Scandinavian studies is concerned with the study of languages, literature, history, politics, and cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Emphasis is placed both on contemporary literature and culture and on historical development. Although most courses designed for majors are taught in the original languages, a broad spectrum of courses designed primarily for nonmajors is offered in English.
The Department of Scandinavian Studies offers the following programs of study:
Bachelor of Arts
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: First- and second-year Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, or Swedish.
Department Admission Requirements
Students in good academic standing may declare this major at any time.
Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, or Swedish: 65 credits, of which 35 are in upper-division courses. The 65 credits include 30 credits in first- and second-year language training, 15 credits in literature courses in the chosen language, one course in Scandinavian area studies, a course in the history of Scandinavian languages, a course in Scandinavian literature in translation, and a senior essay (SCAND 498).
Scandinavian Area Studies: 65 credits, of which 30 are in upper-division courses. The 65 credits include 30 credits in the chosen Scandinavian or Baltic language (normally first and second year), a minimum of one course from each of four area-studies fields (Scandinavian folklore and film; literature in translation; history and mythology; society and politics), and a senior essay (SCAND 498).
Baltic Studies: 35 credits as follows:
Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, or Swedish: 35 credits as follows:
Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian: 35 credits as follows:
Scandinavian Area Studies: 35 credits as follows:
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
Graduate Program Coordinator
The Department of Scandinavian Studies offers graduate programs of study leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. For the M.A. degree, the emphasis may be placed on Old Icelandic (Old Norse), Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, or Scandinavian area studies. Ph.D. degree aspirants must complete one quarter's study of Old Icelandic and concentrate their studies primarily within one of five areas: Danish language and literature, Finnish language and literature, Norwegian language and literature, Swedish language and literature, or Scandinavian area studies.
For the graduate student, programs in Scandinavian studies open several areas of inquiry: medieval, particularly Old Icelandic; modern, including the eighteenth century; Romanticism; the Modern Breakthrough; and the twentieth century. Attention is paid to the history of Scandinavian languages, prose, drama, and poetry. Opportunities for supervised study and specialization also exist in such areas as Scandinavian history, politics, mythology, folklore, and Baltic studies, as well as in comparative-literature study.
Master of Arts
Two options are available, each allowing the student to emphasize a target language while pursuing courses in Scandinavian languages, literature, or area studies.
Bachelor of Arts degree with major in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, or Scandinavian area studies, or equivalent background, including advanced language proficiency in one Nordic language.
Minimum 40 credits in courses or seminars in Scandinavian and related subjects approved by the department, of which at least 20 credits must be in courses numbered 500 and above; reading knowledge of French or German (another non-Scandinavian language may be substituted with faculty approval); written and oral examination; option between thesis and non-thesis program. Candidates in Scandinavian languages and literature must satisfy the departmental requirement in Old Icelandic.
Doctor of Philosophy
Concentration primarily on one of two areas: Scandinavian languages and literature, or Scandinavian area studies, with an emphasis on the student's target language. Major attention given to the history of the Scandinavian languages, literary history and theory, and genre study. Opportunities for graduate work in such areas as Scandinavian history, politics, mythology, folklore, and Baltic studies exist.
Master of Arts degree with major in Scandinavian languages and literature or equivalent background.
Minimum 90 credits, to include:
40 credits beyond the master's degree in courses or seminars in Scandinavian languages and literature and related subjects approved by the department, one quarter's study of Old Icelandic, a reading knowledge of French and German (other non-Scandinavian languages may be substituted with faculty approval), general examination for admission to candidacy, 27 credits of SCAND 800 (dissertation) taken over at least three quarters, and a final examination on the dissertation.
Teaching assistantships in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Scandinavian area studies are usually available, as well as occasional research assistantships. If funding allows, a Baltic-language teaching assistantship may be available.