Study Abroad

Exploring the option of study abroad

There are many good economics programs offered through universities overseas; students are encouraged to ask their faculty advisors for details about the quality of various programs. Schools with particularly strong reputations in economics include the London School of Economics, University College London, and Queen Mary in the United Kingdom; Trinity College Dublin in Ireland; Pompeu Fabra and Madrid Complutense in Spain; Bocconi University in Italy; and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The Office of International Programs (OIP), located in Hovey House, coordinates the study-abroad option and can provide more detailed information about specific programs. OIP plans and coordinates your study abroad semester or year from beginning to end: from offering advice about various programs; applying to and planning your course of study at whatever program you may choose; and transferring credits and grades to BC when you return. However, the Economics department has its own rules as well. Please review this page thoroughly to ensure you understand our requirements for transferring credits back to BC.

Do you need department permission to study abroad?

As part of the application process to study abroad OIP provides students with a form that they bring to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in each of their majors to be signed for department approval to study abroad. Economics has a special arrangement with OIP, such that you do not need approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies to study abroad.

Course Requirements Prior to Studying Abroad

To ensure that students are able to complete the requirements for the major in time for graduation, all students must have completed Statistics and either Micro or Macro Theory before studying abroad. (We strongly prefer that both theory courses and Econometrics are completed before studying abroad.)

Requirements for receiving credit towards the Economics major, minor, or concentration for courses taken abroad.

The following requirements must be met for a course to transfer back credits towards the major, minor, or Concentration:

  1. A&S majors, A&S minors and CSOM concentrators must earn at least a B- in at least one of the Intermediate Theory courses before going abroad.

  2. The course taken abroad cannot be Micro Theory, Macro Theory, Statistics or Econometrics. These courses must be taken in the department.

  3. The course must be approved for content. A list of courses pre-approved for content as either a lower-level elective (2000 level) or an upper-level elective (3000 level) can be found on the link further down this page. If you find a course that is not on the pre-approved for content list but you believe it should qualify as an Economics elective, please send a detailed course syllabus to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Economics department and ask them to review the course to see if it qualifies.

  4. The course must have the appropriate number of credit hours. OIP determines the course credit hours. If you have questions about the number of credit hours a course has, please check with the Academic Operations Administrator

  5. The student must receive a C- or above in the course (if taken in an external program) to receive transfer credit at Boston College.

  6. You cannot have exceeded your limit of courses that can be taken “outside of the department.” In general, students may take a maximum of two courses abroad, although students who have previously taken summer courses, and students who have advanced placement should discuss their individual situations with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. (You can see more details on these limits on the FAQ page.)

The Department has collected a list of courses from universities throughout the world where the content has been approved as either an upper- or lower-level elective in Economics. A course must generally be a 3 credit course to qualify but you may combine two 2-credit-hour courses to count for one elective, or three 2-credit-hour courses to count for two electives. The list is updated periodically. Student Services also has a copy of this list. Therefore, if a course you take is on the list, it will automatically be placed on your audit when Student Services receives the grade from the host university, assuming you have met all of the other requirements listed above.

Study Abroad Courses Pre-Approved for Economic Content

Plan your study abroad semester(s) with the Office of International Programs

Economics majors must contact the Office of International Programs to apply for study abroad and to plan their semester or year abroad. Economics minors and students completing the CSOM Economics concentration should also contact the Office of International Programs to ensure that they are eligible to transfer elective courses taken abroad for credit toward their program. Those planning to participate in the Honors Program are strongly advised to identify a thesis topic and a faculty supervisor before going abroad. Very tight deadlines during the fall semester of senior year make this advance planning essential. Students who are considering doing Ph.D. work in economics or related disciplines should plan their programs abroad with particular care.