Study Abroad

Many PPE students decide to complement their interdisciplinary academic experience at Penn with a semester or year abroad, depending on the study abroad program.

The best way to maximize the credits that will count toward the major is to (1) go to a program with a strong PPE department or (2) find a program particularly well-suited to the way you intend to develop your theme. You are welcome to go to any program abroad, but these provide the best ways to transfer back courses for the PPE major.

Since PPE views study abroad as an extension of your course offerings, the basic question is: if you took that course at Penn would it count for the major? If so, that's how it counts (confer with PPE's Associate Director to confirm whether and how a course will count)!

Key Considerations

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

  • Outside of the PPE Exchange Programs it is difficult to transfer back Core classes, which are each offered once a year. Students typically complete the Core classes missed the year following their abroad experience.

  • Capstone courses cannot be completed abroad.

  • To ensure classes taken abroad will count towards the major, you must consult with PPE's associate director when registering for the classes abroad (and ideally when considering abroad programs!).

  • Consider the number of overall credits you can bring back from a study abroad program and how that affects your progress towards the required 36 overall cu count to graduate.

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. Submit courses in xCAT  to the relevant department at Penn for pre-approval when you receive the courses lists so you can have a better sense of what courses will be awarded Penn credit. Keep in mind that it can take a while to hear back from departments about your xCAT requests.

  3. After receiving your grades from abroad, the college office posts those course approvals to your transcript. Please consult the college office directly with any questions.

  4. PPE slots the posted courses into your worksheet as appropriate.

  5. For additional guidance and a complete description of the course approval process, see the College's Study Abroad Page.