CIC Traveling Scholar Program

We have summarized information about the program, all drawn from the CIC website. Please see that site for more information:

CIC Member Universities: University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brief Overview of CIC

Since 1963, the Traveling Scholar Program has allowed CIC doctoral students to spend up to a full academic year pursuing specialized courses of study, researching unique library collections, and working in advanced laboratories and facilities at other CIC institutions —with no change in registration procedures from their home university or additional tuition.

Doctoral-level students interested in the Traveling Scholar Program must first consult their advisor who will determine whether the off-campus opportunity is likely to enhance the student’s course of study and ascertain that it is not, in fact, available on the home campus. The instructor/advisor at the host campus must also approve before a student completes the online application.

Eligibility and Enrollment

Traveling Scholar Program conditions of enrollment:

  • Students must be enrolled in a doctoral program at a CIC institution.
  • The student's home advisor and the host campus faculty contact must agree to allow the student to enroll in a course via the Traveling Scholar Program before the student submits the online application.
  • Traveling Scholars remain registered at their home universities, paying the regular fees charged when they are in residence.
  • Traveling Scholars must be registered at both institutions.
  • Traveling Scholars are not billed by the host institution for registration or fees; however, students must provide evidence of tuition paid to the home institution. Host universities provide access to libraries, laboratories, recreational facilities, housing, etc., on the same basis as they are made available to resident graduate students.
  • Traveling Scholars may be assessed fees for certain services or benefits.
  • raveling Scholars may be required to secure their own health and medical coverage. Check with the appropriate Traveling Scholar campus contact for specifics.
  • Credit earned by Traveling Scholars is accepted at home universities for the equivalent level credit (undergraduate or graduate) upon receipt of grade reports or transcripts from the host university. Credit toward a degree, however, will be at the discretion of the home university or department.
  • Visits of Traveling Scholars may not exceed two semesters or three quarters regardless of the number of courses taken.
  • In most cases, Traveling Scholars physically attend courses at another CIC institution. Technology facilitated/distance courses are occasionally permitted but students interested in using the Traveling Scholar Program to enroll in an online or videoconference course must first contact Joseph Miller at the CIC office ( before submitting a Traveling Scholar Program application.

Application Information

For a doctoral student from a CIC institution to become a Traveling Scholar, the following process is followed:

1. All students must first review the Eligibility information and the application steps on this page. Each student must consult with his or her advisor, who will determine whether the off-campus opportunity is likely to enhance the student’s education and ascertain that it is not, in fact, available on the home campus.
2. The student must discuss the proposed visit with the proposed instructor at the host university; the home and host faculty members should agree that the student is qualified to enroll in the course via the Traveling Scholar Program. Approval must be arranged prior to the student completing the online application.
3. When using the online application, each student must create his or her own log-in username and password. The log-in should be the student's email address. Students should provide an email address that will remain active until the Traveling Scholar course has been completed.
4. Once the online application is initiated, students have 30 days to complete it. To return to the online form, enter the username and password in the returning users section. Data can be saved by pressing submit. Once the entire application has been completed, it should be finalized. Finalizing the application will prompt the user if any of the required fields are missing.
5. If a student chooses to apply for one semester at two different CIC universities, two separate applications must be completed. Only one active (i.e., non-finalized) application can be saved at a time. A second application can be completed by applying as a “New User” with the same log-in information used on the first application.
6. Students will be asked for their University/Student ID number on the application form. Ohio State University students should list the last four digits of their Social Security number.
7. Students should check with the host department for the name and contact information of the host faculty contact and enter that information into the online application.
8. Students who wish to withdraw their application before finalizing can do so by pressing the withdraw button on the online application form. Students who wish to withdraw after finalizing their application should also use the withdraw button which will forward their request to withdraw to their home Traveling Scholar Contact for processing. Students who withdraw after finalizing an application will receive an email once the application has been officially terminated.
9. Once students have finalized their application, a request for approval is forwarded to the student's faculty advisor identified on the application. If the faculty advisor approves the application, it is then forwarded to the Head of the Department for approval. Once completely approved on the home campus, the application must also be approved on the host campus.
10. Students may check the status of finalized applications by logging in as a returning user. The entire approval process at both the home and host university can take several weeks. The host campus Traveling Scholar Contacts will notify students of final acceptance as a Traveling Scholar.
11. If a student's application is not approved at any point in the process, they will be notified.
12. Applications must be finalized at least six weeks before the start of classes at the host university (see Academic Calendar for all CIC universities). Applications arriving after the deadline may not be accepted by the host university.
13. All CIC universities are on semesters except two that are on the quarter system (University of Chicago and Northwestern University). The University of Michigan has a fall semester, winter semester (January-April), spring term (May - end of June) and a summer term. Students interested in courses at the University of Michigan should choose spring semester on the online form for both the winter semester or spring term and then list the exact course dates in the additional comments box on the online application.

Other important things to note:

  • Application website: (first time users need to follow the instructions to register).
  • Students are advised to apply at least six weeks prior to the start of the intended course at the host institution.
  • Students are allowed to participate in the program up to two semesters or three quarters. The following two CIC institutions are on the quarter system: University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
  • Traveling Scholars have to pay the same additional fees that the home campus students must pay, i.e., health, library, recreational, housing etc. The host campus' Traveling Scholar Contact will inform you of what will be required.
  • Many students use the Traveling Scholar Program during the summer term(s).
  • Typically, Traveling Scholars physically attend courses at another CIC campus. This may require relocating to another community for the duration of the term of instruction. In some cases, Traveling Scholars are permitted to take courses online or by videoconference from another CIC institution. Before submitting a Traveling Scholar Program application, students interested in taking courses online or by videoconference should first contact Joseph Miller the CIC office (
  • Traveling Scholar Program Contacts are listed at: