The Undergraduate Program

Study Abroad and Transfer Courses

Why Study Abroad?

Studying abroad in a foreign country can be an academically rewarding and life-enriching experience. Students often find that immersion in a host country provides them with unmatched cultural and linguistic knowledge. Opportunities to examine the traditions and history of another country often enhance the academic experience for History majors and concentrators.

Students who study abroad should petition the Department to get their courses applied to the major or concentration after returning to the university. In general, courses that deal with historical topics and analyze content through a historical lens can be transferred and applied to a History major or concentration. Please see pages 14-15 of the Undergraduate Handbook for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Where can I study abroad? 
A. The Office of Global Programs offers 300 programs in 150 cities for Columbia students.

Q: Should students have their courses pre-approved before studying abroad? 
A: The Department approves study abroad courses after students return and file the requisite paperwork, below. However, students can discuss their intended academic plans with the Director of Undergraduate Studies before they go; this will give them a preliminary sense as to whether their study abroad courses may be applied to the major. Students should also remain in contact with the Undergraduate Administrator while abroad to remain aware of departmental updates.

Q: What is the process for transferring courses to the major or concentration?* 
A: *The following procedure applies to both Columbia students abroad and Columbia students who transferred from any outside institution:

To have outside courses evaluated for History credit, students must first complete the courses, then bring the following documents to the Undergraduate Administrator or email the documents to (

  • a copy of your official Columbia transcripts indicating that the credits were approved by Columbia
  • A copy of your transcript from the other institution, listing the grades received with requested courses highlighted
  • syllabi from the courses to be evaluated
  • an updated Plan of Study Form
  • a completed  Transfer Credit Form
  • available coursework from the courses, such as papers or exams (this is not required for colleges and universities within the U.S.)

These documents will then be reviewed by the DUS, who will determine eligibility for transfer of credit. An application can be also found in the Undergraduate Handbook.

Q: What is the limit of study abroad or transfer courses that can be applied to a History major or concentration? 
A: In most cases, no more than 3 study-abroad classes will be accepted toward the major; no more than 2 classes will be accepted toward the concentration. The seminar requirement for majors MUST be completed at Columbia or Barnard. Please see the Undergraduate Handbook for more information.

Q: Who should students contact while abroad for assistance to determine how a particular course may be applied to a History major or concentration? 
A: Students studying abroad can contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for guidance about their course selection and plan of study. If students have a course syllabus available, this will enable the DUS to better determine how the course selection may be applied for History credit.

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Neslihan Senocak
421 Fayerweather Hall

(212) 851-5910

Undergraduate Administrator and Curriculum Coordinator
Michael Adan

413 Fayerweather Hall
(212) 854-2573