Europe matters. It has made significant contributions to the world: intellectual, artistic, political, spiritual, economic, and scientific, among others. However, it has also been an arena for much conflict and struggle—racial, religious, political—with implications far beyond its borders, and it has subjected most of the world to imperial rule. Knowing about Europe gives insight into past and present and their interconnectedness, and helps us imagine the future.
At the same time, for centuries the question of what constitutes “Europe” has been up for debate. Is Europe a geographical entity? A political construct, delineated by institutions such as the European Union? Or is Europe a cultural construct that emerged from a synergy of late Roman influences, the Christian religion, and the legacy of the Germanic migrations? The European Studies minor approaches the study of Europe through a wide range of disciplinary vantage points to help students find their own answers to the complex and often controversial questions of what constitutes Europe and why it matters.
European Studies minors can take advantage of course offerings in a variety of departments, including but not limited to art history, economics, English, Greek, Latin, and ancient Mediterranean studies, history, media studies, modern languages and literatures, music, philosophy, political science, sociology, and theatre and dance. Students are guided in defining their learning goals, their course selections, and in possible study abroad options by the faculty members contributing to the minor.
One unit providing a broad overview of European culture, society, politics, or history such as History 268 (Europe and the Modern World) or Political Science 237 (European Union).
Coursework must focus on at least two European countries or regions.
At least 1 unit must be on Europe before 1789, and at least 1 unit must be on Europe after 1789.
Up to 1 unit of credit can be taken in a course the focus of which is not primarily on Europe, as long as the student does substantial work on a European topic for the course. If selecting this option, students should consult a European studies advisor before or at the beginning of the semester to make sure the option will meet the requirements for the minor.
No more than 2 units taken in the same program or department may count towards the minor.
Additionally, students must write a 2,000-word reflective essay synthesizing themes and questions that have emerged from their studies of Europe. Students are expected to make a public presentation based on the essay.
While study abroad in Europe is not required, it is highly recommended. Courses with a European focus taken abroad, whether in Europe or another world region, can be counted towards the minor.