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.
Lower-division requirements can be satisfied by courses offered at community colleges and four-year universities. Students are free to take lower-div courses elsewhere during the summer, just be sure to have the courses approved by your major advisor or an L&S advisor (depending on the requirement you wish to fulfill) in advance. To take courses elsewhere during the academic year, students must officially withdraw from UC Berkeley for that semester. Students may not take courses at another school and UC Berkeley at the same time unless they receive special permission from L&S.
All but one of the lower-division requirements can be fulfilled at community colleges. You can find which lecture-based courses were approved at http://assist.org (external link). FYI: There are no PS 3 equivalents at junior colleges; it must be taken at UC Berkeley.
Upper-division requirements. Political Science majors can satisfy a maximum of 3 upper-division major requirements with courses taken at any accredited 4-year institution, including education abroad. Read on for how to get courses approved. For students admitted to UC Berkeley as freshmen Fall 2008 onwards and junior transfer students admitted to Berkeley Fall 2009 onwards, please note that a maximum of one upper-division course taken outside UC Berkeley can count towards the subfield specialization requirement and none can satisfy a distribution requirement of the new Political Science major program.
To fulfill an upper-division Polisci requirement, the courses must be:
- a lecture course (no internships, independent research, labs, or field work)
- within the university's Department of Political Science;
- upper division;
- taken at a 4-year university or college;
- taken for a letter grade;
- comparable in instruction hours (at least 4.5 quarter units or 3 semester units) to receive full credit. Important! Courses taken at quarter system schools will be viewed as partial credit (using the university standard of 2.66 units) for one of our 4-unit courses. This means that two quarter courses must be taken to fulfill one upper-division requirement; three quarter courses to fulfill two requirements; and so on. The maximum number of quarter courses transferable to fulfill upper-division Polisci requirements is five. This is the equivalent of three semester classes.
Be sure not to duplicate courses you have already taken at UC Berkeley.
To get courses approved for the major, submit the following materials to the Undergraduate Advising Office, 296 Social Sciences Building. You will be notified of the decision within three weeks.
- A syllabus. The syllabus should include the following:
- A description and summary of the course.
- Required texts and readings.
- Course outline, week by week.
- Request for Course Evaluation form for courses at foreign universities. Obtainable at the Polisci Undergrad Office or near the top of the "Study Abroad" page of our website (under the Undergraduate Program tab))
- Once availabe, a copy of your transcript (unofficial is okay) showing the courses and grades. A transcript is not necessary when you first submit your materials for review.
NOTE: Course approvals can take up to three weeks. Plan ahead!
Timing and risks
If you are on the degree list for the semester you are away, you might not graduate if your transcripts don't arrive in time. At some colleges, terms end much later than ours does. Transcripts must be received by L&S no later than one month after the term ends. If they are late and you miss your degree date, you must put yourself on the degree list for the following semester.
To get unit credit for any courses taken elsewhere, transcripts must be provided. The one exception to this is the Education Abroad Program - all your courses taken on EAP will automatically appear on your Berkeley transcript.
After you complete a transfer course and the final grade is posted, submit an official transcript to Berkeley using one of the following options:
- Electronic – The CEU recommends that transcripts be sent electronically. If the institution/transcript vendor requests an email to send the transcript, use firstname.lastname@example.org. Berkeley does not accept transcripts sent via email attachment.
- Mail – If a paper transcript is the only option, it can be sent to:
UC Berkeley Undergraduate Transcripts
16 Sproul Hall, MC 0608
Berkeley, CA 94720-0608
- In-person – Transcripts can be hand-delivered to Cal Student Central at 120 Sproul Hall. To be accepted, the transcript must be in a sealed envelope from the institution. Only original, single-copy international transcripts, with an official seal, can be accepted without an envelope.
Before taking courses anywhere, you should...
- Check with Undergraduate Admissions in 110 Sproul to be sure the units will transfer (not necessary for EAP programs);
- Check with L&S in 206 Evans Hall if you want to count courses toward your breadth requirements or, if you are a senior, to be sure that you have satisfied the Senior Residency requirement (mentioned above);
- Check with a Pol Sci advisor in 296 Social Sciences Building if you want to satisfy Poli Sci requirements.