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Transferring From Another Institution

At least 10 courses in political science must be taken in residence at UCSD. A total maximum of six courses may be taken elsewhere and applied toward the major. This applies to transfer students, students who pass the AP exam(s), students who study abroad on the Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP), and students who take political science courses at another 4 year university (including UCs). Students planning to transfer course work completed elsewhere are urged to consult an undergraduate student affairs advisor.

Undergraduate Departmental Petition (Required) 

Students who wish to utilize a course that is not a UCSD Political Science course must request an exception by submitting a completed Undergraduate Student Petition. The petition must be accompanied by supporting documentation and will be reviewed by a Political Science faculty member to determine if Political Science credit can be granted.

  • Undergraduate Student Petition (PDF)
  • Supporting documentation includes a course syllabus (at minimum), major assignments, and a reading list. 
  • Students petition after their coursework has posted to their record.

Petitions are not guaranteed to be approved and take approximately 4-5 weeks to be processed.

Notification of the decision is sent through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) . All petitions can be submitted to the Department of Political Science's Undergraduate advisor during drop-in advising hours or online via Google form. The Department office is located in Social Sciences Building, Room 301 (third floor). 

Please see instructions below regarding petitioning course work. If you plan to take major course work outside of UCSD, you should consult with a Political Science Undergraduate Advisor so applicable procedures can be verified.

Four-Year Institutions

Upper Division - Prior to taking an upper-division political science course at another four-year institution, please submit the course syllabus or check with an undergraduate advisor to determine whether the course may be applied to the political science major at UCSD, or if coursework may be applied to your area of concentration. It cannot be a duplicate of any course already taken. The course must be a political science course, upper-division, at least four units and transfer with a grade of C- or better.

  • If the other institution offers political science-type courses through an interdisciplinary department (i.e., Law and Politics) be sure to check with an undergraduate advisor prior to taking the course in order to ensure credit upon your return to UCSD.

Lower Division - If you take a lower-division course at another four-year institution with the same title as any of the lower-division courses in political science offered art UCSD, you will be allowed to apply it toward the major, i.e. Introduction to American Politics = POLI 10 at UCSD. If you are unsure about the course, check with an undergraduate advisor prior to taking it.

California Community Colleges

Please visit ASSIST to determine which lower-division courses taken at a California community college will transfer to the Political Science major at UCSD. Contact an undergraduate advisor if you have taken a Political Science course at a California community college which is not listed on

Community Colleges Outside of California

Political science courses taken at a community college outside of California must have the same title and content as any of the lower-division courses in political science offered at UCSD so that it students can apply it toward the major.

Example: Introduction to American Politics = POLI 10 at UCSD.

If you are unsure about the course, check with an undergraduate advisor prior to taking it.

Distance and Online Instruction

For information, please read about UCSD's policy on distance and online instruction.

The following website helps students find online courses at California community colleges:

Once you get to the website, scroll down to the Online Course Finder.

Receiving Credit

Upon completion of coursework taken outside of UCSD, all official transcripts must be sent to the UC San Diego Admissions office for evaluation and posting to your academic history. Note: It takes approximately 10-12 weeks from the time you send transcripts for them to be received, evaluated and posted to your academic history.

If you plan to take your last course(s) at another institution, check with your college to determine if a Senior Residency Waiver will be required.