The Languages and Cultures of Northern Europe certificate offers an opportunity to study the many diverse linguistic, cultural, and religious communities that have become part of Northern Europe as a result of international migration and pan-European economic integration. Students earning the certificate have maximum flexibility of choice in the culture they wish to study in depth, or if they want to take a comparative approach over the region. The certificate maps intellectually a complex and fascinating region of contemporary Europe — one which is marked not only by longstanding national cultures but also by an increasingly diverse and mobile populace.

If students wish, students may include language study in Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, or Yiddish as part of their course choices.

How to Get in

Students should contact the undergraduate advisor by email or make an appointment to declare the certificate.


The certificate requires a minimum of five courses and 18 credits. The courses must be distributed as follows:

Colonialism, Diversity, Indigeneity, Migration 13
Complete at least one course and three credits:
Scandinavian American Folklore
Nordic Filmmakers
Yiddish Literature and Culture in Europe
In Translation: The Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen
The Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen
The Second World War in Nordic Culture
Sexual Politics in Scandinavia
Sami Culture, Yesterday and Today
Language, Literature, and Culture15
Complete at least four courses and 15 credits from the list:
The Irish Tradition
Celtic-Scandinavian Cultural Interrelations
The Scottish Tradition
First Semester Dutch
Second Semester Dutch
Third Semester Dutch
Fourth Semester Dutch
Dutch Conversation and Composition
Topics in Dutch Life and Culture
Yiddish Literature and Culture in Europe
Topics in Dutch Literature
Topics in Dutch Literature in Translation
Dutch Conversation and Composition
Study Abroad in Dutch Literature
Study Abroad in Dutch Culture
Study Abroad in Dutch Linguistics
Topics in Dutch Culture
Letterkunde der Lage Landen
Cultuurkunde der Lage Landen
Folklore of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe
Cultures of Sustainability: Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe
First Semester Yiddish
Yiddish Literature and Culture in Europe
In Translation:Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature, Middle Ages-1900
In Translation: Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature-the 20th Century
Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: the Twentieth Century
In Translation: The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
Topics in Scandinavian Literature
In Translation: Scandinavian Topics in Depth
In Translation: The Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen
The Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen
In Translation: The Drama of Henrik Ibsen
The Drama of Henrik Ibsen
In Translation: The Drama of August Strindberg
The Drama of August Strindberg
In Translation: The Icelandic Sagas
The Sagas of Icelanders in English Translation
In Translation: 19th Century Scandinavian Fiction
Contemporary Scandinavian Literature in Translation
Contemporary Scandinavian Literature
The Nordic Storyteller
In Translation: Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore
Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore
Scandinavian Decadence in its European Context
Memory and Literature from Proust to Knausgard
The Sagas of Icelanders in English Translation
Sexual Politics in Scandinavia
Second Semester Norwegian
First Semester Norwegian
First Semester Swedish
Second Semester Swedish
First Semester Danish
Second Semester Danish
First Semester Finnish
Second Semester Finnish
Second Year Norwegian
Second Year Norwegian
Second Year Swedish
Second Year Swedish
Second Year Danish
Second Year Danish
The World of Sagas
Introduction to Scandinavia
Readings in Norwegian Literature
Readings in Swedish Literature
Readings in Danish Literature
Culture & Community in Scandinavia
Contemporary Scandinavian Languages
Advanced Topics in Nordic Studies
Kierkegaard and Scandinavian Literature
The Vikings
Scandinavian Decadence in its European Context
Total Credits18

Courses in the Colonialism, Diversity, Indigeneity, and Migration list may each only count once for the certificate.

Residence and Quality of Work 

  • At least 9 certificate credits must be completed in residence
  • Minimum 2.000 GPA on all certificate courses.   
  • Courses taken pass/fail may not apply to the certificate. 

Certificate Completion Requirement

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

Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognize and understand language, literary, and/or cultural phenomena as they pertain to Northern Europe and put them into context.
  2. Recognize shifting geographic, cultural, ethnic/racial, and/or language factors in the Northern European region over time.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of major approaches, concepts and current research findings concerning the Northern European region.
  4. Synthesize information, engage in discussion and research, and argue persuasively about key topics in the Northern European region.
  5. Identify and distinguish between different types of sources used in the study of the Northern European region.
  6. Integrate learned ideas and perspectives with broader social, cultural, and/or environmental contexts.

Advising and Careers

For advising and placement, please contact our undergraduate advisor:

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

Students who transfer to UW with previous language experience should contact the undergraduate advisor as early as possible to schedule a placement test.

Students should see the advisor during the semester before their last semester. Prospective students are urged to consult the undergraduate advisor about the program at the first possible opportunity.

For additional career advising, please contact:
Lydia Odegard
Language Directions Specialist
Language Institute

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.



Susan Brantly
Thomas DuBois
Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor
Kirsten Wolf*
Dean Krouk

Associate Professors

Sunny Yudkoff

Assistant Professors

Claus Andersen
Benjamin Mier-Cruz
Liina-Ly Roos

Teaching Faculty

B. Marcus Cederström
Scott A. Mellor


Ida Moen Johnson
Helen Durst

Associate Lecturer

Todd Michelson-Ambelang

* unit head