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Study Abroad

Earning Major/Minor Credit Abroad

Students pursuing a major or minor in Political Science may receive credit for courses taken while studying abroad.

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

Students should refer to the Global Learning Office (GLO) website to begin researching program options and to familiarize themselves with the application process and timeline. The beginning of Fall quarter one year before you intend to study abroad is a great time to start seriously considering your options, but you can begin planning as soon as you start at Northwestern by letting your adviser know you are interested in study abroad.

Once you have chosen a program and identified courses that you might want to take on your, please email information about those courses to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) at Include links to course descriptions, syllabi, or whatever information you an access. The DUS will evaluate those courses and let you know if they are likely to count for political science credit and how they might correspond to major/minor requirements at Northwestern.

It is not necessary to meet in-person with the DUS about pre-approvals, though you are welcome to come to the DUS’s drop-in advising hours if you wish! No appointments are necessary.

Please note that 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

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?

Department Contact:
Professor Daniel Galvin
Director of Undergraduate Studies

University Contact:
Northwestern University Global Learning Office
1800 Sherman Avenue, Suite 4-400
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone: (847) 467-6400

*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.