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Frequently Asked Questions

Scandinavian Studies Department FAQs

How can I meet with an adviser?

How do I know what level of language class to register for?

How do I get credit for my study abroad?

How do I declare a Major/Minor?

What is required for a Major/Minor?

Where can I study abroad?

What is required for Departmental Honors?

What is the Capstone Project for the major?

Can I still take a course if there is a time conflict?

Will courses be in-person Fall 2021?

Will the Scandinavian Department be offering remote or virutal courses Fall 2021?

Can I take a SCAND or language course if I am not a UW student?

How can I meet with an adviser?

During the summer, Humanities Academic Services can help you with many of your advising needs. 

The Scandinavian Studies Undergraduate Adviser is available fall, winter, and spring quarters for in-person, phone, and Zoom meetings, to request an appointment or ask a question during those quarters, email scandadv@uw.edu.

How do I know what level of language class to register for?

If you have no or very little previous experience with a Scandinavian or Baltic language, the best place to start is 101 or 111 in Fall quarter. Our 1st and 2nd year language courses are offered sequentially (101/111 is only offered in the fall, 102/112 in the winter and 103/113 in the spring). 

If you have previous experience studying a Scandinavian or Baltic language and wish to continue your studies through coursework at UW, but you are not certain which level of language suits you, you can schedule a conversation with the faculty in charge of your language program followed by a placement test. Most faculty do not work on campus during the summer, so you may need to wait until the start fall quarter to determine placement. Start by contacting the Scandinavian Studies main office uwscand@uw.edu, they will put you in touch with the right faculty.

Placement is exclusively available to UW students with demonstrated interest in continuing their language study in the Department of Scandinavian Studies. Students looking for proficiency tests, but not planning to study language at UW are referred to take their proficiency tests with ACTFL.org

How do I get credit for my study abroad?

If you were concurrently enrolled at UW through the Study Abroad Office, wait for your credit evaluation form from UWSA. The Study Abroad Office will designate the number of credits the courses you took were worth and convert your grade.  The SCAND Adviser will help you ascertain the course number and title from our Course Catalogue. This process can now happen via email, the adviser will prioritize these requests when she is back in the office starting September 16. 

If you took a course at an accredited university but without concurrent enrollment at UW please have your official transcripts (sealed envelope) sent from the foreign university to: University of Washington, Office of Admissions, Box 355852, Seattle, WA 98195-5852. Admissions will determine the number of credits the course is worth. I can take up to 6 weeks for credit evaluation. The school issuing the official transcript must be accredited and recognized by the Ministry of Education in the country where the school is located. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

How do I declare a Major/Minor?

The SCAND undergraduate adviser or Humanities Academic Services is happy to help you declare your major, discuss course requirements, check degree progress, and/or make a plan for major/minor completion. If you are declaring a double major or double degree, you will need a form signed by both major departments (this can now be done digitally). To add/drop majors or minors, you will also need a form with the undergraduate adviser in your home department(s).

What is required for a Major/Minor? 

This page outlines our major requirements for Scandinavian Areas Studies, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish majors. This page outlines minor requirements for all minors in our department. Note that DARS does not always accurately reflect these requirements, so it is a good idea to also meet with the undergraduate adviser to check your degree progress.

Where can I study abroad?

The UW Study Abroad office has a great searchable database to help you find UW affiliate programs, several of these programs are also highlighted on our website. The undergraduate adviser is available to discuss these options with you, and talk about how your credits earned abroad can work with your major or minor.

What is required for Departmental Honors?

Departmental Honors allows students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth, usually with guidance from a faculty mentor. While each major’s Honors requirements vary, the foundational goals for all Departmental Honors programs are:

  • to allow students the opportunity to explore their chosen major in greater depth and with greater personal ownership;
  • to extend the departmental or disciplinary vision into individual student work in new and creative ways; and
  • to facilitate mentorship and scholarly guidance from a faculty adviser.

In the SCAND Department, students are selected by faculty based on their exceptional performance in lower-level coursework and the students’ interest in taking their learning to a deeper level. Our Departmental Honors programs require the following, in addition to the standard requirements for graduation with their major:

SCAND major:

  • GPA: Min. 3.50 in all UW courses used in major requirements
  • 15 credits in ad-hoc honors credit in upper division SCAND courses
  • Senior Honors Capstone: SCAND 498H

Language majors:

  • GPA: Min. 3.50 in all UW courses used in major requirements
  • 10 ad-hoc honors credits in upper division language courses
  • 5 ad-hoc credits in upper division SCAND courses
  • Senior Honors Capstone: SCAND 498H

What is the Capstone Project for the major?

