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Study Abroad

An aerial image of Herstmonceux Castle in a forested area with a pond and a red brick castle

As a History student at Queen’s University, you have hundreds of international educational opportunities available to you. The Department of History works closely with the International Programs Office to facilitate course transfer for yearlong and single-credit study abroad opportunities. We recommend that you consider your study abroad options as early as your first or second year, so you can plan ahead to incorporate an international education experience.

The International Programs Office offers information on four key areas of international study that are available to History students:

  1. Bader College
  2. Queen’s Global Opportunities
  3. Independent Study Abroad
  4. International Studies Certificate

Dr. Caroline-Isabelle Caron is the Department of History's dedicated Advisor for International Exchanges & Transfer Credits. Please submit the course outline (including weekly reading list and a list of assignments) and the Pre-Exchange Transfer Credit form to Dr. Caron at well in advance of your study abroad experience. Dr. Caron will review your course selections prior to your exchange to support you in your course planning..

If you would like assistance reviewing your degree requirements while planning for your exchange, please contact the Undergraduate Assistant at

“As a history major, and a big fan of castles, I was able to live in and explore a place that is so full of history. I was also able to take history courses at Cardiff University about Welsh history, and the UK, and then immerse myself in that history through visiting castles and museums.”  

Emma Hamber, Cardiff University, Wales

Department of History Transfer Credit Policies

Credits for Courses Taken Abroad

Courses taken at other Canadian or international universities can count towards your Queen’s History degree plan. Students are encouraged to carefully review the information below and start planning early in order to allow sufficient time for your courses to be evaluated before you enroll.

Upper-Year Students who would like to earn seminar credit (HIST 333-499) while studying at another institution, should contact the department before going abroad. Seminars are not offered at all foreign institutions; therefore, students may need to plan ahead to only take lectures or elective courses while on exchange. If you are a History Major, you should try to get one seminar course (3.0 units) if you are away for one term, or two courses (6.0 units) if you are away for a full year. To do this, you should consult with the department to ensure the institution you are selecting for your exchange has seminar courses available and review the "Seminar Course Transfers" section below. 

Course Equivalents

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 outline of a Queen’s course in Canadian history, will receive the actual Queen’s course number (for example, HIST 260). If this is granted, you cannot take the same course again at Queen’s for credit. That is, if your exchange or letter of permission course was evaluated as HIST 260, you are unable to enrol in HIST 260 at Queen’s during the remainder of your degree plan.

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 which will appear as UNS on your transcript as opposed to a regular Queen’s course code. These unspecified units will count towards your History degree plan.

HIST 1UNS = first-year course, HIST 2LEC =200 level lecture, HIST 3SEM = upper-level seminar.

Seminar Course Transfers

Most courses taken at other universities translate as lecture courses (HIST 2LEC). Only courses that follow the same requirements as a Queen’s seminar course can be counted as 3SEM. Courses called “seminars” at European universities, for example, almost never translate as SEM credits at Queen’s, but rather should be transferable as unspecified credits (either 3UNS or 4UNS) and could count as your History degree plan as electives, though their evaluation will be done on a case by case basis. Note that 3LEC and 4LEC do not exist in History at Queen's, so they do not exist as transfer credits, either.

All History students are required to complete at least 50% of their total required upper-year seminar course requirements (HIST 333-499) on campus at Queen's University. Major students who take upper-year seminars abroad can have no more than 9 units of seminar credits apply to their Core C degree requirement, while Joint Honours students can have no more than 6 units. Additional seminar credits completed at other institutions will usually count toward the Option requirements of the Major/Joint Honours History degree plan or as electives (see Academic Regulation 16.1.3 and 16.2.3 for overall limits on transfer credits). 

What is a seminar?

To receive seminar credit, a course should have fewer than 30 students. The course should based on class discussion, and there should an average of 150 pages per week in mandatory readings, an essay assignment component, and course evaluation is not based solely on a final exam. Lecture/tutorial classes, such as those common in British universities, could count as seminars if tutorial sessions are weekly, depending on other course components, but 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/their 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 make a case that the course is indeed 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 (written work, tutorial essays, etc.).

Letters of Permission

To receive credit for courses you intend to take at another university (outside of Queen's Exchange programs), you will need to apply for a Letter of Permission from the Arts and Science Faculty Office. You must be an Arts and Science student in good standing, as specified on the Letter of Permission application form. This must be done prior to enrolling in any courses outside Queen’s. If the course you wish to take is offered by a Canadian (domestic) institution, this application goes to the Student Services Office. If the course is offered by an international institution, you must fill out an International Letter of Permission application form and submit it to the International Programs Office.

For your Letter of Permission, you will need to submit an application form via SOLUS, as well as a course outline that includes the learning outcomes of the course and a grade breakdown for your intended courses. There is an administrative fee associated with the Letter of Permission, which can be paid online in the SOLUS application.

More information about Letters of Permission can be found on the Faculty of Arts and Science website. 

History lecture courses offered at another Canadian university are always given credit if the course is officially designated as a History course.

If you wish to receive credit for a seminar course, please consult the History department’s Transfer Credit Advisor before enrolling in the course to ensure the course is equivalent to a Queen’s History seminar. See the Department of History Transfer Credit Policies above.

Student Experiences on Exchange

Learn more about student experiences on exchange in the History DSC's Stories from Study Abroad Series: 

Bertug Yoruk at Koc University, Istanbul                         
Image of Bertug Yoruk on his exchange in Istanbul   

 Veronica Opreff at Australian National University, Canberra
Image of Victoria Opreff in front of the Australia National University sign

Shivangi Mistry, Bader International Study Centre at
Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

Shivangi Mistry at Arthur's Seat, UK



Department of History, Queen's University

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Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.