Global Applied Projects (GAP)


Global Applied Projects (GAP) is a full credit, elective course that allows students to lead, plan, and execute global consulting engagements across multiple functional areas for a wide variety of corporations, not-for-profits, and governments in locations outside of the U.S.A.

GAP engagements are actual consulting projects, funded by real clients who expect the same quality of deliverables, adherence to deadlines, positive teamwork and intense work hours that they would receive from a top consulting firm.

A GAP engagement begins in early January when the client and GAP leadership work to define the business problem and formulate a high level scope.  In late February, student participation begins with the selection of team members chosen to meet the needs of the project.  Over the next ten weeks, this team, directed by a Team Coach and a Faculty Advisor and functional expert, devotes over 1,200 person-hours to the business challenge.  Students attend a mandatory weekly class that teaches best practices in project management and global consulting, meet regularly with their teams and submit class assignments that support the development and execution of the individual projects.  A key component and success factor is a three-week, in country, primary research and synthesis phase that occurs throughout the month of May.  The project culminates at the end of the in-country phase with a presentation of findings, an in-depth analysis, and specific, actionable recommendations to the client.


GAP is an experiential learning course that prepares students for international business through an immersive, hands-on business experience in a location outside the USA.  Students work as a team to apply, integrate, and focus skills learned at Fisher to address an organization's business challenge or opportunity.  Competencies developed include: gaining project management, industry and cultural expertise; practicing leadership, management communication and teamwork skills; honing data collection and analytic skills; synthesizing information to draw relevant conclusions and make actionable recommendations; and crafting compelling presentations.

Specifically, the student teams will:

  • Analyze and understand an organization in its cultural context.
  • Define problems clearly and apply appropriate structures and frameworks to solve them.
  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize qualitative and quantitative data, with an emphasis on data gathered during an immersive primary research phase.
  • Develop and present actionable recommendations and implementation plans that demonstrate a deep understanding of the problem, the company's culture, and the business conditions and culture in which it operates or would like to operate.


  • Program Cost: Varies by project and location. While GAP covers all international airfare and project related accommodations, students are responsible for their own incidentals, including food and personal transportation. We recommend that students have credit availability of $2,000 before leaving the U.S.A.
  • Cost INCLUDES: International airfare, double occupancy accommodations, international health insurance, visa fees.
  • Cost EXCLUDES: passport fees, ground transportation, recommended vaccinations/medications, meals, incidentals.
  • For more specifics, please go to the FAQs section.
  • 3 credit Spring semester, graded second session course: MHR 7020. Note: the course is considered incomplete until teams present findings and recommendations to clients in late May and submit all course deliverables by June 3, 2016. Until that time, student transcripts will reflect an "incomplete" grade.



GAP eligibility and participation is based on a student being fully prepared for the multidisciplinary aspect of GAP projects and able to travel freely to any country open to his/her citizenship. Therefore, the GAP program is open to:

  • Any first year student who is in good academic standing and has completed the core by the end of Spring semester. 
  • Any student who is in good academic standing, has completed 18 credit hours of coursework and has completed the core Data Analytics class as part of the 18 credit hour coursework. Independent Studies coursework will not count towards the 18 credit hours of coursework requirement.

In addition, all applicants must:

  • Hold a passport valid for six (6) months after their return to the US, post-GAP assignment.
  • Hold a passport that contains at least two blank and facing visa pages.
  • If a non-US citizen, hold a valid visa good for re-entry to the US, post-GAP assignment.


The Office of Global Business (OGB) sources projects with assistance from alumni, students, Fisher supporters and departments within Fisher.  Students are encouraged to bring projects or project leads to OGB.  Any student generated lead that results in a confirmed project will automatically qualify that student for a place on a team.


Students work in self-managed teams under the guidance of a GAP Team Coach and a Faculty Advisor.  The Team Coach is a second year student with GAP experience and works weekly with students on project process, team dynamics, and the final deliverables and presentation. The Faculty Advisor is a faculty member who provides functional expertise and meets with the team at clearly defined points during the project to monitor progress and provide guidance. Neither the Coach nor the Advisor lead or manage the team, nor do they do the work. Rather they help keep the project on track within the workplan and timeframe.

  • Students are required to commit to the course before knowing their specific project assignment.
  • OGB handles team assignment; teams do not self-select.  Project assignments are made based on the fit between the project requirements and factors such as student background, skills, functional expertise and language abilities.
  • Students can indicate project preferences through a bidding process, but are not guaranteed a place on any specific team unless they are responsible for bringing a project to GAP.
  • If a student brings a project to GAP, the client chooses whether or not that student is on that project. Otherwise, s/he can choose placement on any team.  
  • Students have 24 hours to accept a team assignment and provide any additional paperwork requested by the OGB. If a student turns down an assignment, the studnet is placed at the bottom of the wait list and will not be re-assigned until all others ahead on the waitlist are placed. 

The travel component of GAP takes place over three weeks during May.  GAP participants are required to be in-country for all three weeks. Locations vary by project. 



The 2016 GAP Application is now OPEN.

Please note: Currently, GAP is offered only to full time MBAs (FTMBA) and Working Professional MBAs (WPMBA). Please go to Program Overview --> Eligibility Requirements for details.

The course is by application only.  Once a fully completed application is received and the application period closes on December 18, 2015, the Office of Global Business (OGB) will direct the GPO to enroll all students who have applied.

