Application Instructions

Are you considering applying to our graduate program? In order to be qualified for admission, you must be able to demonstrate an advanced proficiency or near-native fluency in at least one Scandinavian language or Finnish, as well as a reading ability in modern Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish). We expect that you have a Bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian Studies or in a related field in the Humanities or Social Sciences, and that you have already acquired additional knowledge of the Nordic region by study abroad or additional coursework. You can find more about our specific admissions requirements here.


What follows are the admissions requirements, downloadable forms and application instructions for the Graduate degree programs (MA and PhD) in Scandinavian Studies.

Please contact our graduate program coordinator, Associate Professor Olivia Noble Gunn,, if you have any questions after having read the following material.  You can also reach the department by telephone at 206-543-0645.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Advanced or near-native proficiency in at least one Scandinavian or Nordic language (Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, or Finnish).
  • For the MA program:  BA degree in Scandinavian Studies, or in a related field with equivalent coursework in Scandinavian Studies.
  • For the PhD program: MA degree in Scandinavian Studies or in a related field with equivalent coursework in Scandinavian Studies.

Deadline: Applications for Autumn Quarter 2024 are due by December 15th, 2023 . Applicants who submit all required materials to the Department of Scandinavian Studies by the deadline will be included in the initial selection process and considered for funding in the form of Teaching or Research Assistantships and Fellowships.

Application Instructions

All applicants (domestic and international) must complete the online Application for Graduate Admission which includes the application fee. The online application consists of the following:

  1. Statement of Academic and Professional Goals.  In English, describe your undergraduate or prior graduate academic work in Scandinavian Studies and related academic training (Describe your academic preparation, including any foreign study in Nordic countries; your primary field or areas of interest; and your professional goals).  If you have teaching experience, please include a description. Specify the objectives of your graduate study, including degree(s) you are seeking and your professional aspirations. (Title IX of the U.S. Education Act of 1972 prohibits discrimination in admission on the basis of marital and parental status; therefore, we ask you not to mention these in your application.)
  2. Three Letters of Recommendation.  When applying online, please submit the names and contact information of three persons acquainted with your academic work (and your teaching experience, if relevant), whom you have already asked to write recommendations on your behalf.  If your recommenders would prefer to submit a hard copy on letterhead, please have them mail the letters directly to the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dept. of Scandinavian Studies, Box 353420, Seattle, WA  98195.
  3. Audio recording (3 – 5 minutes). Provide a digital recording in your target language about your study of Scandinavia or Nordic countries and future academic interests and goals.  Alternatively, you may read a text of your choosing (relevant to your area of interest) in either Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, or Swedish. 
  4. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. You will need to take the GRE and submit your official scores as part of your application. The official GRE scores will be accepted after the December 15th priority deadline. While no particular score is required, the Graduate Admissions Committee will consider your score in its overall evaluation of your application.  Please consult the GRE website for information on how to register.  Please note that the GRE requirement for international applicants may be waived on a case by case basis.
  5. Writing Sample (optional).  A sample of your academic work in Scandinavian Studies, or in a related field; this may be a copy of a successful academic paper written for an undergraduate course or graduate seminar.

International Student Applicants – Additional Instructions:

If you are an International Student, please review the Frequently Asked Questions page on the on the Graduate School’s website. The suggested deadline is November 15 in order to allow ample time for document processing.

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency.  A TOEFL score is required for all international applicants. Please visit the FAQ page reference above for more information about TOEFL requirements.

Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships:

The Department offers teaching assistantships in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish to well-qualified domestic and international graduate applicants with advanced proficiency in the language. Teaching assistantships in Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian may also be available. Teaching assistantships are sometimes awarded to assist professors in large enrollment undergraduate courses in Scandinavian Studies

Teaching and Research Assistantships include out-of-state tuition costs, a monthly salary and benefits. See Assistantships for further information. Further, the most competitive applicants may be nominated by the Department for the Graduate School's Top Scholar Award, which is a Research Assistantship.

To be considered for a Teaching or Research Assistantship in the Department of Scandinavian Studies, please include the following materials with your application for admission:

We look forward to hearing from you and receiving your application!