Majors in the Scandinavian languages and in Scandinavian Area Studies are required to register for SCAND498 and complete a Capstone Project as part of their program of studies. The standard Capstone Project is a research or critical paper approximately 15 pages (4,000 words) in length. This is usually completed during their final year of studies. Students are welcome to propose alternative Capstone Projects, including but not limited to:

  • research or critical paper
  • a multimedia installation
  • an original translation project
  • a documentary film
  • an internship

See the Capstone Agreement Form for more information.

Can I still take a course if there is a time conflict?

If you want to add a course that conflicts with another, you can request approval from the faculty teaching each course. If approval is granted:

  • If the overlap is one hour or less per week, obtain the verbal approval of both instructors. Register for one course online, then register for the second course by emailing the Registration Transaction Form to regoff@uw.edu.
  • If the overlap is more than one hour per week, you must obtain the signatures or approval emails of both instructors. Register for one course online, then register for the second course by emailing the Registration Transaction Form to regoff@uw.edu.

Will courses be in-person Fall 2021?

Yes, we plan to offer our courses in-person this fall. According to the UW Registrar:

“Classes will begin as scheduled on Sept. 29 and based on projections from health experts we are looking forward to welcoming students back to campus for an autumn quarter with largely in-person classes. This, of course, depends on the effective distribution of vaccines and on each of us continuing to follow health guidance, such as wearing masks and avoiding gatherings. You can check the time schedule, which for most courses already indicates whether they will be taught in person or remotely. Schools and colleges will continue to update the schedule over the summer as they finalize their plans, so you can check back for additional updates as autumn quarter gets closer.”

Will the Scandinavian Department be offering remote or virtual courses Fall 2021?

The Scandinavian Department does not plan to offer remote/virtual courses for fall 2021. You can check the time schedule, which for most courses already indicates whether they will be taught in person or remotely. Schools and colleges will continue to update the schedule over the summer as they finalize their plans, so you can check back for additional updates as autumn quarter gets closer.

Can I take or audit a SCAND or language course if I am not a UW student?

Please read all of the information on our website for information about taking courses as a non-matriculated student.

I have some books in Norwegian. Can I donate them to the Department?

While we appreciate your thinking of the Department of Scandinavian Studies as a recipient of  your gift of books, we do not have a dedicated library space. To ensure the books are available to students and scholars, while also preserved for future use, we recommend you donate your books to the University Libraries.

Please contact Carolyn H. Aamot, Head of the University Libraries' Gifts Program. You can reach her at 206-543-1859, Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST to setup an appointment. More information about donations is available on the UW Libraries' Gifts Program website (http://www.lib.washington.edu/gifts/gifts-program)

I found some old papers written in Estonian. Is there someone in the Department who can translate them for me?

Our graduate students will sometimes provide translation services for a modest fee. Please send an email to uwscand@uw.edu outlining your request and providing contact information. We will forward your request to those students who may be able to assist you. You may or may not receive a response. Please note that this is a common request. We cannot provide free translations services.

I know a little bit of Danish and would like to study more. Unfortunately, I cannot attend all of the regular class meetings. Can I still study Danish?

We are always happy to try and help students and community members study the languages offered by the department. However, we cannot accommodate students or community members who cannot attend the courses. Graduate students and lecturers cannot offer “private lessons.” Students may inquire about independent studies with faculty. Please note that many of our languages have informal “language tables,” and attending these can be a good way to maintain or build your language ability through informal conversation. Contact program faculty or TAs for more information.  There are also some local heritage organizations that teach languages in the evenings or on weekends. A search of the internet will give you some options.

My teenager needs to satisfy their language requirement for high school and learned some Latvian as an exchange student. Does the Department offer exams for credit?

Unfortunately, the University cannot provide credit-by-exam for non-UW students.

I'm looking for a Finnish-speaking nanny. Are there any students who might be interested?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide such contacts. Please consult the available sources for information about foreign-language nannies or au pairs. The local Scandinavian and Baltic community organizations can be a helpful source of information, or a site to advertise your search.

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