Undergraduate Program

Study Abroad

Living in a foreign country and gaining fluency in a foreign language can be central parts of a liberal education. Indeed, a deep understanding of any of the sub-fields of political science-yes, even American politics-requires engaging other people's politics, history, culture, and language. For this reason, the Government Department has a policy of doing what it can to enable its concentrators to study abroad.

The process of approving 'Study Abroad Petition' requires concentrators to meet with the DUS for advance approval of courses that will count towards the concentration.  The DUS will need to consult the proposed course description and syllabus carefully. Courses taken in the stipulated related fields will also count toward the concentration. Students must earn a B- or better in each course in order to receive final approval.

We care also that a student’s plan of study makes sense given a particular student's intellectual interests and aims. For instance, students intending to write a thesis need to choose their courses in the junior year with special care.

Once abroad, many students find they need to change their course selection - sometimes students discover that courses are not offered as expected or that scheduling precludes taking all the courses listed. Students in this situation should enter any changes through the Study Abroad website. It is in the student's interest to keep the Government Undergraduate Program and the OIP informed of all course changes as they occur.

Students should keep in mind that the DUS only approves courses for concentration credit. The Government Department does not decide which courses if any may count toward the Core or Gen Ed and does not decide whether the Study Abroad Petition should be approved. For more information about these matters and the study abroad process generally, we encourage you to consult with the Office of International Programs. They are located at 77 Dunster Street. They can also be reached at 496-2722, or oip@fas.harvard.edu.  A list of programs recommended by Government department faculty members is available on the OIP web site.

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