NO COURSE TAKEN OUTSIDE THE POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT AT UC BERKELEY CAN FULFILL ANY REQUIREMENT FOR THE POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR UNLESS EXPLICITLY APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY THE POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT. PLEASE CHECK WITH THE DEPARMENT'S UNDERGRADUATE ADVISERS IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO TAKE COURSES OUTSIDE THE UC BERKELEY POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT.
How to get your courses approved for the Political Science major:
- Policy on Study Abroad Courses
- Departmental Policy on Quarter-System Courses
- Haven't Left Yet?
- Procedure for Evaluation
Policy on Study Abroad Courses
A maximum of three upper-division Polisci requirements may be fulfilled by courses taken abroad. Courses that are designated as Political Science by the EAP office will not necessarily be accepted for the major. UCEAP's online course catalog lists courses UC students have taken before, but does not indicate whether or not those courses were approved for their majors. All courses must be reviewed by the UCB Political Science Department to determine if they can satisfy requirements for the Political Science major.
All courses abroad must conform to the same standards that are used for our own UCB courses.
They must be:
- within the school's Political Science department;
- upper division (EAP programs provide this information);
- taken at a 4-year university or college (EAP programs provide this information);
- taken for a letter grade;
- comparable in instruction hours (at least 4.5 quarter units or 3 semester units) to receive full credit.
Students should note that a maximum of one course taken abroad can count towards the major's subfield specialization requirement, and none can satisfy a distribution requirement. Students are therefore advised to complete their five distribution requirements before going abroad.
Be sure not to duplicate courses you have already taken at UC Berkeley.
Departmental Policy on Quarter-System Courses
Courses taken to satisfy upper-division requirements in Political Science must be at least 3-semester units each. Upper-division Political Science courses taken at schools using the quarter system are therefore NOT counted on a one-to-one basis.
Quarter system courses are viewed as partial credit (using the university standard of 2.66 semester units for 4-quarter units). This means that in effect, two quarter courses must be taken to fulfill one upper division requirement, three quarter courses to fulfill two requirements, and five quarter courses to fulfill three requirements (the maximum).
Haven't Left Yet?
Bring us your program information and course description and we'll review it with you. We'll also advise you on the best strategy for choosing courses once you get there. However, unless you can obtain all of the information listed below, you will not receive an up-front guarantee that the courses will count for the major. Sometimes complete information is not available beforehand, in which case you should e-mail the syllabi as soon as you receive them at the start of the term abroad. Bon voyage!
Procedure for Evaluation
The following materials must be submitted via e-mail to the Undergraduate Advising Office at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please be prepared to provide additional materials, such as papers and reading lists. Occasionally this information is necessary if we have additional questions about course content.
You will be notified of the decision within three weeks, possibly longer during the summer and winter breaks. Students should submit the paperwork for evaluation before they leave or immediately upon their arrival at the foreign university.
- A syllabus in English. A complete translation. If translated from another language, attach the original foreign language syllabus to the English translation. The syllabus should include the following:
- A description and summary of the course.
- Course outline, week by week.
- Required texts and readings.
- How the course is graded (i.e., # of written papers, exams, length of papers).
- Request for Course Evaluation. A link to this form can be found at the top of this webpage.
- For non-EAP work: In addition to the first two items listed,
- (a) Information (online or in a printed course catalog) about course level (e.g., proof that it's upper-division).
- (b) A copy of your transcript (once available). An unofficial copy is ok. A transcript is not necessary when you first submit your materials for review.