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Study Abroad Transfer Credits

Study Abroad Transfer Credits

Government majors with an interest in studying abroad are encouraged to consult the Global Education Office (GEO) of the Reves Center for International Studies. The staff at the Reves Center guide students throughout the process -- from program selection through transfer credits.

When and how do I receive pre-approval or post-approval for Government courses?

After carefully reviewing the procedures at the Reves Center’s very helpful website on Study Abroad, you may submit approval for Government courses before or after your study abroad experience. Please use the DocuSign form that the Reves Center has created for approvals.

A few important things to note when considering receiving transfer credit:

  • A student is unable to receive study abroad transfer credit for a course they have already taken.
  • The Government Department does not accept study abroad transfer credit for 400-level seminars.
  • Please submit the full course syllabus for the class you are going to enroll in or have enrolled in so we can review that it is indeed an equivalent of a Government class and meets our Department’s standards.
  • For pre-approval courses, please only submit review requests for the select courses that you are planning to register for or have registered for. Faculty approvers do not have the time to review a long list of courses, especially ones that students never end up registering for. For pre-approval, please indicate whether you are planning to register for the course or already have registered for the course.  

Is credit possible for internship courses abroad or 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 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 W&M, 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 W&M's Permission to Take Courses Elsewhere 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 another U.S. university?

Yes (but note as stated above one may not receive transfer credit for 400-level seminars). Please follow the guidelines for undertaking a Government independent study course here. Like one would do for independent study at William & Mary, you need to submit a mini-syllabus outlining the learning objectives, readings, assignments, and meeting times with the professor advising you.