Political Science

Event Date: 

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 2:30pm

Study Abroad for
Political Science Majors


Study Abroad as a
Political Science Major!


Intern & Study
Political Science in Jordan

UCSB’s Political Science Department strongly urges its students to complete some portion of their undergraduate study abroad through the UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP).  UCEAP allows political science majors to experience different political systems, cultures and economies first-hand.  Whether you choose to study the politics of development in Barbados, intern in the parliamentary system in Western Europe, or debate international relations in Brazil, living and studying abroad will expand your perspective, improve your critical thinking, increase your independence and better prepare you for a career in an increasingly internationally competitive world.

Why study abroad?

The Department of Political Science emphasizes the integration of theory and practice.  What better way to “practice” the discipline than to expose yourself to an entirely new society, culture and government?  Imagine explaining the US political system to your new classmates abroad and then reflecting on the US and its role in the world from an outsider’s point of view.  Participation in UCEAP opens up a new world to students, literally and figuratively. 

UCEAP offers a variety of short-term and year-long programs taught in English or in a foreign language.  All course units earned abroad through UCEAP are automatically credited towards your units needed to graduate. Depending on your course selection, you may fulfill major or GE requirements as well. Participating in UCEAP provides further advantages when it comes to the challenges of graduate school and the competitive job market.

Although we encourage all political science majors to study abroad, we particularly urge those intending to obtain an international relations emphasis to participate in UCEAP. 

Don’t just read about the cultures and politics of other countries -- go and immerse yourself in them!  

When should I study abroad?

While it is possible for political science students to go abroad at almost any point in their academic careers, the particular quarter, semester, summer or year that you study abroad depends on what courses you plan to take.  Students interested in Language and Culture programs, or in fulfilling major preparation and general education requirements, can participate as early as their sophomore year.  Students wanting to fulfill upper-division major requirements should, in most cases, go abroad in their junior or senior years.  We recommend that students complete at least two of the lower division political science courses and either PS 105 or PS 121 prior to departing for study abroad.

Where should I study abroad?

With programs in over 40 different countries, you have many options.  Courses in political science and international relations can be found at most UCEAP host universities and are identified on the UCEAP website. Political science majors have gone to programs all over the world -- Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and South America. 

Here are some of the exciting possibilities to consider, all taught in English:

If you have the foreign language skills, you should consider taking major coursework in BrazilChileFranceGermanyItalyMexico, or Spain.

What classes should I take?

All UCEAP students automatically earn UC credit for the work they complete abroad.  However, the application of credit to major requirements is subject to the discretion of the department.  Plan ahead and consult with your department advisors.

The Department of Political Science strongly encourages students to participate in UCEAP. The undergraduate advisor will work individually with each student to ensure the most effective use of courses taken abroad for major requirements. Internships, independent study and field work completed abroad can be used for major requirements upon approval of the department. While most students take political science courses focused primarily on international relations and comparative politics, many political science majors have completed courses in political theory, bureaucracy and American institutions while on UCEAP. In addition, upper-division history courses are readily available and are an excellent supplement to our program. 

Use Gaucho Credit Abroad to search for the types of credit (i.e. major, minor, GE areas, or electives towards graduation) that UCSB students received for courses taken on UCEAP. You can find more UCEAP courses in the UCEAP Course Catalog and additional course listings on UCEAP partner university/program websites.

How do I get started?

Academic Planning Form Tutorial

Gaucho Credit Abroad Database