Economics Department Guidelines and Procedures for Study Abroad
Studying abroad is an immensely enriching academic, personal and professional experience. Colby offers many exciting programs and economics students take full advantage of them. This page gives guidelines and describes procedures for getting credit for courses taken abroad that are applicable to Economics majors and Managerial Economics minors.
Students planning to study abroad need departmental and college approval for the proposed courses and academic institution.
Step 1: consult the Handbook of Off-Campus Study Opportunities which you should have received via campus mail. Read it carefully. It contains a list of Colby-approved programs and will answer a lot of your questions.
Step 2: go to the Off-Campus Study Office (first floor of Eustis), browse the catalogues there, talk with members of the Off-Campus Study Office about your interests, and get some ideas about which programs interest you the most.
Step 3: submit the appropriate applications. The first application is to Colby for permission to study abroad. A preliminary application is due to the Colby Off-Campus Study Office by November 15 and the final Colby study abroad application is due by February 20. Applications are submitted online. The final study abroad application requires the approval of your academic advisor. Note, however, that you will not be granted Economics credit for courses taken abroad until after your return (see below).
You also need to apply to the specific program abroad you intend to attend. Your program application will have a deadline determined by the specific program. Some programs have fixed deadlines, while others have rolling admissions with no fixed deadline – but it is often the case that the earlier you apply, the better your chances of being accepted. Consult the Off-Campus Study Office for deadlines.
You will generally get automatic credit toward your overall Colby graduation requirements for programs that are on the “Colby approved” list of programs.
However, you do not automatically get credit toward the Economics major. The following guidelines explain how to get credit toward the Economics major.
Formal approval of courses taken abroad to satisfy Economics major requirements is not granted prior to your studies abroad. Catalogue descriptions are usually not sufficiently detailed to permit a reasonable judgement to be drawn on their suitability. Consequently, a determination about whether the course warrants department credit is made after you return.
Credit will be earned only for courses that are fully completed, including final exams. In British universities where both “class grades” and “exam grades” are given – e.g., the London School of Economics – no credits will be given for a course in which an exam grade is not received.
To receive credit toward the economics major for courses taken abroad, you must turn in the following material to the Economics Department office in Diamond 346. – after you return to Colby from your time abroad and once your study abroad classes have been noted on your transcript:
1. An application form, downloadable here: Application for Economics Credit.
2. At a minimum a syllabus for each course. Papers, exams, or problem sets from each course are strongly recommended as evidence of the work you completed and may be requested by the Economics Department Off-Campus Study Advisor.
The Off-Campus study advisor will reach out to you with any questions or if any additional materials are required. Upon approval, the Registrar’s office will receive an e-mail noting the economics equivalent credit (with a cc to you) and a hard copy of the application is placed in department files to insure that the course is counted toward your major requirements and the equivalence is noted on your Colby transcript.
Note that not all courses that have the word “Economics” in the title are economics courses. If, after reviewing the course material, we find that a course fails to contain a sufficient amount of economic content, then you will not receive credit toward the economics major for the course.
Normally, 200-level credit is given. To earn 300-level credit for a course taken abroad, the course must have required the equivalent of Micro and/or Macro Theory as prerequisites, and must demonstrate a sufficiently high level of rigor in the syllabus and written work required in the course.
Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory, a Senior Seminar, and the Ec345 project (if done) must all be completed at Colby.
At least one 300-level course must be taken at Colby regardless of the number and level of credits transferred from your study abroad.
You can receive Economics department credit for a maximum of two courses taken abroad, with the exception of year-long programs such as the one at the LSE.
Generally, you will only receive 300-level credit for a maximum of one course taken abroad – and only if that course meets the criteria spelled out above.
When selecting courses to take abroad, plan for any prerequisites for courses that you plan to take in your senior year.
You are encouraged to take courses other than Economics courses while abroad. This is a good chance to broaden your exposure to other things, so take advantage of it when possible.
If you will be away during the spring of your junior year, and if you are interested in pursuing a Senior Thesis, Honors Project, or a Senior Scholars, talk with potential advisors before you leave in your junior year. It will be difficult to start a year-long research project from scratch in September of your senior year.
For further information:
Economics Department Off-Campus Study Advisor:
Professor Randy Nelson