European Studies Degree Program Information

Oct 14, 2019

European studies degree programs are most commonly found at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Learn about degree options, salary information, employment projections, and requirements that pertain to these programs.

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Essential Information

Bachelor's degree programs offer a comprehensive overview of European society and culture. Programs may offer several specializations as well as opportunities to study overseas. Some schools require study abroad for European studies students. In master's programs, students expand their knowledge of the history, economics and politics of many European nations, but may concentrate their studies on one country or topic. Master's programs require a thesis or final project. Graduates may be prepared for many different occupations in business, government and education.

Prerequisites for the bachelor's program include a high school diploma or the equivalent and basic geographical, cultural and societal knowledge of Europe. Many programs also require students to speak a European language in addition to English at an intermediate level, and may test this ability, so high-school foreign-language classes are strongly recommended. Requirements for the master's program are: an undergraduate degree in European studies or a similar field and European non-English language proficiency. Students who don't meet a program's prerequisites may have to take preliminary courses.

Bachelor of Arts in European Studies

A Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in European Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program that covers a wide range of subjects, including European languages, fine arts and humanities. This program normally takes 36-39 credit hours to complete. Students enrolled in this degree program develop a comprehensive understanding of various European geographic regions, cultures, politics and historical events. Concentrations in areas such as European culture, religion and philosophy, politics and society, European fine arts and literature, European history or languages may be offered. Specializations often combine core coursework with a large amount of electives to produce an individualized program of study. European studies majors often take courses in:

  • Medieval architecture
  • North European Renaissance art
  • British literature
  • Greek mythology
  • French cinema
  • European regional geography

Master of Arts in European Studies

A master's degree program in European studies focuses on the economics, politics, international relations and histories of the European Union as well as Central, Eastern and Mediterranean Europe. Students have the option of tailoring their degree programs to emphasize a certain nation, such as Germany, Britain, Italy or France, or subject matter, such as history, law or literature. However, programs are formatted to provide a well-rounded education that covers other European countries and issues as well. Internship possibilities also exist for the master's degree student. Common courses in the graduate program include:

  • Contemporary British politics
  • Modern challenges facing the European Union
  • History of the Balkans
  • Economic integration within the European Union
  • Current European society
  • Strategic environment of Turkey

Popular Career Options

As with the coursework, the career options open to graduates holding a B.A. in European Studies are varied and broad. Knowledge acquired through this degree program is applicable to a number of occupations involving international affairs and European languages. Though additional training may be needed for some jobs, possible careers for a European studies graduate may include:

  • International financial consultant
  • International marketing representative
  • International press corps
  • International legal consultant
  • Travel agent

Graduates of a master's degree program in European studies are prepared to work in upper-level positions in a wide variety of fields, such as education, communications and business. Careers available to graduates include:

  • Foreign diplomat
  • Political consultant
  • European studies teacher
  • European Union worker
  • Journalist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment opportunities and earning potential with a degree in European studies are just as varied as the career options themselves. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary teachers, like those who teach cultural studies, earned a median salary of $74,440 in 2018. The field of postsecondary teaching in general is expected to add 155,000 new jobs over the 2018-2028 decade, based on data from the BLS.

Employment prospects for reporters, broadcast news analysts, and correspondents, which may include foreign correspondents, are less than favorable. The BLS shows a 10 percent decline in demand for this field during the 2018-2028 time frame, with 5,100 fewer jobs available. Reporters and correspondents were paid a median salary of $41,260 in 2018, while broadcast news analysts earned a median of $66,880 that year, as indicated by the BLS.

Students interested in European studies can complete a degree program at the bachelor's or master's degree level. Bachelor's programs teach students about the geographic, political, and history of Europe, while master's students may concentrate on one country or topic to gain a deeper understanding.

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