Traveling Scholar FAQ

Traveling Scholar FAQ

Which Big Ten Academic Alliance universities participate in the program?

All Big Ten Academic Alliance member institutions participate in the program. The University of Chicago also participates in the program.

Is there a deadline to apply?

Yes. Students are advised to apply at least six weeks prior to the start of the intended course at the host institution.

How many semesters or terms can I be a Traveling Scholar?

Students are allowed to participate in the program up to two semesters or three quarters. The following two Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions are on the quarter system: University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

Do I have to pay the host institution for any other fees?

Yes. Traveling Scholars have to pay the same additional fees that the home campus students must pay, i.e., health, library, recreational, housing etc. The host campus' Traveling Scholar Contact will inform you of what will be required.

Can I use the program in the summer, too?

Yes. Many students use the Traveling Scholar Program during the summer term(s).

Can I use the Traveling Scholar Program to enroll in distance courses delivered online or by videoconference?

Traveling Scholars physically attend courses at another Big Ten Academic Alliance campus. This may require relocating to another community for the duration of the term of instruction.

Can I use the program to participate on a Big Ten Academic Alliance-sponsored study abroad program?

It may be possible to apply as a Traveling Scholar on a Big Ten Academic Alliance study abroad program but this may not always be feasible. Please contact the host campus' Study Abroad Office for exact details.

Also, most study abroad programs have deadlines that are 60-90 days before the program departs, so when applying for Traveling Scholar Program AND study abroad, you need to follow the earlier deadline for the study abroad program as opposed to the Traveling Scholar Program deadline.  Traveling Scholars on study abroad programs will be required to pay the host campus for the various application fees and deposits when they are due. Moreover, the host Study Abroad Office may make payments and financial commitments on your behalf in the host country prior to departure, thus you will be held responsible for withdrawal and/or cancellations fees and other non-recoverable costs should you cancel before or during the programPlease contact the host campus' Study Abroad Office for exact details.

After I return from the host campus, how do my grades get recorded?

The host campus' Traveling Scholar Contact will arrange for a grade sheet or transcript to be sent to your home campus' Traveling Scholar Contact who will make sure that your home transcript is updated with your TSP experience. All credit translations (semester-to-quarter credit or vice versa) will be calculated by your home university's registrar.

What are the admissions steps?

First you should obtain permission from your home advisor as well as the instructor at the host campus. Then you can complete the short online application form on the Traveling Scholar Program web page. You will need to know the name and email address of your faculty advisor and department head as well as the general course description or name of the course you are interested in before you can FINALIZE your application. You are allowed to return to your application as many times as you like before you FINALIZE the application. Once your application is FINALIZED, it begins the six-step approval process. Please inform your faculty advisor and department head that you have applied, so they are prepared to receive communications related to the approval process. 

Once I FINALIZE my online application, what happens then?

A six-step approval process securing signatures from your faculty advisor and department head as well as other signatures at both the host and home institution will be follow. Once all six electronic signatures are positively procured you will receive a email notification outlining next steps.

What if I am rejected?

Sometimes rejections occur. They are usually due to such reasons as the course you are interested in is very popular and is over-subscribed by host campus students or certain "summer institute" courses are operated with grant funds or on a cost-recovery basis which means that they can not operate without receiving tuition from each participant. So in this latter case, you may apply directly to the summer institute as a full-paying student.

What if I want to withdraw my application?

Applications may be withdrawn at any time and for any reason and students are welcome to re-apply at a later date. If you need to withdraw your application, contact your home Traveling Scholar Contact who will in turn withdraw your application or contact your host Traveling Scholar Contact to do so.

What is the Big Ten Academic Alliance Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement for Graduate and Post Baccalaureate Professional Students?

It is a Big Ten Academic Alliance library borrowing privileges arrangement between the Big Ten Academic Alliance member schools. As a Traveling Scholar, you will be eligible to receive library access per the Big Ten Academic Alliance agreement. See the details or speak to the Head of Circulation Department on your home campus.

What if I do not know my host faculty advisor?

Please check with the host department for your host faculty advisor name and contact information. Do not list a TA or GA contact information in this section of your application, as the host faculty advisor needs to be a faculty member. If a faculty member has not yet been assigned to your particular course, leave it blank and the Host Traveling Scholar Contact will add that to your application once that information is available.