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The Office of Education Abroad (OEA) appreciates your interest in developing an MTSU Signature education abroad program! We look forward to assisting you in what will be a richly rewarding opportunity, for both your own professional development and the academic development of MTSU students.

Faculty should first read through the MTSU Signature Education Abroad Program Handbook.

Questions about the MTSU Signature Education Abroad Program process, including information on third party providers that can assist you with logistics to accommodate your course, can be addressed to the Office of Education Abroad at any time.  Contact the Director of Education Abroad, Melissa Miller,  Inquiries may also be presented to the Interim Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dr. Guanping Zheng,

Faculty Links: Handbook, Applications


MTSU Signature Programs are: 

  • Short-term programs led by one or more MTSU faculty member
  • MTSU courses specifically designed for the overseas location 
  • Designed to provide students with an academically enriching experience in the host country while providing culturally relevant excursions that support the academic experience 
  • Programs taught in English (with the exception of language credit programs)
  • Generally 3-6 credit hours 

MTSU Signature Study Abroad Programs are typically led during the summer term and are usually 3-4 weeks in duration but may be shorter or longer in length.  Faculty can also choose to lead spring break or winter programs as well.

How to Begin

First read through the Faculty Led Handbook, the link is above.  Meet with Dr. Guanping Zheng, Interim Vice Provost for International Affairs, and Melissa Miller, Director, Office of Education Abroad, if you have questions.

When you are ready, click on the correct Program Proposal link above (new or renewing) and find the documents which need to be submitted for an MTSU Signature Study Abroad Program. 

Keep track of deadlines!

Program Options

There are two program options listed below.  Additional details on these options can be found in the Faculty Led Handbook under Section VI. Coordinating the Logistics on pages 9-10. 

  1. MTSU Signature Program, designed by the faculty member
    Faculty leaders can choose to arrange all logistics on their own.  Faculty leaders who choose to go this route should set up an appointment with the Vice Provost for International Affairs and the Director of Education Abroad far in advance of the proposal deadline.  This is a good option for faculty who are familiar with the location where the study abroad program will be held or who are interested in complete customization of the program.  
  2. MTSU Signature Program, third-party customization
    Faculty can consider working with an Office of Education Abroad approved affiliate third-party provider to organize the logistics of the program.  This type of program is still called an MTSU Signature Program, you are just choosing a third-party provider to customize the details. 

    Our affiliates will develop competitively-priced customized programs in which the MTSU Faculty Leader retains the academic control of the program, but receives a great deal of support with arrangements including housing, classroom space, excursions, group transportation and airport pick-up, or even service-learning projects.  The Student Program Fee may be slightly higher (not always), but the cost will be worth the time saved and the peace of mind having one organization and contact responsible, emergency support including 24/7 residential local staff, and one invoice to pay.

    Please contact Melissa Miller for information on third-party providers.  Some third-party provider information can be found in the MTSU Signature Program Handbook, linked above. 

Sample Timeline

A timeline for a new MTSU Signature Program for Summer or Winter terms is available in the Faculty Led Handbook in Section III. Timeline, pages 2-4. Faculty who want to teach on a consortia program will have a different timeline with much earlier deadlines.  


Faculty leaders will find more details regarding the following documents in the Budget packet (Appendix A) and Faculty Timeline section (Appendix B) of the Faculty Led handbook.

Questions about MTSU Signature Program budget may be directed to the Director of the Office of Education Abroad or the Vice Provost for International Affairs.

MTSU Signature Program budget and financial questions (how-to, including working with clearing accounts, questions about receipts and travel claims, etc...) can be directed to the Director of the Office of Education Abroad and/or the Director of Accounting Services, Ben Jones in the MTSU Business Department.

Budget contacts
Dr. Guanping Zheng, Interim Vice Provost for International Affairs
Melissa Miller, Director, Office of Education Abroad 
Ben Jones, Director, Accounting Services

Travel Authorization Cover Letter

All out-of-country programs must have a cover page in addition to the travel authorization form.  

  • The cover page needs to be an explanation of why the faculty member is requesting permission to travel out of the country, showing benefits to the university and employee
  • There should be signature lines at the bottom for the Department Chair, College Dean, Office of International Affairs Vice Provost (Guanping Zheng, Interim), Provost, and the President (Sidney A. McPhee) to sign
  • The travel authorization form and all supporting documents should be attached 
  • Missing documents will delay the processing of the request   

Interactive Budget Spreadsheet

The MTSU Signature Program interactive budget spreadsheet will assist with your program budget and allows the Office of Education Abroad to understand your full faculty and student program costs.  The Office of Education Abroad will use your program budget sheet to calculate student overall costs in program estimates.   

  • You MUST type in the number of student participants at the top or the spreadsheet will not automatically calculate. 
  • Only the yellow boxes in column B will automatically calculate. 
  • It is not necessary to use this specific spreadsheet for the program proposal.  Feel free to create your own in order to determine the five amounts requested in the proposal:  FOC, FE, SPF, SOC, OPC - as long as you include the details with the proposal which shows how you determined these amounts. 
  • FOC, FE, SPF, SOC, OPC: The definitions of these are in the budget section of the Faculty Handbook, Appendix A, pages 15-2
Please email for the interactive budget spreadsheet. 

Student Overall Cost Sheet, Template

The student overall cost sheet template can help create a cost estimate, per student, for your program.  

Managing Your Program

Resources to help you manage your program can be found in the following downloads and links.

If you have questions or need additional assistance and/or resources, please contact Melissa Miller in the Office of Education Abroad. 

Student Fee Payment Template

You can use this program fee payment form to help keep track of student payments to the MTSU Signature Program.  Monitoring student program payments is the responsibility of the faculty leader.

Relevant links