Undergraduate Programs

What is Scandinavian Studies?

In the Department of Scandinavian Studies, students develop an enhanced understanding of the world through studying the literature, culture, politics, and history of Scandinavia. Programs include cultural surveys and/or language studies for Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. Through their coursework and extraordinary study abroad experiences, students develop strong linguistic, analytical, research, and communication skills. 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.

Why study Scandinavian Studies with us?

  • Learn to lead: The countries and cultures our students study are at the forefront of design, technology, responsible environmental practices, gender equality, and social welfare. Our alumni have gone on to careers across the US, Scandinavia and the Baltic in education, translation, business, and medicine. You’ll learn from global leaders, and graduate ready to work to join their ranks.
  • Build real relationships: Our department community is welcoming and inclusive. You’ll develop confidence in the skills you learn thanks to a personalized educational experience.
  • Study abroad with support: Our faculty strongly encourage students to take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities offered. Whether you want to study a language or learn from leaders in a specific discipline, we have a program for your interests.
  • Enhance your worldview with a new language: Whether students have studied a language before or not, they can succeed in our department with its supportive structure.
  • Find Scandinavian culture on campus: Our campus events create opportunities to connect to the culture you are studying right in Seattle. Ambassadors, politicians, artists, writers, academics, and even royalty join us on campus to share their stories and meet with students.
  • Make a difference in public life: Through speakership programs and public-focused projects like the Crossing North podcast, our department creates opportunities for international collaboration. As leaders in public life, our alumni do the same in communities around the world.

What programs do we offer for undergraduates?

How do you major in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, or Scandinavian Area Studies?

The Scandinavian Studies majors are open to UW students in good academic standing. Students who meet this criteria may declare one of the majors at any time by meeting with the undergraduate adviser. Learn more about UW Admissions for first-year students, transfer students, or postbaccalaureate students.

Students who are interested in majoring in Danish, Finish, Norwegian, or Swedish should contact us as early as possible. In each of these majors, students build advanced linguistic skills over the course of three years. Language courses are offered in a series each year, and the first class is only available in the fall quarter.

How do you meet with a Scandinavian Studies adviser?

Please contact an adviser to book an appointment. We are happy to meet with you!