Study Abroad

Many PPE students take the opportunity to complete a semester abroad or a year abroad through one of PennAbroad’s many excellent programs. PPE students are encouraged to consider this opportunity, as a semester or year abroad can be incredibly enriching - intellectually, professionally, and personally!

When exploring your study abroad options, consider the following:

  • Is there a language requirement? Do you need to be enrolled in a specific cadence of language courses?

  • What can this university or program offer and add to your studies at Penn and in PPE?

  • Where do you want to go, and why? Remember you’ll be spending 5-12 months in this country, and there’s more to living somewhere than the classes you’re taking.

PPE majors and prospective majors are encouraged to meet with the Associate Director to discuss their study abroad plans before they commit to a program.

Key Considerations

  • Carefully read the College's policies about study abroad!

  • Capstone courses must be completed at Penn.

  • Most study abroad programs permit Penn students to take four (4) CU per term. Most PPE students plan on taking two (2) courses for their concentration, and two (2) courses as part of their general elective requirement. PPE majors should remember that PPE is a 36 CU major & degree. Students should confer with their College Contact and the PPE Associate Director to discuss their progress through the major and how to plan for a semester abroad in a way that does not disrupt graduation plans.

Course Approval Process

  1. Confer with PPE about which courses would count for the major (and with minor advisors about what would count towards minors).

  2. Course approvals for the transfer of credit back to Penn are completed through XCAT 2.0. Keep in mind that it can take a while to hear back from departments about your xCAT requests. SEE BELOW FOR GUIDANCE ON SUBMITTING COURSES THROUGH XCAT:

  3. Requesting credit and/or equivalency through XCAT 2.0:

  • If you are taking a course and you would like to use it in the Common Foundation, please submit the course to the relevant department: PHIL, PSCI, ECON, or PSYC.
  • If you are taking a course and you would like to request equivalency for the Core Courses (PPE 3001, PPE 3002, PPE 3003), please submit the course to PPE.

  • If you are taking a course and you are sure you want to use it for the PPE thematic concentration only, please submit the course to PPE.

  • If you are taking a course and you are not sure where you will want to apply the course in your degree progress, please submit the course to the relevant Penn department.

 Students who plan to use their coursework from abroad as part of their concentration will need to petition their courses as they would any other class taken at Penn.

After receiving your grades from abroad, the College Office posts those course approvals to your transcript. Please consult with your College Contact directly with any questions. For additional guidance and a complete description of the course approval process, see the College's Study Abroad Page.