Students participating in off-campus study not conducted by the college must be approved by the Off-Campus Study Committee prior to a student's departure from Oberlin. Academic Leaves are approved when students can demonstrate the value of such leaves for their Oberlin education and meet the following criteria:
- A complete online application, with all appropriate signatures.
- Completion of at least one year (two semesters) at Oberlin.
- A student must be in good academic standing in order to be approved for an academic leave of absence.
- Students who wish to apply for an academic leave in the final semester must request a waiver to the last semester in-residence requirement (see the course catalog for details). In order to participate in an academic leave to study away in the final semester, the student must be enrolled as a full-time student while on the academic leave, transfer back the equivalent of four full courses (16 credits) from the academic leave, and be able to complete all remaining degree requirements while on the leave.
- Courses/credits completed while on an approved study away program are not included in the general transfer credit limits.
- Declaration of a major – an “intended” major does not qualify. Declaration of major forms are available at the registrar's office.
- Completion of a preliminary transfer of credit form for courses with the approval of relevant department chairs.
- All students must be enrolled as full-time students as defined by the program they attend. Normally, for Arts and Sciences students, this means completion of the equivalent of 4 full academic courses. Conservatory and double-degree students must complete a minimum of 16 credits. Normally, students may earn a maximum of 4 full academic courses/16 credits for one semester of work on an approved academic leave of absence, and up to 8 full academic courses/32 credits for a full year (two semesters) of work on an approved academic leave of absence.
- A sound educational rationale that includes an analysis of how your study away credit will impact your graduation plans.
- Students wishing to study abroad in countries that are designated as Travel Warning countries by the U.S. Department of State may do so only under the terms of the College's Travel Warning Policy.
- Students are permitted to enroll as full-time students at another U.S. college or university as part of an academic leave only with permission of the Off Campus Study committee based on clearly stated educational rationale and demonstrated permission to pursue transferrable coursework not available at Oberlin College.