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Department MA Guidelines

Master of Arts Degree

There are two programs of study for the Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies. Graduate students may choose either Scandinavian Languages and Literature or Scandinavian Area Studies. Both degrees emphasize mastery of a target Nordic language (Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish) as well as a broad knowledge of the literature and culture of the Nordic region.

The Master's Degree in Scandinavian Languages and Literature requires a working knowledge of the methods of literary study (historical, cultural and linguistic study of texts), including literary criticism and theory. In addition, this track requires a knowledge of one secondary area (such as Baltic studies, cinema and media studies, folklore and mythology, gender studies, Old Icelandic, politics and society, or literary translation studies).

The Master's Degree in Scandinavian Area Studies requires broad knowledge of history, society, politics, cinema, and folklore, in addition to an emphasis in one of the following fields: Baltic studies, cinema and media studies,  folklore and mythology, or politics and society.

Graduate School MA Degree Requirements

Graduate School MA degree requirements can be found here. MA students must also fulfill the following departmental requirements:

Departmental Requirements

I. MASTER'S DEGREE IN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE

A. Languages and Literature Thesis Program

          1. Coursework: Thirty (30) credits of coursework in SCAND 500-level courses, to include the following two mandatory courses (10 credits): 

SCAND 500 Old Icelandic (5 credits)
SCAND 513 Methods (5 credits)

In addition, 20 credits (four 5-credit graduate seminars) selected from the following: 

SCAND 510 Archives
SCAND 511 Books
S
CAND 512 Institutions
SCAND 514 Media
SCAND 515 Translations 

    1. Thesis: Ten (10) credits of SCAND 700 for the Masters thesis, written in consultation with the student's supervisory committee. The MA thesis is an original research paper, approximately 40 to 60 pages in length (double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins), formatted according to Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Style Manual.  The basis of the MA thesis may be a successful seminar paper.  The completed thesis must be submitted to the committee for approval no later than 2 weeks before the written examinations commence.
    2. Reading lists: In preparation for the comprehensive examination, the student completes independent study of the MA core reading list in Scandinavian studies, available here. In addition, the student prepares a short reading list for their secondary field, such as Baltic studies, cinema and media studies; folklore and mythology; gender studies, society and politics.
    3. Seminar Papers: Submission to the graduate student’s departmental file of three completed seminar papers from UW graduate coursework; one of the papers may be written in the target Nordic language.
    4. Reading knowledge of one non-Scandinavian language: Student must demonstrate a reading knowledge for research purposes of one ‘non-Scandinavian language,’ which is not the student’s target language (for example, German, French, or Russian; alternatively, other Nordic languages such as Finnish, Baltic languages may be selected). This requirement may be fulfilled by coursework or by a short translation examination administered by UW faculty. 
    5. MA examination consisting of three separate written exams and an oral exam:

1. Question based on material from the student's secondary emphasis list (student will choose one of two questions). 2 hours

2. Question on the history of the student's target language literature, based on the core MA reading list (student will choose one of two questions, to be answered in the major language, dictionary permitted). 2 hours.

3. Literary analysis of a text chosen from any work on the core MA reading list (choose one of two questions). 2 hours

4. One-hour oral examination that addresses the written exam responses as well as the completed MA thesis.

Note: Students may chose to complete a Languages and Literature Non-Thesis Program which requires the 30 credits of mandatory courses listed above, plus an additional 10 credits of SCAND 500-level courses or approved 500-level courses within the student's secondary area in lieu of SCAND 700 (Masters thesis). The decision to pursue the non-thesis program must be approved no later than early in the Winter quarter of the student’s second year in the Master’s program. 

 

II. MASTER'S DEGREE IN SCANDINAVIAN AREA STUDIES

A. Area Studies Thesis Program requires 40 credits of coursework consisting of the following:

          1. Coursework: Thirty (30) credits minimum of course work to include:
      • SCAND 513 Methods (5 credits)
      • One graduate-level methodology or theory course (5 credits) in the student's area of emphasis such as Baltic studies, cinema and media studies, folklore and mythology, gender studies,  politics and society, or translation studies.
      • Two graduate seminars (10 credits) in Scandinavian Studies, selected from the following

