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Language and Culture Experiential Guidelines

Language and Culture Requirement

All College of Science majors must demonstrate an understanding of another culture in addition to their own. Students may meet this core degree requirement in several ways including completion of an approved Study Abroad experience. Such an experience will either meet the nine-credit Language and Culture requirement (Pre-Fall 2023 catalog terms), or waive six credits of the requirement (Fall 2023 catalog terms and forward).

To secure approval, a study abroad experience must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Take place outside the United States and meet one of the following program requirements: 
    • Approved semester or year-long Study Abroad program
    • Summer program of at least seven and a half weeks duration
    • Approved short-term study abroad program (minimum eight (8) days containing a minimum 3-credit course and significant immersion in the local culture)
    • Purdue Summer Internship Program
    • College of Education Maymester in Tanzania Study Abroad Program
  • Include a minimum three (3) credits of coursework or research
  • Include significant immersion in the local culture and language independent of any US-based program in which the student may be participating

Students wishing to use an approved study abroad program to meet the Language and Culture requirement must complete the below process steps.

  1. Documentation Process
    • Students will work with their Academic Advisor to:
      • Determine the appropriateness of a study abroad experience in relation to intended outcomes of the Foreign Language and Culture requirement, degree requirements and desired degree completion date, and
      • Complete the experiential learning contract process.
  2. Contract Process
    • Students must complete and submit the following documents to request approval of their study abroad experience:
      • Completed and signed Experiential Learning Contract 
      • Submission of a statement supporting the use of a study abroad experience to meet the Foreign Language and Culture requirement. The statement should address the criteria listed above. Statements should be sent to

  3. Final Approval Process
    • Students are required to submit a reflection paper (minimum four double-space pages) using the Study Abroad Reflection Paper Guidelines.
    • Students are highly encouraged to complete a review of the guidelines before and during the study abroad experience to be sure documentation and information is readily available for construction of the reflection paper.
    • All documentation should be sent to the College of Science Undergraduate Advising Office, Young Hall, 6th Floor, 155 S Grant St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 or emailed to


Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

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