Mission Statement, International Programs Office
The International Programs Office (IPO) provides leadership in the development of international initiatives that support the mission and strategic goals of the UMass Dartmouth campus.
The International Programs Office:
- Provides leadership to establish a plan for internationalization of the campus of UMass Dartmouth.
- Collaborates with the Colleges and Schools to identify international program priorities and align program options with curricular objectives and learning goals, and assesses student achievement in those areas.
- Supports and promotes existing international partnerships and exchanges in the areas of research, teaching, and study overseas in order to advance the educational and research needs of the institution; assists in the development of appropriate new international partnerships and exchanges.
- Seeks to identify and works to support interdisciplinary international initiatives that maximize benefits for the largest possible number of students and the university as a whole.
- Supports faculty and staff in the development of overseas initiatives that directly link to their discipline and may include faculty-led short-term programs during the January Intersession, summer, or during spring break.
- Coordinates the Hessen Exchange program across the five campus system of the University of Massachusetts.
- Manages the selection of and agreement oversight for third-party providers made available to UMass Dartmouth students for study abroad.
- Advises and supports incoming exchange and outbound study abroad students before, during, and upon return from an overseas program.
- Collaborates with various administrators and offices across campus in order to advocate for the needs of both study abroad and exchange students and international engage.
- Provides opportunities for the UMass Dartmouth community to engage in cross-cultural programming and training throughout the academic year.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The university encourages its students to study abroad. UMass Dartmouth maintains exchange agreements with partner universities in a variety of countries and each year and some faculty members lead courses abroad in their fields of expertise. In addition, many fields of study, program formats are available at sites all over the world via the university’s approved third party provider organizations.
Faculty-led courses abroad are UMass Dartmouth courses. Grading policies and financial aid eligibility is the same as for any other UMass Dartmouth courses. Student participating in third party provider programs can generally apply financial aid awards to the cost of those programs.
Exchange agreements facilitate study for UMass Dartmouth students at a partner university abroad and study at UMass Dartmouth by students visiting from the partner universities. The visiting Exchange students bring to campus with them a cross-cultural learning opportunity for all members of the campus community. Exchange participants pay tuition and fees at the home campus and financial aid awards apply as for any other term.
The International Programs Office provides general oversight of exchange, faculty-led and provider programs. Study Abroad fairs and other informational events are offered by the IPO each semester. A complete list of approved programs, application procedures & deadlines, and other guidelines are available on the IPO web-pages of the UMass Dartmouth website.
The application process has two stages:
- Students apply to the university for certification of eligibility to study abroad. Minimum requirements are 2.5 gpa for semester study (2.0 for intersession), no current student conduct sanctions, and a financial account in good standing. Other requirements may apply.
- Eligible students apply for the study abroad program of their choice and must be accepted by that program in order to participate.
Students seeking to study abroad must first plan with their faculty advisors the program of study that they intend to pursue at the other institution and receive departmental approval of this study plan.
Financial aid may be obtained if the student is eligible and pursuing the study abroad experience to earn credits toward degree requirements. A special scholarship, the Mary Louise Walsh Fund for International study makes assistance available in the form of grants to undergraduates and graduating seniors. In cases where the acceptance to a study abroad program will significantly change the student’s total estimated semester cost, they may file a Study Abroad budget change form obtainable from the IPO. Students may contact the Financial Aid Office for further information.
Students who study abroad while remaining in active student status will be listed as in “Study on Exchange” status. This status allows students to remain in current, registered status while they pursue full-time studies at another higher-education institution. They may thus remain matriculated students eligible to apply approved credits earned to their UMass student record and continue to qualify for their financial aid benefits. A modest fee is charged for this status.
Each semester the IPO provides pre-departure orientations for UMass Dartmouth students registered for credit or non-credit programs abroad. Returning participants are invited and encouraged by the IPO to participate in internatlonal-focused activities of the campus community.
Study Abroad program transcripts are received by the International Programs Office and reviewed for verification of the academic department’s approval of courses for transfer. If grades have not been provided with a US format, the IPO coordinates with the academic department in assignment of the grade to appear on the student transcript.
Most Study Abroad courses are graded P/NC with NC being awarded when the course receives a UMass Dartmouth-equivalent grade below C-. P grades earn the credit stipulated for the course but do not affect the GPA. NC grades are shown on the transcript but do not affect the GPA.
The exception to the above grading system occurs:
- When UMass Dartmouth courses are offered abroad (either entire courses or portions of courses). In this case, regular UMass Dartmouth grading prevails for UMass Dartmouth students. Students may elect the P/F option as with any other UMass Dartmouth courses, following the normal P/F rules.
- When an exchange agreement or other curriculum requirement specifies that a course taken abroad will use the regular UMass Dartmouth grading system.
When students arrange a study abroad experience, they will be informed in advance which grading scheme applies to the course or courses in their study plan. At the conclusion of the study abroad course, students will take responsibility for submitting a transcript or other official record of the results of the study abroad course.