Political Science Department

Student-Proposed Foreign Experience Requirement Option

Normally, the department expects its majors to complete the foreign experience requirement either via a language sequence or via a full term abroad. Students may, however, petition the Chair with a proposal that includes the following elements:

-- A Union mini-term abroad or other departmentally approved, organized foreign experience of at least three weeks’ length. This must take place outside of the United States.

-- Two associated Union courses, with no restrictions as to department or division.

Together, the 3 elements (1 foreign experience + 2 courses) must demonstrate either regional or thematic coherence. An example would be:

1. South Africa mini-term

2. PSC 216 African Politics

3. HST 304 Cold War in Africa

The proposal must be primarily prospective. Of the three required elements (1 mini-term and 2 associated courses), normally only one can be in process or complete at the time of the proposal's submission.

Foreign students (on an F-1 or J-1 visa) may submit a proposal that features a domestic (US-based) mini-term, such as Civil Rights or Community Service, in addition to two associated courses.

Keep in mind that securing admission to a Union mini-term or other organized foreign experience is central to carrying out the proposed plan of study. At the same time, acceptance to Union mini-terms is not guaranteed, nor is the International Programs office under any obligation to give your mini-term application special consideration because you hope to build your Political Science foreign experience requirement around it. In other words, you should have a back-up plan for fulfilling your foreign experience requirement should your mini-term (or other) application not meet with success.

Departments do not offer all courses listed in the Academic Register every year, or even every other year. Therefore, in his/her proposal, the student must do two things to establish that completion of his/her course of study will be feasible. First, for each associated course, the student must list three options. Second, the student must meet with the appropriate department chair during office hours to determine when each course is likely to be offered. Finally, students should note any prerequisites that are required for proposed associated courses and give careful thought to whether there is room in his/her schedule to complete them.

The Chair of the Department of Political Science makes the final determination on proposal approval.