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Bobcats without Borders

Suggested Programs for Political Science

Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey


As one of the most flexible and applicable majors for study abroad, political science is a good match for dozens—or hundreds—of study abroad options. For this reason, you may find it is less difficult to find a program than it is to narrow down your options to a manageable list. Here are some points to consider:

  • Do you have a specialized interest in international relations? Comparative politics? Area studies? Global and international studies? Peace and conflict studies?
  • Do you have another major or minor that is less flexible and might help you narrow down your options? You may want to start there.
  • Are you looking into internship possibilities? You can search by those.
  • Are you trying to build develop skills or experiences that may help you in your eventual job search? You can consider this.

By no means is this a comprehensive list of programs for political science majors, but these are some solid suggestions:

Programs with Politics Coursework as a Primary Focus

United Kingdom: Summer at London School of Economics

You can access an extensive range of courses taught by world-renowned faculty across the breadth of the social science expertise available at LSE. Courses range from core economics, accounting, and finance, to contemporary politics and management theory and practice. The program consists of regular undergraduate courses taught to the same standards by leading LSE faculty.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

France: Sciences Po, Paris

Sciences Po is one of the most highly respected universities in France. It draws top students from all over the world interested in training to become future leaders in politics and management. Open exclusively to a limited number of UC majors, the curriculum focuses on political science, economics, international relations, law, and history. The comparative perspective of courses gives the curriculum a strong international dimension.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Italy + Spain: Mediterranean Politics, Food, & Culture

Take a closer look at the social and political complexities of the Mediterranean through its food and nutrition. In studying the contrasts and similarities of each location, you’ll unlock the answers to evolving questions: How can we think about the Mediterranean as a region of unified culture, and where does this notion come apart? Courses run for five weeks in each location and include cultural excursions and lectures to complement classroom activities.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

France: Sciences Po, Reims

Explore questions facing European societies and get a firsthand view of contemporary France in a European and international context. Open exclusively to a limited number of UC majors, the curriculum focuses on business, economics, European studies, history, political science and international affairs, journalism, and law.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Immersion & Exchange Programs Suggested for Political Science

China: Fudan Univ.

Study globalization from a Chinese perspective in the exhilarating metropolis of Shanghai. Interactive courses are taught by UC and visiting faculty from around the world, and internship opportunities are available. Past courses have focused on the political economy of China, conflict resolution, and the history of diplomacy in modern China.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

United Kingdom: English Universities: Univ. of Manchester

Sub-disciplines: Comparative Politics, European Politics, International Relations, Political Theory
Enjoy a wide range of courses in politics at the University of Manchester. For those interested in law school, you can take legal courses through the Pre-Law Pathway for U.S. Students. Additionally, Manchester offers a course in leadership through the Study Abroad plus Leadership and Service program. The department has a long and distinguished history in research and is one of the largest and strongest political science groupings in the U.K.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Thailand: Thammasat Univ.

Sub-disciplines: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory
Evolving relationships of various economic sectors, political factions, and Thailand's socio-cultural landscape set the backdrop for engaging studies in politics and international relations. This program offers a wonderful opportunity for you to study abroad and advance in your major using theoretical approaches and case studies in Bangkok. Enterprising students can secure internships and research opportunities.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Sweden: Lund Univ.

Sub-disciplines: European Politics, International Relations, Political Theory
Courses at Lund University give you the opportunity to study Scandinavian, European, and Middle Eastern politics. Special area studies courses designed for international students cover global issues of contemporary interest. You may take first year graduate-level courses for upper-division credit provided you have the appropriate background.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Mexico: National Autonomous Univ. of Mexico (UNAM)

Sub-disciplines: Comparative Politics, International Relations, Latin American Politics, Political Theory
Note language of instruction: Spanish
Immerse yourself in lively Mexico City while you gain insights on Mexico-North American relations, the development policy of Mexico, student social movements, and much more. Professionally and academically, the city is an exceptional setting for internships, research, independent study, and projects in government ministries and NGOs.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Chile: Chilean Universities: Pontifical Catholic Univ. of Chile, Santiago

Sub-disciplines: Comparative Politics, International Relations, Latin American Politics, Political Theory
Note language of instruction: Spanish
Immerse yourself in the rich political landscape of Santiago, Chile. You can take courses such as Political Corruption in Latin America, Migrants and Refugees, and Humanitarian Work. The UCEAP Chile Study Center offers a variety of internship opportunities for political science majors in fields including human rights, public policy, and social services.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Global & International Studies Programs

Australia: International Security

This interdisciplinary program draws on ANU’s expertise in strategic defense studies, international relations, politics, and history. The curriculum nurtures a fascination with security practices and modern challenges in the field. It’s an invaluable stepping stone to prepare for a career in global security, foreign policy, international intelligence, diplomacy, or NGOs.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Japan: Global Studies, Meiji Gakuin Univ.

The Global and International Studies program combines coursework, project-based research, and field trips to provide a well-rounded view of Japan and current global challenges. Past courses include seminars in global studies, minority issues, and the international court and conflict. Research, internships, and independent study are also available.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Switzerland: Global Studies, Univ. of Geneva

This program is designed to give you the opportunity to study Political Science in the world's center of international governance. You will select from a set curriculum of interdisciplinary courses that cover issues of global concern and include field trips to the many Geneva-based organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and more.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Political Science Programs with Internships

United Kingdom: Intern Scotland

Further your political, cultural, and research knowledge and experience through an internship—all while living and studying in Edinburgh. The program offers internship positions accompanied by coursework at the University of Edinburgh. Choose courses that compliment your internship subject area or take classes to satisfy general education requirements.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Ireland: Irish Parliament Internship

This highly focused internship program enhances career prospects in politics because it allows you to experience Irish politics and culture right from within its governing body, Oireachtas (Irish Parliament). Supporting your internship experience, you enroll in courses on Ireland's history, society, politics, and literature.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Virtual International Internship

Customize your academic career with an online internship—from the comfort of your living room or patio. This program offers internship positions in many locations abroad across a wide variety of career fields. Give your future career a boost while gaining global experience through a virtual internship.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

Mexico + United States: Leadership in Social Justice and Public Policy

This distinctive multi-site leadership program with a focus on Latino and binational issues provides a variety of professional training and experience. You’ll begin with coursework at Mexico City’s top university then move on to a quarter or semester of political science coursework and an internship in Sacramento, California’s capital city.

Learn more about deadlines, details, and the application

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