Scandinavian Languages and Literatures

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The graduate program in Scandinavian is designed for future scholars and teachers in the fields of Scandinavian language, literature, and cultural history. The department's strengths lie in the areas of the modern literatures and film (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish), in Old Norse and medieval studies, and in intellectual and cultural history. The department is willing to consider applications from students with special interests in areas such as Scandinavian film, art, and history, as long as literary studies remains a major point of comparison. Prospective applicants interested in such areas may consult the graduate adviser or other faculty members and should detail their interests when applying for admission in their statement of purpose.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Admission to the Program

The department offers an integrated MA/PhD program, in which the MA constitutes the first phase in a trajectory leading to the PhD. Applications are not accepted for the MA degree only. We accept applications from students holding a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley or elsewhere, and from those who hold a master’s degree. The best preparation for those with a limited background in Scandinavian Studies is acquisition of at least one Scandinavian modern language, familiarity with classic Scandinavian literature, and literature theory.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time Requirements

Total Normative Time

Total normative time is six years.

Curriculum

Courses Required
SCANDIN 201A/201BOld Norse4
SCANDIN 215Literary and Cultural Theory4
SCANDIN Courses per specialized study list for major and minor concentrations
SCANDIN 300AMethods of Teaching Scandinavian Languages3
SCANDIN 300BTeaching Practicum1
SCANDIN 301Scandinavian Teaching Methods3
Select one of the following:2
Introduction to Theories and Practices of Teaching College Composition
Methods of Teaching Literature and English Composition-Comparative Literature
Teaching Rhetoric
Other suitable preparation for Reading & Composition courses

Courses

Literature and Culture:

Languages:

Scandinavian

SCANDIN 201A Old Norse 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2012
An introduction to the language of medieval Iceland and Norway. Grammar, historical phonology, and texts.

Old Norse: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 201B Norse Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
Literary production of early Iceland and Norway. Reading of representative texts in the original.

Norse Literature: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 206 Studies in Philology and Linguistics 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2014, Spring 2011
Variable subject matter; see departmental announcement for description. Sample topics: runology; history of the Scandinavian languages; dialectology.

Studies in Philology and Linguistics: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 215 Literary and Cultural Theory 4 Units

Terms offered: Prior to 2007
Introduction to varieties of literary and cultural theory used in the analysis of literary texts and other cultural artefacts.

Literary and Cultural Theory: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 220 Early Scandinavian Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Variable subject matter; see departmental announcement for description. Course normally focuses on one of two areas: Eddic and skaldic poetry; or sagas (royal family, legendary, courtly, episcopal).

Early Scandinavian Literature: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 235 Studies in Romanticism and Realism 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2011
Variable subject matter; see departmental announcement for description. Reading and analysis of representative works.

Studies in Romanticism and Realism: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 240 Modern and Contemporary Scandinavian Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Spring 2012, Fall 2011
Reading and analysis of representative works. Topics vary from semester to semester; see departmental announcement for description.

Modern and Contemporary Scandinavian Literature: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 249 Graduate Studies 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Additional work in connection with one of the following courses: Scandinavian C107, C108, 115, 116, 117, 120, 123, 125, C160, 165. Students attend lectures and do all written work in the "main course," and also read assignments in the Scandinavian languages, and write a paper.

Graduate Studies: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 250 Seminar in Scandinavian Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Spring 2016
Investigation of selected authors, topics, or problems. Variable subject matter; see departmental announcement for description.

Seminar in Scandinavian Literature: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 298 Special Study 2 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 10 Week Session, Spring 2017
Designed to explore a restricted field involving the writing of a report. May not be substituted for available seminars.

Special Study: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 299 Dissertation Writing 2 - 12 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Summer 2017 10 Week Session, Spring 2017

Dissertation Writing: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 300A Methods of Teaching Scandinavian Languages 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
The course consists of a two-hour session per week that will examine current theory and practice of foreign language teaching in connection with Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.

Methods of Teaching Scandinavian Languages: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 300B Teaching Practicum 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Graduate Student Instructors must enroll in 300B each semester following the completion of 300A or the equivalent. The course consists of a one-hour weekly session devoted to the analysis and a discussion of pedagogical problems as they arise in the classroom.

