Office of International Programs

Study Abroad Petition Process

A petition is a way for students to request approval for a program that they feel meets their academic goals more effectively than a Brown, CASA, or Approved program. Given the number and variety of approved study abroad options already available through the OIP, petitions should be submitted for unusual circumstances only. If you have reviewed the Brown, CASA, and Approved program offerings, but did not find a program that meets your academic needs, you may be allowed to petition another program.

Approval of a petition is not guaranteed. Students are strongly urged to apply to a Brown, CASA, or Approved program as a backup.

Petition Guidelines

  • Start the petition process early — about one year before you plan to study abroad.  You do not need to wait until the petition deadline to submit a petition.

  • Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Each student's concentration(s), rationale, faculty approval, and transcript are evaluated individually. A program that was previously approved for one student does not guarantee approval for other students. 
  • Students may only submit one petition per semester.
  • Petition programs must be accredited and meet the Brown study abroad language requirement
  • Students must submit their complete petition application to the OIP by 5 p.m. on the application deadline.
  • Very Important: If your academic needs can be met by a Brown, CASA, or Approved program—or the petition program is located in the same city/country as those programs—it is unlikely that your petition will be approved.  

Petition Steps

1. Schedule an OIP Advising Appointment. All students are required to meet with a study abroad advisor to first discuss the program they wish to petition. Contact the OIP (or stop by our office in Page-Robinson Hall Suite 420) to set up an advising appointment, or email the OIP study abroad advisor who handles the region in which your program is located. Please be sure to include the name of the program of interest and semester and year you would like to study abroad.

2. Discuss the petition program with the OIP advisor. During your advising appointment, you and the OIP study abroad advisor will discuss your program interests and options. If the advisor determines that the petition program meets the Brown/OIP petition guidelines (above), and it appears to meet your learning goals more effectively than existing programs, the OIP advisor will give you a Petition Application Form. This form thoroughly explains all petition documentation you will need to submit to the OIP by the deadline. Required petition materials include the petition application form, your statement of rationale, faculty support letter, unofficial (Banner) transcript, and basic program information. 

3. Submit your completed petition materials to the OIP by the deadline.

4. The OIP and CAS will review your petition. The OIP will review your petition materials and make a preliminary approval decision. If the OIP approves your petition, we will then submit your petition to Brown's Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) to review and make a final decision. 

5. The OIP will notify you about the final decision. If your petition is approved by CAS, your OIP advisor will contact you about the next steps in the application process. If your petition is denied, your advisor will help you explore other Brown, CASA, or Approved program options. 




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