The department recognizes that spending a semester or year abroad makes educational sense for many students. We want to support students who make this choice. In what follows we provide some guidelines on things your major advisor can help you with and things that she or he cannot or need not.
I. The Decision to Study Abroad. This is an important decision and you should by all means consult with your major advisor if you have concerns and questions about that decision. But you should be aware that your advisor will in general have little or no knowledge of the foreign country or the foreign university in which you are interested. The Study Abroad Office should be able to provide you with information about foreign countries and foreign universities.
II. Your Planned Course of Study. Once again you should consult with your major advisor about your planned course of study. If you have questions about a particular course, the appropriate procedure is to download the course description and syllabus (if possible) and send your advisor a printed copy of these materials before your appointment. If at all possible, you should resolve any questions or concerns before leaving Amherst.
III. Questions about Course Credit. This is an area where you should not seek our advice except in rare circumstances. Those rare circumstances arise when your situation differs from the following rules. The economics department procedure for granting of elective credit for Study Abroad is exactly the same as the procedure we follow for students spending time at a US college or university: 1) You may not take the core economics courses away from Amherst (EC111,300,301,330,331,360,361,498); 2) You may not take courses abroad that duplicate courses you have had at Amherst; 3) If the Registrar grants you one full Amherst College course credit for a course offered by an economics department, you will receive one elective credit towards your economics major. Courses with economics in the title but not taught by an economics department are not eligible for elective credit. 4) Courses taken abroad may not be used to fulfill the upper-level elective requirement.
There is one exception and one complication to these rules. The economics department does not give elective credit for courses in accounting, even if they are taught out of an economics department. The complication revolves around requirement 3) and arises when the number of courses you take abroad to get a semester of Amherst College course credit differs from 4. For example, suppose you need to take 5 courses abroad for 4 College course credits. In this case, if one of the 5 courses was taught out of an economics department you would not receive an elective credit; if you took 2 economics courses you would receive 1 elective credit; 3 economics course, 2 credits; 4 courses, 3 credits, and 5 courses 4 credits. In some cases a student might be given double credit for a course taken abroad. If you were to take 3 courses and one was an economics, double-credit course, you would receive 2 elective credits. If you were to take four courses and one was an economics, double-credit course, you would receive one elective credit.
We want you to make the most out of your time. You can help us by seeking advice on the important issues in I. and II. above when you have questions or concerns. We believe that the vast majority of questions about credits is answered in III. above. Of course, if your situation does not fit these rules, you should consult your academic advisor.