Art History majors are encouraged to study abroad. Doing so requires careful planning and provisional pre-approval of the course of study by undergraduate advisors. Courses taken through study abroad must be discussed in advance with an advisor and will not be formally approved until after completion and until satisfactory documentation has been submitted. In order for courses taken abroad to satisfy major requirements, the breadth and depth of the course, the work demanded, and your performance must all meet Berkeley Upper Division standards. Your performance will be evaluated by an Undergraduate Advisor upon your return to campus to determine whether major requirements have been satisfied.
Students must meet with a faculty major advisor, well before departure, in order to discuss the proposed program of study and obtain a signature on the Education Abroad Program academic planning form.
Transfer Credit from Abroad
The maximum number of courses from abroad that can be given credit to the History of Art major is seven, no more than three of which can be upper division (no courses taken abroad may fulfill the seminar requirement). However, no credit for the major is guaranteed prior to a student’s departure. Before going abroad, students must propose overseas courses (based on available course descriptions, etc.) to a faculty advisor who will assess the compatibility of each course with the major program and their fit with the student’s remaining major requirements. Upon return to campus, students must petition for transfer of credit to the major. Petitions should be based upon a transcript or grade report, course syllabi, reading lists, assignment sheets, exams, papers (with instructor marginalia and grade), and any other coursework brought back by students. Students are advised before departing that they should preserve these materials as evidence of coursework completed. An advisor will evaluate each course proposed for transfer, based upon these materials, for its content and rigor and will determine whether or not the course is commensurate with those taught in the department. If a given course does not appear to have sufficient work to be commensurate with courses in the department, students are encouraged to prepare while abroad an additional research paper specific to this course, seeking advice from the course’s instructor on topic, resources, and analytical approaches. This paper must be in English, with full art historical apparatus (e.g. foot/endnotes, a bibliography, and illustrations). It is up to each student to assess while abroad whether or not an extra paper is advisable for a given course. Please see a faculty major advisor for additional explanation before departure. Petitions for the transfer of credit for Lower Division major requirements are granted in most cases; petitions to transfer Upper Division credit must meet higher standards and are not always granted.
Scheduling for Return Semester
We expect EAP students to contact us from abroad in a timely fashion via email in order to plan their courses for their returning semester with adequate time for communication before enrollment appointments. Students should include in their proposed schedules: a) a brief description of their current courses abroad, so that the faculty adviser can get a sense of whether or not these courses may be approved for major credit upon a student’s return; b) a specific set of courses proposed for the returning semester; c) additional information regarding academic progress and program if relevant to the returning semester (e.g. remaining Breadth Requirements, status of Double Major or Minor requirements, etc.) As the proposed schedule is often pending transfer credit approval for courses taken abroad, it is a good idea to propose alternate courses for the returning semester. Please note that courses taken abroad may not yield expected credit for major requirements, and there are often changes in our departmental course schedule. In order to prepare a set of proposed courses, students should with them take a copy of their major Record Sheet for reference while abroad. Advisors will advise the student for the returning semester and, when a viable course plan is confirmed, release the AC code. AC codes will not be released without a specific and complete course plan; in some instances advisors will require additional explanation from students regarding their proposed courses.
Honors Program and Study Abroad
Students wishing to pursue an honors thesis are allowed to do their H195 thesis-writing course upon return from abroad. However, potential honors students must have completed at least one semester of seminar or independent study with a faculty member before starting their thesis with a faculty honors advisor. This seminar/independent study semester does not need to immediately precede the thesis-writing semester, but it usually does, for better continuity in the research and writing process. For additional details, please see the “Guidelines for the Preparation of Honors Theses.”