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Study Abroad in Political Science

Before You Study Abroad:

Thinking of going abroad? The Political Science Department encourages its majors and minors to study abroad!

Political Science students can study all over the world through the University of California’s Education Abroad Program (EAP) or UCSD’s Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Study the Politics of Development in Barbados or Ghana. Debate International Relations, Political Economy, and Security Studies with students in Canada, France, Hong Kong, or Turkey. Learn through recent historical events the effects of democratization, state-building, and political transformation in Chile, Mexico, or Vietnam. Gain a new understanding of how ethnicity and national identity influence politics in the Czech Republic or the Republic of Ireland. The Study Abroad Office website offers additional information for UCSD Political Science students planning to study abroad.

Your First Steps:

  1. Attend a first-steps session in person or watch a short video online
  2. Research program options online
  3. Meet with a Study Abroad advisor who specializes in programs for your major
  4. Search for abroad courses that can fulfill your major requirements
  5. Meet with your department's academic advisor
  6. Meet with your college academic advisor

Study Abroad Programs - Political Science

The UCEAP site - UCEAP: Political Science Abroad - only list a few of the EAP Study Abroad Programs focused on Political Science. Students studying political science can often find relevant courses at most universities across the world

Contact the Study Abroad Office at UCSD to decide where you want to go and obtain an Academic Planning Form.

Databases for Searching UCEAP Courses

The UCSD Campus Credit Abroad database helps students identify what types of credit (major, minor, general education, electives) UCSD students have received in the past for courses taken on UCEAP. Discuss all course options with your appropriate advisor (College and Department) before committing to a program.

The UCEAP Public Course Catalog includes courses previously taken by EAP students at universities across the world. 

Both of these resources are helpful for plannign out possible coursework while abroad. 

Once you have completed the Academic Planning Form with the courses you plan to take while studying abroad, bring the course syllabi and Academic Planning Form to the Political Science Department during walk-in advising hours for a signature. 

Be sure to read how to transfer courses to the Political Science major that you plan to take or have taken abroad.

Political Science Students Abroad!

Lund, Sweden

My name is Raiza Ruiz-Kline and I am a graduating third year from Muir College. I studied abroad fall quarter 2017 in Lund, Sweden through UCEAP. I am a PoliSci-Public Policy major/Marine Science minor and completed coursework for my major in Lund. During my time abroad I visited Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Poland, and Hungary.

Studying abroad was the best decision I have made in my college career hands down. I was incredibly apprehensive about the application process and didn’t even know for certain I wanted to go until I actually had my plane ticket in my hand, but now the knowledge that I have friends in literally every corner of the earth with whom I shared incredibly special experiences in Sweden and beyond isn’t something I would trade for the world.

Tokyo, Japan

Emily Yeh is a senior majoring in Political Science - International Relations. She has been part of many study abroad programs throughout undergrad, studing abroad in: Yokohama, Japan; Paris, France; Geneva, Switzerland; and Tokyo Japan.

The EAP Programs she participated are:

- EAP Global & International Studies, Meiji Gakuin Univ. (Spring 2015)
- EAP Political Science, Sciences Po Paris (Fall 2015)
- EAP Global and International Studies, Univ. of Geneva (Spring 2017)
- EAP Keio University (2017-2018 Year)

In reflecting on her time abroad, Emily shares, "Going abroad really made me grow as a person as I had to adapt to different cultures and languages, and figure out how things work each time (and be either amazed or frustrated by it). These “changes” to my life, including moving, packing, settling, traveling, and even maintaining long-distance friendships have taught me to reflect and helped me learn about myself.

My time abroad made me realize what is important to me in my life, both tangible and intangible. It allowed me to live and experience a life that used to only exist in my imagination. It crushed what I once thought was my dream, and helped me rebuild realistic and practical goals in accordance with my priorities in life. I’m glad that I got to figure these out in college rather than later.

As a Political Science - International Relations major, I completed major courses abroad and learned a new language. I have friends all over the world, and I met some of my best friends in life while studying abroad. I believe it is incredible valuable for anyone, especially those in international relations, to study abroad and see the world. Do it while you are young, in college, and get units and scholarship for it! It will reshape your perspectives. Study abroad defined much of my college life, and my relatively short time on campus was well spent. I found out where I want to live, and I am currently looking for a career in Japan".

Paris, France

Annie Lam is a recent Political Science graduate and studied abroad during the Winter and Spring quarters of her senior year in Sciences Po through the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP). As a second year transfer student, Annie shows that is IS possible for transfer students to study abroad, so start your seach as soon as possible!
In reflecting on her time abroad, Annie shares, "I studied world politics, international governance, and film/media. During my time at Sciences Po I was able to gain an invaluable global perspective on politics and society. I was able to attend one of the world's leading universities for social sciences with people from around the world - not only did I gain a more wholesome and cultured understanding of world politics, but I've made such great friendships with people from all walks of life. Deciding to study abroad in Paris was one of the best decisions I've made during my college career".

Petitioning Courses After You Study Abroad:

Documents for Petitioning EAP or OAP Courses for the Political Science Major UPON RETURN:

Petition for Study Abroad Credit Upon Return (PDF) -- Returning students, complete one for EACH course you are petitioning.  PLEASE DO NOT STAPLE THE PETITION PACKETS. You may paper-clip them together. 

Student Guidelines for Returning Abroad (PDF) -- Returning students, read and sign one copy only.

Political Science majors may transfer up to six courses from outside UCSD to the major. This includes EAP/OAP courses, community college courses, courses taken at other 4-year universities, and AP courses.

In order for study abroad courses to be allowable for the major, they must be Political Science courses, and transfer to UCSD as upper-division, with 4 or units each, and with a letter grade of C- or better. 

Courses may only be petitioned for the Political Science major once you have returned from studying abroad. If you have any questions regarding the petition process, please come in for walk-in advising or send a message via the Virtual Advising Center:

Study Abroad Events, Program Deadlines, and Scholarship Deadlines:

The calendar below is continually updated with information related to events and workshops hosted by the Study Abroad Office, program deadlines, and scholarship deadlines. For further assistance, the Study Abroad Advisors can help you navigate the application process and refer you to scholarships that can help finance your study abroad experience.


Global Concentration in Political Science

The Global Concentration in Political Science capitalizes on students’ study abroad experience, language skills, and UCSD global content courses. This is not a major in Political Science, but rather a concentration that any political science major may formally declare once all of the requirements have been met. This is a transcripted concentration, meaning it will reflect on your transcript, but not on your final diploma.  You must notify the department that you wish to declare this concentration via the Virtual Advising Center or walk-in advising (no e-mails or telephone calls) so that your degree audit may be updated.   


  • A minimum of eight units earned through study abroad, of which a minimum of four units would count toward the major;
  • Demonstration of proficiency in a second language through the fourth quarter of university-level instruction.  Contact your College with questions about this requirement. The Department of Political Science cannot authenticate language proficiency; and
  • A minimum of two courses with department- or program-identified global content. Political Science courses  POLI 11(D), POLI 12(D), and any POLI course numbered 120-159 taken at UCSD will satisfy this requirement.

Planning Ahead:

If you are interested in studying abroad but have not done so yet, please contact the Study Abroad Office to learn of your first steps.