Credit for Courses Completed at Other Institutions

General policy

1.   A St. Olaf political science major may include a maximum of two credits for courses completed at other institutions.  Courses or course equivalents from other institutions include:

  • Advanced placement credit, for an Advanced Placement score of 4 or 5 in U.S. Politics and Government or Comparative Politics and Government (more details).
  • Off-campus courses, defined as political science courses completed through a St. Olaf-affiliated off-campus program (i.e., a program listed in the annual International and Domestic Off-Campus Programs brochure) (more details).
  • Transfer courses, defined as political science courses completed at an institution other than St. Olaf or Carleton (e.g., through a Post-Secondary Education Option [PSEO] course, an interim or summer school course at another college or university, or a course completed through a non-St. Olaf-affiliated domestic or international program) (more details).

2.   Courses taught by Carleton College political science faculty or taught off-campus by St. Olaf political science faculty do not count toward this two-course limit.  Courses that do not constitute “courses completed at other institutions” include political science courses taught at Carleton; off-campus interim courses taught by St. Olaf political science faculty; and courses taught by a member of the St. Olaf Department of Political Science under the auspices of a St. Olaf semester abroad program (e.g., Global, Middle East, Asia, Australia).

3.   The chair’s approval for credit toward the major must be documented in writing.  With the exception of AP credit (which is automatically recorded on a student’s transcript by the Office of the Registrar), a completed Request for Credit Toward a Major, signed by the department chair, must be on file with the student’s academic advisor and the Academic Administrative Assistant of the Department of Political Science in order to receive political science credit for courses completed at other institutions.  A signed form indicating final approval for political science credit must be submitted for each course or course equivalent being counted toward the major.  This form is available on the website of the Department of Political Science or from the department office.  In addition, students seeking St. Olaf credit for transfer courses must submit a completed Permission to Transfer Credit to St. Olaf form to the Office of the Registrar (including a signature from the department chair if the student will seek credit toward the major) BEFORE registering for the course at the other institution.

This policy applies only to students who enter St. Olaf as first-year students; transfer students must consult with the department chair to determine which requirements for a political science major can be met through courses completed at their previous institution.  The awarding of major credit is not guaranteed for any program or course, particularly in the absence of prior consultation. 


If students have any questions about any of the above policies, they should contact their academic advisor and/or the Academic Administrative Assistant in the Department of Political Science (Shawn Paulson, x3127,