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Below please find information on a few programs that offer the chance to concentrate on a particular field of study. Courses successfully completed in these programs will receive transfer credit. Please note: Vassar institutional financial aid does not travel for those taking academic leaves of absence (LVAs). However, if you or your parents have received federal loans in prior years to help pay for the cost of education and wish to have these funds applied toward the cost of your LVA, you must complete a Financial Aid Budget Worksheet for Domestic/Exchange Programs before April 20th for Fall LVAs and October 20th for Spring LVAs.

"A Semester ALMOST Abroad" at the University of Hawaii, Manoa

ASAA program offers students the opportunity to study in an ethnically diverse environment which is reflected in the university population and academic offerings. Programs include Ethnic Studies, East Asian Languages and Literature, Geology and Geophysics, Oceanography, and Marine Biology. Also, the arts courses (Music and Theatre) have a distinctly Asian flavor.

Bard in New York City: Globalization and International Affairs Program

This program combines academic study at Bard Hall in the heart of Midtown Manhattan with internships at a variety of national and international government and non-government organizations and media centers.

Earlham College Border Studies Program

The study is spread among three areas: Tuscon, Arizona: Nogales, Arizona; and Nogales Sonora, Mexico. Students explore controversial issues related to immigration, human rights, the environment, public health, and the consequences of globalization. A minimum of two semesters of college Spanish is required. Students will live with families in both Arizona and Mexico and the families in Mexico will speak Spanish.


HECUA is an organization of 20 liberal arts colleges, universities, and associations dedicated to education for social justice. The organization runs academically rigorous off-campus study programs in the United States. HECUA programs address the most vital issues in neighborhoods, nations, and the world. The programs involve students in understanding and acting on those real-world issues, in real-time. HECUA programs are open to any enrolled undergraduate student from any college or university in the United States.

Semester in Environmental Science, Woods Hole

Spend a semester studying science at the world-renowned facilities of the Woods Hole Scientific Community. Students learn state-of-the-art techniques for measuring biogeochemical processes in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and then tackle an independent research project of their choice.

“Spring in New York” New York University

An opportunity to attend New York University for the spring semester and take classes in one of their undergraduate schools. Choose one of eight programs in your field with the flexibility to take one elective outside your approved area of study.

The Adirondack Semester

Live a semester as a resident explorer, entrepreneur, environmental scientist, poet, and policy advocate of the Adirondack Park, one of the largest protected landscapes in North America. Become absorbed and committed, and think bigger and work harder than you ever have to create intelligent solutions in a six-million-acre laboratory for wildlife, small-town communities, and recreation enthusiasts alike.

The ACM Chicago Program

The primary areas of emphasis in the program are Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Urban Studies – students have the opportunity to explore one of these topics in-depth or participate in classwork and projects across these disciplines. The program offers an innovative mix of academic work, including an internship, independent study project, common core course about the city of Chicago, and a variety of seminars focused on the arts and creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and urban studies and social justice. Students are able to explore the vital issues facing cities and the people who live and work in them while digging deeper to relate these issues to their personal lives, education, and career aspirations.

The SEA Semester, Woods Hole

The SEA Semester is a twelve-week program with two components. The Shore Component consists of students studying maritime policy, history, and literature, in addition to ship navigation and oceanography. The Sea Component comprises the second half of the program in which students put to sea for six weeks and design research projects that will be the focus of their work in addition to sailing the vessel.

The Shape of Two Cities: New York/Paris, Columbia University

The Shape of Two Cities Program is a year-long program of the study of architecture and urban planning and preservation in which students spend half their academic year in New York and the other half in Paris. It attracts students who are interested in art history and architecture, as well as urban planning.

The Trinity La MaMa Program

The Trinity La MaMa program is an intensive program that encompasses not only the artistic side of the theater but the practical and administrative side of operating a not for profit cultural institution. The program is based in New York, and students may select an internship from among the city’s brilliant and diverse theatrical and dance institutions.

Washington Semester Programs

American University

George Washington University

Washington Semester programs offer students from all over the world the chance to study how policy is made in the nation’s capital. This Program offers students an opportunity to focus their study in one of ten areas of specialization: American Politics, Economic Policy, Foreign Policy, International Business and Trade, International Environment and Development, Journalism, Justice, Peace and Conflict Resolution, American Public Law, and Transforming Communities. In addition to taking seminars in which the guest speakers include notable leaders and policy makers, students may select from an array of internships in their area of interest.

Petition to for Pre-Approved Domestic Programs