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Modern European Studies Minor

Contact: Jacqueline Urla
Office: 208 Machmer
Phone: (413) 545-2869

The Faculty

The Executive Committee of the minor in Modern European Studies administers the program and advises interested students. Committee members are: Director: Jacqueline Urla (Anthropology); Skyler Arndt-Briggs, (DEFA Film Archives, German and Scandinavian Studies); Laura Doyle (English); Eric Einhorn (Political Science); Julie Hemment, Elizabeth Krause (Anthropology); Jennifer Heuer (History); Agustin Laó, Joya Misra, (Sociology); Sara Lennox (Germanic Languages and Literature/Social Thought and Political Economy Program); Robert Rothstein (Comparative Literature/Russian and East European Studies); Barbara Zecchi (Spanish and Portuguese).

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 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. For the Modern European Studies minor to satisfy the Global Education requirement, students should take two semesters of language at the university level. These courses must be more advanced than the fourth semester language course (240-249), unless it is the student’s second European foreign language, in which case it must be at or above the second semester level (120-129). The advanced course 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). Alternatively, by arrangement with any participating faculty member, the research may be carried out for the Independent Study course, EURO 396.

4. At least three of the five required courses must be taken in residence at the University of Massachusetts or one of the Five Colleges or while participating in an official University of Massachusetts study abroad program.

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 design their programs in consultation with a member of the Modern European Studies Executive Committee.

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, but only courses passed at grade C or higher will count toward it.