        SCAND 510 Archives
        SCAND 511 Books
        SCAND 512 Institutions
        SCAND 514 Media
        SCAND 515 Translations
    • Ten (10) credits of additional graduate 500-level coursework from the student’s area of emphasis or related fields (Baltic studies; cinema and media studies; folklore and mythology; gender studies, society and politics; translation studies)
  1. Thesis: Ten (10) credits of SCAND 700 for the completion of a thesis, to be approved by the student's supervisory committee. The thesis must be submitted for approval no later than 2 weeks before the written examinations begin.
  2. Seminar Papers: Submission of three completed seminar papers from UW graduate coursework to the student’s departmental graduate file; one of the papers may be written in the target Nordic language.
  3. Reading lists: In preparation for the comprehensive examination, the student completes independent study of a reading list in their area of emphasis. See these sample primary lists available online: folklore, politics, historyIn addition, the student is responsible for the MA core literature short list (available here).
  4. Reading knowledge of one non-Scandinavian language: Student must demonstrate a reading knowledge for research purposes of one ‘non-Scandinavian language’ which is not the student’s target Nordic language (for example, German, French, or Russian; alternatively, other Nordic languages such as Finnish, Baltic languages may be substituted). This requirement may be fulfilled by coursework or by a translation examination administered by UW faculty.
  5. Exams: Comprehensive examinations, consisting of three parts:

      1. Two questions based on material from the student's area of emphasis reading list (the student chooses two of four questions). 4 hours.
      2. One question on Nordic and Baltic literature based on the MA core literature short list, with a focus on the student's target language area (the student chooses one of two questions). 2 hours.

      3. One-hour oral examination which includes review of written exams, reading lists and thesis.

    1. Note: Students may chose to complete a Scandinavian Area Studies Non-Thesis Program which requires the 30 credits of mandatory courses listed above, plus an additional 10 credits of 500-level courses within the student's secondary area in lieu of SCAND 700 (masters thesis). The decision to pursue the non-thesis program must be approved no later than early in Winter quarter of the student’s second year in the Master’s program. 

      Selection of the Supervisory Committee

      Upon entry into the graduate program, the student is assigned a provisional supervisory chair.  The supervisory committee oversees the progress of each individual graduate student.   It is the responsibility of the student to consult with their chairperson to arrange for a study program and to select supervisory committee members (a minimum of two additional faculty members). The committee is to be fully formed no later than the Spring quarter of the student’s first year in the program. The committee devises, administers, and evaluates all parts of the M.A. exam and advises on the thesis, when applicable. Area studies students must submit a reading list for approval by the supervisory committee no later than the second week of the quarter prior to the quarter in which the comprehensive exam is to be taken.

      Reading Knowledge of a Non-Scandinavian Foreign Language

      The Department of Scandinavian Studies requires that all candidates for the Master's of Arts degree demonstrate a reading knowledge of ONE non-Scandinavian foreign language and that candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy degree demonstrate a reading knowledge of TWO non-Scandinavian foreign languages. The choice of language(s) is to support the student’s plans to do research and requires approval by the student’s supervisory committee. Please also note that students in the Department whose target language is Danish, Norwegian or Swedish may elect to use Finnish as a reading proficiency language.

      The foreign language requirement for the M.A. and/or the Ph.D. degrees may be fulfilled by completing ONE of the following:

      1. Successful completion with a grade of 3.0 or better of an upper division language or literature course offered in the original language by an approved language and literature department.
      2. Successful completion of a two-quarter reading course, if available (i.e., GERMAN 121 and GERMAN 122).
      3. Pass a foreign language reading exam from the Office of Assessment (if available).
      4. If a test is not available at the Office of Assessment, the supervisory committee will recommend a competent person to administer an exam. The exam will consist of a translation of a standard, specific text of approximately 500 words into idiomatic and grammatically correct English. A dictionary may be used during the examination period, which shall be limited to two hours. The completed exam will be evaluated by two members of the faculty.

      Upon the completion of the examination and the evaluation of it, the decision of the examiners shall be transmitted in writing to the student's advisory committee through the chairperson of that committee and then placed in the student's permanent file. As a preparation for the exam, examples shall be made available whenever possible.

      Related MA Forms and Reading Lists

      Department of Scandinavian Studies
      University of Washington
      318 Raitt Hall
      Box 353420
      Seattle, WA 98195-3420
      Phone: (206) 543-0645
      uwscand@uw.edu

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