International Program Proposal Submission Guidelines


The CFANS Office of International Programs is excited to once again collaborate with the Learning Abroad Center and offer you an enhanced online proposal process with one application for all instructor-led program models abroad. During the proposal process, you will have the option to indicate if you would prefer to have your program run by the CFANS Office of International Programs or by the Learning Abroad Center.

Before you start, please take a look at the following links and information resources that will help you develop a strong proposal.

Program models 

Leading a group of students abroad is a professionally rewarding experience! More than 150 University of Minnesota faculty and staff have taught undergraduate and graduate students in an international setting. Students and program leaders alike find the experience to be a highlight of their academic and professional careers. 

Following please find all the information about our multiple program models designed to help you develop unique learning opportunities. 

Freshman Seminar Abroad

Global Seminar

Create Your Own

Global Campus Partner  *This program model is coordinated by CFANS Program Directors Maggie Wallenta and Jill Reister

If you aren't sure which program type is best for your program, you can indicate this in your application and we can work with you to find the best match.  

Developing a successful proposal

As highlighted during our program development workshop, we expect you to develop your course to foster intercultural development, and align with curricular requirements such as the experiential learning experience, interdisciplinary, and UMN liberal education requirements as well as major requirements. 

Your syllabus should include a day-by-day itinerary of your scheduled activities and academic content.  During our workshop, the Office of Undergraduate Education recommended a detailed account of the hours engaged in academic learning as part of your itinerary to ensure that the number of contact hours fits with university policy and supports the fulfillment of the LE learning outcomes.  Please keep this in mind.  As before, the letter of support should come from your department head.  And lastly, please submit details about a promotion plan statement.  

The new Embedded course model

CFANS is encouraging returning and new program leaders to consider making their program an embedded program.  This means that there will be some required on-campus coursework, typically during the B-term of spring or fall semester. There are many benefits to leading an embedded program including student access to financial aid.  We are happy to talk with you about this option if you are interested.  

To Submit your Proposal

To submit program proposals, go to:

Please create an account, login, and submit proposals using your UMN login credentials (UMN email and password).  For those that have previously submitted proposals, your log in criteria should remain the same as last year.

Important Notes:

  • All parts of the proposal should be submitted directly in the portal
  • Information may be saved in draft format which allows you to make changes until you select submit
  • The portal allows for multiple submissions by one person
  • Text box fields can be easily resized by clicking on the bottom right corner of each box and dragging to resize. There is not a size limit.
  • If you already have a draft itinerary in a Word .doc/.docx table of chart, and you’d like to copy and paste text directly, copy and paste chart into a TextEdit or WordPad document to strip text of Word formatting. Copy and Paste back into Portal text boxes.
  • The CFANS Office of International Programs is seeking proposals by February 1, 2018 for instructor-led international programs that will run in academic year 2018-2019.  

Proposal Submission Process and Criteria

For those that have previously submitted program proposals, the criteria for submission for which you will be asked is similar to past years.  You ARE able to see everything that is asked of you within the proposal portal by clicking on the various tabs, without having to complete the preceding information. Required information is marked with a red asterisks. A final draft will not be able to be submitted until all required information is completed.

NOTE: The question mark boxes by some of the fields (ex. pictured below) provide additional directions/information. Hover your mouse arrow over the question marks and a box appears with the information.

 Program Proposal System  - Fields

You will be asked to submit information about the leader, program details and program model preferences, department/unit support (including a department head letter of support), co-leader information if applicable, academics (including, but not only, course number description, student assessment, draft itinerary), and intended audience and promotion plan. New this year is the option to upload a syllabus document with your proposal.

OUE Changes and Impact on Course Designators and Numbers 

Topics Courses:

As most are now aware, instructor-led learning abroad courses that have "Topics Course" numbers will no longer receive Liberal Education (LE) Requirements. They are now reviewed through the same process as all on-campus courses in regards to how many times a course can be run as a topics course and which courses are LE eligible.

Create a New, Unique Course Number:

Regardless of whether you previously used a topics course number for your program, used a non-topics course number for your program, or are submitting a new program proposal, you must work with your department/college to create a regular, non-topics course number and submit it to ECAS for approval for all LAC Seminar Series programs beginning Fall 2018.

Since new course number creation now follows the same process as on-campus course approval, this process should begin as soon as possible if it is not already underway for your course.  Once courses have been reviewed and approved at the collegiate level in ECAS, they should be routed to the Council on Liberal Education (CLE) for LE review. 

If your course has already been approved in ECAS, and for LE via the CLE, you do not need to do this again. If your syllabus changes significantly, it will require a new course number and will need to go through the approval process again.

Note: Outlined by the Office of Undergraduate Education, instructor-led learning abroad courses do not have to be reviewed by the Undergraduate Campus Curriculum Committee (CCC).

ECAS Learning Abroad Course Attribute:

There is now a learning abroad course attribute feature in ECAS. During the ECAS creation process, please select "Yes" for the question that asks, "Is any portion of this course taught outside of the United States?"

LE Review:

Beginning with programs running in fall 2018, the LE review process for these instructor-led programs will happen via ECAS once the unique course number is created and the syllabus is approved at the collegiate level.

While it is not required that your course be approved for an LE, it is expected that you write your course syllabus with an LE in mind for review.  As we noted during our program development workshop, study abroad should provide meaningful learning experiences and degree progress for students.  Most CFANS course abroad have carried at least one LE and this has helped students make degree progress and maximize their learning experience.


  • All instructor-led courses will now follow the on-campus LE review process via the CLE, including review for the Global Perspectives LE.
  • The Global Perspectives LE is no longer automatic if the course is 3+ weeks long and 3+ credits. It will need to be reviewed based on content, as are all other LEs.
  • Previously approved LEs, via Admissions review, will not carry forward for Fall 2018 and later programs.
  • Embedded courses were already being reviewed by the CLE prior to this, so this change is only for courses taught entirely abroad.

 Additionally, more information from OUE on LE and instructor-led courses can be found in the Liberal Education certification for U of M instructor-led learning abroad courses document.

LE Timeline:

Ideally the course review and approval in ECAS will happen before or in-tandem with the Program Proposal Review process, but could become finalized as late as April 2018. February 1, 2018 is the QUE deadline for Freshman Seminars on-campus to be reviewed for LE, and this aligns with our proposal deadline


We are happy to consult with you during the process, and look forward to seeing your proposal!