Transfer Credit for Study Abroad

Government majors with an interest in studying abroad are encouraged to consult the Global Education Office of the Reves Center for International Studies to help select a program.

How do you get transfer credit from the Government Department?

Credits and (in some cases) grades for courses taught in William and Mary Programs by faculty from the College appear on the transcript (and may count for GER credit). But for summer, semester or yearlong courses taken through any other arrangement, including William and Mary's own Tution Exchange and Enrollment Assisant programs; programs sponsored by other US universities; popular programs such as AIFS, CIEE, IES, etc.; or through direct enrollment at foreign universities, follow this process to obtain transfer credits (grades and GER credit do not transfer for these programs):

  1. Determine which courses being offered by the program you have chosen are of interest to you.

  2. List those courses on the Pre-Study Abroad Transfer Credit Approval Form  (also available at Reves; take this form and a copy of any information about the courses--ideally a photocopy of the catalog description--to the Government Department Main Office in Morton 10). You need not and should not email for an appointment; the materials will be reviewed and approved. Please allow at least a week for the processing; the Department will notify you if further information is required, but otherwise it is the student's responsibility to check back within the week, pick up the form.

  3. Government grants transfer credit for courses taught in Political Science/Government/Politics programs/departments abroad and for many (but not all) offered by International Relations/International Studies programs (if you plan to take certain courses in international/diplomatic history, globalization, law, etc., you may be directed to other departments for transfer credit). Also, the Department offers only limited credit for geography or internship related courses taken abroad.

  4. If while abroad you choose to, or must, take different courses than those pre-approved, and if you are uncertain that they qualify for Government credit (see 3 above), you may want to email the Associate Chair at [[cdhowa]] before registering. In any case, also save any course materials (syllabi, assignments, graded papers) and bring them, along with a Post-Study Abroad Transfer Credit Approval Form, back to the Department when you return to the College.

Is credit possible for internship courses abroad or at at another U.S. university?

Students seeking credit for a government/political science internship-based course to be taken abroad or elsewhere in the US (including at programs in Washington DC) should submit materials describing the academic/research work involved to the Department in advance. Pre-approval will be granted for GOVT ELEC (which counts toward the 120 credits for graduation, but not to the Government major).

Upon returning to the College, students may seek to have that credit converted to Government 498, Internship (which counts toward the 120 graduation credits and the major): doing so requires submitting all academic work completed/submitted as part of the internship course, along with a copy of the College's Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF) (available at the Registrar's office), to the Department, which will evaluate it based on the criteria for Govt. 498 credit above.

No more than 6 total credits in Government 498, Internship and Government 494, Independent Study (including those transferred in) combined may be counted toward a major in Government; credit beyond 6 may count to the 120 needed for graduation.

Is credit possible for independent studies abroad or at at another U.S. university?

Students seeking credit for independent study courses to be taken abroad or elsewhere in the US (including at programs in Washington DC) should submit materials describing the academic/research work involved to the Department in advance. Pre-approval will be granted for GOVT ELEC (which counts toward the 120 credits for graduation, but not to the Government major).

Upon returning to the College, students may seek to have that credit converted to Government 494, Independent Study (which counts toward the 120 graduation credits and the major): doing so requires submitting all academic work completed/submitted, along with a copy of the College's Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF) (also available at the Registrar's office), to the Department, which will evaluate it based on the criteria for Govt. 494 credit above.

No more than 6 total credits in Government 498, Internship and Government 494, Independent Study (including those transferred in) combined may be counted toward a major in Government; credit beyond 6 may count to the 120 needed for graduation. Also, no more than three credits of Govt. 494 may be counted for students also counting Govt. 495-96, Honors, to the major.

What study abroad courses count toward a Government major?

Courses granted transfer credit in Government (as opposed to for general elective credit) count toward the major Government EXCEPT for the 400-level seminar, which must be taken here at the College Also, of course, be sure not to enroll in classes that duplicate those already taken at the College.