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Western European Studies


Programs in Western European studies teach people about the cultures of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and neighboring countries.

Students learn different ways to examine the region, including language, economy, and politics. They also study Western European history and the role of this region in international relations.

Western European studies programs include topics such as:


Students in this major may be able to choose concentrations such as:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in Western European studies. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in Western European studies. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. In some schools, these programs are offered as part of a larger program in European studies or international relations.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in Western European studies. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers to Consider

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree and good grades. You also need to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement.

Your bachelor's degree should be in a related major such as history, French studies, or international relations. If it isn't, you should take several courses in history, economics, and the humanities. Also, you should take courses in a Western European language such as German, Italian, or Spanish.

Additional requirements at many schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Course work in graduate programs varies. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Things to Know

Schools that do not offer programs in Western European studies may offer elective courses or certificates as part of a major in interdisciplinary studies or liberal arts. A few schools offer graduate certificates.

Many Western European studies programs encourage independent study. This means that you can decide which courses to take, depending on your interests.

You may be required or encouraged to spend some time living, working, or studying in Western Europe. This gives you an immersion experience and the chance to practice your language skills with native speakers.

A degree in Western European studies is considered good preparation for graduate study in law, anthropology, international studies, and further study in Western European studies.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Gonzaga University