The Department of Scandinavian offers undergraduate majors in four Scandinavian languages (Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish). Each of these allow students to explore all phases of Scandinavian literature and cultural history from the medieval to the modern. The curriculum emphasizes especially those moments when Scandinavia's "cultural borrowing" turned to "cultural lending"; the latter include the Viking Age, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (an era of military and scientific preeminence), the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (a period of literary preeminence, especially in theater), and the mid-twentieth century (social ideology, in particular the design of the "Welfare State" and, in the case of Sweden, the pursuit of political neutrality). Specific courses take up the history, literature, folklore, and film of these periods of Scandinavian prominence in Western Europe's cultural production.

In addition to this broader curricular approach to Scandinavian culture, students receive further training in their major language skills by pursuing reading in original Scandinavian languages when coursework allows, and through special add-on major units (Scandinavian 149). This allows students the opportunity to work closely with a professor in their major language area.

The Department is also particularly interested in helping students pursue interdisciplinary interests through its own core courses and through double majors with other fields. Several of the areas in which Scandinavia is of comparative interest or has made a major contribution are: history, drama, medieval literature, folklore, architecture, public policy, linguistics, international studies, peace studies, political science, film, economics, and environmental studies.

The revised requirements, now including Finnish, for the undergraduate major are:

Lower Division. Two courses from the following course sequences: Scandinavian 1A-1B (Swedish), 2A-2B (Finnish), 3A-3B (Norwegian), 4A-4B (Danish), or the equivalents.

Upper Division. Nine upper division courses, including: a two-course advanced-language sequence 1) Scandinavian 100A-100B or the equivalent for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish 2) Scandinavian 102A-102B in Advanced Finnish for Finnish track students; two courses in conjunction with 149 (149 itself may not count as one of the nine upper division courses); two history courses, Scandinavian 123, 127, or 128; and five courses in literature, culture, or folklore in any combination of the studentís choosing with permission of the Faculty Undergraduate Adviser.

Honors Program. Students must complete with distinction the courses required for the major as well as two semesters of Scandinavian 145. A thesis is also required.

The department encourage all students interested in the undergraduate major in Scandinavian to declare the major as early as possible in their academic careers (even as early as the freshman and sophomore years) in order to make planning easier. Please contact the current Faculty Undergraduate Adviser, who can provide general information, a program brochure and scheduling worksheet, necessary paperwork, and curricular advice. Students interested in declaring a major should bring a Bear Facts copy of their transcript to the advising session when the Declaration of Major Petition (available in the department) is to be filled out.

Current majors will also want to consult the link on this website detailing upcoming courses when planning their schedules. Students with credit from EAP courses should also consult with the Faculty Undergraduate Adviser for help in determining requirement equivalencies.


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University of California, Berkeley, Department of Scandinavian
Contact | July 9, 2009