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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 to complement any major. The purpose of the minor is to provide a coherent structure for students with an interest in interdisciplinary study in the field of European studies. The requirements for the minor range from five to seven courses depending on the level of language proficiency already achieved:


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

  2. Competence in at least one modern European language, Romance, Germanic, or Slavic (i.e., completion of a third-semester course or equivalent with a grade of at least B–, or demonstration of an advanced level of competence in an oral proficiency interview test where available). 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).

  3. Three additional courses in any of the three areas, which may include a senior seminar (4000-level).

    1. 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.

    2. Courses in modern European history (post-1789).

    3. 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, students may be permitted to substitute other courses for those listed above.  Only two courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both the major and the minor. Courses satisfying the breadth and distribution requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences, however, may be applied to the minor. 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. All minors are encouraged to participate in the Cornell in Turin summer study abroad program (see Courses taken abroad may be applied to the minor if they are approved for Cornell credit. Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences can major in European Studies through the independent major or the College Scholar Program.

Click here to see the Fall 2019 courses, which can fulfill the Minor in European Studies. (Courses listed are available for reference, and not a comprehensive list. If students find a course they feel would be applicable, they are encouraged to reach out to CIES on the matter.)

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