Transfer & Study Abroad

Study Abroad, Transfer Credit & Credit Away

Students may count a limited number of study abroad courses, transfer courses, and summer courses at other universities towards their major requirements, with the following stipulations:

  1. At least six Political Science courses must rostered or explicitly cross-listed by the Political Science Department at Penn.
  2. Transfer credit and study abroad credit may be used to satisfy any relevant requirement of the major at the discretion of the Undergraduate Chair.  For political science majors, credit away courses may only be used to satisfy the PSCI or major-related elective requirement.
Study Abroad Credit

Any course taken abroad in a Political Science (or Politics or Government) department at an institution approved by the Office of International Programs will be eligible for credit provided the courses have contact hours, readings, and graded assignments that are roughly similar to what one might expect at a major four-year university in the U.S.

If, however, students plan to request Political Science credit for a course with significant political content offered by another department (such as Geography or Sociology), they should obtain tentative approval from the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Program (via e-mail) prior to registration.

Please submit requests and attach the relevant syllabi through the College’s external course approval tool, XCAT.  See: 

For more information on Penn's Study Abroad Program, one of the most extensive study-abroad programs in the country, you may visit the Penn Abroad website.

Transfer Credit

To obtain credit for courses in Political Science taken at prior institutions, students should consult with the College’s Office for Transfer Students. Transfer credits requests and supporting documentation may be conveyed to the Department through: the College’s external course approval tool (XCAT) available at:  

After matriculation, students will not receive approval for courses taken at a two-year college.  Note that the Department does not accept Advanced Placement credit towards either the major or the minor. The Department also does not offer course credit for internships.

Credit Away

Penn students may seek credit for political science courses taken at a different institution while matriculated as a Penn student. Political science majors may only use credit away courses to satisfy the PSCI or major-related elective requirement. 

For more information on College policies toward credit away, see