Office of International Programs

Criteria for Faculty Proposals


UTPA Courses taken overseas must adhere to the same high standards of content, delivery, and assessment as courses taught on campus. Courses should take advantage of the program locale and enable students to connect with unique aspects of the foreign culture and society of the nation and the region. Proposed excursions or field trips must have relevance to the course. Enhancing the academic experience of student participants is the primary purpose of these programs; therefore, faculty research should take place only in programs where students participate in, and contribute to, the research project. Applicants should articulate the ways that their proposed program maintains academic integrity.


The safety and security of students and faculty is of primary importance in developing and administering programs abroad. For this reason, OIP does not support programs in areas of the world listed on the STATE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL WARNING LIST (see http://travel.state.gov/travel). The safety and security of all proposed programs and excursion locations are assessed by OIP before approval and throughout the program cycle.


Cost is one of the top barriers to studying abroad for UTPA students. The program cost must not be prohibitive to students. All UTPA study abroad programs aim to provide the highest quality at the lowest cost, therefore potential program costs are considered during the review process.


Study abroad programs are intended to provide greater access and opportunities for UTPA students, both undergraduate and graduate. The goal is to offer a broad variety of study abroad programs which reflect the diversity of the student body on campus, including ethnic groups, departments and colleges. Applicants should show their program will appeal to a diverse pool of students.


A successful proposal includes not only the elements above, but also several factors that make it likely for the program to recruit the minimum number of participants. Courses are evaluated on the likelihood of successful programs in the following manner: relevance of the academic topic, the required number of students, reasonable cost to implement the program, a clear vision of the program itself (how the location connects to course content and can best be utilized to maximize students’ experiences abroad).


Applicants may wish to include a summary of their history in leading study abroad programs and explain why their expertise will enhance the students’ experience. They may also include information about similar programs successes in prior years. This may be especially important as Chairs and Deans must weigh course and salary costs when evaluating proposed programs.

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