Domestic Exchange

Twelve College and Domestic Exchange

Wellesley students may apply to spend one or two semester at the following colleges: 

Connecticut College
Mt. Holyoke

Priority admission is offered to students from Twelve College member institutions at:

Connecticut College's National Theater Institute
Williams College's Maritime Studies Program at Mystic Seaport


Other Domestic Exchange Opportunities

Mills College 
Spelman College



The exchange is primarily for sophomores applying for their junior year away. Other students will be considered if they have the approval of their dean and if space allows. All interested students must be of diploma-grade standing, have no incompletes on their record, and have their financial obligation to the College up-to-date. Students applying to Spelman must have a 2.8 GPA. There is no minimum GPA for the other institutions.


There is a once a year application process which covers fall, spring and full year for the following academic year. To apply for any study away program, students must declare a major and complete a Proposal to Study Away by December 1 of their sophomore year.

The application for the 12 College, Spelman or Mills exchange is due on February 14 of the sophomore year and requires signatures from the Chair of the department in which you plan to major as well as the Director of International Study. On your application, you may only list one college. You may submit an application for a second choice program if you are not sure of getting a spot at your first-choice institution, but only one application will be considered at a time.. Completed applications must be returned to the Office of International Study by February 14 of the year preceding your proposed study away.

At Wellesley, a random lottery for each school determines your rank. We then match our ranked students with the places offered by the host institution. We also maintain waiting lists and try to place unmatched students at second choice institutions. 

Students applying to National Theater Institute and Williams-Mystic Seaport must also file specific applications for those programs, available on the program's website, and must submit a transcript which includes first semester sophomore grades. 

Application Form available here.


Billing & Financial Aid

Exchange participants will be billed directly by the host institution, with the exception of Spelman. Wellesley aid may be applied to all of the institutions with the exception of Mills College. Students are responsible for any costs that are higher than those at Wellesley. Wellesley aid cannot be increased to cover any additional expenses at an exchange institution. 

The 12 College Exchange is a residence exchange and, except under special circumstances, students are expected to live in housing provided for them on the campus of the host institution. If you are planning to take Wellesley financial aid with you on exchange, aid is only applicable to on-campus housing.

Special Considerations

Dartmouth Students who wish to attend Dartmouth for a full year must attend for three trimesters, one of which is usually summer. A student who wishes to attend for one semester must attend for two trimesters - usually summer-fall or winter-spring. Full year students will receive eight Wellesley units for nine courses (three each trimester). Semester students will receive .91 Wellesley units per course for six courses (total: 5.4 Wellesley units). Students just interested in the summer term should note that summer school is not part of the 12 College Exchange. You would apply for the summer school on your own, in consultation with the Registrar's Office. The cost of attending Dartmouth is higher than Wellesley's cost, because the year - and the two-term semester option - are longer. If you are receiving Wellesley financial aid, please be aware of the fact that you will have to make up the cost differential yourself. Wellesley will not increase your aid if you exchange to Dartmouth.
National Theater Institute

The National Theater Institute is designed for students interested in acting, directing, or design. In the program students live for a semester with professional artists as a theater company. Plays are produced for local audiences and occasionally taken on tour.

A special NTI application and a transcript that includes semester I grades are required. In addition, you must file the regular 12 College application and the proposal to study away. An interview at NTI is required, although telephone interviews are possible. This is a one-semester program only.

Williams - Mystic Seaport Maritime Program

Williams-Mystic is a one-semester program run by Williams College, based in Mystic, CT, and traveling across the US. Each fall and spring semester, 18-24 Williams-Mystic students use the ocean as their case study to explore topics including climate science, environmental policy, global commerce, and American history/literature. Students conduct intensive research and travel widely, visiting the West and Gulf Coasts and the open ocean. Faculty lead these trips, facilitating fieldwork, behind-the-scenes tours, and conversations with community members for a truly hands-on learning experience. Students of ALL majors are encouraged to apply, even if they have no prior experience with the ocean (though those interested in environmental studies/science, American studies, policy/law, or interdisciplinary research might find Williams-Mystic especially relevant). Applicants should apply to Williams-Mystic directly in addition to filing a 12 College Exchange application and a Proposal to Study Away.

Spelman College

Wellesley students may participate in an exchange program with Spelman College, a distinguished historically Black, liberal arts college for women in Atlanta, Georgia. 


Students who attend Trinity College for a full year must take nine courses. Students who attend for a semester must take five courses.


Wellesley students may participate in an exchange program with Mills College, a small women's college in Oakland, California that has a cross-registration program with the University of California at Berkeley. Students who attend Mills may take one course each semester at Berkeley. Wellesley financial aid is not transferable to the Mills exchange. If you are eligible for the Stafford/GSL Loan and/or the Pell Grant, the Financial Aid Office will facilitate your taking those funds to Mills by pursuing a special agreement with Mills.

Visiting Student Programs

Many US colleges and universities offer visiting student programs, whereby students from other US colleges and universities may enroll for one semester or academic year. Wellesley students may receive credit for a semester away at an accredited, four-year institution in the U.S.  You must take a full schedule of liberal arts courses that do not duplicate previous coursework taken, and you must receive a C or better for the credit to transfer. Federal, state and some private aid will transfer, but Wellesley grants will not. Please contact your Class Dean if you are interested in this option.