University Honors ProgramUniversity of Cincinnati

University Honors Program

Academic courses for international SBC and EWB experiences

If you are participating in co-curricular international travel organized by Engineers Without Borders (EWB) or Serve Beyond Cincinnati (SBC)*, you may be eligible to register for a zero or 1 credit course that will  appear on your transcript and also allow you to apply for a UC International Grant.

*Students participating in international experiences coordinated by other officially registered UC student organizations may be eligible to enroll; please contact your honors advisor for further information (or, contact Jill Reister in UC International if you are not in University Honors).


  • You must be classified as an undergraduate during the term of enrollment in the course. 
  • You must be registered for academic courses, not co-op, in the term of enrollment.
  • You must be traveling with a group to an international location.
  • Your international travel should take place during or immediately after the term in which you enroll in the course.
  • For students who are not in the University Honors Program - you are eligible if you have a cumulative University GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students who are not in the UHP should work directly with Jill Reister in UC International ( Contact Jill to get started.
  • Students in the UHP should contact their honors advisor with questions.

Process for enrolling

1. After determining that you meet eligibility requirements, you will develop a proposal for your international experience using the University Honors Program’s proposal form for self-designed experiences (using the Global Studies outcomes). You are highly encouraged to work your University Honors academic advisor to develop a strong proposal; to identify your advisor, please refer to our academic advising page. If you are not in University Honors, you should work with Juliet Manto.

2. You must submit your proposal by the established review deadline for experiential proposals one term prior to your anticipated term of enrollment. For example, if you hope to enroll in the course during spring term, you should submit your proposal no later than the last deadline in fall term. UHP students should submit their proposal through the normal honors experiential learning project proposal process. Students who are not in the UHP should submit their propsoal directly to Juliet Manto.

3. If your proposal is approved, you will be given permission by a University Honors advisor (or Juliet Manto) to register for the appropriate course.

  • HNRS3070 Engineers without Borders for 0 credit hour
  • HNRS3071 Engineers without Borders for 1 credit hour
  • HNRS3072 Serve Beyond Cincinnati for 0 credit hour 
  • HNRS3073 Serve Beyond Cincinnati for 1 credit hour

Important note about selecting zero or 1 credit option: You will register for the zero or 1 credit course depending on your course load – that is, if you are registered for the maximum number of credits allowed for full-time enrollment fees (18 credits), you should choose the zero credit option. If you register for the 1 credit course and this results in an overload tuition fee, you are responsible for paying the additional tuition charge to UC. You will be required to complete the reflective essay (see below) regardless of whether you register for zero or 1 credit.

4. By the next review deadline after you return from international travel, you must submit a reflective essay (using the reflective essay prompt for self-designed Global Studies experiences) by email to your assigned University Honors advisor (or to Jill Reister if you are not in the UHP).

Your initial grade for the course will be an Incomplete. Your pass/fail grade will be assigned after your essay is approved (typically within two weeks after the submission deadline). If your submitted essay is not approved, you will be asked to submit a revised draft by the next review deadline. If you submit an initial draft by the established deadline and eventually receive approval (no matter how many drafts are necessary), you will receive a passing grade. If you do not submit a reflective essay by the established deadline or you do not submit suggested revisions by a certain date, an I/F or failing grade will be assigned.

If you register for the course but do not complete the travel experience or any other requirements, you will fail the class.

You may follow this process multiple times throughout your college career; the course is repeatable. However, eligibility for UC International Grants may be limited to one grant per year.

Important note about using this process to apply for UC International Grants: In order to be eligible for UC International Grants, you must be registered for the course and complete a UC International grant application prior to UC International Grant deadlines. This will require you to submit an experiential learning proposal to University Honors several months prior to your travel. Any questions related to UC International Grants should be directed to UC International.

The need to plan many months in advance cannot be overstated! You are responsible for adhering to established deadlines and procedures; we are unable to make exceptions to deadlines and procedures outlined above. 

Please contact your honors advisor (for UHP students) or Jill Reister (for students not in the UHP).