Academic Expectations

While studying away, all students are expected to maintain the same academic standards that would be expected on their home campus. The Trinity programs abroad, as well as the Approved External programs that are approved by the college are, first and foremost, serious academic enterprises.  The expectations for students’ academic work on the part of the faculty are high, and it is assumed and expected that students are going abroad intending to study.  
Students must be in good academic and social standing to remain eligible to participate in study away (no censure or academic probation). Trinity students also must have fulfilled and passed their Quantitative Literacy requirement.  If your student has doubts that they have met or will meet any of these requirements before studying away, they should contact the OSA as soon as possible.

Program Requirements & Pre-Requisites

While Trinity College requires students to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5  in order to study away, each and every study away program has their own GPA requirement and pre-requisites.  The students are responsible for researching the programs they are interested in to ensure that they meet the requirements of the program.  Their study away advisor can also recommend programs that would be a good match for their personal and academic interests and needs.

Encourage Language Study

One of the most practical and immediate benefits of studying abroad is language acquisition.  Encourage your student to consider programs that provide an opportunity to study another language, especially in an immersive or semi-immersive manner.  In addition to the cultural insights that your child will gain, language skills are becoming an increasingly important differentiator among hiring managers.  Even if your child is not proficient, a solid working knowledge of another language indicates an openness to - and an appreciation for - other cultures, a critical 21st century skill.  And if your child has not studied a language much at all, encourage them to start learning!

Planning Ahead

The key to academic success while studying away from campus is planning ahead.  Students should consider the following to help them reach their academic goals: 
•    Meet with academic advisors and major and/or minor department chairs and have an academic plan in place for going abroad and returning to campus.
•   Discuss grading systems and course requirements with the Trinity study away advisor, academic advisor, and the Registrar’s Office. For example: If your student is going to a program that uses ECTS (the European Credit Transfer System) for grades, courses are weighted differently from Trinity and they may have to take a course overload of 5-6 courses abroad to fulfill their semester 4 credit requirement at Trinity College.
•    If your student is planning on taking any graduate school exams and other exams (LSAT, GRE, and MCAT) and they will need to register while they are away, they should be sure to take all needed information with them abroad.  Similarly, if they are planning to do an internship or a summer program, they should think about this before they go.
•    If your student is planning to do a senior thesis, they will also want to think about this as they plan to study away. Many students have done senior theses related to studies they pursued while abroad.

Academic Advising

It is essential that students discuss their study away plans and academic program with their academic advisor(s) as early as possible, and well before the start of their program.  Faculty in their major or intended major can advise them on any specific requirements or limits on the amount of major credit that may be earned while away. This is very important, as departments have different policies regarding transfer credit and what can and cannot be counted towards the major. This discussion can help them decide what courses would be best for them to take both while they study away and help them plan out their remaining classes when they return to campus.


While studying away, students must be enrolled full-time (a minimum of 4.0 Trinity credits or the equivalent and a maximum of 5.75 Trinity credits).

Grades & GPA Calculation on Approved External Programs

For all courses on Trinity programs (both those taught by Trinity faculty and those taught at partner institutions), all grades will be recorded on students transcripts and all grades will be converted by Trinity to the Trinity system and calculated into the GPA.  These grades will be included in determining rank-in-class and academic standing, such as faculty honors, academic probation, and honors at graduation. All courses that students stay enrolled in past the add/drop date will appear on their transcript, just as courses taken on campus in Hartford do. Students may not request to “not transfer” a course taken while studying away.

These Trinity programs offer Trinity-taught courses:
•     Trinity College Rome Campus, Italy
•    Trinity-in-Paris (for students who do not take courses at the Institute Catholique or Sciences Po)
•    Trinity LaMaMa

These Trinity programs also offer GPA-calculating transfer credit from partner institutions:
•    Trinity-in-Barcelona, Spain (UPF classes)
•    Trinity-in-Buenos Aires, Argentina (all IFSA and host university classes)
•    Trinity-in-Cape Town, South Africa (UWC and UCT classes)
•    Trinity-in-Paris, France (classes at the Institute Catholique and Sciences Po)
•    Trinity-in-Shanghai (Fud​an University classes)
•    Trinity-in- Trinidad (UWI classes only)
•    Trinity-in-Vienna, Austria (U Vienna classes)
•     Twelve College Exchange Institutions (all classes)

To receive transfer credit for the courses taken at the local university, students must complete the Application for Transfer Credit form and follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and on the Registrar’s Office website. Students who fail a class or under- enroll while studying on these programs still face academic probation at Trinity.

Grades & GPA Calculation on Approved External Programs

Trinity students in Approved External programs earn grades that do NOT calculate into the GPA (although the letter grades and courses will appear on their Trinity transcript). This is the case for all programs not listed under “Trinity Programs” above.  To receive transfer credit, students must complete the Application for Transfer Credit form and follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and on the Registrar’s Office website. Students who fail a class or under- enroll while studying on these programs still face academic probation at Trinity.  As with Trinity programs, students may not request to “not transfer” a course that they enrolled in and stay enrolled in past the add/drop date.

Earning Credits Toward Major/Minor Requirements, Distribution Requirements, and as Electives

It is the responsibility of each student to know which courses are approved for Major, Minor, General Education, or elective credit.  Each department and program sets its own rules for credit transfer toward the major/minor. Students should talk directly with their academic advisor, department chairperson, or program director to ensure you plan accordingly prior to studying away.

Information about credit abroad can be found on the website for the Registrar's Office.

Differences in Academic Systems

Students will find in most cases that the academic system they encounter is very different from that at their home institution. While the demands made on the student abroad at a host university may seem less strenuous than those in the U.S., this is more a reflection of a different approach to education than it is an indication of a poor institution. Your students challenge is to figure out how to meet their academic and personal goals within this very different system.