Study Abroad and Transfer Credit

Transfer credit issues for undergraduates arise under two circumstances:

  • students who are transferring to Rice University;
  • Rice students who have taken (or will take) courses at another institution (e.g., through a study abroad program).

Transferring to Rice

The Political Science Department is not involved in admitting transfer students to Rice. Members of the department are willing to talk about political science at Rice, but questions about the admissions process should be directed to the Admissions Office (; phone: 713-348-RICE).

Transfer Credit and Study Abroad for Rice Students

The most common form of transfer credit for Rice students is through study abroad. Political Science encourages majors to study abroad. It provides an invaluable learning experience and students can get transfer credit for political science courses taken at another institution. Students should get information about studying abroad and the programs available to Rice students through the Office of Study Abroad.

Transfer credit for political science courses taken through study abroad or at another university is handled by the Department of Political Science. Students should talk to the major/transfer credit advisor BEFORE going abroad to get pre-approval for the courses they plan to take for political science credit. This ensures that students know what credit they will receive before investing time in courses at other institutions. Upon returning from study abroad or completing courses at another institution, students need to bring the official transfer credit approval form to the major/transfer advisor for final approval and a signature.

For each of these meetings, students should have the following information ready:

  • Pre-approval meeting:
    • a copy of the syllabi or sample syllabi for the courses and/or
    • online links to more information on the program, courses, faculty, etc.
  • Final approval meeting:
    • a copy of the course syllabi for the courses taken
    • a copy of the students’ written work completed for the courses’ assignments
    • official transfer credit approval form

Transfer credit for political science courses taken at other institutions or through study abroad is considered on an individual student basis, but the following guidelines may help you:

  • Courses should clearly be focused on content related to political science/international relations. The transfer credit advisor will be the final arbiter on whether a course has sufficient political science content to count for credit.
  • Most courses, regardless of level of difficulty, will be transferred in as POLI 3xx. Students can have an unlimited number of POLI 3xx courses on their transcript but only 2 POLI 3xx courses can count toward the major. POLI 3xx courses only count toward the major as electives (see the major requirements page).