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Suggested Programs for Philosophy

Raphael's The School of Athens fresco painting in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican

Raphael's The School of Athens fresco painting in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican

If philosophy is fundaentally about thinking in new ways and exposing yourself to new perspectives on living and being, study abroad is the ultimate complement to the philosophy major. Through a semester or more abroad, philosophy students can explore both new perspectives and the homelands of great philosophers throughout history.

Programs Highlighted for Philosophy

Philosophy students have innumerable study abroad options, but to avoid overwhelming students, we have highlighted a few programs that meet two or more of the follow criteria:

  • Students can pursue key courses like Metaphysics, Philosophy of the Mind, Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Language
  • Students can pursue philosophy in the homelands of great past philosophers
  • Students can take courses at highly ranked universities

Germany: European Studies

This program at Free University, often called FU-BEST, features German language study and a range of humanities and social sciences classes taught in English. Expert faculty teach small classes that center around German and European studies. Check out the "The Promise of German Philosophy: Kant to Hegel" course.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Singapore: National Univ. of Singapore (NUS)

At the National University of Singapore, you can take engaging classes in your major with local and international students. As a global university, courses are taught in English by faculty from all over the world. Particular​ fields of note include engineering and computer sciences, biological sciences, philosophy, social sciences, and South and Southeast Asian studies.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Netherlands: Univ. College Maastricht

At University College Maastricht (UCM) you can study in English while gaining a broad perspective on the world as well as new skills in analysis and collaboration. UCM attracts highly motivated and ambitious students from all over the world. Utilizing a problem-based learning method of teaching, classes integrate theoretical and practical approaches to solving contemporary problems in science and society.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Australia: Univ. of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales offers a full range of coursework to accommodate your UC major. Fully integrated into the academic and social life at UNSW, you can pursue classes in all kinds of subjects: philosophy, science, math, architecture and planning, business, economics, engineering and computing, health, psychology, as well as the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Norway: Univ. of Oslo

At the University of Oslo you can take courses in your major in English. Living and learning alongside Norwegian and international students, you’ll experience the positive and inclusive learning environment that has led to its outstanding student reviews.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

China: Fudan Univ.

Take coursework taught in English that focuses on Chinese economic development and business, China’s rapidly expanding role in the world economy and international relations, and Chinese society and culture in the era of globalization. Shanghai and the Yangtze Delta economy provide an ideal locale for case studies of economic development in a changing cultural, political, and international environment.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

South Africa: Univ. of Cape Town

Witness the ongoing social transformation of South Africa while immersing completely in its life and culture. At the University of Cape Town, you can access a full curriculum of coursework along with experiential learning activities in the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, engineering, economics, and business administration. Key coursework includes, Philosophy of Language, Political Philosophy, and Literature and Philosophy.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

United Kingdom: King’s College London (English Universities)

As one of England’s oldest universities, King’s College London has a proud history of inspiring those who seek to transform society. With a long and distinguished international reputation in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, it also aims to be regarded throughout the world as a civic university at the heart of London, working with local partners to contribute to the success of the city. King’s College is perhaps the most varied in philosophy coursework across all of UCEAP.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Five steps to add an internship to your study abroad experience

Five steps to add an internship to your study abroad experience

Adding an internship to study abroad is like adding backstage passes to your favorite show, a first-class upgrade on a long flight or whipped cream on just about anything! It’s the ultimate complement to study abroad that results in international work experience, increased confidence and serious professional credibility in future job interviews and grad school applications. So, if you’re looking to combine two amazing experiences (internship + study abroad), here’s how you can make it happen! Read more about internships with UCEAP.

“I decided to participate in an internship because I wanted to get the most out of my study abroad experience. It gave me the chance to get hands-on experience in a research facilitty working with Italian doctorate students while studying in Rome.”

Heather, Rome, Italy

Completing Other SSHA Requirements Abroad

SSHA students, in general, can take advantage of the requirement to complete four (4) non-major upper-division general education courses—or equivalent—from SSHA areas as varied as English literature to economics. Most SSHA students complete one or more of these required courses while studying abroad. These courses must be reviewed through the   SSHA course approval form.

SSHA students must also complete a total of 60.0 semester units in order to graduate. SSHA students complete many of these units within their major but often need more and can complete these requirements abroad.

Course Approval and Course Approval Forms

With a few exceptions of previously approved courses (ask your academic advisor), courses will need to be approved to meet individual degree requirements. In these cases, students will use the Course Approval Form for the school that would typically offer such a course at UC Merced:


The school will often require a syllabus or equivalent in order to do a review. Keep in mind that syllabi may be protected intellectual property of certain professors or universities and may not be publicly posted online. If it is a UC Center program, you may be able to acquire syllabi through your study abroad advisor. If the program is with a local host university and the course is not posted online, you may be able to inquire with the instructor or host university in some cases.

Academic Planning

No matter your academic intentions while studying abroad, you should consult your academic advisor and your MyDegreePath report to plan out your study abroad academic goals. Once you narrow your search to 1-3 study abroad programs consult your program page or ask your study abroad advisor about resources for researching courses in your program.


Start planning for study abroad with your academic advisor as soon as you can. One of the keys to maximizing academic success abroad is early planning and scheduling course loads before, during, and after study abroad. This includes strategies such as targeting a study abroad term to exploit areas of flexibility in your academic plan.

Be sure to make use of UCEAP course credit resources below, too.


UC Merced Campus Credit through UCEAP

How to Explore Database of Courses Previously Taken


Campus Credit Abroad

Planning the courses you’ll take on study abroad is as important as figuring out when and where to go. All courses taken on the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) are guaranteed UC credit, but understanding how each class may fit into your academic plan is a critical part of the planning process.

UCEAP Database of Courses Previously Taken

How to Find Courses for UCEAP

One of the challenges with academic planning and completing the Academic Planning Form is finding courses. While there is never any certainty with course offerings and study abroad always requires a little calculated academic risk, there are some techniques to minimize the risk and exploit unique educational opportunities through study abroad.

Courses & Credit Tab

For nearly every UCEAP program page, there will be a tab labeled “Courses & Credit.” Within this tab you will find information and links in the “Course Opportunities” area. The course resources are listed in order of relevance. Depending on the program, you might find any of the following resources:

  1. Course syllabi
  2. Links to academic majors or programs with courses
  3. A bulleted list of courses

MyEAP Course Catalog

All UCEAP coursework taken in the last five (5) years is listed in the UCEAP Course Catalog. There are a few things you should consider when using the MyEAP Course Catalog:

  1. The list of courses is not comprehensive.
  2. Course units are listed in quarter units (to convert to semester units, divide by 1.5).
  3. Syllabi are not included.
  4. You may need to search less intuitive subject areas to find coursework (e.g. health sciences for public health, "engineering" for bioengineering, business for management and business economics).

Check Previously Approved Courses

There are a few resources available showing coursework previously approved for study abroad online. The resources are limited but they do represent some of the more recent course approvals:

A Note on Course Syllabi

Your academic advisor or school may insist that you need syllabi in order to determine whether a course abroad will substitute a particular degree requirement. While this is generally true, this does not prevent you from planning out your academic schedule abroad and determining what type of degree requirements a course may fulfill.

Sometimes your study abroad advisor or UCEAP can acquire a syllabus on your behalf; however, this is not always the case. Please understand that syllabi are often considered intellectual property and may not be shared until the course begins. Previously approved courses (see above) are often your first go-to resource to select courses.