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How to Petition Courses for International Studies

Undergraduate Petition Form

UCSD Course

  1. Recommended: Obtain course pre-approval.
    • Contact the International Studies Advisors to obtain pre-approval to take a course not listed on the International Studies approved list. 
      • Note: Pre-approval does not guarantee major credit, but the advisors are able to provide you with guidance on course content and the likelihood that the course will be accepted.
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Wait until the course and the grade has posted to your academic history.
    • Complete an Undergraduate Student Petition.
      • Fill out a separate petition for each course that you are petitioning.
    • On each petition include the course # (as it appears on TritonLink), course title, # of units, grade received,  quarter/semester the course was taken, the University in which you were enrolled and specify International Studies requirement you want to apply the course toward (e.g. Political Science disciplinary focus and Latin America Regional Requirement). Please also sign and date the petition.
    • Example of a completed petition for a UCSD course.
  3. Attach all coursework.
    • Required: Syllabus
    • Optional: The purpose of including the coursework is to supplement the syllabus and demonstrate that the course fits in with and supplements the International Studies curriculum.  If they are available to you, along with the syllabus please submit exams, papers, lecture notes and any other material that will supplement the petition.
  4. Submit completed petition(s) & coursework to the International Studies Advising Office.
  5. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center (http://vac.ucsd.edu) in approximately four weeks with the results of your petition.
    • Timeline: This four week period can be longer or shorter depending on when you turn your petitions in during the review cycle.  We recommend that you turn in your petitions as early as possible so that you have your results and can accurately create your academic plan, so that you do not lose your syllabus or your coursework, and so that you do not delay the processing of your degree.

Academic Internship Program Course (AIP)

  1. Academic Internship Program (AIP)
    • Apply to participate in the Academic Internship Program
      • This is a process that needs to begin 1-2 quarters before you plan to enroll in AIP 197.
        • Requirements for participation in AIP:
          • Apply to AIP and follow the procedures and protocals set forth by the program
          • Secure an internship
          • Secure a faculty advisor
        • Requirements to earn International Studies major credit for AIP 197To receive major credit for a 199:
          • Students must receive at least 4 quarter units of upper-division credit.
          • Students must submit a research paper in order to receive major credit; projects will not be accepted
          • Students are required to complete a minimum 4,500 word research paper focusing on an approved topic.
              • The paper must consist of at least 4,500 words with 1 inch margins, 12 point font and a bibliography containing multiple scholarly sources.  
                • Note: Word count excludes the bibliography, but includes footnotes, endnotes, and tables.
          • Research paper topic must be pre-approved – this initial review does not guarantee course credit.  The topic of research must have at least 50% international content. 
            • International Studies defines a topic as international if the focus is outside of the United States.  A study of international populations within the United States borders is not considered international.  Please contact the International Studies Advisors for clarification and topic pre-approval.
          • Disciplinary Focus course credit: To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must match the field of study of the Disciplinary Focus and have at least 50% international content.
          • Interdisciplinary Elective course credit:  To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content but can be from any field of study.
            • Note: AIP requires a 10 page paper for 4 units of credit. To earn major credit, International Studies requires a 4,500 word paper and will NOT accept a 10 page research paper.
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Wait until the course and the grade have posted to your academic history.
    • Complete an Undergraduate Student Petition.
      • Fill out a separate petition for each course that you are petitioning.
    • On each petition include the course # (as it appears on TritonLink), course title, # of units, grade received,  quarter/semester the course was taken, name of organization sponsoring internship, title of research paper, faculty advisor and specify the International Studies requirement you want to apply the course toward (e.g. Political Science Disciplinary Focus and Latin American Regional Requirement). Please also sign and date the petition.
    • Example of a completed petition for an AIP 197 course.
  3. Attachments:
    • Required: Research paper.
  4. Submit completed petition(s) & coursework to the International Studies Advising Office.
  5. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center (http://vac.ucsd.edu) in approximately four weeks with the results of your petition.
    • Timeline: This four week period can be longer or shorter depending on when you turn your petitions in during the review cycle.  We recommend that you turn in your petitions as early as possible so that you have your results and can accurately create your academic plan, so that you do not lose your syllabus or your coursework, and so that you do not delay the processing of your degree.

