International Studies FAQs

Q: How do I find out what courses count for the IS major?

A: The IS advisor will have a list of courses that have been pre-approved for the major. This list is updated each year by the IS committee.

Q: What if I want to take a course that is not on the list?

A: You can submit a petition to the IS committee to consider the course as counting towards the major. A petition form can be obtained from an IS adviser.

Q: When should I submit my petition?

A: For courses offered at Albion College, we strongly urge you to talk to the IS adviser about the course during the academic advising period and submit your petition prior to registering for the course. In any case, the petition must be received by the committee by the second day of classes in the semester that you intend to take the course. For example, if you are taking the course in Fall 2010, we would have to receive your petition by August 23, 2010. This will allow us to give you a decision before the drop/add deadline.

The IS committee does not consider requests for retroactive approval of courses taken at Albion College. A different petition deadline applies to courses taken off-campus (see below).

Q: Can I count courses taken abroad or off-campus?

A: Yes, provided they meet the relevant criteria for IS courses. However, students should be aware that courses taken abroad may not meet these requirements. Therefore, to be safe, you should not rely on being able to fulfill IS major requirements with off-campus courses.

In practical terms, it is usually quite straightforward to apply off-campus area studies courses to the "area studies track" in the major. But to count a course as a "foundational course" or for a "transnational track" may be more complicated (criteria for "foundational courses" are appended to the back of this handbook).

Q: How do I petition to have an off-campus course count for the IS major?

A: In the semester before you go off campus, talk to the IS adviser so that you can identify which courses might count. While you are studying off-campus, keep all documentation from the courses that you would like to count (syllabus, assignment sheets, papers, exams). After you return to Albion, complete the petition form and submit it to the committee along with the relevant documentation.

Petitions for off-campus programs will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Q: How many off-campus courses can I count towards the major?

A: Up to three units of off-campus work may be applied towards the IS major.

Please note: at Albion College, one course equals one unit. However, course credits are calculated differently at other institutions, so that a course taken off campus may only count as 0.50 or 0.75 Albion units. It is your responsibility to be aware of how many Albion College units you have earned.