Teaching Practicum: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 301 Scandinavian Teaching Methods 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Course on practical teaching methods, grading, testing, classroom activities, and design of course materials and syllabi. Required of all Scandinavian Department GSIs.

Scandinavian Teaching Methods: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 601 Individual Study for M.A. Candidates 1 - 8 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Individual study for the comprehensive or language requirements in consultation with the field adviser. Units may not be used to meet unit or residence requirements for the master's degree.

Individual Study for M.A. Candidates: Read More [+]

SCANDIN 602 Individual Study for Doctoral Candidates 1 - 8 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Individual study in consultation with the major field adviser to prepare qualified students for various examinations required of candidates for the Ph.D. May not be used to meet unit or residence requirements for the doctoral degree.

Individual Study for Doctoral Candidates: Read More [+]

Danish

DANISH 1ABeginning Danish4
DANISH 1BBeginning Danish4
SCANDIN 100AIntermediate Scandinavian Languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) (section 103, intermediate Danish)4
SCANDIN 100BINTERMEDIATE SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES (DANISH, NORWEGIAN, SWEDISH) (section 103, advanced Danish)4

Finnish

FINNISH 1ABeginning Finnish4
FINNISH 1BBeginning Finnish4
FINNISH 102AIntermediate Finnish4
FINNISH 102BIntermediate Finnish4

Icelandic

ICELAND 1ABeginning Icelandic I4
ICELAND 1BBeginning Icelandic II4

Old Norse

SCANDIN 201AOld Norse4
SCANDIN 201BNorse Literature4

Norwegian

NORWEGN 1ABeginning Norwegian4
NORWEGN 1BBeginning Norwegian4
SCANDIN 100AIntermediate Scandinavian Languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) (section 102, intermediate)4
SCANDIN 100BINTERMEDIATE SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES (DANISH, NORWEGIAN, SWEDISH) (section 102, advanced)4

Swedish

SWEDISH 1ABeginning Swedish4
SWEDISH 1BBeginning Swedish4
SCANDIN 100AIntermediate Scandinavian Languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) (section 101, intermediate)4
SCANDIN 100BINTERMEDIATE SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGES (DANISH, NORWEGIAN, SWEDISH) (section 101, advanced)4

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Kate Heslop, Assistant Professor. Medieval Studies, Old Norse literature, Viking and medieval Scandinavia.
Research Profile

Linda H. Rugg, Professor. Scandinavian, Swedish literature and culture 1870 to the present, August Strindberg, Ingmar Bergman, visual autobiography, literature and the visual arts, ecology and culture, film, whiteness studies.
Research Profile

Mark Sandberg, Professor. Silent film, late nineteenth-century visual culture, theater history, comedy, Scandinavian design, serial television, film historiography, Scandinavian film history, Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian literature, Nordic literary history.
Research Profile

Karin L. Sanders, Professor. Danish literature, 19th and 20th Century Scandinavian literature, literary history, gender and literature, word and image, archaeology in literature and visual art, death and the arts.
Research Profile

Jonas Wellendorf, Assistant Professor. Old Norse language and literature, Scandinavian mythology, Scandinavian cultural history (Viking Age and Middle ages).
Research Profile

Lecturers

Jackson W. Crawford, Lecturer.

Monica Hidalgo, Lecturer.

Karen Moller, Lecturer.

Sirpa Tuomainen, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Carol J. Clover, Professor Emeritus. Medieval studies (Northern Europe), film (especially American).
Research Profile

James L. Larson, Professor Emeritus.

John Lindow, Professor Emeritus. Old Norse-Icelandic literature, Scandinavian folklore, Finno-Ugric folklore, Pre-Christian religion of the North, Scandinavian mythology.
Research Profile

Borge G. Madsen, Professor Emeritus.

Gregory Nybo, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Scandinavian

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4484

Fax: 510-642-6220

issa@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Mark Sandberg, PhD

6408 Dwinelle Hall

sandberg@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Sandy Jones

6313 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-9051

Fax: 510-642-6220

issag@berkeley.edu

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