BA in European Studies

European Studies is a major offered by the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies to students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Boston University’s European Studies Program combines a unifying regional focus with a multidisciplinary approach, enabling students to bring together courses that develop their language skills; social, historical, and cultural knowledge; and political, economic, and international relations expertise. The ten-course interdisciplinary major draws on the resources of 13 College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) departments and on Boston University Study Abroad programs in Europe. Students study Europe’s cultural heritage; its political, economic, military, and religious histories; its literature, music, film, and philosophy; and its emergence and development as a new kind of international form through the European Union.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate substantive interdisciplinary knowledge of legal, political, economic, social, cultural, and historical factors influencing international affairs.
  • Display an in-depth understanding of an important functional subfield of the discipline and a major geographical region of the world.
  • Conduct theoretically informed and empirically based analysis of real-world conditions and events and present the results of that analysis persuasively in written and oral forms.


All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in European Studies will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship, as well as some requirements in Philosophical, Aesthetic and Historical Interpretation, Scientific and Social Inquiry, Communication, and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

The major in European Studies requires ten 4-credit Principal Courses.

Students majoring in European Studies pursue studies in both the Humanities and the Social Sciences:

Ten Principal Courses

  • Nine courses chosen from the lists as maintained on the Pardee School website. At least four courses must be Humanities courses and at least four must be Social Science courses.
  • A multidisciplinary capstone course, usually taken in the senior year.

Ten separate and distinct courses with a grade of C or higher are required for a major in European studies. Three of these ten principal courses must be at an advanced level (400 or above). No more than five of the courses may be in a single discipline. Although the focus of the European Studies major is on the modern and contemporary period (18th–21st centuries), students, with their advisor’s permission, may choose to substitute up to two courses from the Middle Ages through the 17th century.

Required Related Language Courses

Knowledge (written and spoken) of a European language other than English through at least the sixth-semester level is required of all European Studies majors. In French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, this requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of two 300-level language courses (or their equivalents abroad) or by demonstration of equivalent proficiency. For other languages, please consult with an advisor.

The major is designed to accommodate and encourage study in Europe through Boston University’s Study Abroad programs.