European Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that combines advanced language study with Europe-related coursework in the humanities and social sciences. Courses are taught by Europeanists from a variety of academic disciplines, including history, political science, literature, language, art history, music, philosophy, sociology, geography, economics, and business. Besides developing an in-depth understanding of European history and culture, students will acquire advanced skills in critical thinking, close reading, and persuasive writing.
Building on their University Core and GE Foreign Language courses, students begin the major with an introduction to European Studies (EUROP 200), a survey of European history (HIST 250), a course in European humanities (EUROP 320), two elective courses in European history, and a course in either Western or Eastern European politics (POLI 341 or 347). By their junior year, students should begin either the Social Sciences Track or the Humanities Track, each of which requires twelve hours of coursework. In their final year, students take the senior seminar in European Studies (EUROP 490R) and nine hours of supporting coursework (which must be approved in advance by the European Studies faculty coordinator).
The European Studies Major
Each semester European Studies majors and minors can choose from over 100 courses taught by the roughly 150 BYU faculty members with expertise in European subjects. Students also have the option of fulfilling several requirements through Independent Study courses.
Interested students should meet with either the European Studies faculty coordinator, Professor Heather Belnap Jensen or one of the counselors at the Kennedy Center Advisement Center (273 HRCB). Download ES Major Brochure (PDF).
Go to the Kennedy Center Advisement Center (273 HRCB), where the secretaries will assist you. Seniors must meet with an academic advisor before approval to switch to the major will be granted.
The European Studies minor allows students who have completed a mission, internship, or study abroad in Europe—or simply have a love for Europe’s people and cultures—to expand their knowledge of the continent and receive a formal credential signaling their international expertise. Requiring only 15 hours beyond the GE language requirement, a minor in European Studies is a perfect way to complement a degree in just about any field. Download ES Minor Brochure (PDF).
The European Studies program is governed by an Executive Committee of faculty that represents various departments and schools across campus. Affiliated faculty, comprised of faculty members whose work relates to Europe and who have elected to join this body, participate in discussions related to the program
Most of the assessment of the major and minor is done by the program coordinator through competency exams and surveys of graduates and alumni. The Executive Committee meets regularly to review the results of these exams and surveys and make recommendations to the affiliated faculty for needed changes. The results of the assessment work are communicated annually to the faculty affiliates, who are invited to discuss these findings.
Faculty affiliates of the European Studies program are critical to its success, and participate in myriad ways. They contribute to the program’s intellectual life by participating in events such as Café Europa, where two or three faculty members representing different disciplines are invited to discuss a timely issue related to Europe before an audience, co-sponsoring speakers for the Kennedy Center’s lecture series.
Their work with students is invaluable, as they advise projects, facilitate internship opportunities, and encourage professional development. Some faculty affiliates may participate in the Model EU and Model EN programs as mentors or attend European Horizons, the annual student symposium. Each year, the students recognize one of our outstanding affiliates and award them the “European Studies Professor of the Year Award,” which includes a modest honorarium.
All faculty members who works on Europe are encouraged to apply to for affiliate status by filling out this form.
Affiliates are encouraged to apply for Kennedy Center research and travel grants that further their work on European topics. European Studies can also assist with the sponsorship of visiting lecturers (contact Heather Belnap Jensen, European Studies faculty coordinator, and Kirk Larsen, Director of Academic Programs and Research at the Kennedy Center for more information).
Recent experience has proven that European Studies majors and minors who have completed internships fare significantly better when applying for jobs or graduate school. The gold standard is spending a semester or summer interning in Europe. While several departments in the College of Humanities sponsor high-quality internships in Europe, students with an interest in government and public policy should consider two internships sponsored by the European Studies program: the Scottish Parliament and the EU in Brussels. See the links for application instructions under “Other Content” on the right.
If finances or life circumstances make it impossible to leave Provo, you can still have an outstanding internship experience through local providers. Visit the Internships page for more information.
While a degree in European Studies can lead to a range of graduate school and career opportunities, majors in the discipline are strongly encouraged to supplement their degree with a study abroad experience, an international internship, and a minor or secondary major in a complementary field. Past graduates have found work in business, government, nonprofit administration, and domestic and international teaching. Others have used the degree as a springboard to graduate studies in law, business, medicine, political science, public administration, international studies, history, literature, and language. See the tracks recent alums have taken on Career Pathways.
These alumni notes appeared in past issues of Bridges, the Kennedy Center’s alumni magazine.