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Faculty-Directed Program Development

Faculty members have a tremendous influence on their students’ learning and development.

In addition to encouraging their students in the classroom to explore educational experiences around the world, faculty and staff also have the opportunity to plan, create, and teach an education abroad program.

The Programs Abroad office staff is here to assist our colleagues who wish to establish new international education programs. We provide administrative and logistical support for all faculty-directed programs at UT. We work with faculty and staff to deliver faculty-directed programming to students in every college.

AY24-25 Program Registration is now OPEN! 

New Program Registration
Deadline: April 30, 2024

Renewal Program Registration
Priority Deadline: June 15, 2024
Standard Deadline: July 30, 2024

Please see more information in the menu below about target dates to start recruiting and more!

We’re committed to providing support throughout the process of proposing, developing, and implementing faculty-directed study abroad programs.

The Center for Global Engagement partners with study abroad organizations and universities across the globe. We work closely with these entities on the planning and execution of our faculty-directed programs. Student and faculty accommodations, excursions, classroom space, guest lectures, in-country transportation, and more can be arranged through these organizations. By leveraging our existing relationships with our international partners, we can greatly ease the logistical burden on program leaders so they can focus on delivering the academic content.

Faculty-directed programs can be offered during any regular academic terms on campus. While the majority of faculty-directed programs are 3 to 6 credit hours and are offered during mini-term and summer, you can embed a spring semester course with a spring break study abroad component or offer a 1-credit study abroad attachment to a spring semester course that runs in mini-term.

You can also design a program that incorporates service–learning, internships, or research experiences for students. Increasingly, student are interested in programs that offer experiences beyond the traditional study abroad program, and we are happy to work with faculty and staff to create programs that allow students to pursue these opportunities. Here are some example formats:


Short-term (2–3 weeks) Mid-length (3–8 weeks) Long-term (2–5 months)
Single-city deep dive with

cultural excursions

Lead your own course(s)


Enroll your students in courses

at host universities

Multi-city/multi-country itinerary Coursework supplemented by  guest lectures Individual service–learning  or internship placements
Group service–learning project Contract a local professor to

teach a customized course

Rotate faculty leaders to  create full course offering and create a sustainable program

NOTE: All academic credit-bearing study abroad programs must be administered by the Center for Global Engagement and follow established university policy governing academic programs abroad.

Some of the benefits of leading a faculty-directed program abroad include:

  • Expands your teaching profile;
  • Provides interaction with students in a more engaged and meaningful way than what typically occurs in large lecture classes;
  • Dovetails your own international research agenda with the delivery of a course abroad; and
  • Supports the university’s mission to graduate globally engaged citizens.

Faculty and staff who lead study abroad programs are compensated for their efforts. The level and type of compensation depends on program type and appointment level, but may include:

  • International airfare
  • Foreign housing costs
  • Foreign ground transportation costs
  • Per diem for meals
  • program leader salary (determined by college and contingent upon enrollment)

If you’re new to developing a faculty-directed program, here are some of the considerations you’ll think through with the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) as part of the development and registration process:

  • Program Details: program name, anticipated program locations (cities/countries), program summary, semester, preferred provider to coordinate services (excursions, lodging, transportation, meals).
  • Recruitment: Will your course(s) count toward a major or minor?  Will your course(s) count toward VolCore requirements? Do you plan to open the program to the general student body or will a cohort be individually selected? Do you have an estimated target enrollment number? Have you considered avenues which you will pursue to promote your program (social media, presentations, tabling, PAO fair, etc)?
  • Academic Details: Faculty-Directed Abroad Programs must be associated with academic credit. Have you established a course name(s) & number(s)? How many credit hours? Are there any course prerequisites? Will you be cross-listing the course? Does the course enroll many students on campus? Have you established the academic outcomes achieved by the abroad component?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Academic Standards for Faculty-Directed Programs
      • All hours counted toward the total instructional contact hours must occur during the designated term of instruction.
      • Per established university standards, there must be a minimum of 35 instructional contact hours (with an hour defined as 60 minutes) for a 3-credit course and 70 instructional contact hours for a 6-credit course.
      • Non-lecture instructional contact hours (e.g. field trips or site visits) may be counted toward the required number of instructional contact hours if the faculty program leader satisfactorily explains how these activities contribute to the learning objectives of the course(s).
      • Travel time may not be counted towards the required number of instructional contact hours.
      • There must be 1 non-instructional contact day per week in country (with a week defined as 7 days).
  • Logistical Details: Do you or does your department have established partnerships with faculty or institutions abroad? Are you wanting to leverage those partnerships? Do you anticipate utilizing a provider for all services (excursions, lodging, academic space, in-country transportation, meals, etc) or do you plan on booking certain program elements personally? What types of activities do you want your class to engage with while abroad? (Examples: guest lectures, industry/business visits, formal lectures, specific tours or local facilities, service learning, etc)
  • Financial Details: Is the department utilizing funds to support program leader expenses? Will your department contribute scholarship funds for participating students?  If yes, what is the source of these funds and how much? Do you have an estimated cost per student for accommodations and program logistics? Are you considering how students can apply their financial/aid scholarships to your program and how it may impact their aid?
  • Departmental Information: Who is the hosting department, department head, and fiscal officer?
  • Timeline and Enrollment Requirements 
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ideally, initial planning should begin 1.5-2 years prior to the term in which you want to lead the program. Programs that start the development process later than this will be at a disadvantage for obtaining all necessary campus approvals in time to allow for a full student recruitment period.
    • Programs must have enough enrolled students to cover each program leader’s/leaders’ costs and salary/salaries. If this minimum number is not reached, Programs may be canceled or expenses and salary prorated based on enrollment. The minimum required number of students depends on several factors including but not limited to program costs and program leader’s/leaders’ salary/salaries.
    • UTK has set minimum requirements for student participation in Faculty-Directed Programs, but Program Leaders may establish higher eligibility requirements. At minimum, participants must be in good academic and judicial standing with the University when

