The Research Abroad Program is a competitive fellowship subject to a rigorous selection process.


  • 2.7 GPA
  • Appropriate academic preparation
  • Research methods course or equivalent research methods background
  • Personal readiness and independence
  • All Majors &  Juniors 
  • Exceptional sophomores may apply
  • Degree-seeking students returning to campus
  • Students may be neither on academic or disciplinary probation nor under investigation for violations which may result in probation between application and departure
  • Students who earn a grade of D or F in any course in the semester preceding research abroad are ineligible for research abroad

Duration of Projects

Projects are conducted for eight to ten weeks during the summer.  The project must be completed within the research abroad program deadlines. 

Location Restrictions

Normally, students may not return to their home country/city; projects must constitute a new intellectual experience. Occidental prohibits travel to regions within countries with Department of State Travel Advisory ratings of 3 (reconsider travel) or 4 (do not travel). Additional policy and procedure applies.

Joint Projects

Occasionally, the International Programs Committee has approved projects conducted by pairs of students. However in these exceptional cases, each student must have clearly defined, equal and independent roles vital to the project. Each student should submit a proposal and final paper. Students interested in pursuing a joint project abroad should make an appointment with an advisor in International Programs to discuss their proposal ideas.

Faculty Supervisors

The faculty supervisor is essential to a successful proposal. Students should identify a faculty supervisor early. Generally, adjunct faculty do not supervise summer research abroad projects.  Students should develop a working plan with their supervisor at the start of the academic year. All comments from the International Programs Committee will be forwarded to both the student and faculty supervisor. Students applying for the independent research track should maintain a supervisor meeting log during the proposal process and submit this with their final proposal. A recommendation from the faculty supervisor is required as part of the final proposal.


Richter scholars are fully funded by the Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trust. This includes transportation, housing, meals, visas, and program expenses.

Financial Aid

Successful fellowship recipients with high financial need (as determined by the Financial Aid Office) will receive summer compensatory earnings. The Financial Aid Office determines the amount students are expected to earn working during the summer. International Programs communicates with Financial Aid about the amount students are to be awarded and that amount is credited to the Occidental student account by the first day of classes. Students not on financial aid are ineligible to receive summer compensatory earnings.

Obligations and Deadlines

The fellowship requires that the project must be completed within the research abroad program deadlines. Research reports, expense reports and receipts are due to International Programs in September. The full amount of the fellowship will be charged to the student account of any student who fails to submit his/her reports and receipts by that deadline and no credit will be awarded.

Students are expected to share their Richter experiences with the Oxy community through presentation, Digital Crossroads Media Wall, and student panels. Students will present their findings at the Undergraduate Research Conference in the summer upon their return. Additionally, students are expected to submit dispatches or projects to the Digital Crossroads during their time abroad. Finally, all Richter scholars should be willing to mentor future Richter scholars through panels or individual meetings. 


Students are subject to the College Policy and Procedure on Academic Ethics and Misconduct and the Student Code of Conduct. Any student who is involuntarily withdrawn from the research abroad program for disciplinary reasons may be required to return the full amount of the fellowship to the College.

Two Credit Independent Study for Research Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to pursue an optional two-credit independent study for research abroad with their faculty supervisor during the fall or spring semester prior to proposed research. The independent study for research abroad will contribute to the student's ability to demonstrate appropriate academic preparation for the fellowship.  Please refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website for information regarding Independent Study.

Contact International Programs
McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, Johnson 102