Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Study Abroad Options

To contact Advisor for International Exchanges & Transfer Credits,  please email to schedule an appointment. 

We recommend that all students have courses evaluated prior to their exchange. Please submit the course outline (including weekly reading list and list of assignments) to along with the Transfer Credit Package. 

Transfer Credit Package


Receiving Queen's credit for Courses taken at other Canadian Universities on a "Letter of Permission":

Students wishing to take courses at other Canadian universities on a Letter of Permission must initiate the process by going to the Faculty of Arts and Science office at F-200 Mac Corry and filling out the appropriate forms. There is a fee.

History lecture courses offered at another Canadian university are always given credit. As long as the course is officially designated as a History course, there is no problem.

If you wish to receive credit for a seminar course, please consult the History Department's Transfer Credit Advisor BEFORE you plan to take the course to ensure that the course qualifies as a Queen's History seminar equivalent.

Normally lecture-style courses from other Canadian universities are recognized on a routine basis, but seminars are different.

See below, #5, "What is a Seminar?"

Students wishing to study abroad (in Europe, Australia, etc.) for a year or a term, should:

1) consult with the History Department's Transfer Credit advisor BEFORE they go abroad. 

If you are a History Major or Medial, your key concern will be to try to get at least 0.5 seminar credit / 3 units (if you're away for one semester) or 1.0 seminar credit / 6 units (if you're away for the whole year) in History during your time abroad. (History Minors need no seminars so this is not a concern; you need lecture credits only.)

2) next, contact the International Program Office in B-206 Mac Corry, across from the cafeteria, to get the actual process under way.

Also, please consult the Arts and Science Calendar to see the section "International Programs and Study Abroad Options"

Rules and Policies

1. The Queen's history department accepts almost all history courses taken at other Canadian universities for transfer credit. Exceptions exist, but are rare.

2. If a course at another university covers roughly the same content as a course offered at Queen's, the equivalent Queen's course number will appear on your transcript. For example, a course in Canadian history which resembles the basic outlines of a Queen's course in Canadian history, will receive the actual Queen's course number. If this is done, you cannot take the same course at Queen's for credit.

3. If the course is not equivalent to a specific Queen's course, it will be assessed according to its level and content. You will receive an "Unspecified" history credit. This is just as good as any other history credit. HIST 1UNS denotes a first-year course (UNS means unspecified credit as opposed to credit for a particular Queen's course); HIST 2LEC denotes a lecture course, HIST 4SEM a Seminar at the senior level, etc.

4. Most courses at other universities translate as lecture courses (HIST 2LEC). Only legitimate seminar courses will be counted as 3SEM or 4SEM.  Note that 3LEC and 4LEC do not exist in History at Queen's, so they do not exist as transfer credits, either.

5. WHAT IS A SEMINAR? To receive seminar credit the course should have fewer than 30 students. Class discussion is required, and normally there is an essay component.
In seminars, evaluation is not based solely on a final exam. Lecture-tutorial classes, such as those common in British universities, count as seminars if tutorial sessions are weekly, and usually do not count as seminars if tutorials are only fortnightly or monthly.

If a student wants seminar credit for a course taken at another university, it is his/her responsibility to prove that the course is in fact a seminar. Most Canadian university course calendars clearly distinguish between seminar and lecture courses, but not always. If the course calendar is unclear, you should collect and submit alternative evidence to prove that the course is a seminar: for example, designation of the course as a seminar in the course syllabus, a note from the professor attesting to the size of the class and/or the importance of participation, or some other evidence.

6. Transcripts: Your Queen's transcript will list the credits for courses taken elsewhere, but will not provide course titles or marks.
Nor will your Queen's transcript figure those marks into your average. Therefore, it is a good idea to obtain an official transcript directly from the other university and to keep it for your records. For those applying to jobs or graduate schools, it is usually enough to attach a photocopy of that other transcript to whatever application you are submitting. You should make sure, however, that the employer or graduate school is satisfied with a photocopy and does not require an official transcript from the other university as well.

History Majors and Medials Studying Abroad-- Rules and Policies

The history department at Queen's encourages foreign study as part of a student's university experience, and works to ensure that the decision to spend a semester or a year abroad will not prevent any student from completing his/her degree in the normal time.

At the same time, we must ensure that the student's program is consistent with University and Departmental standards, including our commitment to instruction in seminars. The following rules and guidelines have been established in order to balance those two objectives.

1. A normal full course load at a foreign university will be considered the equivalent of a normal full course load at Queen's, even if the actual number of courses is not exactly the same. Information on what constitutes a full load at any given university can usually be obtained from Laura Esford in the Arts and Science International Programs Office in Mac-Corry B206, or by phone @ 533-2815. But if she does not know, you may be asked to get a letter from the foreign university (typically from its international exchange office).

2. Students are expected, whenever possible, to take the same number of seminar courses abroad as they would were they at Queen's. For students doing their third year abroad, this normally means two full-year history seminars (or its equivalent) for majors, one full-year seminar for medials.

3. It is the student's responsibility to prove that their foreign courses are in fact seminars. Evidence may consist of: formal designation of the course as a seminar in the catalogue description or course syllabus, a note from the professor attesting to the size of the class and/or the importance of participation, or some other evidence (written work, tutorial essays, etc.) that satisfies the department at Queen's.

4. If two full-year seminars or their equivalent are taken abroad, they will be counted as two Queen's seminars. If the equivalent of one seminar is taken, it will count as one Queen's seminar. Under normal circumstances, no more than two full courses in any given year will be counted for seminar credit. Additional courses will count as lecture courses, no matter what was the actual format of the courses taken. Exceptions to that rule, however, may be made on a case-by-case basis.

5. If no seminar classes in history are available at the foreign university, students will nevertheless be able to count one full-year lecture class (or its equivalent) AS a seminar. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that the lack of seminar classes abroad will not prevent a student from graduating on time. Note, however, that majors who do not find seminar classes abroad typically will have to take three history seminars, rather than the normal two, upon their return to Queen's (normally in 4th year).

*History at the Queen's International Study Centre, Herstmonceux,
Please see the International Study Centre website
*Other Study Abroad Options

Additional Study Abroad Options are of Two Types:

1. Queen's Exchanges
Queen's sends students on exchange to various approved universities, and the foreign universities send students to Queen's in return. You pay your tuition to Queen's, and Queen's takes care of many of the logistical and bureaucratic issues. Transfer credit is given for the courses taken at the foreign university.
There is an application process for Queen's exchanges. Contact the International Programs Office in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Most Queen's Exchanges offer history and are approved for history majors and medials.

2. Third-Party Exchanges
You enrol as a student at another university, and pay fees directly to that university. Transfer credit is given for the courses taken at the foreign university.
If you are willing to deal with the occasional bureaucratic hassles, are good at finding out information on your own, and can afford the tuition at the foreign university, third-party exchanges offer you an almost limitless number of study abroad options, including in countries where Queen's has no exchange agreements.

Some Canadian and U.S. universities have ongoing foreign exchanges at places where Queen's does not. Working through those Canadian or US universities can sometimes make it easier to cut through the paperwork.

Third-party exchanges vary widely, from absolutely excellent to not-so-great. The history department supports and welcomes students doing third-party exchanges, so long as the program is reputable and the courses are clearly history courses.

For more information, contact the International Programs Office in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Individual faculty members in your area of interest may also have useful contacts at some foreign universities.