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Explore the crossroads of Europe with courses designed to give you the linguistic-cultural skills for successful academic, business, political, diplomatic, and analytical careers centered on the continent’s most economically dynamic, strategically important, and culturally rich region. Discover the world that has survived the horrors of two world wars, given birth to some of the most powerful dissident movements in modern history, and inspired the world with its art, film, literature, and political thought. 

Are you fascinated with East-Central Europe? Do you want to learn Polish or Czech? Do you want to hear more about the professional opportunities that study of the region can offer you? The Certificate in East Central European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (ECELLC) is your gateway!   

  • Only 15 credits required to complete; 
  • Excellent study abroad and scholarship opportunities; 
  • A rich set of course offerings that includes language instruction, as well as theme-based classes on topics such as popular culture and cultural history, (post-)communism, the immigrant experience in America, dissidence, film, the politics of laughter, and science-fiction.

Students can declare the certificate in consultation with the faculty advisor for the certificate. Additional information can be found under the Advising and Careers tab for this program or in the Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic Studies

In order to receive the certificate in East Central European languages, literature, and cultures, students are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits total.

Part 1
Select one of the following options:6-8
Third Semester Czech
and Fourth Semester Czech
Third Semester Polish
and Fourth Semester Polish 1
Part 2
Select three courses from the following:9
Slavic Science Fiction through Literature and Film
The Writings of Vaclav Havel: Crtitique of Modern Society
Polish Literature in Translation: 14th to the Mid-19th Century
Polish Literature in Translation: Late 19th and 20th Centuries
Literatures and Cultures of Eastern Europe
Topics in Slavic Literatures in Translation
The Vampire in Literature and Film
History of Serbian and Croatian Literature
Polish Literature (in Translation), Middle Ages to 1863
Polish Literature (in Translation) since 1863
History and Ethics on Film: Polish Cinema
Literatures and Cultures of Eastern Europe
Topics in Slavic Literatures
Eastern Europe: An Interdisciplinary Survey
A Historical Survey of Polish Literature
Study Abroad in Poland
Polish Culture and Area Studies on Study Abroad
Living at the End of Times: Contemporary Polish Literature and Culture
Slavic and East European Folklore
Total Credits15

Students can satisfy this requirement by completing any two courses in Polish language beyond the second semester, including: SLAVIC 207 Third Semester PolishSLAVIC 208 Fourth Semester PolishSLAVIC 277 Third Year Polish ISLAVIC 278 Third Year Polish IISLAVIC 331 Fourth Year Polish I, and SLAVIC 332 Fourth Year Polish II.

Residence and quality of work

At least 8 credits must be earned in residence.

Students must earn a cumulative 2.000 GPA on required certificate coursework.


This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

  1. Minimally acquire intermediate proficiency in an East Central European Language (Czech, Polish, or SerboCroatian).
  2. Develop and apply writing skills and oral communications skills appropriate to Liberal Arts education in the context of Slavic studies to the literatures and cultures of the region.
  3. Develop and apply critical-thinking skills inherent in the Liberal Arts tradition to the literature and culture of the region.
  4. Analyze and interpret cultural products of the region (i.e. works of literature, films, etc.) in themselves and in the context of specific historical and cultural conditions.

Language placement tests are advised for any student with previous knowledge or experience with Polish or Czech. The test consists of a one-on-one appointment with a professor, with written, oral, and reading comprehension components. 

Placement Advisors for the languages represented by the certificate are:

For other undergraduate concerns or to declare the certificate, please contact our undergraduate advisor:

Joanna Schuth, Undergraduate Advisor
836 Van Hise Hall
Make an appointment through Starfish

L&S career resources

Every L&S major opens a world of possibilities.  SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students turn the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and other coursework into fulfilling lives after graduation, whether that means jobs, public service, graduate school or other career pursuits.

In addition to providing basic support like resume reviews and interview practice, SuccessWorks offers ways to explore interests and build career skills from their very first semester/term at UW all the way through graduation and beyond.

Students can explore careers in one-on-one advising, try out different career paths, complete internships, prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications, and connect with supportive alumni and even employers in the fields that inspire them.


Assistant Professor

Łukasz Wodzyński

Senior Lecturer

Ewa Miernowska


Krzysztof Borowski



David Danaher* 

*unit head