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Study Chemistry/Biochemistry Abroad

UC San Diego offers several options for students to take advantage of opportunities abroad. Options range from summer to yearlong programs for UC credit, as well as work, internship, and volunteer abroad opportunities. Visit the UC San Diego Study Abroad office to start your search for the right study abroad program for you!

Why Study Abroad?

The experience of studying abroad can assist you in the following ways:

  • Give you an experience of a lifetime.
  • Set you apart and improve your resume by showing recruiters that you possess international skills. Skills that many students do not possess - less than 1% of U.S. college students study abroad annually.
  • Widen your social network by meeting students and professors from around the world.
  • Expand your mind by learning a new culture and seeing the world from another perspective.
  • Add to your skill set by learning new techniques and approaches in biology that might not be taught at UC San Diego.

How Do I Get Started?


Helpful tips:

  • Start doing online research at least one year before you plan to go abroad. This will help you determine the best time of year to go abroad and whether you’re prepared academically.
  • Determine which program best fits your needs - UC Education Abroad Program (including the Global Seminar program) or the UC San Diego Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP).
  • If possible, complete your lower-division and foundational major coursework prior to studying abroad. These courses include general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, and physics.* 
  • Review coursework that could potentially satisfy UC San Diego college and major requirements. See section on Previously Approved Courses for details.

*If you are a Pharmacological Chemistry major, you are also required to take lower-division biology coursework.

Applying Coursework Taken Abroad Toward the Major

Can I receive major credit for chemistry coursework taken abroad?

It is definitely possible! Students may earn academic credit to satisfy major requirements, if approved by the Chemistry and Biochemistry department. 

Minimum criteria 

To receive UCSD chemistry credit for any Study Abroad course, each course must meet all of the following minimum criteria (once posted to your UCSD academic history) to receive the specified UCSD equivalency/credit:

  1. UC transferable (Contact UCSD Admissions for verification)
  2. Upper Division (if trying to satisfy an upper division requirement)
  3. Taken no later than the expiration term (if one exists) listed on our pre-approved Study Abroad course list
  4. Completed with a passing grade*
  5. For Chemistry and Biochemistry majors: the number of classes taken abroad does not interfere with the 48 upper-division major requirement, nor the department residency requirement. Contact a Chemistry/Biochemistry academic advisor for details.

*Remember that you may only receive a maximum of ONE "D" in your upper-division major coursework for a major in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

Great! So how do I receive credit?

If the above minimum criteria are met and the course in question is not listed below under our "pre-approved" list, or has expired, please submit a pre-approval petition to the Chemistry and Biochemistry department for consideration.

Pre-Approved Study Abroad Courses

Please see the Courses Taken Outside of UCSD page for previously approved Study Abroad courses.

If the course you wish to take meets the minimum criteria listed in the Applying Coursework Taken Abroad Toward the Major section above, please send the Chemistry and Biochemistry department a message via the VAC after the course has posted to your UCSD academic history. We will then apply the stated UCSD equivalent credit to your record.

Study Abroad Academic Planning Form

After you select the study abroad program you would like to pursue, you will need to have paperwork signed by your major department. If you are planning to attend the Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP) *, you will need an advisor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department to review your Academic Planning form (you will get this form from Study Abroad).

To obtain department signature on your Academic Planning Form, you will need to drop off your form at the front desk of York Hall 4010 during our office hours.

If you would like to obtain major credit, please review the two sections above (Applying Coursework Taken Abroad Toward the Major and Pre-Approved Study Abroad Courses) before submitting your Academic Planning form. If your course is not listed on our pre-approved list of courses, you will need to have your pre-approval petition approved first before we review your Academic Planning form. 

*If you plan to study abroad via OAP, your Academic Planning form will need to be reviewed by the UC San Diego Admissions office FIRST before you bring it to your major department.