Special Programs

Center for International Programs

The Center for International Programs (CIP) is strongly committed to internationalization and globalization – on the Saint Joseph’s University campus and elsewhere. The office provides information and services to incoming international students and students who wish to study abroad on a short-term or long-term academic program. The CIP also assists with the implementation of new international education initiatives and the support of the University's International Travel Policy.

The CIP is located at 183 Bala Place (across from Lannon Hall) and the office hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Please visit the website for more information: http://internationalprograms.sju.edu/

SJU Faculty-Led Study Tours

Each year, in conjunction with SJU faculty, the Center for International Programs offers a series of campus-based classes that have a travel component as one of their requirements. While class takes place on campus during the fall or spring semester, the actual travel portion occurs during the January intercession, spring break, or in the summer months. Each year, course offerings and destinations vary. (Recent study tour destinations included: Germany, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Cuba, Nicaragua, Belize and Panama. Students earn three credits for participating in these courses. Please note that the running of these programs is contingent on meeting sufficient enrollment requirements. Additional information about SJU study tours can be found on the CIP website: http://internationalprograms.sju.edu/

SJU Summer Study Abroad

A SJU Summer Program is a month-long academic course offered by SJU faculty during the summer. The course is held in one of four locations:

  • China,
  • Greece,
  • Rome or
  • Chile (description of each to follow).

Academic learning takes place on-site, with required pre-departure meetings and assignments to help prepare students for the immersion experience. Summer Programs are designed to give students a longer immersion experience to other countries and cultures than Study Tours. Any student who is not on academic or disciplinary probation and is in good financial standing with SJU may apply for a SJU summer study abroad program, provided that s/he has received academic advisor approval and has met course pre-requisites. There is no GPA requirement; however, students must be in good academic standing. CIP also recommends that students meet with their academic advisor to make sure that they have met course pre-requisites (if applicable) and to talk about GEP or academic program requirements. Please note that the running of these programs is contingent on meeting sufficient enrollment requirements. For application information, please visit the CIP website: http://internationalprograms.sju.edu/. 

SJU Summer Program in Greece: The SJU Summer Program in Greece takes place on the Greek island of Syros. Excursions are also typically offered in Athens, Santorini, and Crete. Students may enroll in one or two courses offered by SJU faculty and earn 3-6 credits. Students live in a neoclassical villa on Syros, in a hotel in Athens, and in a monastery in Santorini. Courses offered change from year to year. Previous courses have included Theology, Politics, History, and Psychology. (Summer only, four weeks, typically late May to late June.)

SJU Summer Program in Rome: The SJU Summer Program in Rome program takes place in the heart of Rome with several cultural visits planned in addition to two weekend excursions that typically include Florence/Pompeii and Sorrento/Capri. Students may enroll in one or two of the courses offered and there may be up to four courses offered each summer in a variety of disciplines. In the past, courses have included Italian, Classics, Psychology, Business, and Economics. Students, faculty, and coordinators reside at fully furnished apartments through The American University of Rome (AUR) and classroom space is provided on campus along with access to the AUR computer lab and library. (Summer only, four weeks, typically in the month of July.)

SJU Summer Program in China: The SJU Summer Program in China is tentatively scheduled to take place at the Beijing Center.  Site visits to Luoyang, Xi’an and Hangzhou as well as a weekend trip to Shanghai are planned as part of the itinerary. Students may enroll in one or two classes. Previous courses have included History, Business, Theology, and Decision Sciences. (Summer only, four weeks, typically late May to late June)

Non-SJU Summer or Winter Study Abroad

Saint Joseph's University students who wish to earn academic credit through participation in an external (i.e., not facilitated by SJU) winter (J-term) study abroad program must apply through the CIP's online application system by the appropriate deadlines (March 15th for summer study abroad and October 15th for winter study abroad). As part of the application process, students will be required to obtain course approvals and seek the support of their Academic Associate Dean. Before beginning an application, however, we strongly advise students to carefully research program options. Students can browse through the brochures available in the CIP office, meet with the Study Abroad Advisor, or they can research programs independently. It's important to also note the following policies related to non-SJU winter study abroad:

  • Students of all levels (freshmen through seniors) are eligible to apply for approval to participate on a non-SJU winter/summer program.
  • Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in order to be eligible for this type of study abroad.  However, students may find that many programs have a higher GPA requirement that they will also need to meet.
  • The student is responsible for submitting appropriate application materials and payments directly to the program that he/she decides to apply into, and SJU financial aid will not transfer.
  • Credits earned through the non-SJU summer/winter abroad program will be considered transfer credits and the grades earned will not be posted on the SJU transcript.
  • Credit will only be granted if the student has earned a grade of C or above.

