus offices to ensure compliance with various policies.


If you are a graduate student going abroad independently and looking for assistance with your visa/immigration process, we have created a visa tips sheet for you. The visa process for graduate students often differs from that of undergraduate students, and we may or may not have additional knowledge/information about your specific destination.

  • If you have passed your comps, you are required to maintain continuous registration until you pass your dissertation defense or final examination. If you will be away from the Boulder campus, you can register for 3 dissertation hours each semester, and this will meet the requirement. (You must return to full time registration with 5 dissertation hours during the semester of your dissertation defense/final exam.) You could also request an exception to our rule and apply for the Leave of Absence program. That would require a petition to the Graduate School outlining your extenuating circumstances and including your faculty advisor’s endorsement (along with the Leave of Absence form).
  • Not yet passed your comprehensive exam? If you haven’t passed you comps and will be away from the Boulder campus, you can apply for the Leave of Absence program for up to a year.

The CU Graduate School website has the most comprehensive listing of possible funding opportunities (including several focused on study/research abroad).

Photo, France by Martha Geering