Study abroad FAQ for COS majors

Tue Jan 2 17:59:33 EST 2024

These are answers; you can infer the questions.

The most common semesters are junior spring, then junior fall; sophomore spring and senior fall are possible (though a senior AB would have to plan thesis work very carefully).

At most two courses can count as COS departmentals in a semester, and they can only count as electives, not core.

We do not give COS credit for courses that look like courses in other Princeton departments that we would have credited if you took them at Princeton. For example, you can count ORF 309 as a COS departmental, but not an ORF 309 lookalike at another school.

COS courses have to be pre-approved by the COS director of undergrad studies, but as a practical matter, what you find on the ground in a faraway place is often not what was in the catalog when you were choosing. We can almost always work through this.

It helps a lot if you can provide complete information about courses that you hope to take. Course titles are not enough, and unfortunately online syllabi are often sketchy. Useful extra information includes textbooks, assignments, exams, and the like.

Your grades are converted into "T for transfer" by Princeton, and are not used in computing GPA, honors, and the like.

You can do IW while abroad, and if you're an AB, you will have to. You can either find someone there to advise you and give us a report at the end, or you can be advised by remote control from here.

AB junior fall "methods" (JRW) courses can't be taken remotely. We will try to figure out an alternative if you have a truly compelling reason to do study abroad in junior fall, but realistically this just isn't possible, so don't expect that it will happen.

If you're a BSE, it is easiest to not do IW while abroad, but don't let bureaucratic considerations stop you from taking advantage of a good opportunity.

Common schools have included

ETH, Zurich
Oxford (spring only)
Kings College London
National University of Singapore
Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT), Budapest

but many others are perfectly possible and not all that unusual. Bear in mind that many schools have the same problem as we do with very large and perhaps over-subscribed COS courses, and they may not allow you to take more than one COS course; some schools have simply stopped admitting study-abroad students.

Covid and political issues are of course completely unpredictable, though less of a problem today than a few years ago.