Semester or Year Abroad

Saint Joseph’s University has carefully selected 29 semester abroad program options in countries all around the world, including some programs with a Jesuit connection, programs with an experiential learning component such as an internship or service-learning, and options where SJU students can take classes alongside local students. Students should review all program options on the CIP website and schedule an advising meeting with a CIP staff member before beginning an application. Students are also encouraged to consider a full year of study abroad.

Petitioning for a Non-approved Program: Saint Joseph's University students who wish to attend a university or study abroad program that is not currently affiliated with or approved by SJU and therefore not recognized for academic credit must petition the Center for International Programs through the on-line application system. Please note that this is only an option for students who have specific academic needs that cannot be met on any of the current Saint Joseph’s approved programs; petitions for programs that are largely duplicate to, or are in enrollment competition with, existing Saint Joseph’s programs, reciprocal university exchanges, or recognized affiliated programs in the same city or country are not normally approved.

As part of the application process, students will be asked to request a recommendation from their Academic Advisor. Therefore, before preparing a petition, the student should consult with their Advisor to discuss their specific interest in study abroad and how the experience will fit into their academic program. This is also a good time to discuss possible course selection and planning.  It is also suggested that the student discuss a "backup plan" with their Academic Advisor (and the Study Abroad Advisor) in the event the petition is not approved. A committee reviews completed petitions and makes a recommendation to the CIP to either approve or reject the petition on a first come, first serve basis. Petitions are judged on the merit of the student’s academic objectives in relation to specific study abroad opportunities for which they are seeking approval, and petition students are expected to have superior grades and sound academic preparation.

If the student’s petition is approved, Saint Joseph’s University will administer their study abroad program in the same way as an approved program.

Eligibility: SJU students are eligible for a semester abroad during the second semester of their sophomore year, all or part of their junior year or their senior year (with permission of the Associate Dean). Students must be in good academic and financial standing with Saint Joseph’s University at the time of application and maintain that good standing throughout the process. There is a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5., though many of our affiliated programs have a higher GPA requirement, some up to a 3.0. 

Although CIP can advise students on making an appropriate program selection and assist them through the application process, our approval does not guarantee admission into a particular study abroad program or foreign institution. Students are responsible for understanding and meeting the regulations, requirements and deadlines specific to the program of their choice.

Applying: Students must apply through the on-line application system and receive approval from the Center for International Programs (CIP) in order to study abroad. Application deadlines are typically March 1st for the fall semester and October 1st for the spring semester; however, the CIP may adjust these deadlines (in advance and with notice) if necessary. In the event of a larger than anticipated applicant pool, the Center for International Programs may not be able to approve all study abroad applications. Complete applications from eligible students will be approved on a first come, first serve basis. For this reason, early applications are strongly advised. Students who apply by the deadline but are not approved due to space will be placed on a waitlist. In the case of withdraws, priority will then be given to Saint Joseph's University students, students with no prior study abroad experience and students with exceptional, academic circumstances that may prevent them from studying abroad in a future semester. Some examples include (but are not limited to) class standing and major.

All other students not approved for the semester of their choice will be given priority for the following semester. Deferred applications will be approved pending an academic and disciplinary check during the following semester.

Senior Approval: Students who wish to study abroad during the fall or spring semester of their senior year must discuss their plans with their Academic Advisor, notify the Registrar’s office, and obtain the approval of the Associate Dean for their College.

Length of Stay: Students can apply for an academic semester (fall or spring) or a full year abroad. Only in special circumstances (and with prior approval from the CIP, the Vice President/Associate Provost and the student’s Academic Associate Dean) will a student be permitted to spend a third semester abroad. Students interested in studying abroad for more than one year should make an appointment with the Study Abroad Advisor prior to any planning and before beginning an application.

Fees and Financial Aid: Saint Joseph’s University students who wish to study abroad for a semester and receive credit toward their Saint Joseph’s degree will remain registered at SJU and pay SJU full-time, day tuition plus a $100 Continuing Registration Fee. Students will also be asked to submit a $300 confirmation deposit, which will be credited towards the student’s total SJU tuition/Continuing Registration Fee expenses. Saint Joseph’s University will then pay the overseas program for the tuition portion of the program. Students will be responsible for all non-tuition fees associated with the program they will be attending. Please visit the Center for International Programs website to review estimated costs for each of our approved, semester abroad programs.    

