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Minor in European Studies

Minor in European Studies
Students studying outside in the fall.

Students from any college may choose an undergraduate minor in European Studies. While pursuing this minor, you will have the opportunity to explore Europe’s past, present, and future and to demonstrate a knowledge of European languages, culture, history, politics, and international relations. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum that you can mold to your interests, the minor offers you the chance to take courses across colleges and subjects that exemplify your understanding of a globalizing world, while also providing you with an area of expertise. You will gain invaluable critical thinking skills, language abilities, and helpful frameworks for assessing today’s most pressing issues in Europe and around the world.

The requirements for the minor range from five to seven courses depending on the level of language proficiency already achieved:

Completion of the minor’s core course: GOVT 2553: Inside Europe, which is an introduction to contemporary political, social, and economic issues facing Europe.

Competency in a European Language - Competence can be demonstrated by completing a third-semester course (even if you have tested out of the first two) or by being a native speaker of a European language (although native speakers will have to substitute one additional course to reach the minimum five-course requirement).

Completion of 3 courses - one in each of the following areas:

  • Courses in European and comparative politics; options include  GOVT 3323 (Cornell in Turin Program) and a range of courses offered in government, sociology, and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
  • Courses in modern European history (post-1789).
  • Courses in (post-1789) English and European literatures, comparative literature, semiotics, FGSS, fine arts, architecture, music, philosophy, and film and theatre arts.

Under certain conditions, you may be permitted to substitute courses. The general threshold for a qualifying course requires that a minimum of 50% of the content is focused on the study of Europe. 

Students interested in conducting research in Europe may apply for the Frederic Conger Wood or Susan R. Tarrow Undergraduate Research Fellowship in their junior year. Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences can major in European Studies through the independent major or the College Scholar Program. 

A list of Spring 2020 courses which can fulfill the Minor in European Studies is provided below. Courses listed are available for reference and are not a comprehensive list. If you find a course you feel would be applicable, reach out to IES.

For further information, contact Pamela Hampton, Program Manager of IES.


"The European Studies minor shaped my college experience a great deal. As a history and government major, it allowed me to focus in greater detail on a country which particularly interested me, the United Kingdom. Further, through the ES minor, I was driven to study abroad at the University of Oxford to increase my knowledge and understanding of British politics. Upon returning to Cornell, I performed an Honors Thesis exploring the relationship between terrorism and voting behavior in the UK, thanks in large part to my ability to explore the UK in depth through the ES minor. Overall, the courses I took in pursuit of the ES minor were some of my favorites during my time at Cornell."

-Harold Green, 2019 Graduate

Government and History Major