Earning Major/Minor Credit Abroad
Students pursuing a major or minor in Political Science may receive credit for courses taken while studying abroad.
- Majors: A maximum of two courses per quarter from study abroad can count toward the Political Science major. More courses may be accepted toward the major for longer study abroad programs.*
- Minors: One course from study abroad can count towards the minor
The Political Science Department cannot give prior approval or credit for courses that students plan to take while studying abroad. Department advisors can give students guidance on whether study abroad courses appear to correspond with major/minor requirements.
Before You Study Abroad
Complete the required forms:
- Northwestern Study Abroad application process – You are required to submit the Global Learning Office’s electronic application to receive approval to study abroad. You may start your application even if you are not certain of your first-choice program.
- Study Abroad Departmental Approval Form – Meet with a department advisor to discuss your plans to study abroad and receive department approval. You must upload the signed form to your Northwestern study abroad application.
Research the course descriptions of the classes you plan to take abroad and meet with a department advisor to discuss how they might correspond to major/minor requirements at Northwestern.
Courses taught in Political Science departments or by trained political scientists are more likely to be approved for credit. Courses like “Politics of Spain” or “the Political Economy of South Africa” are usually counted as 300-level credit in Political Science.
For reference purposes, the Political Science Department has compiled a list of study abroad courses that the Department has approved for major/minor credit in the past. Note that this list is intended to provide a guide to students on which courses are commonly approved for credit. It does not guarantee that a course will be approved.
After Completing Your Study Abroad Program
- Transfer study abroad credit to Northwestern by completing the process required by the Global Learning Office.
- After study abroad credit has appeared on your Northwestern transcript, you may petition to have this credit apply towards your Political Science major or minor. To do this, you will need to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to request Political Science credit approval. Bring the following to your meeting:
- A completed Petition for Credit for Courses Taken Abroad form
- Syllabi from your study abroad class(es)
- Other course materials and assignments (i.e. written papers and exams)
Northwestern study abroad programs: All courses taken through Northwestern study abroad programs (e.g., European Union Studies Program, Global Health) can be counted towards the major and minor without requiring a Petition for Credit from Study Abroad. Study abroad programs run directly by Northwestern automatically appear on NU transcripts and thus do not require approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies to transfer credit. They are technically exempt from the two-major courses and three-related courses maximum described above.
Do you have questions or need additional information?
Professor Wendy Pearlman
Director of Undergraduate Studies
*If you started at Northwestern before Fall 2014, a maximum of three “related” courses will be counted for students following the pre-2014 major requirements.Back to top