Directed Study Process & Procedures

While directed study abroad is similar to directed study on campus or in the local community, directed study abroad requires more advance planning. The information on these directed study web pages outlines general academic and financial aid considerations, and what process you need to follow during your preparation. Directed study runs through academic departments on campus, and credit and support would come from your department, not the Learning Abroad Center.

When doing Directed Study, students register and pay for directed study credit through the regular University of Minnesota procedures. If you wish to request aid or loans beyond the amount you expect to receive for enrolling in the directed study credits, follow the procedures listed on the Registration and Financial Aid webpage.

Procedures You Must Follow

  1. Review all information on this page.

  2. *If using financial aid: Review all information on the Directed Study—Financial Aid webpage, and use the information to create a Study Abroad Cost Estimate. Be aware that your adviser will need to sign off on the cost estimate before it can officially be used by the Office of Student Finance.

  3. *If using financial aid: Schedule a Financial Aid Preview Meeting for study abroad to clarify if additional aids/loans are possible for your overseas expenses. You must bring your Study Abroad Cost Estimate with you to the meeting.

  4. Complete a Student/Faculty Contract for your directed study project. 

  5. Register for your directed study credits through the normal University of Minnesota registration procedures. You register yourself for your directed study credits, and your faculty adviser provides you with the necessary registration information. Be aware that if you intend to complete the directed study after the term of registration and take an incomplete grade, you may risk being placed on academic and/or financial aid probation. If you will be taking less than a full load of directed study, you must petition the 13-credit policy, or you will be charged for the full 13 credits of tuition, even if you register for fewer credits.

  6. If you are traveling to a country with a US State Department country-wide travel advisory of Level 3 or Level 4, or if there are Level 3 or Level 4 locations or regions within your host country, you are required to apply for and receive approval from UofM ITRAAC (International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee). Consult the GPS Alliance travel advisory web page to see if your destination requires approval. 

  7. Register with the University of Minnesota Student International Travel Registry and complete the University's requirements, including purchasing mandatory international insurance. For more information, visit the Education Abroad policy webpage.

  8. Maintain your US health insurance coverage while you are abroad.

Additional Procedures

Suggestions for Planning a Directed Study Abroad

Identify a faculty adviser.When considering a directed study project, you will need to identify a faculty member who will agree to oversee your project and assign credit. If you are engaging in a research project, the University of Minnesota Office of Undergraduate Research offer helpful guidance and considerations and the Learning Abroad Center has additional resources specifically related to conducting research abroad..

Completing Your Directed Study Credits

The number of credits and nature of assignments are stipulated by the faculty adviser supervising your project. Your faculty adviser is also responsible for submitting the directed study grade through the regular University of Minnesota grade reporting procedures after being satisfied that you have met the agreed-upon standards for the credits. 

Other Directed Study Information