Admissions to the Scandinavian Studies Certificate have been suspended as of fall 2023 and will be discontinued as of fall 2027. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

The Scandinavian Studies program provides the opportunity to learn the literature, folklore, politics and culture of the Nordic countries in the original languages and in English translation. Partly in cooperation with other departments, we offer courses in Scandinavian language, history, culture, social institutions, geography, arts, archaeology, myths and folklore. 

Scholars with knowledge of Scandinavian languages and cultures are equipped for careers in the countries that are the world leaders in gender equity, societal welfare, and 21st century business practices, as well as a range of careers including education, law, international trade, translation, civil service, non-profits, the arts, linguistics, literature, environmental sciences, conservation, diplomacy, and more.

Admissions to the Scandinavian Studies Certificate have been suspended as of fall 2023 and will be discontinued as of fall 2027. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

Students declared in the Scandinavian Studies major are not eligible to declare the Certificate in Scandinavian Studies.

Certificate Requirements

The Scandinavian studies certificate requires 18 credits of SCAND ST. 9 credits must be taken at the 300 level or higher. Select at least one course from each of the following areas:


SCAND ST 121 First Semester Danish4
SCAND ST 122 Second Semester Danish4
SCAND ST 221 Second Year Danish4
SCAND ST 222 Second Year Danish4
SCAND ST 271 Readings in Danish Literature3-4
SCAND ST 131 First Semester Finnish4
SCAND ST 132 Second Semester Finnish4
SCAND ST 101 First Semester Norwegian4
SCAND ST 102 Second Semester Norwegian4
SCAND ST 201 Second Year Norwegian4
SCAND ST 202 Second Year Norwegian4
SCAND ST 251 Readings in Norwegian Literature3-4
SCAND ST 404 Languages of Northern Europe2-4
SCAND ST 111 First Semester Swedish4
SCAND ST 112 Second Semester Swedish4
SCAND ST 211 Second Year Swedish4
SCAND ST 212 Second Year Swedish4
SCAND ST 261 Readings in Swedish Literature3-4

Language, Culture, and History Courses

SCAND ST 250 Introduction to Scandinavia3
SCAND ST 296 The Scandinavian Heritage in America3
SCAND ST 348 The Second World War in Nordic Culture3
SCAND ST 373 Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: From the Middle Ages to 19003-4
SCAND ST 374 Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: the Twentieth Century3-4
SCAND ST 401 Contemporary Scandinavian Languages3
SCAND ST/​MEDIEVAL  407 Introductory Old Norse3
SCAND ST/​MEDIEVAL  408 Intermediate Old Norse3
SCAND ST/​MEDIEVAL  409 Survey of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature3
SCAND ST 410 Introduction to Scandinavian Linguistics3
SCAND ST 415 History of the Scandinavian Languages II: Standard Languages3
SCAND ST 419 Scandinavian Children's Literature4
SCAND ST 421 Advanced Topics in Nordic Studies1-3
SCAND ST/​MEDIEVAL  430 The Vikings4
SCAND ST/​HISTORY  431 History of Scandinavia to 18153
SCAND ST/​HISTORY  432 History of Scandinavia Since 18153
SCAND ST/​LITTRANS  435 The Sagas of Icelanders in English Translation3
SCAND ST/​GEN&WS/​LITTRANS  438 Sexual Politics in Scandinavia3
SCAND ST 439 Nordic Filmmakers3
SCAND ST/​FOLKLORE  440 Scandinavian American Folklore3
SCAND ST/​FOLKLORE  443 Sami Culture, Yesterday and Today4
SCAND ST/​MEDIEVAL  444 Kalevala and Finnish Folk-Lore4
SCAND ST/​FOLKLORE/​MEDIEVAL  446 Celtic-Scandinavian Cultural Interrelations3
SCAND ST 476 Scandinavian Life and Civilization II4
SCAND ST 496 The Scandinavian Heritage in America3
SCAND ST 510 Topics in Scandinavian Linguistics3
SCAND ST 511 Paleography and Philology - Old Norse3
SCAND ST/​HISTORY  577 Contemporary Scandinavia: Politics and History3-4
SCAND ST 630 Fundamentals of Bibliography and Research3


SCAND ST 373 Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: From the Middle Ages to 19003-4
SCAND ST 374 Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature: the Twentieth Century3-4
SCAND ST 419 Scandinavian Children's Literature4
SCAND ST 411 Areas in Scandinavian Literature1
SCAND ST/​MEDIEVAL  409 Survey of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature3
SCAND ST 422 The Drama of Henrik Ibsen4
SCAND ST 423 The Drama of August Strindberg4
SCAND ST 424 Nineteenth-Century Scandinavian Fiction3-4
SCAND ST 426 Kierkegaard and Scandinavian Literature3
SCAND ST 427 Contemporary Scandinavian Literature4
SCAND ST/​LITTRANS  428 Memory and Literature from Proust to Knausgard3
SCAND ST 434 The Art of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen4
SCAND ST 436 Topics in Scandinavian Literature3-4
SCAND ST 450 Scandinavian Decadence in its European Context3-4
SCAND ST 475 The Writings of Hans Christian Andersen for Scandinavian Majors4
SCAND ST 520 Special Topics3
SCAND ST 634 Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1500-18003
SCAND ST 635 Survey of Scandinavian Literature: 1800-18903

Residence and Quality of Work

  • At least a 2.000 GPA is required among all courses eligible for the certificate.
  • At least 9 credits must be taken in residence. A UW–Madison-sponsored study abroad program applies as in-residence credit.

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.

  1. Demonstrate understanding in a global context in a field of study covering literature, history, area studies, folklore, or philology classes.
  2. Select and utilize the most appropriate methods of study and inquiry within the content of the classes taken.
  3. Evaluate and respond to information pertaining to the classes taken, showing clear analytical and critical thinking skills.
  4. Communicate clearly in appropriate ways in the classes taken.
  5. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.


For advising and placement, please contact our undergraduate advisor:

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

Students who transfer to UW after a year abroad should contact the undergraduate advisor as early as possible to schedule a placement test.

Note:  SCAND ST 302 Intensive Finnish II satisfies the 3rd semester of the Finnish language sequence 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.

For additional career advising, please contact:

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science
711 State Street, Suite 300
Madison, WI 53703

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
Kirsten Wolf*

Associate Professor

Dean Krouk

Assistant Professor

Claus Andersen
Benjamin Mier-Cruz
Liina-Ly Roos


B. Marcus Cederström
Scott A. Mellor


Ida Moen Johnson
Helen Durst

Associate Lecturer

Todd Michelson-Ambelang

* unit head