About the European Studies Major

The core of the major consists of eight courses that will examine a significant portion of European civilization through a variety of disciplines. Two of these courses will be European Studies 121 and 122 (or the equivalent; see below), and two will be independent work during the senior year. In the second semester of the senior year, the student major writing a thesis may designate the research course as a double course (European Studies 499D), in which case the total number of courses required to complete the major becomes nine. Comparative literary studies, interdisciplinary work in history, sociology, philosophy, political science, economics, performance studies, visual arts, architecture, or music involving one or more European countries are possible approaches for the student's required senior project.

Application to the major will be considered only after a student has taken at least one of European Studies 121, 122, or an approved, similarly broad course in European history or culture. A second such required course will be taken during the sophomore year or as soon as the student elects a European Studies major. The student major will select four core courses in consultation with the Chair or major advisor. All majors shall complete a substantial course-based research project on some aspect of European culture by the end of their junior year. Prior arrangement for supervision must be made if a student intends to do this project while abroad.

All European Studies honors majors must complete a thesis. Should, during the senior year, the Program faculty decide that a declared major is not qualified to proceed to work on a thesis, the student may elect to do a substantial research project instead. Students may be recommended for Program honors only if they complete a thesis.

Save in exceptional circumstances, a major will spend at least one semester of the junior year pursuing an approved course of study in Europe. All majors must give evidence of proficiency in one European language besides English, ideally one that is appropriate to their senior project. Upon return from study abroad, the student will ordinarily elect, in consultation with the Program Chair or major advisor, at least one course that helps integrate the European experience into the European Studies major.

Click here for the European Studies Major Program Learning Goals.