Major in German & Scandinavian Studies (B.A. or B.S.)


The influence of Germany and Scandinavia on modern life is incalculable. In philosophy and religion; in sociology and psychology; in music, law, political science, and history - in every one of these fields and more, thinkers from this part of Europe have helped define our perception of the world. German and Scandinavian Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers undergraduates the opportunity to study these many influences in context with the society and cultures that produced them. It combines advanced language training with an interdisciplinary program of study that includes courses in history, philosophy, political science, art history, music history, religious studies, and Judaic studies with the language and literature courses offered in the Department of German and Scandinavian.

Requirements for the Major in German & Scandinavian Studies (B.A. or B.S.)

The German and Scandinavian Studies Focus requires second-year language proficiency. Of the 48 credits beyond second-year language, at least 24 credits must be in courses taught by the UO Department of German and Scandinavian; at least 44 credits must be taken for a letter grade. The department does not accept a grade of C- or lower in any course used to fulfill requirements for a major in German and Scandinavian Studies. The following rules apply to these requirements: 

  • Four upper-division courses taught in German or a Scandinavian language. Eligible courses in this category include GER 311-313, GER 340-341, GER 360-499, and SWED 405
  • Four additional upper-division approved courses
  • Four additional lower- or upper-division approved courses
  • Completion of an approved capstone project

Approved Courses

  • German (GER) and Scandinavian (SCAN) courses numbered 210–499
  • Courses taken at a European university taught in German or a Scandinavian language above the second-year level
  • Courses from the preapproved list, which count automatically toward the major and the minor: European Union History (EURO 415), German History: [Topic] (HIST 342), Europe in the 20th Century: [Topic] (HIST 428), Medieval Central Europe: [Topic] (HIST 436), 16th-Century European Reformations (HIST 441), Early Modern German History: [Topic] (HIST 442), Modern Germany: [Topic] (HIST 443), The Holocaust (HIST 444), The Jewish Encounter with Modernity (JDST 213), The Music of Bach and Handel (MUS 351), History of Philosophy: 19th Century (PHIL 312), 19th-Century Philosophers: [Topic] (PHIL 453), Shadows of Modernity (PS 312), European Politics (PS 324)
  • Other courses taken as part of an approved thematic pathway

Thematic Pathways. These are recommended course lists that include a significant number of approved course options beyond those on the preapproved list. Students are strongly encouraged to follow a thematic pathway, culminating in a capstone project, in consultation with a faculty advisor. Details are posted on the department’s website and are also available from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Numerous pathways are in development, follow this link for more info.

Capstone Project. This is a piece of guided independent scholarly or creative work integrating knowledge acquired in courses for the major, typically as the culmination of a thematic pathway. It must be preapproved and either supervised or cosupervised by a faculty member in the department. This requirement typically will be met by a research paper of at least 15 pages or by a comparable scholarly or creative project in a 400-level course in an appropriate department, or through at least one credit of GER 401, 403, or 405; SCAN 401, 403, or 405; or SWED 401, 403, or 405. Work with non-English materials is strongly encouraged.

Double-Counting. Majors who seek an additional minor in either German or Scandinavian may count all credits for both. The same rule applies to minors who seek an additional major in either German or Scandinavian. Majors may not seek an additional major in either German or Scandinavian. The department encourages, and imposes no restrictions on, major or minor combinations with other programs.

To declare a major or minor, or ask any questions about our programs, go to our Advising page.