Bachelor of Arts Degree

Program Description - European Studies

The purpose of the curriculum in European Studies is to prepare students to pursue careers requiring an understanding of all the forces, both material and cultural, contemporary and historical, that are shaping Europe today, in the transitions involved in the post-Soviet era and the movement toward greater political, economic, and cultural integration among the various nations of Europe, West, East, North, and South. One of the main goals of the program is to equip its graduates to work with primary sources in a European language, beginning with substantive study of such sources in regular coursework and in the capstone seminar.

Depending on the particular nature of their interests, students should be able to pursue European Studies either as an area concentration for its own sake or as a supplement to the development of particular expertise in a related discipline by combining this with the other discipline as a double major. Students also may choose to focus their coursework, within the major on Hellenic Studies, the European Union, or Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies. European Studies courses are offered by faculty in the following departments and programs: Architecture, Art, Classics, Communication, Comparative Literature, Comparative Religion, Drama, Economics, English, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, Geography, Germanics, History, International Studies, Political Science, Public Affairs, Romance Languages and Literature, Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literature, and Sociology.

-Christine Ingebritsen, Chair

Admission to Major - open major

Any undergraduate admitted for study as a matriculated student in the College of Arts and Sciences may declare European Studies as a major and work toward the B.A. degree.

Major Requirements

The foreign language requirement has two phases:

  1. Two years of college-level European language study, as a prerequisite for
  2. 10 credits of approved coursework at the 300 or 400 level either taught in the foreign language (other than English) or involving extensive foreign language use. Third-year language sequence courses typically are used to satisfy this requirement.

Core Sequence
A core sequence of 20 credits, to include:

  1. JSIS 201, Making of the 21st Century (5); and
  2. JSIS A 301, Europe Today (5 credits);
  3. JSIS A 302, European Politics and Cultures (5);
  4. Modern European History survey course chosen from the approved list (5).

Foreign Study/Experience
One regular academic quarter (at least 9-10 weeks, 10 credits minimum) of study in Europe, normally in the junior year.

Electives   15 credits - See European Studies Program Guide

  • 5 credits of electives from an approved list of courses in European society and culture (literature, history, political science, geography, economics, art history, sociology, etc.).
  • 5 credits One course must be designated as a pre-modern elective.
  • 5 credits of Global elective Global electives list

List of Approved History Survey courses, Pre-modern Electives and Global Electives

Senior Seminar or Thesis Seminar

JSIS A 494, Senior Seminar   or    JSIS A 495, Thesis Seminar       (5 credits)
Students should first discuss this requirement with a European Studies adviser in the Jackson School Office of Student Services, Thomson 111.

  • JSIS A 494 is a senior seminar course in which students research and write a paper of substantial length. OR
  • JSIS A 495 is a Research Intensive Thesis Seminar (offered Spring quarter only)
    Students who wish to do more in-depth research may opt instead for the Thesis Seminar in which they will make intensive use of foreign language skills in research and write a substantial thesis (c. 8,000 words) demonstrating and using the knowledge gained in all previous coursework and experience. Permission to pursue the Thesis Seminar requires prior approval of a proposal from the Chair of European Studies, currently Christine Ingebritsen. Please contact her during the previous Autumn quarter, to submit a proposal and request permission. See the European Studies adviser to obtain a copy of the JSIS A 495 proposal form and guidelines.

Proposals for permission to pursue the JSIS A 495 Thesis Seminar will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • an essay or already completed essay in which students discuss their proposed research;
  • grades earned in JSIS A 301, JSIS 201, and the required European Survey;
  • grades earned in other courses counting in the major;
  • overall UW GPA.
  • Candidates should have junior standing and are expected to have completed of at least one year of foreign language, with a second year (or beyond) in progress at the time the proposal is submitted.
  • At least 20 credits in the major should be complete at the time of submission.

Overlapping credits
A maximum of 15 credits that are used to fulfill minimum requirements of any other UW major can be counted in this major.

Minor Requirements

Two years of a continental European language; 15-credit core sequence (JSIS A 301, JSIS 201, and a survey course on modern Europe); 10 credits of approved elective coursework in European society and culture.

Full Program Description (PDF file)

For a full program description including a list of electives. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

Current European Studies Course Descriptions

Jackson School
Office of Academic Services
111 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-6001