Faculty-Initiated Programs Overview

Faculty-Initiated Programs (FIPs) are an exciting and rewarding way to engage in short-term study abroad with Stanford University. Taught and led by Stanford faculty, these three-four-week programs are specifically designed to integrate course content and program location.  

Program Structure

FIPs are three-four-week courses that take place over the summer, providing alternative study abroad opportunities for Stanford undergraduates. Students receive two units of credit as part of Summer Quarter.  FIPs are taught and led by Stanford faculty at various locations around the world that have direct relevance to the course content. FIP locations and topics may change every year. 

Each FIP is limited to 12-15 students. Grading basis is either mandatory satisfactory/no credit (S/NC) or mandatory letter grade as determined by each faculty leader.

Find out more about each program by exploring the FIP locations.


Determine eligibility by reading through Step 1 of the Application Process.


Participating students pay a program fee that covers lodging and meals during the program, as well as any activities that are part of the class itself. Beginning with airport transfers on the program arrival date, until breakfast on the program departure date: all meals, lodging & transportation for the course are covered by BOSP.

Cost to Student =  $600 Program Fee (3-week program) or $800 (4-week program) 

The program fee does not cover:

  • International travel costs to and from the program location
  • Visa costs 
  • Pre-departure immunization/vaccination costs
  • Course materials
  • International health insurance
  • In-country cell phone costs
  • Other incidental expenses (such as: laundry and souvenirs)

Some financial assistance towards the program fee may be available from BOSP for students with demonstrated financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified by BOSP regarding their eligibility for a fee waiver after they get accepted or waitlisted for a specific FIP. Students have until the withdrawal deadline (March 15, 2018) to withdraw without a financial penalty. Please contact the Financial Aid Office directly if you wish to discuss the possibility of taking out student loans to cover program costs.

Expectations and Preparation

All FIP participants are required to attend the entire program, from the scheduled arrival date/time through the scheduled departure date/time. Prior to their FIPs, BOSP and faculty leaders conduct a series of mandatory orientation sessions, which includes an online orientation module and two orienation meetings during Winter and Spring Quarter. Some faculty leaders may also offer a required pre-program course and/or additional meetings, so that students are more academically and culturally prepared. These meetings also provide excellent opportunities for students to interact with other program participants before they go overseas.

Program Modification and Cancelation

Stanford reserves the right to cancel or modify the program before or during its operation for any reason, including natural disasters, emergencies, low enrollment, or unavailability of facilities or personnel or compliance with the University travel policy. The specific program dates, itineraries, locations, facilities, and activities are subject to change depending on available resources at the time, safety and security sitautions on the ground, and other important considerations that may arise for a successful implementation of the program.