Foreign Study

Many students profit greatly from spending part or all of their Junior year abroad. For information on the available programs, visit the Office of International Programs, located in Hovey House. At OIP, you can obtain information on the steps for applying for study abroad and begin researching programs according to your academic and geographic areas of interest. As you follow the steps in applying, you may be required to get History Department approval. This can be obtained from department administrators or from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Arissa Oh.

The history department will accept up to 4 foreign studies courses (worth 12 credits) toward major requirements, as long as 6 of the 10 courses required for the major (worth at least 18 credits) are taken at Boston College during the regular academic year.

Most foreign-study courses are accepted for elective (not upper-division) credit. The precise allocation of foreign study courses to major requirements is normally accomplished after you return to BC. It is rare for students to experience any difficulty in completing major requirements if they have made a good start on the major before they travel abroad.

If you believe that a course you are taking abroad is as challenging as one of our upper-division electives (i.e., it has substantial reading and writing assignments), you should compile evidence to support this. Save everything, especially the course syllabus and the paper(s) you write to show the Director of Undergraduate Studies upon your return to BC. No more than 2 foreign study courses can be counted as upper-division electives.

It's best to complete the US History survey (US History I and II or its equivalents) and The Study and Writing of History before you go abroad.

Students who are contemplating a senior honors thesis and who will be abroad during the normal application process in the Spring of their Junior year are strongly urged to plan ahead. They should try to establish a thesis topic, identify a faculty member willing to supervise their work before departing, and verify that they will be able to be in email contact with their thesis advisor while abroad. They should be aware that the deadline for submission of applications is April 1 of their Junior year. For additional information, they should consult with the director of the History Honors Program (currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies) early in the semester prior to their departure for study abroad.

When you return to the U.S., OIP will process your transcript after they receive it from your host institution and will forward it to Student Services for posting on your BC transcript. You will need to submit an “OIP Degree Audit Substitution Form for Study Abroad” to get your courses applied to major or minor requirements. If you are simply seeking major or minor elective credit for foreign-study courses, you can arrange for the necessary paperwork through department administrators. If you want to try for upper-division credit, you will need to see the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies.