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Petitioning Courses for International Studies

There are several reasons that you may need to petition to use a course for your International Studies major requirements.  You may have taken lower division requirements at a community college, you may be attending UCDC or UCCS, or you may plan to study abroad.  Most of these courses will not automatically fulfill your major requirements, so you will need to submit a petition form and accompanying documents for each course.  Refer to your situation below for more information.  For more information about transfer courses, see How to Transfer Courses (Undergraduate) on TritonLink.

Students may petition to use up to four upper-division courses towards their major requirements.  This includes courses from other four-year universities, study abroad, Global Seminar, UCDC, UCCS, Academic Internship Program, and Special Studies. 

ISP Online Petition Form (To be used for ISP major/minor requirements)

Undergraduate Petition Form (PDF) (To be used for all college and university exceptions)


Courses at UC San Diego

Upper-Division Course at UC San Diego

If you would like to take an upper-division course at UC San Diego that is not on the pre-approved list for your disciplinary focus or interdisciplinary electives, you must submit a petition and the course syllabus for pre-approval.  We always love to learn about new courses on campus - if it fits the ISP requirements, we will add it to our curriculum!

Steps to petition an upper-division course at UC San Diego:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the course
    • 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 the ISP Online Petition Form
      • 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 in approximately 2-3 weeks with the results of your petition. 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 197)

Through the Academic Internship Program, you can earn credit towards your major requirements for an academic internship.  Students may use one AIP 197 towards their major requirements. Refer to Academic Internship Program to learn if you are eligible and for more information on the application process.

Steps to apply AIP 197 towards your ISP major requirements:

  1. Refer to the AIP website for information on how to apply to AIP.
    • 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 use AIP 197 towards ISP Major Requirements
        • Must earn at least 4 quarter units of upper-division credit
        • Must submit a research paper in order to receive major credit; projects will not be accepted
  2. To use AIP 197 towards an ISP Major Requirement:
    • Students are required to complete a minimum 4,500 word research paper
    • 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 send a message in the VAC to ISP Advisors for clarification and topic pre-approval.
    • To use the course towards Disciplinary Focus Requirement :
      • 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.
    • To use the course towards Interdisciplinary Elective Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content but can be from any field of study.
    • To apply this course towards Regional Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content focused on particular region of study (Example: Africa, East Asia, Europe, etc.)
  3. Upon completion of the course:
  4. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center  in approximately 2-3 weeks with the results of your petition.

To use AIP 197 towards ISP major requirements, you must submit the undergraduate student petition form and research paper to ISP Advising before the Friday of Week 10 in your graduating quarter. If these documents are not submitted by this deadline, you will be required to take an alternative course to fulfill the requirements.

Special Studies (197-199)

At this time, students are not able to complete a 199 within the International Studies Program (for example, INTL 199.)  Students should enroll in a special studies course through the home department of the professor that they are working with (for example, if a student is working with a Political Science Professor, they should enroll in POLI 199.)

Steps to enroll in a special studies course:

  1. Refer to TritonLink: How to Request Enrollment in Special Studies Classes (Undergraduates)
    • Meet with an advisor in the International Studies Program to see if you are eligible to apply a special studies course to your major requirements
    • Meet with your potential instructor to design a project that fits your academic plan
    • Meet with the advisor in the home department of the instructor you plan to work with
  2. Submit a request to enroll in Special Studies 197, 198, or 199 through the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy).

Steps to apply a special studies course towards your ISP major requirements:

  1. To use a special studies course towards an ISP Major Requirement:
    • Students are required to complete a minimum 4,500 word research paper
    • 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 send a message in the VAC to ISP Advisors for clarification and topic pre-approval.
    • To use the course towards Disciplinary Focus Requirement :
      • 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.
    • To use the course towards Interdisciplinary Elective Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content but can be from any field of study.
    • To apply this course towards Regional Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content focused on particular region of study (Example: Africa, East Asia, Europe, etc.)
  2. Upon completion of the course:
  3. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center (http://vac.ucsd.edu) in approximately 2-3 weeks with the results of your petition.

To use a special studies course towards ISP major requirements, you must submit the undergraduate student petition form and research paper to ISP Advising before the Friday of Week 10 in your graduating quarter. If these documents are not submitted by this deadline, you will be required to take an alternative course to fulfill the requirements.

UC Washington Center (UCDC)

The UCDC program gives participating students three options for enrollment:

  • Internship Credit: AIP 197D
    • Internship and related assignments and responsibilities
    • Required; 6, 8 or 10 units; Grading Method: Pass/No Pass
  • Research Seminar Credit: POLI 194; COMM 194, USP 194, COGS 194, HITO 193, SOCI 194
    • Development and completion of an independent and significant research project under the supervision of UC faculty, and guided by a teaching assistant.
    • Required; 4 units; Grading Method: Letter grade (must be taken for letter grade of C- or better to apply to ISP requirements)
  • Elective Course Credit: EXPR 100
    • Optional; 4 units; Grading Method: Letter grade (must be taken for letter grade of C- or better to apply to ISP requirements)
    • Upper-Division elective course - topics vary by quarter and instructor. To view current and past offerings, view UCDC Course Descriptions.

Steps to apply UCDC Program coursework towards your ISP major requirements:

Internship & Research Seminar 

The research seminar and internship work together to produce one piece of scholarly work, the research paper; therefore, students will only be able to combine these courses to petition them as one course towards the major.

  1. To use the Internship and Research Seminar credits towards an ISP Major Requirement:
    • Students are required to complete a minimum 4,500 word research paper
    • 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 send a message in the VAC to ISP Advisors for clarification and topic pre-approval.
    • To use the course towards Disciplinary Focus Requirement :
      • 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.
    • To use the course towards Interdisciplinary Elective Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content but can be from any field of study.
    • To apply this course towards Regional Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content focused on particular region of study (Example: Africa, East Asia, Europe, etc.)
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Confirm that your grade is posted to your academic history
    • Complete an ISP Online Petition Form
      • Include the ISP requirement that you would like the course to apply to (Disciplinary Focus or Interdisciplinary Elective and Regional Requirement, if applicable)
      • Attach course syllabus
    • If necessary, submit supporting documents to ISP Advising at isp@ucsd.edu

Elective Course

  1. Meet with ISP Advisor to obtain pre-approval for elective courses.  This initial review does not guarantee course credit.  Courses must have at least 50% international content and must be at least 4.0 UC upper-division units.
    • To use the course towards Disciplinary Focus Requirement the course must match the field of study of the disciplinary focus.  To use the course towards Interdisciplinary Elective Requirement, the course can be from any field of study.
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Confirm that your grade is posted to your academic history
    • Complete an ISP Online Petition Form
      • Include the ISP requirement that you would like the course to apply to (Disciplinary Focus or Interdisciplinary Elective and Regional Requirement, if applicable)
      • Attach supportind documentation: course syllabus, course work, class notes, and assignments
    • Submit supporting documents to ISP Advising at isp@ucsd.edu

To use a UCDC courses towards ISP major requirements, you must submit the undergraduate student petition form and supporting documentation and/or research paper to ISP Advising before the Friday of Week 10 in your graduating quarter. If these documents are not submitted by this deadline, you will be required to take an alternative course to fulfill the requirements.

UC Center Sacramento (UCCS)

The UCCS program gives participating students three options for enrollment:

  • Internship Credit: POLI 192A
    • Work as an intern for about 20 hours per week by supporting policy making processes in the Sacramento policy community.  Students will complete a public policy research paper as a part of this course.
    • Required; 5 units; Grading Method: Pass/No Pass
  • Political Science 195. The California Policy Seminar
    • Learn about the state's political processes, institutions, and policy changes
    • Required; 4 units; Grading Method: Letter Grade
  • Political Science 196E
    • Original undergraduate research work culminating in a poster presentation. Learn to utilize program like Qualitrics, GIS, Stata, and Excel to collect and analyze data.
    • 4 units; Grading Method: Letter Grade
  • Political Science 193
    • Internship and three analutic papers related to the internship and/or current office events in addition to an oral presentation.
    • Optional; 2 units; Grading Method: Letter Grade
    • **Students may not use this course towards major requirements since it is not 4 units

ISP students may use two UCCS courses that are 4.0 units each towards ISP major requirements.

Steps to apply UCDC Program coursework towards your ISP major requirements:

Political Science Internship

  1. To use the Internship credits towards an ISP Major Requirement:
    • Students are required to complete a minimum 4,500 word research paper
    • 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 send a message in the VAC to ISP Advisors for clarification and topic pre-approval.
    • To use the course towards Disciplinary Focus Requirement :
      • 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.
    • To use the course towards Interdisciplinary Elective Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content but can be from any field of study.
    • To apply this course towards Regional Requirement:
      • To apply toward this requirement, the research paper must have at least 50% international content focused on particular region of study (Example: Africa, East Asia, Europe, etc.)
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Confirm that your grade is posted to your academic history
    • Complete an ISP Online Petition Form
      • Include the ISP requirement that you would like the course to apply to (Disciplinary Focus or Interdisciplinary Elective and Regional Requirement, if applicable)
      • Attach research paper and course syllabus
    • Submit supporting documents to ISP Advising at isp@ucsd.edu

Elective Course

  1. Meet with ISP Advisor to obtain pre-approval for elective courses.  This initial review does not guarantee course credit.  Courses must have at least 50% international content and must be at least 4.0 UC upper-division units.
    • To use the course towards Disciplinary Focus Requirement the course must match the field of study of the disciplinary focus.  To use the course towards Interdisciplinary Elective Requirement, the course can be from any field of study.
  2. Upon completion of the course:
    • Confirm that your grade is posted to your academic history
    • Complete an ISP Online Petition Form
      • Include the ISP requirement that you would like the course to apply to (Disciplinary Focus or Interdisciplinary Elective and Regional Requirement, if applicable)
      • Attach supportind documentation: course syllabus, course work, class notes, and assignments
    • Submit supporting documents to ISP Advising at isp@ucsd.edu

To use a UCCS courses towards ISP major requirements, you must submit the undergraduate student petition form and supporting documentation and/or research paper to ISP Advising before the Friday of Week 10 in your graduating quarter. If these documents are not submitted by this deadline, you will be required to take an alternative course to fulfill the requirements.

Study Abroad Courses

Education Abroad Program (UCEAP)

Refer to the ISP Study Abroad website for more information on how to apply study abroad courses towards major requirements.

Before you study abroad:

  1. Complete Academic Planning Form (APF)
    • Review the EAP Coursefinder to find appropriate upper-division, 4 quarter unit courses that have an international focus and match your Disciplinary Focus and/or satisfy the Interdsiciplinary Elective Requirement
    • 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.
    • Meet with an ISP Advisor during walk-in advising hours to review your academic planning form and obtain pre-approval.
      • 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.

After you study abroad:

  1. Wait until the course and your grade has posted to your academic history
  2. Complete an ISP Online Petition Form
    • 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.
  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. If necessary, submit supporting documentation to isp@ucsd.edu.
  5. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center  in approximately 2-3 weeks with the results of your petition. 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.

Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP)

Refer to the ISP Study Abroad website for more information on how to apply study abroad courses towards major requirements.

Before you study abroad:

  1. Review your abroad institution's course offerings to find appropriate upper-division, 4 quarter unit courses that have an international focus and match your Disciplinary Focus and/or satisfy the Interdsiciplinary Elective Requirement
  2. Submit 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 use the courses for your International Studies major requirements, the courses need to at least 4-quarter units and upper-division.
  3. After UCSD Admisssions completes your paperwork, meet with an ISP Advisor during walk-in advising hours to review your OAP paperwork and obtain pre-approval.
    • When you come to International Studies to have your  paperwork signed, you will need to bring the course descriptions for each course in order to obtain pre-approval.
    • 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.

After you study abroad:

  1. Wait until the course and your grade has posted to your academic history
  2. Complete an ISP Online Petition Form
    • 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 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 isp@ucsd.edu
  5. Notification & Processing
    • You will be notified via the Virtual Advising Center (http://vac.ucsd.edu) in approximately 2-3 weeks with the results of your petition. 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.

Language Courses

Language Courses

The Linguistics Language Program (LLP) reviews petitions to determine if a language course taken outside of UC San Diego is equivalent to the fourth quarter level course offered at UC San Diego.  A petition for credit beyond the fourth quarter level must be submitted to the Literature Department (except Arabic and Portuguese). Students may need to submit language petitions in order to fulfill the major language requirement.
LLP reviews all languages except Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean and Russian.  See below for more information about petitioning courses for these languages.
Chinese Language Courses
  • Refer to Chinese Studies Program for more information how to petition Chinese language courses.
  • On your petition, include the following information:
    • Request: To review and approve (course & number) (full title of course) from (University name) for 4th quarter equivalency for the International Studies language requirement.
  • Attach course syllabus and course materials
  • Make an appointment with the Program Coordinator at chinesestudies@ucsd.edu so that your petitions can be reviewed and sent to the Director for approval.

Hebrew Language Courses

Japanese Language Courses

  • Refer to Japanese Studies Program website for more information
  • Once the course and grade has posted to your academic history:
    • Complete the Undergraduate Student Petition form with the following information:
      • Subject Code and Course Number (as seen on your Academic History)
      • Course Title
      • University Attended
    • Attach course syllabus and course materials (such as exams, quizzes, projects, presentations, reading lists, etc)
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor to submit your petition

Korean Language Courses

Russian Language Courses

Transfer Coursework

Lower Division Courses

Refer to your Academic History to review your transfer courses, grades and the UCSD Approximations.  If you completed a course at a community college and there is not a UCSD equivilent course on your Academic History, you may need to petition the course.

  • Check articulations through ASSIST.org for California Community College transfer course equivalencies
  • The International Studies Program does not accept online courses

Calculus Courses (MATH 10 A-B-C or MATH 20 A-B-C)

International Studies - International Business

International Studies - Economics

ECON 2. Market Imperfections and Policy must be taken at UC San Diego

International Studies - Philosophy

  • Introduction to Logic - PHIL 10 at UC San Diego
    • The Department of Philosophy will grant transfer credit for "Introduction to Logic" only by petition.
    • Petitions must be accompanied by documenting materials (a copy of the syllabus or a letter from the instructor) showing that these topics were covered.
    • Classes listed on ASSIST.org that are transferrable for the Department of Philosophy do not need to be petitioned

Upper Division Courses from a 4-Year University

Students can take upper-division from other 4-year universities and apply the courses to their major requirements. 
  • The International Studies Program does not accept online courses or courses through UC San Diego Extension
  • INTL Core Courses must be taken at UC San Diego

Prior to enrolling in the course at another university:

  • Obtain pre-approval from the International Studies Program by emailing isp@ucsd.edu
    • Notify the advisors that you would like to take a course at another University and use it towards your major requirements
    • Include the following information: University name, course name and subject code, course description, and course syllabus.  Also send the URL with more information about the course.

After you complete the course:

  • Submit your transcripts to UCSD Admissions
  • Once the course is posted to your academic history, complete an ISP Online Petition Form
    • Include the requirement that you would like the course to apply to
    • Attach necessary documents such as the syllabus, exams, papers, reading list, etc.
  • If necessary, Submit accompanying documents to isp@ucsd.edu

International Studies - International Business

Since the following courses are required for the International Studies - International Business major, students must submit petitions for equivilency to Rady School of Management (meaning the course they take at another university, must match the UCSD course.)

  • MGT 103. Prodcut Marketing and Management
  • MGT 164. Business Organizational Leadership
  • MGT 166. Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • MGT 181. Enterprise Finance
  • MGT 187. New Venture Finance

Submit an Online Student Petition to Rady School of Management and attach the syllabus and other supporting documents.

To petition courses for the following requirements, submit an ISP Online Petition Form and the course syllabus to isp@ucsd.edu:

  • Disciplinary Focus - Management Elective
  • Interdisciplinary Elective/Regional Requirement