Undergraduate Study Abroad

Petition Process

A petition is a way for students to request approval for a program that they feel meets their academic goals more effectively than a Brown, CASA, or Approved program.

Given the number and variety of approved study abroad options already available through the Study Abroad office, petitions should be submitted for unusual circumstances only. If you have reviewed the Brown, CASA, and Approved program offerings, but did not find a program that meets your academic needs, you may be allowed to petition another program.

Approval of a petition is not guaranteed. Students are strongly urged to apply to a Brown, CASA, or Approved program as a backup.

Petition Guidelines

  • Start the petition process early — about one year before you plan to study abroad. You do not need to wait until the petition deadline to submit a petition.
  • Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Each student's concentration(s), rationale, faculty approval, and transcript are evaluated individually. A program that was previously approved for one student does not guarantee approval for other students.
  • Students may only submit one petition per semester.
  • Petition programs must be accredited and meet the Brown study abroad language requirement.
  • Students must submit their complete petition application to the Study Abroad office by 5 p.m. on the application deadline.
  • Very Important: If your academic needs can be met by a Brown, CASA, or Approved program—or the petition program is located in the same city/country as those programs—it is unlikely that your petition will be approved.

Petition Steps

All students are required to meet with a study abroad advisor to first discuss the program they wish to petition.  You should meet with the advisor who handles the region in which your program is located. Please be sure to include the name of the program of interest and semester and year you would like to study abroad.

During your advising appointment, you and your study abroad advisor will discuss your program interests and options. If the advisor determines that the petition program meets the Brown petition guidelines (above), and it appears to meet your learning goals more effectively than existing programs, the advisor will give you a Petition Application Form. This form thoroughly explains all petition documentation you will need to submit by the deadline. Required petition materials include the petition application form, your statement of rationale, faculty support letter, unofficial (Banner) transcript, and basic program information.

You must submit your Petition Application form along with any requested supporting materials by the deadline.

A study abroad advisor will review your petition materials and make a preliminary approval decision. If the study abroad staff approves your petition, we will then submit your petition to CAS to review and make a final decision.

If your petition is approved by CAS, your study abroad advisor will contact you about the next steps in the application process. If your petition is denied, your advisor will help you explore other Brown, CASA, or Approved program options.


Additional Topics

Discover which study abroad program best aligns with your goals and interests.
Brown undergraduates may choose from a variety of study abroad program options to earn academic credit for a semester or academic year abroad. From directly enrolling in a university overseas to participating in a language immersion program to studying at a field station; there is a program to fit your interests!
Students can participate in one of the many summer international opportunities offered through Brown.