Non-UM Programs


**Last updated on January 24, 2023. Spring 2024 non-UM study abroad petitions are now being reviewed.** 

Effective Fall 2021, the non-UM program fee is $1,000.  

Participation in an independent (non-UM) study abroad program is VOLUNTARY. UM does not endorse study abroad programs not affiliated with the university. Students are encouraged to use prudent independent judgment before enrolling in any kind of non-affiliated program abroad. It is the students’ responsibility to do thorough research on their study abroad program, to verify whether the credits will transfer, to obtain all necessary approvals, and to confirm that they will be maintaining their continuing student status at UM. Students are ultimately responsible for understanding the various ways in which participating in a non-UM program can impact them during their time away from UM as well as the semester of their return to the university; this includes - but is not limited to:

  • housing preference & seniority

  • financial aid & payment of fees
  • credit transfer & degree progress

UM Study Abroad staff do not advise on any aspect of non-UM programs, including the safety/quality of non-UM programs, the application process for non-UM programs, the COVID-19 related protocols and requirements for non-UM programs, or the travel requirements for non-UM programs.  UM is unable to offer support, travel assistance, or financial assistance to students studying on non-UM programs.



The University of Miami invests considerable time, effort, and resources in the creation of University of Miami study abroad programs consistent with the needs of its students, with University standards, and educational objectives.

Students interested in a semester program abroad that is not listed on the UM Study Abroad website can petition the Study Abroad office for permission to participate in a program offered through another university or third-party provider. Students interested in a non-UM program over the summer are not required to submit a petition, and should proceed to the Suggested Steps listed below.

In their petition, students must provide a valid academic reason for pursuing a non-UM semester program. Students must demonstrate that the non-UM program meets an academic need that a UM program does not, drawing specific examples of the academic merit and rigor of the non-UM program.  A successful explanation will demonstrate a compelling reason why a UM program will not serve the student's academic needs. Neither program cost or missing a UM program deadline are valid academic reasons and petitions made on these grounds will not be successful. 

The written explanation must be submitted via email to with the subject line “Petition to Study Abroad on Non-UM Program” or brought in person to the Study Abroad office (Dooly Memorial Suite 125), along with the completed Studying through a Non-UM Program form. (Course equivalencies do not need to have signatures at this stage, but the courses the student plans to take and seek equivalencies for do need to be listed).  You may submit ONE petition per program; multiple petitions for the same program will not be accepted. Decisions on these petitions will be made by the Assistant Dean & Director of Study Abroad in consultation with the Dean of Undergraduate Education.

Petitions will be reviewed on a rolling basis so early submissions are encouraged. 

Important information to review:

The petition process will determine if a program is eligible for UM credit, but does not guarantee specific credits. The process for non-UM programs is only for students who wish to transfer credit to UM for their program.

Students may not study abroad on non-UM programs in locations:

Transfer credits for non-UM programs abroad will be awarded only for pre-approved programs and upon evaluation from an approved credit evaluator (at the student's expense). Students approved to study on a non-UM program are not eligible for UM institutional funding or financial aid while abroad. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment for more information.

Petition Process Tips:

  • Use clear, descriptive language to state why this non-UM program is the best academic fit for you
  • Include why UM study abroad programs will not work for you academically

Petitions are unlikely to be successful if:

  • Your petition does not include sufficient, compelling reasoning related to academics
  • Your petition is based solely on location, or other factors apart from academics (cost, missing UM program deadlines)
  • Your petition does not mention why UM programs will not work for you academically
  • Your petition includes incorrect or inaccurate information

Comparison between Non-UM and UM programs:

UM non-UM comparison chart


Suggested Steps

  1. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your study abroad plans and determine which course requirements you may fulfill abroad. If non-UM program would take place during your last 45 credits at UM, ask about residency requirement waiver process for your school/college.
  2. Research program options. Make sure there are no UM program options that meet your academic needs. Review the differences between a UM program and non-UM program above. You may wish to consult the following websites; however, credits earned on the programs listed are not automatically transferrable and there is no guarantee that UM will accept credit from every program listed on these sites.
  3. Read the note below and choose a program. You must ensure that upon completion of the program, the university or program will provide the University of Miami approved credit evaluator an official transcript from an accredited university showing grades and credits. You should find out the date the program will send the transcript. If your transcript is delayed, your graduation plan and financial aid package may be affected upon return to UM.
  4. Complete page 3 of the Studying through a Non-UM Program form (the form) in its entirety. Also complete the courses you plan to take abroad and the UM equivalents on pages 4 and 5; signatures do not need to be obtained on these pages at this point in the process.
  5. Submit the form and petition to the Study Abroad office for review. The form must be complete, including the name of the institution issuing the transcript. The Study Abroad Office is not responsible for determining which institution is issuing the transcript. If it is possible for UM to accept transfer credit from the institution issuing the transcript based on their accreditation, the Study Abroad Office representative will sign the form if the petition is approved. The signature does not represent confirmation that UM will accept transfer credit or course equivalencies from the institution. The final transcript from the program will be subject to interpretation and approval by an approved credit evaluator.
  6. Apply directly to your program. UM is not involved in this step.
  7. Get courses approved on the Non-UM Programs Course Equivalency Form (pages 4 – 5 of the form). You must visit the academic department of each course for which you seek a UM course equivalency. You are advised to obtain more course equivalencies than you need in order to give you flexibility with your final course schedule. To ensure transfer credit, you must obtain a course equivalency for each course taken abroad. The credit value of courses taken abroad is determined by an approved credit evaluator, not by an advisor. A course listed abroad for 3 credits may not be equivalent to a 3 credit course at UM.
  8. Request approval of your form from the Academic Dean’s office for your school or college. Your school or college may require additional documentation. If your proposed study abroad program falls within the last 45 credits of your study, you must appeal the residency requirement through your school or college. The approval process takes time, so you are encouraged to start early and be patient.
  9. Pick up the form from your Academic Dean’s office. Make a copy of the complete form for yourself.
  10. Submit the form to the Office of the Registrar according to the date listed in the academic calendar. The Office of the Registrar will process the form and charge a $1,000 fee to your student account for the term you are abroad. By submitting the form to the Registrar, you will remain in Non-UM Program - Active Status while abroad. This form must be submitted for each semester you are away. You do not need to submit the form to the Registrar for summer programs, but you are highly encouraged to complete the form to ensure that the credit you earn is eligible to be transferred to UM. (Credit transfer cannot be guaranteed.) The $1,000 fee is not charged for summer programs. Students with extenuating circumstances and/or financial hardship may be considered for a reduced fee.
  11. Pay the Non-UM program fee (only for fall or spring programs) according to the appropriate UM semester payment deadline.
  12. Request a transcript from your program to be mailed to an approved credit evaluator.  The evaluation and transcript should then be sent to the address below for inclusion in your UM record:
    University of Miami, Admission
    PO Box 249117
    Coral Gables, FL 33124-2952
    Make sure to add the locator code (2952) to facilitate its arrival!

    Electronic transcripts/evaluations can be sent to