Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society

Academic Unit

Program Information

The Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, an affiliate of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, encourages the interdisciplinary study of modern Europe, with a particular focus on politics, economics, and society in western and central Europe since World War I. The program sponsors a core course and a noncredit thesis writers' colloquium for seniors. In addition, it sponsors lectures, seminars, and other programs for the entire University community. The program offers a certificate in contemporary European politics and society.

Admission to the Program

Successful completion of EPS 300, 301, or 302, typically by the end of sophomore year.

Program of Study

Students who will receive a certificate in contemporary European politics and society must meet the following requirements:

1. Take one of the following gateway courses: EPS 300, 301, or 302.

2. Take at least four other courses from the list of core courses that have an emphasis on European politics and society. Other courses may be approved by the director.

3. Of the four courses, at least one must be chosen from among offerings in history and at least one must be chosen from among offerings in the other social sciences.

4. Fulfill a language requirement by doing one of the following.

a) Take a 200- or 300-level course in a European language.

b) Demonstrate fluency in a European language by taking a test administered by the program. Any national language spoken in a European country may be used to satisfy the requirement. The expectation is that students will have sufficient linguistic competence to use research materials in the foreign language for their senior thesis research.

5. Write a senior thesis on a subject related to contemporary European politics and society. Students majoring in departments where a senior thesis on modern Europe is not possible may petition the director to have another piece of independent research meet this requirement.

Study Abroad

Studying abroad at a European university is very strongly encouraged by the program. Living overseas is a critical part of gaining a perspective on a foreign society and in developing language fluency. Princeton participates in the Berlin Consortium, has linkages with the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques-Institut d' tudes (Sciences Po) and the University of Oxford, and also allows students to study at many other European universities. The program allows students to count up to two of the courses they take at a European university toward their course requirement, if those courses pertain to modern European politics, economics, sociology, or 20th-century history.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who has met the requirements of the program and of the home department and has maintained satisfactory standing will receive a certificate of proficiency in contemporary European politics and society upon graduation.