Penn Arts & Sciences Logo
Events, alumni networking, courses, and internships for Penn students on campus and in D.C.

Semester in DC Classes Count Towards Your Major

Many people worry that taking a semester away from Penn can disrupt their academic careers. Often, students find it difficult to count classes taken away from Penn towards their majors and minors. Students spending a semester in Washington, however, don't need to worry. Read on to find out how the Penn in Washington program can get you a step (or four) closer to fulfilling your major.

During your semester in Washington, you will take three courses, totaling four credits.

Political Science:
PIW's classes can count toward the subfield, concentration, and/or elective requirements of the Political Science Major.

Political Science Minor
The classes also fulfill four out of the six credits required for a Political Science minor.

Required for both the minor and major in political science, PSCI 130 is replaced by PSCI 330 in PIW's DC program. 

Survey Research and Data Analytics Minor 

One course from PIW counts towards the minor.

American Public Policy / Business & Public Policy Minor:
The Political Science Department offers a joint minor in American Public Policy (APP) with the Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP) Department of the Wharton School. The minor is comprised of six courses, three of which must be taken in the Political Science department. All PIW semester courses fulfill the political science requirements for the minor.

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics:
One of the requirements for a PPE major is a "Thematic Concentration." To fulfill the requirement, students must take four credits related to either "Choice and Behavior," "Ethics and the Professions," "Distributive Justice," "Public Policy and Governance," or "Globalization." The four credits earned during PIW semester fulfill the Public Policy and Governance requirements.

Communication and Public Service:
In addition to COMM courses, the major requires “a cluster of three cognate courses" from the Anthropology, Economics, Education, Health and Societies, History, Legal Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Urban Studies, or Women’s Studies departments. Three credits from PIW semester fulfill the cognate requirement.

Urban Studies:
PSCI 330 fulfills the Fieldworks Seminar (URBS 300, 2 CU) requirement. The two non-core courses contribute to the Discipline Cluster and/or the Urban Studies Themes.

International Relations:
The diplomacy course counts towards the major, and the 2 credit PSCI 330 course might count depending on your research focus. See the IR Program to learn which PIW classes could count towards an International Relations minor.

Don't take our word for it! As soon as you start thinking about applying for PIW Semester, make an appointment to discuss how this fits in to your major with your major advisor.