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The deadlines listed in the Colby portal all pertain to our internal application process at Colby and may not be the same as the deadlines for your external applications. 

Generally, the timeline/flow of the process follows this pattern: 

  1. By Nov. 15 — students submit statement of intent 
  2. Between Nov. 15 and Feb. 20 — students research and select program(s) 
  3. By Feb. 20 — students submit Application for Approval and Advisor Approval Form
  4. After Feb. 20 — students receive approval from OCS
  5. After approval — students studying abroad next fall apply to programs during the spring semester (before program/institutional deadlines), students studying abroad next spring should apply to their programs over the summer (even if the deadlines aren’t until the fall semester) 

There are a few exceptions where the EXTERNAL deadline for a program or university is before our INTERNAL deadline of Feb. 20. In these cases, students can submit their external applications before they receive approval from Colby. However, their ultimate participation in their off-campus semester is contingent on obtaining approval from Colby/OCS by submitting their Application for Approval and Advisor Approval Form by Feb. 20 as well. 

An additional note is that many programs have rolling admissions policies.  Even for ones that do not, our advice is that is always better to apply early, well in advance of the deadlines. This can impact not only your admission, but also access to specific courses and housing options. 


There are three types of petitions OCS receives and reviews. 

  1. Petitions for non-approved programs
  2. GPA petitions (for students who have a GPA below a 2.7 but higher than a 2.5) 
  3. Petitions for modification of the language requirement (remember the language policy?) 

For any student who is interested in submitting a petition, the first step is to make an advising appointment with OCS to discuss your case. At or after that appointment, OCS will send you the materials/instructions for how to complete the petition. All petitions are due on February 20th along with the Application for Approval and your Advisor Approval Form. 

Additional information about all petitions can also be referred to in the OCS Handbook.