Faculty-led program policies

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When planning a UW Tacoma faculty-led study abroad program, consider the timing, duration, and staffing of your program. The information below is a summary of the key requirements and policies for the program planning stage.

Program dates

  • For your program to be financial aid-eligible for students, the dates of instruction must conform to the dates of the UW academic calendar.
  • Programs must begin and end within +/- 7 days of the quarter in which the program is offered. If you are planning to propose a hybrid study abroad program that includes on-campus coursework, please check with OGA about possible dates.
  • Consult the UW Academic Calendar to establish program dates.
  • The “start date” is the day students arrive in program housing.
  • The “end date” is the day students check out of their program housing (and not the last day/night in program housing).

Additional considerations for short-term programs:

  • Summer A and B term programs must have at least 28 days of summer instruction, including time abroad and in UW classrooms.
  • Exploration Seminars are offered during early fall (the period between the end of summer quarter and the beginning of autumn quarter). They must include at least 21 days of early fall instruction, including time abroad and in UW classrooms. 

Rome Center programs

Program dates (UW Rome Center)

  • UW Rome Center programs must start and end on a weekday and cannot start on Italian or major American holidays.
  • Programs must end on a weekday that is not a Monday and that is not an Italian holiday.
  • Program Directors must arrive at least one day before and stay one day after program dates and be present on the days students arrive and depart.

Program Director housing (UW Rome Center)

  • Program director housing cost covered by program is based on accommodation of single faculty member ($114-$155/night); any extra costs incurred due to special housing needs will be billed personally.
  • Apartment costs – both in the UWRC and off site – are based on single/double occupancy; additional guests may incur an extra charge.
  • Under Italian law, all apartment occupants must be declared to the local police. If you will have overnight guests, the UWRC must be notified in advance.
  • Faculty and student lodging is arranged by Rome Center staff and through approved local providers only. This is to ensure landlords’ compliance with Italian legal requirements.  Program directors should not arrange their own housing.

Program leadership

  • All programs must have two responsible leaders, both of whom must be UW (Tacoma) employees (temporary or permanent).
  • The program director is the primary lead and contact for the program and must be UW (Tacoma) faculty. Faculty must be responsible for creating the syllabus, meeting student learning objectives, and evaluating/grading students.
  • The second leader can be UW (Tacoma) faculty or staff with either a permanent or temporary UW appointment.
  • Where there are two UW faculty leaders, roles should be clearly defined as either co-directors or primary and secondary leads.
  • If the program has more than 30 students participating, the expectation is that three UW (Tacoma) employees accompany the program.


  • All UW program leaders must have an active UW appointment for the duration of the program.
  • Faculty with 9-month appointments who want to lead a summer or Early Fall program should work with their home department to gain an active appointment for the full program dates.


  • The following guidelines apply to program leader salaries that are charged to the program budget administered by UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs.
  • If program leader salaries are paid by an academic unit or department on campus (and do not appear on the program budget), program leaders should work with their home unit to determine salaries.
  • All salaries should be approved by the program leader’s home department/college.
  • Salary will be paid within the pay periods that correspond to the program term.

Autumn, winter, spring (10 weeks)

Summer quarter (8 weeks)

Short-term (Sum A, Sum B, Early Fall)

UW faculty

up to 3 months of salary

up to 2.5 months of salary

up to 1.5 months of summer salary

UW staff

up to 2.5 months of salary

up to 2 months of salary

up to 1 month of salary

*Where salary is included in the program budget, the appropriate Benefits Load should be included corresponding to the appointment.

Salary notes:

  • In many cases, sponsoring departments support programs by allowing the program director to remain on salary during the term abroad. This can cut down immensely on instructional costs, which are borne by students.
  • UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs will work with your department administrator to set up payroll.
  • All salaries incorporated into the program budget must include a line item for the correct Benefits Load for your UW appointment. This line item is already included in the budget template.

Additional compensation

As long as these expenses can be sustained by the program budget, program leaders are eligible for the following forms of compensation in addition to salary:


You must book the lowest economy, round trip airfare from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport to the program site for the approximate program dates.


  • The program can pay for reasonable in-country accommodations, comparable in comfort and quality to student housing.
  • It should be relatively close to the student housing, or easily accessible by public transportation.
  • Program leaders can include up to 7 days of additional housing to the program budget for pre/post program work, if the budget allows.

In-country travel expenses

  • In-country travel expenses and program-related activities (e.g. field trips and excursions) may be included in the program budget.

