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Majors & Minor

Explore and Discover. As a European studies major you will explore a wide variety of regions, topics, and timeframes, ranging from Northern Ireland to Eastern Ukraine, from ancient art to contemporary political debates, and from post-colonialism to neo-imperialism.

You will learn to:

  • Conceive and execute projects, either in groups or individually
  • Analyze historic material and use contemporary scholarship
  • Draw connections among various cultures, identify trends, and contextualize debates, events, and conflicts
  • Interpret European cultures and understand the mutually dependent actions of Europe’s individual nations
  • See Europe and its role in the world from a global perspective
  • Connect language skills and knowledge of cultures and nations
  • Use your culture experience in a variety of professions

A European studies major prepares you for a range of careers in law, politics, business, science, art, education, and other fields.

Major | Joint Majors | Minor | Honors | Declaring a Major or Minor

European Studies Major

The European studies major consists of 30 hours and includes EUS core courses, a foreign language component, and variety of elective courses to choose from. We also offer six joint majors in collaboration with the departments of French and Italian; German, Russian and East European studies; and Spanish and Portuguese. Our trans-disciplinary program inspires many students to pursue a second major or minor in diverse fields like philosophy, biology, and art history. Many of our students take advantage of study abroad programs in Europe to further their global education.


Core Courses (12 hours)

  • European Society and Culture (EUS 2201) or The Idea of Europe (EUS 2203)
  • Senior Tutorial (EUS 4960)
  • Six hours in European studies courses or equivalent approved by major adviser

Foreign Language Requirement (6 hours)

The foreign language requirement is to be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  • Six hours of coursework at the intermediate (second-year) level in one European language;
  • Course work through the beginner (first-year) level in two European languages;
  • Demonstration of proficiency equivalent to either of the preceding options; or
  • Participation in one of the Vanderbilt intensive-language programs in Europe (students participating in Vanderbilt’s predominantly English-language program in Europe must complete coursework through the intermediate level in one European language or demonstrate equivalent proficiency).

Electives (12 hours)

The remainder of the 30 hours required for the major may be selected from the list of courses below or from among approved courses taken abroad. Students majoring in EUS are advised to select courses from the social sciences and humanities that complement their areas of special interest and their thematic focus.

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Joint Majors in European Studies

Joint majors are a great option for students looking to expand their study of a European language and culture. EUS coursework adds historical background and insight into current politics and cultural issues. Students will pursue their joint major under the guidance of two advisers—one from the language department and one from European studies.

Joint major options:

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European Studies Minor

The minor in EUS is a great complement to a variety of fields, from anthropology to philosophy and from English literature to political science. Our minor requires 18 hours of coursework chosen from core EUS courses and a wide range of electives.


  • European Society and Culture (EUS 2201) or The Idea of Europe (EUS 2203)
  • 6 additional credit hours selected from EUS-labeled courses (or approved substitute)
  • 9 hours of topical courses on Europe, approved by the EUS adviser

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Honors in European Studies

The Honors Program in European studies is a high-level form of independent study that is the basis for receiving honors in European studies.

The Honors Program requires:

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.3
  • Proposal for a project approved by the director of European studies
  • 3 credit hours of EUS 4998: Senior Honors Research
  • 3 credit hours of EUS 4960: Senior Tutorial
  • Honors thesis of approximately fifty pages
  • Defense of honors thesis before a committee made up of the adviser, EUS director, and one additional faculty member

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Declaring a Major or Minor

To declare a Eurpoean studies major or minor,  download the major and minor declaration form and follow the instructions. Bring the completed forms to the director of undergraduate studies.

For those interested in declaring a joint major, print and fill out the respective forms below and submit it to your European studies adviser.

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