The best prepared applicants to the M.A./Ph.D. program in Scandinavian will have a strong knowledge of one Scandinavian language, a good reading ability in at least one other Scandinavian language, excellent writing skills, and knowledge of the broad outline of Scandinavian literary, cultural, and intellectual history. Students with deficiencies in any of these areas may also be considered, especially if they have clearly taken measures to address gaps in the profile. The department is also ready to entertain program proposals from applicants with special interests in areas such as art and history as long as the primary interests are literary. Completion of an official undergraduate major in Scandinavian Studies is not required for admission to the graduate program as long as the functional language and research skills necessary for graduate-seminar work are in place at the start of graduate studies.
When preparing to apply, students should articulate a research statement of interest that makes clear the intersection of the student’s interests with those of the department faculty, the student’s motivation for graduate study, and a possible field of research emphasis.
The average time to Ph.D. degree completion for students entering the Scandinavian graduate program is six-seven years, including all phases of M.A. and Ph.D. coursework, exams, and dissertation research and writing. Time in the program will be shorter for those entering with an equivalent M.A. degree in Scandinavian or a closely related field.
International applicants: It is important for students applying from abroad to realize that Berkeley is a public university and that student support funding structures limit the number of international applicants that can be considered for admission. Nevertheless, international applicants with very strong academic records and research interests appropriate to our program are encouraged to apply if they are willing to pursue the broad comparative training in Scandinavian topics that our program provides. Of special note: Students accepted from abroad cannot enter the program to work directly on dissertation research, but must first complete the required coursework and Qualifying Exam before being advanced to Ph.D. candidacy.
Instructions for applying:
The admissions process for the Department of Scandinavian graduate program runs on an annual basis, with each year’s online applications generally becoming available in early September and a submissions deadline in early January. Applications cannot be considered off-cycle. We do not accept applications for an M.A.-only degree program. Detailed application instructions can be found here: Application Instructions.