New Program Proposal

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Thanks for your interest in working with Pitt Study Abroad!

We are excited that you are interested in joining the hundreds of Pitt faculty who have developed and led study abroad and study away programs with us.  Your expertise and commitment to our students help us offer some of the best and most unique programming in the country.

Developing a new study abroad program is a collaborative effort between you, the Pitt Study Abroad team, the Global Programs and Partnernships Committee (GPPC), and the Global Risk, Health, Safety, and Security Committee (GRHSSC).  Together, we ensure that programs help students get closer to their academic, professional, and personal goals while meeting the academic, health, and safety standards set by the University. 

Read on to learn more about the process of proposing and developing a new program. 

If you are interested in working with us but don’t want to start from scratch, read more about joining an existing program.

The Concept Proposal Process and Timeline

Pitt Study Abroad, in conjunction with the GPPC and GRHSSC, has developed an online proposal process that aligns with the Standards of Good Practice set by the Forum on Education Abroad.  Proposals are reviewed on a yearly basis by the GPPC and GRHSSC.  The committees will select proposals to move forward based on a number of factors, which you can read about below.

The questionnaires and materials that you’ll be asked to submit are designed to help guide you in refining your program concept; provide the GPPC and GRHSSC with the information they need to make an informed decisions on the programs; and make sure that, if your concept is approved, your assigned program manager can hit the ground running on development. 

All undergraduate study abroad programs must go through this process for review, selection, and approval, regardless of your home department, school, or campus.  We are confident that this process will bring transparency and equity to program development and ensure that Pitt students continue to have high-quality Panther Programs to choose for years to come.



What Happens at this Stage

Academic Year 2020-2021

Academic Year 2021-2022

Program Concept Proposal Due

Note: no late applications will be accepted. 
If your proposal is not complete by the deadline,
you can submit your proposal for the following
academic year.

·      You’ll start with an idea for a program and through the program concept questionnaire, we hope that you will refine learning outcomes and align the program with Forum Best Practices.

·      After the due date, the Pitt Study Abroad team will review proposals for completeness and provide additional background information, if necessary, for the committee’s review.

November 1, 2019

September 1, 2020

Committee Review and Decision

·      The Global Programs and Partnerships Committee (GPPC) will review all proposals at the same time with a particular eye to: the academic and professional learning outcomes of the program; the situation of the program within the portfolio of existing programs; any potential logistical or health, safety, and security issues.

·      The GPPC will notify you of their decision to accept or not accept the program concept proposal.  

·      If accepted, your concept proposal will move to the next stage: program development. 

·      If your concept proposal is not accepted, you will be provided with rationale from the committee with the option to edit and resubmit for the following proposal cycle.

Early January 2020

Late Fall 2020

Program Development

·      Your concept is accepted by the committee, congratulations!  You will be assigned a program manager (either in the Study Abroad Office or the International Programs Office of your school) who will begin developing your program. 

·      Using your concept proposal, your program manager will identify appropriate partners and ask for RFPs.  Providers are ultimately selected based on a variety of factors, including our history with them, price, and ability to provide appropriate services.

·      With a provider selected, your program manager will now complete two additional materials required for final approval of the program: a logistics proposal that outlines health, safety, and security for the program; and a program budget, which will determine the minimum number of students required for the program to run and final student pricing. 

·      While your program manager works on these documents, it will be your chance to draft a complete syllabus for the course or courses that you’ll be teaching, create a general education requirement proposal, and obtain a final letter of support from your department, chair, or campus vice president. 

·      Please note that study abroad program development can be a complex process and that acceptance of a concept proposal does not necessary mean that your program will be approved or run.  Budget constraints, provider constraints, student interest, and a variety of other factors ultimately determine a program’s success. Your program manager will always do their best to make your program a reality – you will be challenged with being flexible and understanding of the process and recognizing that delays can happen that push back the program’s launch.

January - April 2020

November - March 2021

Final Committee and Provost Review

·      The final program proposal (including budget, logistics proposal, and your academic packet) will be sent to both committees for a final review.

·      The GPPC will read the final proposal for academic and professional integrity and ensure that it meets Pitt’s high standards for study abroad and study away programming.

·      The GRHHSC will read the final proposal with an eye towards the health, safety, and security of our students, ensuring that provider is equipped to deal with any issues or challenge that arise during the program; that adequate health and safety information has been provided to prepare students; and that any risk associated with program activities is acceptable and justified by the learning outcoming of the program.

·      If accepted by both committees, the final program proposal is sent to the Vice Provost for Global Affairs and the Provost for final review and approval.

April 2020

March 2021

Creation of Marketing Materials

·      Once your program is approved, your program manager will work with you to create two key pieces of marketing materials for your program:

·      A program postcard that gives students quick, at-a-glance information to help them decide if they want to learn more.  We (and you) will use this for classroom visits, tabling, and promotion in the office.

·      A program website that gives students much more details information about the program, including academics, experiential learning, pricing, dates, and you, their faculty leader! 

·      In both of these cases, Pitt Study Abroad has a strong and established brand and identity that gives students and their families confidence in our programs.  Your program manager will work closely with you to find harmony between our branding and your vision for the program.

Summer 2020

Summer 2021

Applications Open for Students and Recruitment

·      Applications always open on the Thursday of Welcome Week and we published application deadlines a year at a time.  Students apply using the same online system that you used to submit your concept proposal. 

·      Pitt Study Abroad promotes programs through a variety of mediums, including Facebook and Instagram, the Study Abroad Fair, tabling across campus, classroom visits, MyPitt postings, and more.  In some of these instances, we’ll be able to put your program front and center, and in others, we’ll need to promote all 350 programs that we offer.

·      You, as the program’s faculty, will be the greatest recruiter for the program.  Students seeing you at on-campus events, in classroom visits, and office hours will help them build a connection to you and the program, so get out there and recruit! 

August 2020

August 2021

New Program Concent Proposal Guidelines

Health, safety, and security are our primary concerns followed closely by academic quality and professional development experience for our students.  When reviewing new program proposals, Pitt Study Abroad will be particularly interested in the following information:

  • Learning goals – what are the academic, personal, and professional goals of your proposed program?  Why does this need to be taught abroad, in this particular location, and how do you hope the students will have developed by the end of the program?
  • Curriculum integration – what requirements would your program fulfill? General education, major, minor, or certificate?
  • Career integration – what pre-professional experience does this opportunity provide students?  Is it directly related to one career field?  What are the transferable skills that you hope students will gain?  How does it apply to multiple disciplines? 
  • The originality of concept – we greatly respect the work that our current and previous faculty leaders have put into their study abroad programs.  The GPPC will be looking to make sure that we are expanding the themes and courses of our programs without creating competition within the portfolio.  
  • Marketability to students – What value will students see in this type of experience?  Why do you think so?  Who is your target market on campus? 
  • Perceived student demand – students will always want to go to Western Europe, that is a given, but in this case, what is the demand for this topic, this location, this experience?  Cases can be made for programs both in the well-traveled and off the beaten path locations, if connections can be made to the academic content and the idea is different enough from others.
  • Unique opportunities – Does your program offer something that students otherwise cannot do either here or abroad?  Is this a new idea for a previously underserved major?  Are there connections overseas that will provide a different perspective to an undergraduate’s academic experience that is of value to compare?
  • Cost vs. Benefit Analysis – Are the financial realities of the proposed program worth the expenditures paid by the students?

Ready to Begin Your Program Proposal?

Click above to be taken to the Pitt Study Abroad portal.  You'll need to log in with your Pitt Passport credentials to begin the process.