NOTE: Students will not be able to complete the application without a number of documents, most importantly, a valid passport with an expiration date of November 30, 2016 or later and, for non-US citizens, a multiple entry student visa valid through May 30, 2016.  

  • Once the application closes on December 18, 2015, all completed applications will be evaluated by a committee of core faculty. This committee will create a ranked list of applicants. Students will be notified by email of their place in the project placement queue.
  • In mid-February, students equal to the number of project placements available will be placed in a project placement pool and assigned to a team the week of February 22, 2016. Remaining students will be placed on a waitlist in order of their ranking. 

NOTE: All students who apply will receive a place in the queue, but not necessarily a spot on a team.  Team assignments are a function of the number of projects procured and it is possible that student demand will be greater than project supply.






  • As an precaution, US citizens traveling abroad can enroll in the US Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP allows US citizens to enter information about their upcoming trip abroad so that the US Department of State can better assist them in an emergency.
  • All students participating in study abroad programs offered through the Fisher College of Business are required to enroll in supplemental travel insurance. Students should carry their insurance card with them at all times while traveling in-country.
  • The Ohio State University supplemental travel insurance is provided through HTH Worldwide Services.  This supplemental insurance covers accidents, illness, evacuation, repatriation, and other emergency assistance while travelling as part of a Fisher program.
  • To register for HTH Supplemental Insurance, please consult "Applying Online for Supplemental Travel Insurance" found at the Office of International Affairs insurance website.
  • Due to the generosity of our corporate partners and the Alutto Endowment Funds, students are not required to cover this cost.


  • In order to participate, international students must be able to obtain all required travel visas and confirm their eligibility to return to the US after the program (i.e., a multiple entry visa).
  • All international students/scholars holding a US visa who are participating in an Office of Global Business (OGB) program and have questions about international travel should consult with an Office of International Affairs (OIA) International Student Services advisor.
  • The costs associated with applying for or renewing a passport are the individual student's responsibility.
  • All students (international and domestic) must have passports valid for six (6) months beyond their return date to the USA. For GAP 2015, passports must be valid through at least Dec 1, 2015. 
  • You must have your physical passport in your possession at least three (3) months prior to departure to allow time to process any required visas.
  • If you are a US citizen but do not currently have a passport, you must apply for your passport as soon as possible. A copy of the information page of your passport is required to submit a GAP application.  If you are in the process of applying for a passport and that passport has not arrived prior to the close of the GAP application period, contact the GAP Director. 


If you are a US citizen, please see Travel.State.Gov for more information about applying and renewing your passport.


  • Recommended vaccinations and travel medications vary by individual and location and can be very expensive. This cost is not covered by GAP. Please consider this expense before registering.
  • Students should visit the Center for Disease Control website for suggested vaccinations and related health information for travel in their destination country.




  • If required, normal visa and visa processing costs are covered by GAP. GAP will pay for the visa that is best suited to the duration and needs of the project. Other visa categories or preferences are the student's responsibility. 
  • OGB will guide students through the visa application process; however, it is the student's responsibility to acquire all necessary visas. 
  • Visas vary by destination and student nationality. To better understand visa requirements, students should consult the project country's embassy website or call the embassy/consulate for specific instructions. 
  • As it may take some time to process a visa, please apply for a visa at least two (2) months before your departure date.
  • For United States citizens, please consult the US Department of State for specific visa requirements.
  • International students must confirm their eligibility to return to the US after the program (i.e. a multiple entry visa). The costs associated with US visas are not covered by the program.


Q: I want to get international experience through the GAP Program, but I don’t want to miss out on my internship. Is it possible for me to do both?

Yes. Most internships start after you return; and, you will still have a full 10 weeks to work before classes start again in the fall.  The intent of the GAP Program is to provide a global business and cultural experience that will enhance your resume and career, not replace your internship.

Q: Once students are assined to a GAP project, what level of commitment is expected? 

Upon assignment, students are expected to be fully committed to the project, client and team. If for any reason a student must withdraw from a team, the student is responsible for all non-refundable expenses. These expense might include, but are not limited to, airfare, accommodations, ground transportation, visas, etc.

  • Exception: Students who receive an internship offer and can verify that their employer will not allow them to begin work after June 1, 2015 will be allowed to withdraw penalty free.

Q: What scholarships are available for this program?

There are no GAP scholarships. The majority of the program costs are covered by GAP corporate partners and the Alutto Endowment Funds. Covered items include:

  • International round-trip (Columbus-> project location) airfare
  • Project related, in-country ground transportation 
  • HTH supplemental insurance
  • Required immunizations and medications
  • Accommodations
  • Translator while in-country (where relevant)
  • Visa fees

The out-of-pocket expenses are meals, souvenirs, tips, personal and US-based ground transportation, incidentals, cell charges, recommended immunizations and medications, and passport fees. International students will also be responsible for any costs associated with getting visas other than the actual visa fee. 

Where possible, the program will prepay for expenses prior to students' travel.  However, in some circumstances (e.g. taxies, some accommodation and in-country transportation) students will need to pay for expenses while in-country and provide receipts for reimbursement upon return to the U.S.

Please note: Currently, GAP is offered only to full time MBAs (FTMBA) and Working Professional MBAs (WPMBA).

For any additional questions, please contact Heidi Eldred.