International Engineering Program

IEP Year Abroad Policies

Going abroad in the fourth year

The International Engineering Program curriculum is fully integrated so you can successfully complete the requirements of a B.S. in an engineering discipline alongside a B.A. in a foreign language, as well as a year of study and interning abroad, within five years. The curriculum is also set up to maximize student success both during the study/internship year, and when applying for jobs post-graduation.

In order to best achieve these goals, IEP students are required to spend their fourth year abroad, completing a mandatory semester of study at a partner university followed by a six-month internship in a company or research facility. Although some students may be allowed to go abroad in their fifth year, it is only in very few specific circumstances, as outlined in the valid exception list below, that a student may be approved to do so by their IEP director. See here for more on the rationale behind going abroad in the fourth year.

Valid exceptions

  1. Transfer students and others who joined IEP in sophomore year or those who changed their majors and need to catch up in language and engineering classes may be approved to go abroad in the fifth year.
  2. Students who fell behind in either engineering or language work and need to catch up on the minimum requirements to fulfill all third-year coursework may be approved to go abroad in the fifth year:
    • The IEP director might feel a student might benefit from an additional year to strengthen overall performance before s/he goes abroad and would therefore recommend s/he go abroad in the fifth year.
    • An engineering advisor who is concerned about sending a student abroad in order to ensure s/he is able to fulfill all requirements for the engineering degree might request a director approve s/he to go abroad in the fifth year.
  3. Members of a URI varsity team who signed up for four full years of a sport and would lose the fourth year with that team if they left URI may be approved to go abroad in the fifth year so they may finish their commitment to the team.
  4. Students who are ineligible to go in the fourth year because they need to work out their legal status (DACA and international students on green cards or other visa status) may be approved to go in the fifth year.
  5. Chinese Flagship students need to meet their proficiency requirements and selection criteria by the American Council (AC) before they are accepted to spend their capstone year abroad. This might happen in the fourth or fifth year.

Students seeking approval for one of the above exceptions must apply in writing at the end of their sophomore year to their IEP director who needs to approve their request.