Dutch Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Dutch Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley is of unique national and international importance. It offers a comprehensive education in Dutch language, literature, cultural history, and linguistics. The Berkeley Main Library and Bancroft Library possess one of the richest Dutch book collections in the United States. Intensive collaboration with Dutch and Flemish universities and cultural organizations has made Berkeley a leading Dutch intellectual center in the US.

Learn about the language, literature, culture, and history of the Netherlands. Dutch Studies offers English-taught courses on Dutch cultural history, literature and linguistics, as well Dutch language courses. Through a broad curriculum, students study important cultural developments from the medieval towns in Flanders over the Dutch “Golden Age” and the Netherlands’ colonial expansion up to the contemporary multicultural, liberal, and European identity of the Low Countries.

Declaring the Major

For further information regarding declaring the major, please see contact the undergraduate adviser.

Honors Program

A grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 in the major and an overall GPA of 3.3 are required for participation in the program during the senior year.

Course requirement: writing an honors thesis (30-40 pages) is a commitment over two semesters. In the first semester the student must enroll in a 2-unit independent study (199; P/NP). In the second semester, the student must enroll in H196 (4 units). Students are urged to meet with professors who might serve as thesis advisers prior to enrolling in GERMAN 199. The honors committee, consists of the major adviser and the thesis director, approves the topic and evaluates the thesis.

Minor Program

The Dutch Studies Program offers a minor in Dutch Studies. For information regarding declaring the minor, please contact the undergraduate adviser.

Visit Program Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

As flexibility and interdepartmental cooperation are of essential importance to the Dutch Studies Program, there are no requirement courses to the Dutch major besides the Dutch language courses. This enables students to compose the Dutch major according to their personal interests. It also makes it easier to add Dutch Studies as a double major. Due to the fact that the number of upper division courses offered in the Dutch Studies program is limited, we strongly encourage students considering a major in Dutch Studies to apply to the UC Berkeley Study Abroad Program.

Lower Division Prerequisites

DUTCH 1Elementary Dutch5
DUTCH 2Elementary Dutch (or equivalents)5

Upper Division

Minimum 30 units.

DUTCH 110Advanced Dutch4
DUTCH 125Conversation and Composition4
Additional courses selected from:22
The Structure of Modern Dutch [3]
Dutch for Reading Knowledge [3]
Topics in Dutch Literature [3]
The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: The Art, History, and Literature of the Netherlands and Flanders [6]
Senior Thesis [4]
One course in DUTCH 160 series (may be repeated as topics change)
One course in DUTCH 170 series (may be repeated as topics change)
A maximum of two upper division courses outside of the department

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


As flexibility and interdepartmental cooperation are of essential importance to the Dutch Studies Program, there are no requirement courses to the Dutch minor besides the Dutch language courses. This enables students to compose the Dutch minor according to their personal interests. It also makes it easier to add Dutch Studies as a minor. Due to the fact that the number of upper division courses offered in the Dutch Studies Program is limited, we strongly encourage students considering a minor in Dutch Studies to apply to the UC Berkeley Study Abroad Program.

Lower Division Prerequisites
DUTCH 1Elementary Dutch5
DUTCH 2Elementary Dutch5
Upper Division Requirements
Select five courses from the following:
Advanced Dutch [4]
Dutch for Reading Knowledge [3]
The Structure of Modern Dutch [3]
Conversation and Composition [4]
Topics in Dutch Literature [3]
The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection: The Art, History, and Literature of the Netherlands and Flanders [6]
One course in the DUTCH 160 series (may be repeated as topics change)
One course in the DUTCH 170 series (may be repeated as topics change)
One related upper division course outside the department (with approval of program director)

College Requirements

Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages. 

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Berkeley Campus Requirement

American Cultures

All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals


The structural idea of Berkeley’s Dutch Studies Program is that Dutch Studies are also world studies. Each course in the program allows students to learn about the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) and to sharpen their view of world history, global problems and transnational cultural connections. The program offers four levels of Dutch language acquisition in combination with a rich variety of English-taught courses dedicated to the culture, language, politics and history of the Low Countries. In cooperation with Summer Sessions, Dutch Studies also organizes an annual travel study course: The Amsterdam-Brussels Connection.

