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Scandinavian Language and Literature


Programs in Scandinavian language and literature teach people the spoken and written traditions of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway.

Programs in Scandinavian language and literature teach people the spoken and written languages of Scandinavia. Students learn Swedish, Danish, Finnish, and Norwegian and study related dialects. They learn how words begin and language develops. In addition, they learn how to apply the knowledge to business and technology.

Scandinavian language and literature programs include topics such as:


In Scandinavian language and literature programs, students may be able to specialize in:


A few colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in Scandinavian language and literature. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in Scandinavian language and literature. 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.

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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, good grades, and good test scores. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate that you can speak, read, write, and understand a Scandinavian language at an advanced level.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs in Scandinavian languages and literature typically require:

Things to Know

Students who major in Scandinavian language and literature may be required or encouraged to spend some time living, working, and studying abroad. Most programs coordinate semester abroad or work internships. In most cases, you can participate in these after you have completed at least two years of language study.

Colleges that do not have complete programs in Scandinavian language and literature may offer elective courses as part of a major in interdisciplinary studies or liberal arts.

Some programs offer courses in Old Norse or Icelandic language. However, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish are most commonly offered.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University