The Major in International and Area Studies Concentration in European Studies

The International and Area Studies (IAS) concentration in European studies 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 as well as those interested in understanding how the continent connects with other parts of the world. The program 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.

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 from a minimum of three different academic disciplines (at least one course must focus on gender, race, or class, and at least two courses must be at the 400 level)

Additional requirements and regulations:

  • Students must receive a grade of C+ or higher in all IAS courses. All courses taken for IAS credit must be taken for a letter grade, including language courses.
  • Students must fulfill the standard IAS foreign language requirement with a European language consistent with their study abroad location (e.g., French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish).
  • Students must complete one semester of language before declaring the major.
  • We strongly encourage students to study abroad. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3-unit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.
  • We strongly prefer students to select a study abroad location consistent with their chosen language of study (e.g., students who wish to study in Spain must satisfy their language requirement with either Spanish or Portuguese).
  • Students must choose their upper-level course work from a minimum of three academic disciplines (e.g., anthropology, art history, economics, film, history, literature, music, philosophy, political science).
  • No more than 12 total credits earned outside of the day school of Washington University may be applied toward a student's IAS major. This limit includes credits from study abroad (never more than 6 credits from a single semester, 3 credits from a summer, or 12 credits from a year), University College, summer school from other U.S. universities, or any combination thereof. (All 400-level credits must be earned on campus or in Washington University courses taught abroad.)
  • All advanced credits counting for the IAS major must be unique to the IAS major.
  • At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level.

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):

History 102CWestern Civilization3
IAS 207Crossing Borders: An Introduction to Institutions and Concepts in International and Area Studies3
IAS 244Introduction to European Studies3

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
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 World, 1500-18003
IAS 135First-Year Seminar: Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space3
IAS 140East Asia in the 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 IAS adviser 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
  • Art History
  • Classics
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Film and Media Studies
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities
  • International and Area Studies
  • Languages and Literatures
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Additional Information

Language Requirement for the Major in European Studies/International and Area Studies: All IAS majors must satisfy a foreign language requirement that entails the successful completion of four semesters of one modern language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a modern language; for others who place into advanced language classes and who receive approval from IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communication, and linguistics courses in the target language, once such students complete the basic language sequence. Students must complete one semester of language to be eligible to declare the major in IAS.

Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but they must satisfy their IAS language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one modern language through the fourth semester. Available 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 speakers: The following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that are counted toward the four semesters of foreign language: Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture (Span 223), Business Spanish (Span 351), Medical Spanish (Span 353), and Spanish for the Social Sciences (Span 355). Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons. For questions about this, students should consult with their major adviser.

Advanced foreign language courses in literature and culture used to satisfy the foreign language requirement may be counted as advanced credit for IAS majors as long as they are cross-listed with or approved for study abroad credit for the student's IAS concentration and provided the courses are not being counted toward any other degree.

Language courses taken to fulfill the IAS language requirement may count toward another major or minor unless they are being counted as advanced elective units for the IAS major requirement.

Students With Prior Language Experience

Native speakers of a foreign language: Students must satisfy the four-semester 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 requirement.

Transfer students who have taken language courses: Students may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at or return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.

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

Study Abroad: Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in one of Washington University's Overseas Programs during junior year or the summer. Some credit for courses taken abroad may be applied toward the major. For those students who do not study abroad, an additional 3-credit course at the 300 or 400 level is required.

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