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Dutch History is World History
    • Through a broad curriculum, Dutch studies offers a critical reflection on the multicultural past and present of the Netherlands. Few European countries have as profound a legacy as the Netherlands in both colonial and post-colonial studies. Some of the best world literature has been written in the former Dutch East Indies and in the Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Traces of Dutch influence can be found all over the world, from Japan and Indonesia to South Africa to the United States, where present-day New York City goes back to the former Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.
  2. Dutch Politics are World Politics
    • Dutch studies offers a critical reflection on the political past and present of the Low Countries. Few European countries have as profound a legacy in freedom, liberty, and tolerance as the Netherlands. Historically, it was not the aristocracy, as in most European nations, but the citizenry that shaped Dutch culture and identity. Its strong attachment to freedom is what makes the Netherlands unique in the world as a model for progressiveness. The Dutch Act of Abjuration of 1581 served as a model of inspiration for the American Declaration of Independence.
  3. Dutch Economy is a World Economy
    • Dutch studies pays attention to the importance of the economy in the Low Countries. Located at the estuary of some of Europe’s most important rivers, the Low Countries represent a vital economic artery of the European continent. According to some of the world’s leading historians, the Netherlands became the first modern economy in the world in the 17th century. Today, the Netherlands is the third biggest foreign investor in the United States. The present-day Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) represent the fourth biggest export economy in the world. Europe’s two biggest seaports are located in the Low Countries (Rotterdam and Antwerp), as is the EU capital in the Dutch and French-speaking city of Brussels.
  4. Dutch Culture is a World Culture
    • Dutch studies offers a profound study of the cultural importance of the Low Countries. The singular development of the Netherlands has been accompanied by splendid cultural achievements in painting, book printing, architecture, and literature right through contemporary dance and design. Dutch culture is represented by several of the world’s most famous painters, from van Eyck to Rembrandt and from Vermeer to Van Gogh.
  5. Dutch Language is a World Language
    • Dutch studies offers four levels of Dutch language acquisition from introductory to advanced Dutch as well as a linguistic course on the structure of modern Dutch. While Dutch is the mother tongue of approximately 23 million people in Europe (some 17 million in the Netherlands and 6 million in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), it is also spoken by half a million people in the Caribbean and, although in a creolized form, by some 6 million people in South Africa. Due to its colonial legacy, knowledge of Dutch language proves to be of essential importance for scholars interested in the history of Japan, South East Asia, South Africa, the Caribbean and the early European colonization of the United States.


The Dutch Studies Office of Undergraduate Advising with the assistance of the professional advising team helps students with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.

Academic Opportunities

Study Abroad in the Netherlands

UC Education Abroad Program in the Netherlands. Semester and year options with course work in English are offered in two Dutch cities: Maastricht and Utrecht.

Dutch Summer Courses in the Netherlands and Flanders

Summer courses in Dutch language, literature, and culture are a welcome supplement to the Dutch Studies courses being taken by students abroad. Two summer courses are organized under the auspices of the Nederlandse Taalunie. These summer courses are aimed at advanced students of Dutch. A limited number of scholarships is available for these courses. In the Netherlands the course is held in Zeist; in Flanders it is held in Ghent (University of Ghent).

Target Group and Qualifications for Admission

In the selection process for the courses, these criteria are taken into account:

  • Participants must have a command of Dutch at an advanced level.
  • Participants must be non-native speakers of Dutch that do not live within the Dutch language area. These students have to study Dutch as a major or a minor subject or as another subject with Dutch as a major component. In the last case, the Taalunie needs official proof of that.
  • Participants must be at least 18 years old and no older than 35.
  • Participants preferably have already passed one of the exams leading to a Certificate Dutch as a Foreign Language such as the one for the Certificate Profile Societal Language Proficiency (PMT). For more information on these certificates, please click here.

Those completing the entire course will receive a certificate of attendance from the Dutch Language Union. The deadline for application is on the first of February. Interested students may apply here.

Scholarships for Research in Dutch Studies

AANS Scholarship

Apply for the annual research scholarship of the American Association of Netherlandic Studies. For more information, please visit the organization’s website.

Mauritshuis Fellowship

The Otto Naumann/American Friends of the Mauritshuis Fellowship. This fellowship offers grants in the field of art history to support an academic project devoted to the study of Dutch and Flemish art from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Topics relevant to the history and collection of the Mauritshuis and travel to The Netherlands are preferred. Preference goes to subjects devoted to paintings and drawings, then sculpture, prints and applied arts. Applicants must hold a BA in art history and be working toward a PhD at an American or Canadian University. Grants range from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the financial requirements and merits of the project.

Taalunie Research Scholarships

Every year the Taalunie offers research scholarships. For more information in Dutch, please click here. For information in English, please click here.