All forms of financial aid can be applied to Saint Joseph’s approved semester abroad programs. This includes Saint Joseph’s grants, loans, scholarships, and state and federal awards, such as Pell Grants and Guaranteed Student Loans. A financial aid package for a student participating on a Saint Joseph’s approved program will be based on the specific costs of the program in which the student will be studying. The following expenses will be included when calculating a student’s financial need: tuition and fees, room and board, books, airfare for round-trip ticket and miscellaneous expenses such as local transportation, police registration fees, immunizations and any health insurance required by the host country. Students may not use any of their financial aid towards a petition program that is not approved by the committee. 

Family Tuition Benefits, FACHEX and Tuition Exchange: Students who are receiving SJU family tuition benefits will be able to use these tuition scholarships toward their study abroad experiences. Family Tuition Benefit is available only for courses taken as part of a bachelors or master’s degree program. Travel and expenses (other than tuition) for overseas programs, study abroad or other credit work at locations away from the main campus are not covered by the Family Tuition Benefits program.

Students who are the children of employees at other colleges/universities who are receiving scholarships through FACHEX and the Tuition Exchange Program may use these awards toward any approved study abroad program through Saint Joseph’s University. For more information about FACHEX and the Tuition Exchange Program, please contact the Financial Assistance Office at 610-660-2000.

Credit Toward Graduation: Credit will be given towards graduation for all appropriate courses taken on SJU programs or approved programs abroad. Students must, however, get all courses approved following the instructions provided by the CIP. All courses (including credit-bearing internships) must be taken on A-F basis; pass/fail is not an option. Grades are reported on the Saint Joseph’s University transcript and count toward the student’s overall GPA.

Program Requirements: Students are required to maintain full time enrollment, attend class regularly and comply with all program regulations and individual course requirements in any program they choose. Students who leave the program before it is officially over will not receive credit for their work.

University Refund Policy: Students who choose to withdraw from the study abroad program must immediately notify the Center for International Programs through the on-line application portal. Only that portion of the student’s tuition and fees, which have not been committed on their behalf to the University and/or any third party at the time of cancellation, will be refunded to the student. If the student withdraws from the program before paying tuition and fees, the University will bill the student for commitments made on their behalf to the University and/or any third party. The student will be financially responsible for any such costs incurred, per the terms of the Semester Abroad Academic and Disciplinary Waiver in the on-line application.


The Fellowships Office offers guidance and advice to fellowship and scholarship applicants already enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Erivan K. Haub School of Business, Professional and Liberal Studies and the Haub Degree Completion Program. In the majority of cases, these fellowships and scholarships are given by off-campus granting institutions or foundations, such as the Fulbright Program, the Barry M. Goldwater Excellence in Education Foundation, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, or the Rhodes Scholarship Fund. The Fellowships Office works closely with fellowship/scholarship applicants in every step of the application process, from discerning which fellowships/scholarships best suit their needs to discussing and implementing the steps that need to be taken along the way. For more information, contact:

Mark Reynolds

Director of Fellowships
307 Science Center

Health Professions

Admission to Schools of the Health Professions

Students preparing to enter a doctoral level program in the health professions such as medicine or dentistry typically major in one of the natural sciences. It is also possible to major in humanities and social science areas and still fulfill the minimum requirements for all health professional schools, however students need to show proficiency in the natural sciences to be a strong candidate for admission. The minimum course requirements for most medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, and podiatry schools include one year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general physics, all with labs. Additionally, a semester of coursework in biochemistry, statistics, and calculus is strongly recommended or required by most health professional programs. Although schools establish these minimum science requirements for admission, it is strongly recommended that students take additional advanced level science courses to enhance their background and to show that they can manage advanced science work. Courses that explore the sociological, psychological, philosophical, and ethical aspects of healthcare delivery—the human dimension—are also strongly encouraged.

The twelve-member Health Professions Advisory Committee reviews the credentials of students applying to health professional schools and provides the composite letter of evaluation from the University.  

