The Program

The Minor in Modern European Studies is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental program that allows students to supplement their major with a focus on the geographical areas of western and eastern Europe. In addition to increasing the student’s knowledge of European society, politics, culture, and heritage, the minor may be useful in supporting application to professional and graduate school, governmental and international service, and careers in teaching or business.

The minor is open to all undergraduates, regardless of their major.


  1. Five courses (a total of at least 15 credits) that focus on modern Europe. No more than one may be at the 100 level. Among the five courses, at least two European countries and two disciplines (e.g., literature, geography, history, anthropology, sociology, political science) must be represented.
  2. One of the five courses must be in a modern European language other than English. Language courses must be at the 200 level or higher. Students may count additional language courses in a second European foreign language at the 100 level when they have already demonstrated language competency equivalent to the fourth semester (240) in one European language. Language classes must be conducted primarily in the foreign language in question .
  3. One of the five courses must include a significant research component (a paper written from multiple sources, or equivalent work) addressing contemporary Europe. Alternatively, by arrangement with a faculty member, the research may be carried out as an Independent Study.
  4. At least three of the five required courses must be taken in residence at the University of Massachusetts or at one of the Five Colleges or while participating in an officially approved University of Massachusetts study abroad program.
  5. At least two courses must come from outside the student’s primary major.


Any course that focuses primarily or exclusively on the culture, politics, or society of contemporary Europe, or its history after 1789, will qualify. Such courses are regularly offered by the following departments: Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literature, Economics, English, French and Italian, Geosciences, Germanic and Scandinavian Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Slavic Languages, and Spanish and Portuguese, and by the Isenberg School of Management. Students should consult Department websites for course listing and design their programs in consultation with a member of the Modern European Studies Executive Committee. All course plans must be approved by the Director before the student's final semester.

Education Abroad

Courses taken abroad can be used for credit toward the minor if they are approved by a member of the Modern European Studies Executive Committee.

The university offers full year, semester and summer programs in Europe. The countries involved include Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. In addition, the Anthropology Department operates a field program in various European countries.

Students who are going abroad during the academic year must make all arrangements with International Programs, from which detailed information on foreign study opportunities can be obtained.


Upon completion, the minor is recorded on the student’s transcript. Only courses passed at grade C or higher may be counted toward completion of the requirements.