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Study Abroad

Become a citizen of the world! Computer Science majors are allowed and encouraged to study abroad for a semester or even a whole year. The Office of International Programs (OIP) manages study abroad programs. See the Study Abroad Program page for specific information.

Planning Your Study Abroad

If you hope to study abroad, it's best to start planning early. Some upper-level computer science courses are only offered during either the fall or spring, so going abroad during one of these semesters effectively means you cannot take the course during that calendar year. In general, both OIP and the Computer Science Department try to be as flexible as possible in approving your curriculum, but planning ahead is essential.

Course Credit

Courses taken abroad usually count towards your overall Princeton course requirements (31 courses for AB and 36 for BSE). They can also replace Computer Science departmentals in some cases if approved by the Computer Science departmental representative. However, at most two courses may count towards your eight departmentals. One course may count towards the three departmental/track distribution areas (theory, systems, applications). One course may count as a non-track departmental course.

Note: This section applies to 2023 and 2024;  the rules are different for the classes of 2025 and beyond, paralleling the changes in COS requirements for 2025 and beyond. 

For 2025 and beyond, the five core courses (240, systems, theory, AI/ML, breadth) must be taken at Princeton.  Up to two Study Abroad courses can count as COS elective departmentals, if approved as sufficiently similar to Princeton COS electives. See the FAQ for more details.

Once you have decided on a study abroad program or university, bring your course information to Brian Kernighan, Director of Undergraduate Studies, to approve. 

You can study abroad for a full year as well, but this is more complicated, mainly because you have to find a larger number of technical courses that can count as departmentals.

COS Independent Work Abroad

If you have independent work requirements (e.g., for AB juniors), you will need to find a faculty adviser here, either as the direct adviser or as someone to assess work done for someone at the far end. Students studying abroad have the same deliverables and deadlines as students completing independent work on campus. If you have questions about completing your independent work while studying abroad, please contact Mikki Hornstein, Independent Work Administrator.

Other Considerations

Study abroad comes in several flavors, each with a distinct application process. Please visit the OIP webpage to learn about the different types of programs available.

We strongly recommend that you meet with a Study Abroad Adviser with whom you can discuss your academic goals and personal interests, and who can help you find a study abroad program that meets your needs.

Princeton Computer Science Majors have studied abroad recently at:


Brian Kernighan is the director of undergraduate studies for pre-majors, non-majors, and study abroad. Schedule an appointment with him to review your plan after talking with OIP.

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