Saint Joseph's also offers linkage programs with Thomas Jefferson University for various allied health programs including Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Medical Laboratory Sciences, and Radiologic Sciences. Each of these programs have specific admissions criteria so interested students should contact the Health Professions Advisor for more details. The Health Professions Advisor counsels students on course selection, preparation for the MCAT and other standardized admission exams, and procedures to follow when applying to health professional schools. For more information, contact:

Mrs. Connie O'Hara
329 Science Center
(610) 660-1043

Service-Learning Program

Integral to the mission of Saint Joseph’s University, Service-Learning challenges students to combine traditional academic coursework with community service experiences. The student engaged in Service-Learning works in two classrooms, one here at the University and the other in the city of Philadelphia. Classroom lectures, texts, assignments and critical reflection on social justice issues are enhanced by the service commitment of three hours per week with community partner schools and agencies that relate to course material.

Service-Learning courses are offered in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business. A unique Freshman Service-Learning Program engages first year students through a two course sequence embedded in General Education courses for an entire academic year. Upper-class students can enroll in semester-long course offerings in their major, minor or general education requirements. A team of staff and student leaders assist the faculty in the recruitment, placement and orientation of students enrolled in Service-Learning courses. To learn more about the Service Learning Program and a current list of open courses, please visit www.sju.edu/servicelearning or contact the Faith-Justice Institute.

Faith-Justice Studies Program

Program Description

The Faith-Justice Studies program is an interdisciplinary, self-designed curriculum that enables students to integrate their major area of study with inquiries into social justice and faith issues. With the assistance of the Faith-Justice Studies minor program, the student determines a sequence of six courses that address faith and social justice issues. For more information please visit http://www.sju.edu/faithjusticestudies.

Faith-Justice courses must fit one or more of the following criteria:

  • Engage students directly with the “sufferings of the poor” and explore the call, not only to serve them, but also to stand in solidarity with them.
  • Invite students to analyze institutions social structures and to question prevailing systems of thought or action which systemically contribute to modern-day social problems (poverty, racism, human rights violations, violence).
  • Challenge students to consider existing social values and priorities in light of Gospel values and faith-based traditions of social justice.

Faith-Justice Studies Minor

For the Faith-Justice Minor requriements please see here.

The Washington Center Internship Program

Through The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Programs (TWC), Saint Joseph’s University offers a unique experiential learning program for students interested in semester-long and summer internships in Washington D.C. TWC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that provides integrated academic and work experience aimed at preparing students for careers in private, public, and related professions. 

As participants in the program, students spend a semester or a summer in our nation’s capital where they gain valuable career experience working as an intern, taking a class specific to their major and professional field of interest, and engaging in a Leadership and Service Forum, all while retaining full-time SJU status. The program is open to all majors and disciplines, runs year-round, provides guaranteed housing in a state-of-the-art facility, and includes training in leadership and professional skill-building.

TWC offers a variety of internships through hundreds of private, public, and non-profit organizations, and students are able to choose from seven different professional tracks that cater to their interest and career aspirations:

  • Advocacy, Service & Arts
  • Business & Global Trade
  • International Affairs
  • Law & Criminal Justice
  • Media & Communications
  • Politics & Public Policy
  • Science, Technology & Society

Recent SJU student internship placements include:

  • The State Department,
  • TeachAmerica,
  • Pan American Health Organization Foundation,
  • Center for Security Policy,
  • Department of the Interior,
  • Federal Trade Commission, 
  • Peace Corp,
  • Metropolitan Police Department,
  • Amnesty International,
  • and many private law firms, think tanks, lobbying firms, and congressional offices.

To learn more about The Washington Center Internship Program at SJU, contact Dr. Becki Scola, the campus liaison/coordinator, at bscola@sju.edu, or visit http:/www.sju.edu/centers/washington-center.

Office of International Students and Scholars

ISS is responsible for meeting the needs of international students from the time they apply until they graduate. ISS serves as the primary advising office for non-academic issues for international students. Areas of assistance for international students include:

  • Initial issuance of the I-20 form to apply for a student (F-l) visa
  • Issuing the DS-2019 form to apply for an exchange visitor (J-1) visa
  • Organizing orientation for international students and other cross-cultural activities
  • Signing immigration documents for travel in and out of the United States
  • Assisting with change of status applications to F-1 status
  • Processing the immigration paperwork for off campus work permission requests
  • Helping with social security and driver’s license applications
  • Assisting international students in acclimating to SJU and Philadelphia

The Office of International Students and Scholars is located in the Campion Student Center, room 217, and is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. Please visit the website for more information:  sju.edu/iss.