Interested in Developing a Program but not sure where or how to start? Complete this Interest Form to give Programs Abroad a general idea of the academic and programmatic foundations of your program so we can help you get started.

There is no deadline for this interest form, and it is designed for Program Leaders who are interested in planning a program in 2+ academic years from now.


Registration Deadline: Target Date to Start Recruiting:
April 30, 2024
All New Programs for All Terms, AY 2024-25
New program deadlines are designed to enable faculty to begin recruiting for their programs by the time students return to campus for the fall semester.NOTE: AY 2025-26 deadlines for new programs will be in early 2025, and deadlines will differ by term
August 19, 2024
Students return to campus for the fall semester​​​​​​​

The intent of this timeline is for faculty “hit the ground running” at the start of the semester, advertising their programs with the following resources:

  • Program Brochure in the VolsAbroad Portal, open for applications
  • Media kit that includes a branded social media post and print flier
  • Scheduled information sessions and classroom visits
  • Automatic registration for a table at the Fall VolsAbroad Fair

New Program Registration Link


Registration Deadline: Target Date to Start Recruiting:
Priority: June 15, 2024
Faculty who submit proposal materials by the priority deadline will be able to start recruiting for their programs when students return to campus for the fall semester.​​​​​​​

Standard: July 30, 2024
Faculty who submit proposal materials by the standard deadline will be able to start recruiting for their programs by the Fall VolsAbroad Fair date.
​​​​​​​August 19, 2024
Students return to campus for the fall semester




September 26, 2024
VolsAbroad Fall Fair Date


Renewal Program Registration Link

As you consider developing a faculty directed program, use the table below for a general idea of what your responsibilities would be as well as how CGE supports you in the process.
General Program Leader Responsibilities Center for Global Engagement Support
Design and plan all program elements, including course syllabi, co-curricular activities, and program budget Suggest appropriate vendors for program services and provide guidance and templates for planning program itinerary and budget
Lead Recruitment efforts with the following resources:

  • Program Brochure in the VolsAbroad Portal, open for applications
  • Media kit that includes a branded social media post and print flier
  • Scheduling information sessions and classroom visits
  • Tabling at fall and spring recruitment fairs.
Support recruitment efforts by:

  • designing program brochure and application
  • designing a media kit that includes a branded social media post and print flier
  • accompany Program Leaders on information sessions and classroom visits.
  • Offering fall and spring recruitment fairs.
  • Review applications and select program participants
  • Manage student application and acceptance processes
  • Provide at least 1 orientation to all program participants prior to departure
  • Provide a general health and safety orientation to all faculty-directed program students
  • Deliver program in-country and provide leadership throughout the program, including in crisis or emergency situations
  • Deliver risk management training for program leaders prior to departure and provide 24/7 emergency support during program
  • Liaise with relevant offices and departments on campus (Bursar, Financial Aid, etc.)

NOTE: A complete list of Program Leader Responsibilities is included in the Registration website brochure and application.

Faculty-Directed Program Policies and Procedures

Program policies and procedures are included in the Registration website brochure and application.

All faculty-directed program leaders review policy, procedure, and official responsibilities in the registration process as well as the Faculty-Directed Programs annual Leader Trainings.