Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Ireland

Irish-American Scholars


Sponsored By

Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities

Map of Northern IrelandAssociation of Catholic Colleges and Universities

United Methodist Church-Related Colleges and Universities

In Cooperation With

Queen’s University Belfast

University of Ulster

St. Mary’s University College

Stranmillis University College

Belfast Metropolitan College

In Association With

Study USA of Northern Ireland


Current sophomores and juniors may apply.  Students may not attend the Irish-American Scholars program during their final semester of study.  In order to obtain a visa, students must show that they are required to return to the United States to complete their degree.  This means that juniors may only apply for the fall semester of their senior year.

Schools in Northern Ireland accept a limited number of students as Irish-American Scholars.  Acceptance is generally determined by space availability and by students’ GPA.  Students who apply for a full year may only be offered a one semester placement due to space limitations.  In addition, there are generally fewer opportunities for placement during the spring semester.Beach scene in Northern Ireland

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 is required.


Application Deadline: February 1st

Program Term: fall semester, spring semester, or full academic year

Program Start Date: dependent upon host university

Program End Date: dependent upon host university


Costs for the Irish-American Scholars Program are equal to Southwestern’s on-campus tuition, room, and board charges for the particular semester, or full academic year, during which the student is participating in the program.  Tuition and fees at the host university will be waived as a component of the program.  Students will be responsible for housing, food, travel, books, and other living expenses in Northern Ireland.

Participating Institutions

  • Queen’s University Belfast: is one of the 20 top research-intensive institutions in the United Kingdom.  While the university does not offer courses in all disciplines, most U.S. student will find appropriate subjects at Queen’s University.

-Courtesy of Queen's University Belfast

  • University of Ulster: has a national and international reputation for excellence.  With four distinct campuses across Northern Ireland, students are placed at a specific campus based on their field of study.

-Courtesy of University of Ulster

  • St. Mary’s University College: specializes in liberal arts and teacher training, and is integrated into the larger Queen’s University system.  In 2011, St. Mary’s was ranked third amongst all universities in the United Kingdom for student satisfaction with their overall university experience.

-Courtesy of St. Mary's University College

  • Stranmillis University College: is highly recognized for its teacher training curriculum, but also offers courses in early childhood and health and leisure studies.  Stranmillis is a college within the system of Queen’s University Belfast.

-Courtesy of Stranmillis University College

  • Belfast Metropolitan College: specializes in educating students with strong career goals in vocational areas such as business, marketing, computing, performing arts, communication, and Irish studies.

-Courtesy of Belfast Metropolitan College

The programs and faculty at these institutions are of high quality and U.S. students can expect a fulfilling year in Northern Ireland through placement at any of these schools.


Students may opt for courses in any subject area available at participating institutions.  They should, however, determine in advance that their intended course of study is offered at the participating schools they select.

City Hall, Belfast, Northern IrelandCity Hall, Belfast, Northern IrelandFinal registration for courses occurs on-site in Northern Ireland.  Students should be flexible in selecting courses and should not assume that a particular class will be offered during the time they are in Northern Ireland.  It is recommended to secure approval for backup courses in the case first-choice courses are not offered upon arrival.

Housing & Meals

Housing can be arranged through the schools in Northern Ireland, but must be done in advance and prior to arrival.

Students will responsible for housing, food, travel, books, and other living expenses in Northern Ireland.



Apply Now

You must complete the SU Study Abroad Application and the Irish-American Scholars Application.

Click here to apply access the SU Study Abroad Application.

Click here to access the Irish-American Scholars Application.

Application Materials — please submit six copies of each:

  • Irish-American Scholars Application
  • Nomination Form
  • Official Transcript — must include coursework through the fall semester of the current academic year
  • 500-Word Essay — describing your educational objectives while studying abroad in Northern Ireland
  • Two Letters of Recommendation — one from your academic advisor and one from a faculty member or administrator