Study Abroad exchanges are perfect for the independent undergraduate student who wants to spend either a semester or a full academic year overseas at an exchange partner university abroad. Exchanges provide opportunities for cultural and language immersion due to the longer period of study, and also offer the potential to take courses not available at Pitt.  

Exchanges are formal partnerships between Pitt and specified universities or consortia around the world.  Pitt students pay their regular tuition and fees to Pitt.  In turn, students from the partnering institutions pay tuition to their home universities and "swap spots" with Pitt students.  Courses taken while on an exchange program will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a student's Pitt transcript.  Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university. These transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 2 to 3 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduation date, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until the transcripts are received. 



Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Unlike the usual minimum 2.75 GPA for study abroad, an exchange program typically requires at least3.00 GPA, if not higher.  
  • Applicants should have completed at least 24 credit hours on a Pitt campus before starting an exchange program. Some exchange universities may require at least 24 credit hours at the time of application.  
  • Applicants should have a clear disciplinary record.  
  • Additional requirements may vary depending on program.  
  • Valid passport.


Pitt exchange programs can be (a) university-wide, meaning any undergraduate student regardless of major may participate, or (b) school-specific, meaning only students within a particular school are eligible.  For example, there are school-specific exchanges for the School of Engineering, for which only engineering students may apply.

It is recommended that students in the School of Engineering and College of Business administration reach out to their respective International Programs Offices to learn more about these school-specific opportunities.  


Students enroll for either a full semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters) at the exchange university.  Be aware that the academic calendars of exchange universities may be different to Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters. Therefore, certain programs may not be available for the semester and only for the full academic year. 

For example, semesters at exchange universities in Japan often occur October to February for fall and April to August for spring.  Students must consult the specific program pages on abroad.pitt.edu and exchange university website when deciding on a study abroad exchange program.  

Program Costs

Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Nework Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.

Students on financial aid and scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid on how their financial package will count towards the costs.  Housing costs will be paid directly to a) the exchange university, or b) the in-country housing provider.  

Costs of living estimates may be found on the individual program pages or on the exchange universities' websites.  


Pitt has exchange programs in multiple locations around the world, with most based in Europe or Asia.  For a full list of Pitt's exchange programs, consult the Program Search tool and select "Exchange" for "Program Type."


Overall Timeline & Process

Studying abroad on a Pitt exchange program requires multiple steps.  It is especially important for Pitt students to understand that an application is first submitted to the Pitt Study Abroad Office, followed by a separate application to the exchange university.  

In addition to the typical steps taken to register for a semester at Pitt, students must also be prepared to navigate the academic catalog at the exchange university, handle course registration and often organize their housing while abroad.   

Students are expected to proactively reach out to and meet with the Study Abroad Office's Exchange Program Manager, Jessica Sun (jessicasun@pitt.edu), research exchange universities, and be prepared to work through any challenges that they may face in enrolling at a university abroad.  

For further details, please review the individual steps below.  




Spring Semester Academic Year Fall Semester
Before August Before February Before February





  • Inform your academic advisor about your interest in studying abroad and discuss what degree requirements you must fulfill during your semester or full year abroad in order to stay on track for graduation at Pitt. 
  • Discuss potential financial implications with your family, noting that costs of living differences between countries as well as currency conversion rates.  It is more expensive to live in London for a full semester than it is in Taipei.   
  • Think about the country/region which you may want to go and for the length of time.  Is there a particular reason for going?  Is it for major/minor/certificate-specific reasons?  Is it specific to foreign language enrichment?  
  • Visit your campus study abroad office to talk with the study abroad coordinator or the Exchange Program Manager.  
  • Search for programs at abroad.pitt.edu/programs to find programs that fit your needs and interests.  
  • Read through the individual profiles for the exchange programs of interest online.  



Spring Semester Academic Year Fall Semester
August / September February / March February / March





  • Review the Pitt deadlines and requirements for each specific program and term.  
  • Research the specified exchange university, the required application materials and the associated academic calendar and deadlines.  
  • Submit a completed application on Pitt Study Abroad website at abroad.pitt.edu for each program of interest.  
  • Within two weeks after the Pitt deadline, applicants will receive an email notification from the Exchange Program Manager regarding their formal nomination to the exchange university.  A response is required to proceed to the following steps.  



Spring Semester Academic Year Fall Semester
September - October March - April March - April





  • Contact the exchange university for any specific questions.  
  • Prepare and gather the requirement materials before beginning the application. 
  • Submit a completed application with the exchange university (online, through a paper application or both).  Requirements may include but are not limited to the following: 
    • Application Form
    • Valid Passport
    • Official Transcript
    • Verification of Enrollment
    • Statement of Intent or Purpose
    • Resume or CV
    • Language Evaluation
    • Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations
    • Up to 2 passport photos
  • A select number of exchange university applications may also require the submission of the visa application.  
  • Official admission notifications will come from the exchange university and will vary depending on program.  

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required.  A visa is a formal endorsement by the host country which grants you permission to enter, leave or stay in that country for a specified period of time.  Oftentimes, a specific type of visa is required as a student.  Furthermore, in addition to a visa, some host countries may require some form of a residency permit upon arrival.  For details review the information provided by the exchange university.  


When visa applications are completed will be dependent upon exchange program.  Some exchange universities will require completion of the visa application with the application requirements.  



  • Contact the exchange university for any specific questions about the visa application process.  
  • Follow the instructions given to you by the exchange university about the visa application.  
  • Research the visa application procedures through the specified country consulate.  
  • Submit a completed visa application, if necessary.  
  • Visa applications typically include but are not limited to the following requirements: 
    • Visa application
    • Valid Passport
    • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university)
    • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.  
    • Passport photos
    • Application fee
    • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)



Spring Semester Academic Year Fall Semester
October/November March - April 

March - April






  • Attend the Pre-Departure Bash.  Information will be provided to you by the Exchange Program Manager.
  • Finalize planned course selections with respective academic advisors and submit the Course Approval Form to the Study Abroad Office.  
  • Submit the Study Abroad Participation Agreement to the Study Abroad Office.  
  • Pay the Study Abroad Deposit ($350), either by e-check or credit card, to confirm your participation in the exchange program.  
  • Contact the exchange university to determine when flights should be booked.  
  • Contact the exchange university about housing options and how to apply for them.  When housing applications are completed will vary by program.



Time of departure will be dependent upon program.  



  • Attend the required events at exchange university, such as international student check-in and orientation.  
  • Register for courses at exchange university, if that was not already done online.  
  • Confirm with the Pitt Study Abroad Office if there are any changes related to your pre-approved course selection.  


  • Register for Pitt courses for the upcoming term at my.pitt.edu if you are not graduating.  
  • Confirm that the exchange university will issuing an official transcript of the courses taken to the Pitt Study Abroad Office.  
  • Request copies of the official transcript for your own records.