199 Course (Independent Research)


  1. Obtain a faculty advisor and complete the 199 application for enrollment form.
    • Note: At this time International Studies does not have its own INTL 199.  Students will need to enroll through the home department of the professor that they are working with.  Directions to complete the application for enrollment are detailed on the 199 application for enrollment form.
  2. To receive major credit for a 199:
    • Students must receive at least 4 quarter units of upper-division credit.
    • Students are required to complete a minimum 4,500 page research paper focusing on an approved topic.
      • The paper must consist of at least 4,500 words with 1 inch margins, 12 point font and a bibliography containing multiple scholarly sources. Word count excludes the bibliography, but includes footnotes, endnotes, and tables.
    • Research topic must be pre-approved – this initial review does not guarantee course credit.  The topic of research must have at least 50% international content. 
      • International Studies defines a topic as international if the focus is outside of the United States.  A study of international populations within the United States borders is not considered international.  Please contact the International Studies Advisors for clarification and topic pre-approval.
    • Disciplinary Focus course credit: To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must match the field of study of the Disciplinary Focus and have at least 50% international content.
    • Interdisciplinary Elective course credit:  To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content but can be from any field of study.
  3. Upon completion of the course:
    • Wait until the course and the grade have posted to your academic history.
    • Complete an Undergraduate Student Petition.
      • Fill out a separate petition for each course that you are petitioning.
    • On each petition include the course # (as it appears on TritonLink), course title, # of units, grade received, quarter/semester the course was taken, title of research paper, faculty advisor and specify the International Studies requirement you would like to apply the course toward (e.g. Political Science Disciplinary Focus and Latin America Regional Requirement). Please also sign and date the petition.
    • Example of a completed petition for a 199 course.
  4. Attachments:
    • Required: Research paper.
  5. Submit completed petition(s) & coursework to the International Studies Advising Office.
  6. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center (http://vac.ucsd.edu) in approximately four weeks with the results of your petition.
    • Timeline: This four week period can be longer or shorter depending on when you turn your petitions in during the review cycle.  We recommend that you turn in your petitions as early as possible so that you have your results and can accurately create your academic plan, so that you do not lose your syllabus or your coursework, and so that you do not delay the processing of your degree.

UC Washington Center Courses (UCDC)

How to earn International Studies major credit through participation in the UCDC Program:
The UCDC program gives participating students 3 options for enrollment.

  • Research Seminar - students will learn how to write a substantial research paper
  • Internship - is coupled with the research seminar
  • Elective course - topics vary by quarter and professor

The International Studies Program allows students to earn credit for 2 out of the 3 course options listed above.  The following guidelines must be met in order for the International Studies Program to consider granting course credit:

Course credit for the Elective course:

  • Courses must be pre-approved - this initial review does not guarantee course credit.  Courses must have at least 50% international content and is at least 4 UC upper-division quarter units.

    • Students should submit a VAC message to the International Studies advisors to obtain pre-approval for courses.  Please include the course title and description of course content.
    • Topic must match student’s disciplinary focus, or can opt to have the course count towards the interdisciplinary elective requirement.
    • After completion, a formal undergraduate student petition must be submitted along with supporting materials of course syllabus, course work, class notes, and assignments.  Petitions will then be evaluated by the ISP Director.

Course credit for the Research Seminar & Internship:

  • Please note that students will only earn ONE course credit for BOTH the research seminar and internship.
  • The research seminar and internship work together to produce ONE piece of scholarly work, the research paper; therefore, students will only be able to petition one of these as a course towards the major.

Research Paper:

  • Research topic must be pre-approved – this initial review does not guarantee course credit.  The topic of research paper and internship have at least 50% international content.

