Concentration in European Studies

The Major in Global Studies
Concentration in European Studies

This concentration focuses on the new Europe and its historical and cultural contexts, attempting to understand the European contribution to world politics and cultural exchange. It involves the study of both traditional and new European cultural products (e.g., literature, film, visual art, electronic media) as well as of European institutions and contexts. This concentration will educate students interested in understanding Europe for its own sake but also help them to discover the ways in which the continent connects with other parts of the world. The concentration is committed to interdisciplinary approaches, and students may take courses in the traditional language-and-literature disciplines as well as in anthropology, art history, economics, film, history, music, philosophy, and political science.

The concentration defines the geography of modern Europe to include the Atlantic world as well as its Eurasian and Mediterranean neighbors.

General Requirements

One semester of language must be completed before declaring the major.

  • Students must complete a minimum of 36 units in Global Studies, including at least three courses focused on a world area.
  • Students must complete at least 24 units at the 300 level or above, including courses across a minimum of three academic disciplines.
  • Students must complete at least 6 units at the 400 level, no more than 3 of which may be directed research or independent study.
  • In addition to the 36 units, students must complete a four-semester sequence of courses in one modern language appropriate to their concentration.

These requirements may be fulfilled only with college-level course work undertaken during a student's undergraduate enrollment. Courses must be taken for a grade, and a student must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all courses.

This concentration requires 36 units of course work:

  • 3 units of introductory course work (100 or 200 level)
  • 3 units of European history course work (300 level or above from history department offerings on Europe [from 1750 forward])
  • 3 units of non-European world area course work (any level)
  • 27 units of advanced European studies course work (300-400 level; at least one course must focus on gender, race, or class)
  • Students must fulfill the standard Global Studies language requirement with a European language consistent with their study abroad location (e.g., French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish).

Note: A single course may satisfy more than one of the distribution requirements (i.e., disciplinary; race, gender, class; or world area). Some of these requirements may be completed while abroad.

Introductory course work (choose one from this list, for a total of 3 units):

GS 207Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Institutions and Concepts in Global Studies3
GS 244Introduction to European Studies3
History 102CWestern Civilization II3
History 102DIntroduction to Modern European History3
History 229Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities3

Non-European area course work (3 units):

We consider world areas to be Africa, East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. Courses that may be used to satisfy this requirement may include advanced area-specific courses or the following lower-level courses:

AFAS 209BAfrican Studies: An Introduction3
AFAS 2230The African Diaspora: Black Internationalism Across Time and Space3
AMCS 250Topics in Asian American Studies: Introduction to Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies3
Art-Arch 111Introduction to Asian Art3
East Asia 227CChinese Civilization3
GS 135First-Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space3
GS 140East Asia in the World3
GS 280Sophomore Seminar: The Public Servant and Other Heroes: A History of Japan through Film3
History 2157First-Year Seminar: The Meaning of Pakistan: History, Culture, Art3
History 2171Who Died and Made Them Kings? People, Politics and Power in the Atlantic World3
Japan 226CJapanese Civilization3
JIMES 208FIntroduction to Jewish Civilization: History and Identity3
JIMES 210CIntroduction to Islamic Civilization3
Korean 223CKorean Civilization3
LatAm 165DLatin America: Nation, Ethnicity and Social Conflict3

Advanced course work: Students choose nine courses from current European-focused course offerings in the following departments.* All courses must be approved by the student's Global Studies advisor in order to count for the major. Visit the concentration webpage and master course list for the full list of options.

  • African and African-American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities
  • Jewish, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Languages and Literatures
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Students may submit a request to add a course by following the instructions for the Petition Process.

Additional Requirements and Information

Study Abroad

  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those who do not study abroad and receive credit toward the Global Studies General Requirements, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select a study abroad location and regional specialization consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., if a student wishes to study in Latin America, they must satisfy their language requirement with either Portuguese or Spanish).
  • Students may receive a maximum of 6 credits from a single semester, 12 credits from a year, or 3 credits from a summer term of study abroad.
  • Students may apply no more than 12 total credits to the Global Studies major from study abroad, University College, summer school at other U.S. universities, or any combination thereof.
  • To receive credit for a summer course completed at another institution, a student should fill out the Approval for Non-WashU Course Credit form with Arts & Sciences to take the course for "general credit" and then petition to have the course count toward their Global Studies major.

Latin Honors

  • Students must confidently expect to graduate with an overall grade-point average of 3.65 or higher to qualify for Latin Honors.
  • Students should enroll in GS 485 Preparation for Global Studies Honors Thesis during the fall of senior year and in GS 486 Global Studies Senior Honors Thesis during the spring of senior year (under the corresponding section number of the faculty member overseeing the student's thesis).

Language Requirement

  • All Global Studies majors must satisfy a language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one modern language appropriate to their concentration. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others who place into advanced language classes — and with approval from Global Studies language faculty — this may include literature, culture, oral communication, and linguistic courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence.
  • Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but they must satisfy their Global Studies language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one language through the fourth semester. Available modern languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Students should consult the course listings for details about the language sequences. (On the "A&S IQ" tab, click on "Courses," and then toggle "Area Requirement" to "LS Language & Cultural Diversity-Language" and click "Search" to see a list of available language courses.)

Special note for Spanish learners: The following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that are permitted to count toward the four semesters of language: Span 223 Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture, Span 351 Business Spanish, Span 353 Medical Spanish, and Span 355 Spanish for the Social Sciences. Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons. For questions about this, students should consult with their major advisor.

Students With Prior Language Experience

Native speakers of a modern language: Students must satisfy the four-semester Global Studies language requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration.

Heritage speakers who do not have a native level of fluency: Students must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four-semester Global Studies language requirement.

Transfer students who have taken language courses: A transfer student may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester Global Studies language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at Washington University in the given language and the department/program determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

Students who take a language course at another institution (whether in the United States or abroad): A student may receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester Global Studies language requirement only if (1) the credit is transferred back as Washington University credit; and (2) the student takes a placement exam in the given language upon their return to Washington University and the department/program determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.