You are here

B.A. in Finnish

A B.A. in Finnish opens doors to a center of business, education and culture in Europe, as well as a gateway to the Baltics and Russia. Students build advanced linguistic skills through a three-year program in language and literature. They increase their knowledge of Finland, Scandinavia, and the Baltics through cultural surveys, specialized courses on topics ranging from the “Kalevala” to Finnish pop culture, and affordable study abroad opportunities that cover diverse fields of study. Prepared with knowledge from world leaders in welfare, business, and gender equity, graduates pursue careers in business and nonprofit work, law, academia, and STEM industries across the globe.

First Year Finnish 1 (FINN 101) is available only in the fall quarter. Because the core of the Finnish major is building advanced linguistic skills over the course of three years, students should sign up for this class as early as possible. If you have previous experience studying Finnish, schedule a placement test by emailing

Admissions, Advising & Student Resources

Please see our Undergraduate Programs section for information about applying to the program, career paths, scholarships, and other student resources.

Each of our majors has an option to pursue departmental honors. Students who are interested should meet with the undergraduate adviser to learn more about the requirements.

Degree Requirements:

65 credits of which 30 are on the 300 level or above. The 65 credits include 30 credits in first and second year Finnish language, three literature courses in the target language, one course in Scandinavian literature in translation, one course in Finnish cultural studies, one course in Scandinavian area studies, and a senior essay.

I. Students shall complete second-year training in Finnish. Advanced students may take a proficiency exam to meet the requirement.

II. Complete course work in the following fields:

A. Finnish Language and Literature. Three courses of FINN 310 (15 credits):

    • FINN 310 Topics in Finnish Language and Culture (3 x 5 credits)

B. Scandinavian Literature in Translation. One of the following:

    • SCAND 312 Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature (5)
    • SCAND 327 Women in Scandinavian Society (5)
    • SCAND 335 Scandinavian Children's Literature (5)
    • SCAND 367 Sexuality in Scandinavia: Myth and Reality (5)
    • SCAND 427 Scandinavian Women Writers (5)
    • SCAND 431 The Northern European Ballad (5)
    • SCAND 445 The Nordic-Baltic Region and the War: Literary Representations (5)
    • SCAND 462 Isak Dinesen and Karen Blixen (5)
    • SCAND 480 Kierkegaard and decadence in European Literature (5)
    • SCAND 481 August Strindberg and European Cultural History (5)

C. Finnish Cultural Studies

    • SCAND 340 Kalevala and the Epic Tradition (5)

D. Scandinavian Area Studies. At least one of the following:

    • SCAND 325 Scandinavian Public Policy (5)
    • SCAND 326 Scandinavia in World Affairs (5)
    • SCAND 327 Women in Scandinavian Society (5)
    • SCAND 330 Scandinavian Mythology (5)
    • SCAND 331 Folk Narrative (5)
    • SCAND 332 Folk Belief and World View (5)
    • SCAND 333 Folklife and Material Culture (5)
    • SCAND 334 Immigrant and Ethnic Folklore (5)
    • SCAND 341 Sami Culture and History (5)
    • SCAND 344 The Baltic States and Scandinavia (5)
    • SCAND 345 Baltic Cultures (5)
    • SCAND 350 Environmental Norms in International Politics (5)
    • SCAND 351 Scandinavia, the EU & Global Climate Changes (5)
    • SCAND 360 Scandinavian Cinema (5)
    • SCAND 370 The Vikings (5)
    • SCAND 380 History of Scandinavia to 1720 (5)
    • SCAND 381 History of Scandinavia Since 1720 (5)
    • SCAND 402 International Political Economy and Scandinavia (5)
    • SCAND 403 Scandinavian Immigration in History and Literature (5)
    • SCAND 430 Readings in Folklore (5)
    • SCAND 437 Politics in Scandinavia (5)
    • SCAND 454 Baltic History (5)
    • SCAND 455 Baltic States Since 1991 (5)
    • SCAND 470 Senior Seminar in Folklore (5)

III. Senior Essay (SCAND 498, 5 credits) during senior year on a Finnish topic under supervision of appropriate faculty, typically the professor of FInnish. The senior essay may be taken as a 10-credit sequence: 5 credits of faculty-advised independent research SCAND 499, to be followed by a quarter of SCAND 498, during which time the student writes the senior essay. The faculty adviser for 499 and 498 should be chosen on the basis of the topic of the planned thesis.  

Credits earned during studies in Finland can be transferred in consultation with the Foreign Study Office and the Scandinavian Department.

Other courses may be substituted per discussion with the Undergraduate Adviser.

More about the Finnish Program

Finnish Program History  Why Study Finnish? Support Finnish Studies