    • The completed paper must be at least 4,500 words, 1 inch margins, 12 point font (bibliography and charts/graphs NOT included in page count).
    • Sources: Include and cite academic sources from books, journal articles, etc. (do not only use internet sources).
    • After completion of courses, a formal undergraduate student petition must be submitted along with supporting materials of course syllabus, course work, class notes, and assignments.  Petitions will then be evaluated by the ISP Director. 

Abroad Courses (EAP & OAP)


  1. Obtain course pre-approval.
    • EAP: Review the EAP Coursefinder to find appropriate upper-division, 4 quarter unit courses that either match your Disciplinary Focus or have an international focus.
      • When you come to International Studies to have your EAP paperwork signed, you will need to bring the course descriptions for each course in order to obtain pre-approval.
    • OAP: Review your abroad institution's course offerings to find appropriate upper-division, 4 quarter unit courses that either match your Disciplinary Focus or have an international focus.
      • Before you come to International Studies, you will need to take your OAP paperwork to UCSD Admissions in order to have them evaluate the courses that you select.  They will determine UC transferability, the number of units and if the course is lower- or upper-division.  In order to count for the IS major requirements, the course will need to be approved for at least 4 quarter units and be upper-division.
    • Contact the International Studies Advisors to obtain pre-approval to take a course not listed on the International Studies approved list. 
      • Note: Pre-approval does not guarantee major credit, but the advisors are able to provide you with guidance on course content and the likelihood that the course will be accepted.
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Wait until the course and the grade has posted to your academic history.
    • Complete an Undergraduate Student Petition.
      • Fill out a separate petition for each course that you are petitioning.
    • On each petition include the course # (as it appears on TritonLink), course title, # of units, grade received,  quarter/semester the course was taken, the University in which you were enrolled and specify International Studies requirement you want to apply the course toward (e.g. Political Science disciplinary focus and Latin America Regional Requirement). Please also sign and date the petition.
    • Example of a completed petition for an EAP course.
    • Example of a completed petition for an OAP course.
  3. Attach all coursework.
    • Required: Syllabus
    • Optional: The purpose of including the coursework is to supplement the syllabus and demonstrate that the course fits in with and supplements the International Studies curriculum.  If they are available to you, along with the syllabus please submit exams, papers, lecture notes and any other material that will supplement the petition.
  4. Submit completed petition(s) & coursework to the International Studies Advising Office.
  5. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center (http://vac.ucsd.edu) in approximately four weeks with the results of your petition.
    • Timeline: This four week period can be longer or shorter depending on when you turn your petitions in during the review cycle.  We recommend that you turn in your petitions as early as possible so that you have your results and can accurately create your academic plan, so that you do not lose your syllabus or your coursework, and so that you do not delay the processing of your degree.

Transfer Courses

IGETC Certification

Completion of the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is strongly recommended for all students transferring from a California community college.  This curriculum will serve to clear most general education requirements for incoming transfer students, leaving one to eight (1-8) general education courses depending on which of the six UCSD colleges the student is admitted into.

Language Requirement

Students majoring in International Studies are required to demonstrate basic proficiency in a foreign language.  There are many ways in which to complete the requirement for the International Studies major and minor prior to matriculation to UCSD.  Click here to learn more about the language requirement.

For students interested in International Studies - Economics as a disciplinary focus, students can prepare by taking high school AP courses and community college courses in economics and math.

  • Economics Courses:
    • ECON 1 – Microeconomics at UCSD: Score of 5 on the AP Microeconomics Exam 
    • ECON 3 – Macroeconomics at UCSD: Score of 5 on the AP Macroeconomics Exam
  • Math Courses:
    • Take courses that will prepare you for college calculus (Calculus - MATH 10A-B-C or 20A-B-C)
    • Check with the Math Department for AP Calculus Equivalencies
  • Many community colleges offer courses equivalent to lower division economics and math courses
    • Check articulations through ASSIST.org for California Community College transfer course equivalencies

Language Courses