The personal statement is a critical piece to your petition since it gives you the opportunity to provide detail about your circumstance. CAS makes its decision about petitions based on the academic reasons and documentation that are submitted. You will want to address issues that are specific to your petition and how they affect your academic plan. Below are some questions that you may want to address depending on your situation.

Off-list program
  1. How does the program complement your concentration or minor?
  2. What coursework have you done that prepares you for the program?
  3. What courses do you plan on taking and how does this fit into your overall academic plan?
  4. Any possibility of your work abroad connecting with your senior thesis or future post-baccalaureate plans?
  5. What other learning opportunities does the program offer?
  6. What does this program offer that a similar program does not?
  7. What language preparation have you done?
Incomplete graduation requirement
  1. What has kept you from completing your graduation requirements?
  2. Have you had conversations with your academic advisor or department chair about when and how you will complete the requirements? And are they willing to support your petition?
  3. Address relevant off-list program questions.
Incomplete Language Requirement
  1. What kept you from completing the language requirement?
  2. What courses have you taken in the target language or what other experiences have you had in the target language?
  3. What language courses do you plan on taking while abroad?
  4. What are your plans for continuing language study upon your return to campus?
  5. What activities does the program offer to give you an opportunity to use the language?
  6. How does your housing situation support language learning?
  7. Address relevant off-list program questions
  1. What courses specifically caused your low GPA?
  2. What were the circumstances that caused your low GPA?
  3. What demonstrated work have you done that indicates an improvement in your academic situation?
  4. How will study abroad affect your academic progress?
  5. Address relevant off-list program questions
  6. Your academic advisor or faculty reference should specifically address your academic issues in their letter of support.
Transfer student with one semester at Hamilton
  1. How do you plan on completing your graduation requirements?
  2. What plan do you have for completing your major and/or minor requirements?
  3. How did you perform in your classes during your first semester at Hamilton?
  4. Have you spoken to your academic advisor or the department chair of your intended major about your study abroad plans? Do you have their support?
  5. How would a study abroad experience allow you to fulfill any requirements or enhance your work in your major/minor?

Study abroad outside of first or second semester of the junior year
  1. What are the circumstances that have caused you to want to study outside of your junior year?
  2. Are you on track with your graduation requirements and your major/minor requirements?
  3. How might your study abroad experience allow you to fulfill a requirement?
  4. How would your study abroad experience enhance your work in your major/minor or other serious interests that you have?

Personal Extenuating Circumstances
  1. What personal challenge or issue is informing your need to petition?
  2. How have you handled that issue?
  3. Can you provide documentation or statements of support, if relevant, that attest to your readiness or ability to complete a study abroad experience?

Back to Petitioning Process

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

Site Search