Per diem

  • You may budget a daily per diem of up to 35% of the posted State Department ‘Meals & Incidentals’ Per Diem for the program site. The per diem is designed to cover all of your meals and incidentals during the study abroad program.
  • Program leaders can include up to 7 days of additional per diem to the program budget for pre/post program work, if the budget allows.
  • The per diem is paid out of student program fees, so we expect program leaders be as frugal as possible with dining choices.
  • In the event of low enrollment, your program manager may first look to reduce per diem expenses before cutting elements of the program that are key to student learning.

Program Director pre-departure workshops

  • Attendance at pre-departure workshops is required.
  • These workshops explain the UW-wide and UW Tacoma specific resources and supports available to you while overseas, and include information about pre-departure orientations for students, managing the program budget and finances, program assessment, review and reflection tools, managing group dynamics, and handling emergency situations.

Student participation and housing

Students are expected to participate in every course, activity, and field trip outlined in the program syllabus and articulated by the program directors. They must stay in the student housing arranged by the program. Exceptions related to housing:

  • Students with special housing needs due to physical differences or abilities.
  • Students who wish to bring a spouse and/or children with them. If a student brings a child with them, the student must arrange for childcare during program activities.

Students who wish to petition to opt out of the designated program housing should request this in writing to the program director and UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs at the time of acceptance into the study abroad program. The request must be approved by both the program director and UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Students from other universities will need to enroll at UW Tacoma as non-matriculated (non-degree seeking) students in order to be eligible to apply to and receive credit for a UW Tacoma study abroad program. The application fee when applying as a non-matriculated student is waived for study abroad programs. Please contact the Office of Global Affairs for further details. Non-matriculated students who have not yet earned a high school diploma or equivalent cannot study abroad on our programs.


  • Depending on the length, timing, and format of the program, there are multiple options for the number of credits a program can offer.
  • The sponsoring academic department and college should ultimately determine and approve final allotments for the number of credits.

Duration and credit models currently available for UW study abroad programs:



Aut, Win, Spr, Sum

12-18 credits

Sum A or Sum B

6 credits

Sum A or Sum B Intensive

12 credits

Exploration Seminars

5 credits


  • Following the same schedule used for classes taught on campus, grades are due to UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs by the first Monday after the end of the quarter in which the program was offered.
  • Please plan your courses and assignments so that you are able to report grades by the deadline.
  • Late grade submission may affect student eligibility for financial aid or graduation.
  • Grades for all summer programs (sum A, sum B and summer quarter-long programs) are due at the end of summer quarter.
  • Grades for Exploration Seminars (early fall) are due at the end of autumn quarter.

Self-sustaining programs

  • Faculty-led programs are self-sustaining and must generate enough revenue to cover the projected expenses.
  • If the program does not meet minimum enrollment as defined by the program budget, the program may be cancelled due to financial insolvency.
  • The decision to cancel a program due to low enrollment will be made in consultation with UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs, the program director, and the sponsoring department.

Surplus and deficit policy

  • All programs are required to maintain a Program Reserve equal to 4% of the budgeted program expenses.
  • Programs ending with a surplus of over $300/per student as a result of lower than anticipated program costs will refund students the overpaid amount in excess of $300.
  • 50% of any surplus that is a result of higher than anticipated enrollment will be re-directed at the discretion of the Executive Director of Global Affairs to promote new program development, provide student scholarships, or to contribute to a Global Emergency Fund.
  • 50% of any surplus that is a result of higher than anticipated enrollment will be retained by the program for the following year.
  • Programs ending with a deficit of $5,000 or less are required to incorporate the deficit into the next year’s budget and program fee calculation.
  • Programs with a deficit of more than $5,000 may be suspended until there is a clear and effective plan in place agreed upon by the chair/dean and the UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs to eliminate the deficit. Programs with deficits that are not renewed are required to have a plan to cover deficits. The plan will be agreed upon by the chair/dean and the UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs.
  • Deficits may also be paid down by other revenue sources per a dean/director/chair’s request.

Field advances

  • In order to manage on-site expenses, program directors must be eligible to receive a field advance and should be in good financial standing with the UW.
  • As a custodian of UW funds, program directors will be responsible for accounting for those funds according to UW policies and procedures.
  • Program directors may be held responsible for unapproved or inappropriate expenses or use of funds.
  • Field advance custodians who do not account for funds in a timely manner may not be eligible for future field advances.

Family Members

If program directors are accompanied by spouses and/or children, they cannot participate in the official program activities, and none of the program budget can be used to pay for family members’ expenses.

Student Evaluations and Re-entry Programming

The UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs will administer standardized student evaluations upon completion of your study abroad program. We also strongly encourage faculty program directors to work with OGA on re-entry programming for students; this will help students integrate their study abroad experience with learning on campus.