The Scandinavian studies program provides the opportunity to learn a Scandinavian language or Finnish (modern Icelandic only occasionally). The literature, folklore, and culture of the Nordic countries are taught both in the original languages and in English translation. Partly in cooperation with other departments, courses in Scandinavian area studies are offered (history, social institutions, geography, art, archaeology). Students who major in the field may continue graduate studies toward an M.A. in Scandinavian philology, literature, or area studies, and toward a Ph.D. in Scandinavian literature, philology, or folklore.
The program strongly encourages a junior-year abroad in a Nordic country; several exchange programs are available. Students who transfer to this university after a year abroad should contact the undergraduate advisor as early as possible to schedule a placement test.
Note: SCAND ST 301 Intensive Finnish I and SCAND ST 302 Intensive Finnish II each count as 2 units of foreign language for the purpose of meeting the College of Letters & Science foreign language requirement.
Majors should see the advisor during the semester before their last semester. Prospective majors are urged to consult the undergraduate advisor about their program at the first possible opportunity.
Student interested in pursuing an undergraduate major in Scandinavian studies should contact the advisor about declaring the major.
1368 Van Hise
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.
Bachelor of Arts degree requirements
|Mathematics||Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.|
|Foreign Language|| |
Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
|L&S Breadth|| |
|Liberal Arts and Science Coursework||108 credits|
|Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work||60 intermediate or advanced credits|
|Major||Declare and complete at least one (1) major|
|Total Credits||120 credits|
|UW-Madison Experience||30 credits in residence, overall |
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
|Minimum GPAs||2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison |
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison
Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major
Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above.
Requirements for the Major
- The fifth-unit Scandinavian language, 1 course from:
|Readings in Norwegian Literature|
|Readings in Swedish Literature|
|Readings in Danish Literature|
2. 18 credits of Scandinavian studies from these two areas, with at least one course taken from each area:
a. Language, Culture and History
|Contemporary Scandinavian Languages|
|Nynorsk sprak og kultur|
|Survey of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature|
|Introduction to Scandinavian Linguistics|
|Areas in Scandinavian Literature|
|History of the Scandinavian Languages I: Proto- to Common Scandinavian|
|History of the Scandinavian Languages II: Standard Languages|
|Mythology of Scandinavia|
|History of Scandinavia to 1815|
|History of Scandinavia Since 1815|
|The Scandinavian Tale and Ballad|
|The Icelandic Sagas|
|Scandinavian American Folklore|
|Sami Culture, Yesterday and Today|
|Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore|
|Celtic-Scandinavian Cultural Interrelations|
|Greenland - Past, Present, and Future|
|Scandinavian Life and Civilization II|
|The Scandinavian Heritage in America|
|Topics in Scandinavian Linguistics|
|Paleography and Philology - Old Norse|
|Contemporary Scandinavia: Politics and History|
|Fundamentals of Bibliography and Research|
b. Scandinavian Literature
|Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: From the Middle Ages to 1900|
|Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: the Twentieth Century|
|Scandinavian Children's Literature|
|The Woman in Scandinavian Literature|
|Scandinavian Topics in Depth (1 Norwegian-American Folksong)|
|Scandinavian Topics in Depth (2 Finnish-American Folksong)|
|Scandinavian Topics in Depth (4 Hagiography in the North)|
|The Drama of Henrik Ibsen|
|The Drama of August Strindberg|
|Nineteenth-Century Scandinavian Fiction|
|Knut Hamsun and the 20th Century Norwegian Novel|
|Kierkegaard and Scandinavian Literature|
|Contemporary Scandinavian Literature|
|Memory and Literature from Proust to Knausgard|
|The Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen|
|Topics in Scandinavian Literature|
|Modern Scandinavian Drama|
|Scandinavian Decadence in its European Context|
|The Writings of Hans Christian Andersen for Scandinavian Majors|
|Tal Och Skrift|
|Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1500-1800|
|Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1800-1890|
|Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1890-1920|
L&S Requirements for Residence and Quality of Work in the Major:
- 2.000 GPA in all SCAND ST courses, and all courses accepted in the major
- 2.000 GPA on at least 15 credits of upper-level work in the major: SCAND ST373 through 699
- 15 credits in SCAND ST taken on campus (and not through a UW–Madison Study Abroad program)
Honors in the Major
Students may declare Honors in the Scandinavian Studies Major in consultation with the Scandinavian Studies advisor(s).
Honors in the Scandinavian Studies Major Requirements
To earn the B.A. or B.S. with Honors in the Major in Scandinavian Studies students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:
- Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
- Earn a 3.300 for all SCAND ST courses, and all courses accepted in the major
- 8 Honors credits numbered SCAND ST 373 and higher
- 1 Survey of Scandinavian Literature series from the following:
|SCAND ST 634||Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1500-1800||3|
|SCAND ST 635||Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1800-1890||3|
|SCAND ST 636||Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1890-1920||3|
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
- Reach Intermediate-High / Advanced-Low language proficiency in speaking, reading, andwriting, according to ACTFL guidelines, through five semesters of a Nordic language.
- Familiarize the students with three Nordic languages (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish) to complement their knowledge of their chosen language via the 6th semester Scandinavian Language class (401).
- Demonstrate understanding in a global context in a field of study covering literature, history, area studies, folklore, or philology classes.
- Select and utilize the most appropriate methods of study and inquiry within the content of the classes taken.
- Evaluate and respond to information pertaining to the classes taken, showing clear analytical and critical thinking skills.
- Communicate clearly in appropriate ways in the classes taken.
- If possible, benefit from a semester or year’s study abroad leading to a consolidation and enhancement of the above mentioned skills.
- Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.
For advising and placement in Scandinavian studies contact our undergraduate advisor:
Nete Schmidt, Scandinavian Studies Undergraduate Advisor
1368 Van Hise
For other undergraduate concerns, please contact our undergraduate coordinator:
Jeff Casey, Undergraduate Coordinator
1306 Van Hise
For additional career advising please contact: