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Research, Field Study or Internships Abroad

Procedures for International Research, Field Study, or Internships for Academic Credit

It is important that all UTSA students planning to conduct research, participate in a field study, or internship abroad receive pre-departure support, risk management training, and information to help prepare them to meet the challenges of living and studying in other countries. They must also continue to be officially enrolled at UTSA, in order to maintain their University sponsored status, and any financial aid, while traveling and participating in research, field study, or internships abroad.

All graduate or undergraduate students participating in research, field study, or internship outside of the United States for academic credit or completion of an academic requirement (example: thesis or dissertation) must register with and complete all Education Abroad Services processes and requirements. 

The participating student must do this as early as possible during the academic semester preceding your planned semester of departure for travel. Students must complete all Office of International Programs administrative and training requirements prior to the end of the academic semester that immediately precedes their travel abroad.

An Office of International Programs/Education Abroad Services advisor will register the student in a UTSA (placeholder) International Study course. This course enrollment ensures the participating student will maintain his/her student status with UTSA while participating in their academic-related experience abroad. Additionally, the Office of Education Abroad Services will provide the student/participant with training that provides important information on how best to prepare for living and working successfully in another country.

Enrollment in the International Study course requires the approval of the student’s graduate advisor (for graduate students) or undergraduate academic advisor (for undergraduates), the chair of the department, and the Office of International Programs. Graduate students may continue this International Study Course status for up to four consecutive long semesters and contiguous summer sessions. Undergraduate students may continue in this International Study Course status for up to two long semesters and one summer session, for a total of 12 months.

Students enrolled in the International Study course placeholder are not considered full-time students by UTSA unless an equivalent number of credits equal to full-time status will be earned through participation in the program.  Registering in the placeholder course does not guarantee the student will receive academic credit for the academic activity conducted abroad. Registration in the placeholder course does not, in and of itself, imply credit will be given for academic related activities abroad.

Each student must independently consult with the Graduate School and/or their respective department to determine if credit will be awarded. Registration in a UTSA course, or presentation of a foreign transcript is required by UTSA in order for the student to receive course credit for their participation in International Study course activity.

Doctoral students should consult with their program advisor regarding their status for credits, stipend and requirement for continuous registration while participating in the International Study Course.



  • Graduate students must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA to participate.
  • Undergraduate students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate.

Important: International students must also meet with an International Student Advisor in the Office of International Programs well in advance of planning the dates of their departure from the United States to conduct research, field study, or internship abroad. This is necessary to avoid any possible loss of visa status and related problems for those international students who desire to conduct an International Study Course outside of the United States.
Furthermore, all students conducting international research must comply with the Office of Research Integrity Compliance guidelines to receive clearance on security-sensitive materials, documents and equipment to be taken abroad. Any student planning to conduct international research must contact the Director, Research Compliance Training and Export Controls.



The Department or Office of International Programs will register students in AFS-015X (for undergraduate students) or AFS-009X (for graduate students).

Financial Aid

Financial aid is only available if academic credit will be earned.  Please consult the UTSA Office of Financial Aid to determine if you are eligible for financial aid.  


A one-time $150 application fee is charged to students who apply for this registration status.*
Once the student is enrolled in the AFS course, the cost of registration is $100 per semester.*

* Fees are listed as Study Abroad Application/Registration Fees on the student’s account.

To request registration in the International Study Course

  1. Receive approval from their graduate or academic advisor and department chair for the proposed Independent Research, Field Study, or Internships opportunity.
  2. Contact Education Abroad Services with documentation of departmental approval, or 210.458.7204
  3. Complete the required Independent Research, Field Study or Internships application online. The application form gathers all necessary information about a student’s planned research, field studies, and/or internship activities abroad.
  4. Students participating in research abroad must provide a copy of the UTSA Institutional Review Board’s Approval Letter pertaining to the research, if applicable.