Undergraduate Program

Transfer of Credit

For all students:

When applying for political science (PS) credit for courses taken outside Tufts Political Science Department, Transfer of Credit (ToC) instructions are available through the registrar. Within the ToC process at the Department of Political Science we only check and approve PS content of the courses, all other aspects of the ToC process (transcript status, number of credits assigned, etc.) are handled by the registrar. All questions about these aspects of ToC process should be directed to the registrar.

Note: To receive PS credit for courses taken elsewhere, students must provide course syllabus or a comparable document containing course description, objectives, topics, readings, and assignments. Your petition cannot be processed without this information. Short descriptions of the course typically contained in course catalogues found online are not sufficient. If you do not have the syllabus, make every effort to obtain a copy from the professor or the university. If this is impossible, please compile an unofficial "syllabus" yourself, including as much of the information as you can about the course, its objectives, topics, assignments, and readings but do not send papers you wrote for the course or lecture notes instead of, or in addition to, the syllabus.

The following rules apply to all PS students:

  • Except for transfer students majoring in PS and IR (as explained below), if your ToC petition is approved, you will receive either an upper or a lower level elective credit in political science. Tufts Political Science Department does not assign equivalency to transfer courses approved for credit (so, for instance, we will not denote a course as the equivalent to "Intro to Comparative Politics" or "Western Political Thought I). If you have any questions about how best to count this credit towards your Tufts degree, please consult with your academic advisor.
  • We do not give PS credit for internships, internship courses, or independent study courses taken during a study abroad program. We also do not give PS credit for EPIIC courses or Experimental College courses taken at Tufts.


The Transfer of Credit faculty representatives are Professors Michael Beckley and Consuelo Cruz. Please contact them if you have further questions. If you are looking to contact the Transfer Student Advisor over non-credit related queries, you can email Professor Pearl Robinson.


For PS majors only:

In accordance with PS major requirements, you can count no more than two courses taken outside of Tufts Political Science Department towards your PS major if the courses were taken beginning September 1, 2010, and that these courses can only count as electives towards your major.


For Transfer students only:

  • If you are a PS major who transferred to Tufts from another institution, you can count up to 5 courses taken outside Tufts Political Science Department towards your Tufts PS major. You need to supply course syllabi for all the courses you are seeking credit for as specified above. The transferred courses can be used to satisfy foundation and distribution requirements for the PS major, but NOT the methodology or the advanced seminar requirements. Please note on your SIS petition that you are a PS major transfer student, and send course syllabi to both SIS petition that you are a transfer student majoring in IR, and that you request PS61 equivalency. For any other PS courses taken elsewhere, only lower or upper level elective credit will be given as described above. Once you receive this credit, please consult with your advisor and/or the IR Program Office about how to count these credits towards your IR degree.


For PS minors only:

  • Students minoring in political science can count up to two courses taken outside Tufts Political Science Department towards their PS minor. These courses can be given sub-field designation to enable you to count them towards your PS minor. In order to receive credit and sub-field designation for courses taken elsewhere, please note on your SIS petition that you are a PS minor, and send course syllabi to both ToC representatives as well as to Minor Representative.


TOC and Tufts University Administered Study Abroad Programs:

  • There is no need to submit a TOC petition through SIS for political science courses taken in a Tufts University administered study abroad program (e.g., Tufts in Chile, China, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, London, Madrid, Oxford, Paris, and Tübingen, Germany). The Tufts University Political Science Department considers all political science courses offered through these programs to be "Tufts" political science courses, and they will automatically appear on the student's Tufts University transcript as lower or upper level elective credits.
  • Students taking political science courses through non-Tufts University study abroad programs must submit a ToC petition (along with a *.pdf or a link to the course syllabus or syllabi) to the registrar. Such courses are only eligible for transfer credit as lower or upper level elective credits.
  • While political science courses taken in a Tufts administered study abroad program may count toward the ten credits required for the political science (PS) major, such courses may not be used in fulfillment of any requirements within the PS major;
  • The Political Science Department does not offer "equivalency" for political science courses offered through any of the Tufts administered study abroad programs or though non-Tufts study abroad programs.