Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Major and Minor Required Courses

European Studies is an interdisciplinary major, and its courses are taught in a number of departments.

Taught in Spring Term 2018

European Studies

360:401 The Idea of  Europe - Instructor: B Davis Click HERE for sample syllabus (PDF Download)
360:292 Exile under Nazism and Communism - Instructor:  N. Sinkoff
360:320 Lessons from Europe - Instructor:  D. Kelemen

History - 510:101 and 510:102 Development of Europe I and II
Geography - 450:332 - Geography of Eastern Europe, Ariel Otruba

For a complete listing of courses qualifying for the major, click here.

 Additional qualifying courses

Not a complete list; these courses highlight some occasional or unusual offerings.  See the undergraduate advisor to ask about other qualifying courses.

 510 History

 Virtually any of the courses in European History listed under this number will work as part of a European Studies major, but the European Studies Undergraduate Adviser should be consulted about how to combine them.  

790 Political Science


860 Russian and East European Languages and Literatures


As a Rutgers student, you can take a first- or second-year *Czech language course* offered by Indiana University in Fall 2016 by being "beamed into" a classroom. This is a new opportunity for Rutgers students, made possible by CourseShare. This framework allows students to register for shared courses at the same time and in the same manner as regular courses. Grades and credits are reported on the student’s home university transcript. There are no additional fees associated with shared courses, making them even more attractive to students. If you are interested in this opportunity, please *contact as soon as possible*
Esther Ham at Indiana University (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Tom Stephens at Rutgers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


(For information on current term offerings as well as other undergraduate major and minor information, click on the main menu item)

Politics and Social Policy: Lessons from Europe     (next offered spring 2018)

01:360:320/790:320 (3 credits)
Professor R. Dan Kelemen, Political Science, European Studies


kelementeachingWelcome to citizenship in the 21st century! You’re inheriting an unaffordable health care system that leaves millions uninsured, a mounting climate crisis, failing schools, a fractured social safety net, an aging population, high unemployment, and growing deficits. What can we learn from studying the approaches to these problems taken by the economically advanced democracies of the European Union? On the left, many believe Europe offers successful models of how to balance capitalism and the pursuit of economic growth with a greater commitment to social justice and sustainable development. On the right, by contrast, many warn of the dangers of importing these ideas, arguing that European social democracies suffer under high taxes, excessive state control of the economy, and economic stagnation. What’s fact and what’s fiction? And, what are the lessons for the United States in the 21st century?

Click HERE for a course syllabus.


The Construction of Contemporary Europe     (next offered spring 2017)

01:360:301/790:389 (3 credits)
Professor Svanur Petursson, History and European Studies

The European Union is one of the most successful supranational policy experiments in modern times, having an impact on the daily lives of close to five hundred million people. This complex experiment in international cooperation - a fully functioning political system - is also a daunting analytical challenge. Making use of different assumptions and types of evidence, we will examine how major European powers pooled strategic assets to overcome age-old rivalries, by which mechanisms they sought to foster peace and prosperity, and how a sense of European togetherness eventually emerged to reshape national cultures or accelerate democratization pathways. However, at the same time the European Union is increasingly understood to be the definition of “Europe” and throughout the class we will discuss what countries are included or excluded from the European Union, and the political and historical reasons for that inclusion or exclusion. Finally, by reading about and discussing European current events, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying frameworks of the European Union, both legal and political, that shape contemporary Europe.  For most recent syllabus, click HERE.


The Idea of Europe     (next offered fall 2016)

01:360:401/510:401 (3 credits)
Professor Svanur Petursson, History and European Studies

Europe. The West. The “civilized,” or “free,” or “advanced” world. Such phrases always represent something more than mere geography. They represent values and ideals--ideals often contradictory, and always in tension with lived realities. They have been used to distinguish what is “European” from what is not—and to divide as well as unite those living on the continent. But what is Europe? And what is not? This course will examine enduring and changing answers to these questions proposed in the last centuries, focusing on their relevance for today’s Europe and its place in the world. For most recent syllabus, click HERE

The Program in European Studies provides students the opportunity to study the historical and transformations of Europe’s peoples, politics, economies, cultures and boundaries. European Studies offers an undergraduate major and minor, which enable students to take an interdisciplinary approach, with courses from history, geography, social sciences and language and literature departments. The program breaks with the traditional distinctions between the study of eastern and western Europe, enabling students to explore the broader Europe and its role in the global context. While the focus of the program is on modern (post-1700) Europe, students may choose to develop a concentration on earlier periods of European history.

Major Requirements
Core Courses: 15 credits
01:510:101-102 Development of Europe
01:360:301 The Construction of Contemporary Europe
01:450:332-334 Newly Independent States and Eastern Europe; Western Europe
***(7/1/2015)Please see undergraduate adviser for replacement for 450:332-334; Geography is not offering them in the near future
01:360:401 The Idea of Europe
Focus: 12 credits
With their advisor, students will develop an individual concentration, which they will explore in four courses. At least two courses must be at the 300 level or above.
Electives: 6 credits (May include up to 3 credits for language instruction)
Foreign Language Requirement: All majors are required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one European language other than English. The minimum requirement is fulfilled by demonstrated proficiency equivalent to four semesters of college level study with a GPA of B or better. A standardized test can be used to satisfy this requirement.
Study Abroad Requirement: All students are required to complete an approved study abroad program in Europe of at least six weeks. Students are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or junior year abroad. Under special circumstances this requirement may be waived.

Students interested in declaring a major in European Studies can download a form for majors document here . Please email the form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Minor Requirements
Students must complete 15 credits with a grade of C or better in the following courses:
01:510:101-102 Development of Europe (6 cr)
01:360:301 The Construction of Contemporary Europe (3 cr)
01:450:332-334 Newly Independent States and Eastern Europe; Western Europe
***(7/1/2015)Please see undergraduate adviser for replacement for 450:332-334; Geography is not offering them in the near future
01:360:401 The Idea of Europe (3 cr) or an elective course approved by an advisor.
There is no foreign language or study abroad requirement for the minor.
For further information about the undergraduate major or minor, contact the Administrative Director, Susanna Treesh, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Link of the Week

An independent source for European Union news: the EU Observer


Archives of previous links

Contact Us

Center for European Studies
Rutgers University, Douglass Campus
102 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ  08901

Telephone 848-932-8551
Fax 732-932-1144
Email  european@rci.rutgers.edu

Directions to the Center for European Studies