The Independent Scholar Option (ISO)
Through the Independent Scholar Option (ISO), Tulane students may propose to study abroad for a year or semester through a university or program that has not been pre-approved by the Tulane Study Abroad Committee. The ISO review process is highly-selective, requiring a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA, a well-articulated academic statement highlighting the proposed study, service, internship, and/or research experience, a faculty letter of recommendation that articulates the student’s ability to successfully complete their proposed ISO, and final approval by TSAC (Tulane Study Abroad Committee).
ISO Petition Procedures & Deadlines:
ISO applications are reserved for highly motivated students who are able to articulate a particular reason why their study, service, internship, and/or research could not be met by our current pre-approved programs on our website. Before submitting an ISO application, students are required to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss how to select a program likely to meet the academic expectations of the Tulane Study Abroad Committee.
After meeting with a study abroad advisor, students may begin an ISO application. As students prepare this application they should consult with their academic advisor and a faculty mentor in their major field of study. This faculty mentor will also write a letter of recommendation that outlines how the proposed ISO program will meet the student’s academic plan.
Students will be notified of approval/non-approval at the same time as all other study abroad applicants and will be expected to follow all of the steps indicated for students accepted to any study abroad program. Students whose ISO applications are not approved will be invited to submit an application for an approved Newcomb-Tulane Study Abroad Program.
All Tulane study abroad policies and procedures outlined on this web site apply to students who participate in ISO Programs. Students remain enrolled at Tulane during their time abroad, and retain Tulane financial aid and scholarships, as outlined in the policies section of this web site.
A Note About Successful ISO Petitions:
The ISO is an opportunity to pursue a unique intellectual interest, not duplicate existing Newcomb-Tulane program offerings. Given the breadth and variety of Newcomb-Tulane options in the UK, Ireland, Australia, as well as Anglophone Africa and Asia, proposals for work conducted solely in English are discouraged unless a compelling academic need exists. Proposals for study in countries where the spoken language is offered at Tulane must include a demonstration of appropriate preparation at Tulane (see policy on Language and Culture Coursework).
Tulane students may not petition to go on a CIEE program as an ISO. For CIEE programs not listed on our website students may apply via the CIEE General Program Application
Transcripts and Credits:
All students studying on ISO programs are responsible for completing a course load equivalent to a full course load at Tulane, and having an official transcript of their work sent promptly to the OSA. All credits earned will be posted on the Tulane transcript (see “Academic Policies” for further details).”