Why study off-campus?

Studying off-campus for a semester or year can be an enriching and vital part of college. Off-Campus Study Opportunities enhance learning in many ways – strengthening specific skills and knowledge, broadening outlook and thinking, enlarging intercultural abilities and relationships, preparing for life in the global community, and deepening Christian commitment and service. Students choose off-campus studies as part of their major/minor program (e.g., Spanish, or International Studies) or to enrich their general education. Houghton University encourages off-campus study and provides many opportunities.

Who may participate in off-campus studies?

Every student (whether a Houghton student or not) should consider these opportunities. Some majors require sequenced courses, so summers or special planning might be necessary. Students should establish good study habits and master a good portion of General Education requirements before going off-campus. Second-semester sophomore, junior, and first-semester senior years are the best times. (Final semester should be on campus.) A 2.5 GPA or higher is required for most options. Prerequisites are sometimes required, e.g., INCL 211, “Cross-Cultural Transition and Adjustment,” for Foreign Language and INCL 310 Intercultural Competencies for INCL and International Relations Majors.


Off-campus opportunities must be carefully selected, similar to choosing which college to attend. Academic strengths, experiential quality, cost, and other issues arise. Houghton students have five options:

  • Houghton University Opportunities: Houghton in London Honors (by invitation after initial application), Houghton in East Africa, and May travel courses.  (Houghton credits and grades; also complete financial aid package.)
  • Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Opportunities: American Studies Program, China Studies Program, Contemporary Music Center, Latin American Studies Program, Los Angeles Film Studies Center, Middle Eastern Studies Program, and Oxford Honours Programme. (Houghton credits and grades, but different financial aid.)
  • Affiliated Opportunities: Au Sable, BCA Study Abroad, Budapest Semester in Mathematics,  Chez Vous, Creation Care Studies Program, Gordon College: Global Education, International Business Institute, NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), Semester In Spain, Spanish Studies Abroad, and Université Laval. (Check with the Off-Campus Office for how credits and grades transfer and details about Financial Aid). These affiliations allow students to remain enrolled at Houghton while at a host institution.
  • Special Agreements: Agreements may be made with host programs that meet special guidelines. (Transfer credits)
  • Semester Leave-of-Absence: Student may withdraw from Houghton for the semester and then reapply to enter Houghton bringing transfer credits.

Steps for Off-Campus Study

Houghton students should follow these steps to enroll in off-campus studies:

Please Contact the Office of Off-Campus Studies if you have any questions or are a student from another college wishing to apply for a Houghton Program.

(585) 567-9634