Dutch Scholarships

Students who wish to go to the Netherlands for a bachelor program, a master's, or a PhD in Dutch Studies, could apply for a scholarship. For more on scholarships and grants in the Netherlands, please click here.

Flemish Scholarships

Students who wish to go to Flanders for a bachelor program, a master's, or a PhD in Dutch Studies, could apply for a scholarship. For more on scholarships and grants in Flanders, please click here.

The Belgian American Educational Foundation (B.A.E.F.) encourages applications for fellowships for advanced study or research during one academic year, at a Belgian University or institution of higher learning.

Intensive Dutch Language Courses in Netherlands and Flanders

Babel: Babel is a Utrecht-based language institute founded in 1983. It offers language training courses for individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations as well as Dutch as a foreign language course. Utrecht University is a partner of Babel.

Linguapolis: Linguapolis at the University of Antwerp offers linguistic immersion programs for Dutch as a foreign language on the City Campus (Antwerp) and on the Campus Drie Eiken (Wilrijk). Classes are given in small groups of highly educated non-native speakers.

Zomercursus "Joos Florquin": The intensive language course “Joos Florquin” is offered every summer at Leuven University. It offers 5 levels of Dutch language acquisition.

Studying Dutch Culture and Literature in the Netherlands

Leiden University

Leiden University offers a BA and MA in Dutch studies. The program is intended for students with little proficiency, no proficiency, or an intermediate proficiency in the Dutch language who have a special interest in the Dutch language and culture. Extensive attention is paid to the language during the study period. In addition, Dutch literature, history, art history, and linguistics are important parts of the curriculum. For more information, visit the Leiden University website.

Central College Abroad

Central College Abroad in Leiden offers a wide variety of semester courses following the orientation period and intensive Dutch course. All students are required to enroll in “The Netherlands and its European Context,” the remainder of the schedule can be completed with courses selected from Central College offerings, Webster University or Leiden University offerings. For more information, visit the Central College Abroad website.

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen offers a master's in Dutch Culture. The master's is an interdisciplinary cultural studies program that concentrates on Dutch culture from the past up to the present. It approaches Dutch culture in a interdisciplinary way by studying its different aspects (literature, the arts, language, politics, history) in their mutual relationship. The program wants to provide its students with a profound knowledge of the richly variegated Dutch culture as a whole. For more information, visit the University of Groningen website.

International School for Humanities and Social Sciences

The International School for Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam offers an intensive course about the Netherlands: Art, Language, Culture and the European Union in January. These themes are illuminated through lectures, meetings, and discussions with renowned Dutch academics, and coordinated site visits. For more information, visit the Winter Institute ISHSS website.

Transnational Master in Dutch Literary Translation Studies

A research master's in Dutch literary translation studies is now offered as part of a collaboration between the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and the University of Antwerp in Belgium. For more information, see the program's website.

Higher Education in the Netherlands and Flanders

The Nuffic: Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (English website).

Education fair: A list of all university degree programs and universities in the Netherlands.

The NAF: The Netherland-America Foundation is the leading bilateral foundation initiating and supporting high-impact exchange between the Netherlands and the United States.

The LUF: Each year the alumni organization of Leiden University, the “Leiden University Fund” awards scholarships to outstanding foreign students pursuing a masters degree at Leiden University.

Study in Flanders

Information on study options in Flanders. See also: Further Information for American students who wish to study in Flanders.


The Belgian American Educational Foundation is the leading independent philanthropy in the support of exchanging university students, scientists and scholars between the United States and Belgium.

The Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is the largest US international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

The Roosevelt Study Center

Under the auspices of the Fulbright Scholar Program and co-sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Dow Benelux, the Roosevelt Study Center offers an American scholar a 4-month residential fellowship for advanced research in the area of twentieth-century American history or American studies (including political science, sociology, economics, law, and religious studies), preferably with an emphasis on American-European relations.

Studying Afrikaans Language, Culture, and Literature in South Africa

Through EAP, Berkeley students are able to study at the University of Cape Town in South Africa  for a semester or an entire year. For more information on the University of Cape Town's Afrikaans and Dutch Department, visit the EAP website.


Dutch Studies

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Jeroen Dewulf, Associate Professor. Dutch studies, transatlantic slavery, German literature, European Studies, post-colonial studies, hybridity.
Research Profile

Karen Feldman, Associate Professor. Critical theory, aesthetics, literary theory, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Arendt, Benjamin, 18th-20th century German thought, Hegel, Adorno.
Research Profile

Deniz Gokturk, Associate Professor. German literature, German cinema, transnational cinemas, German-Turkish-European-American intersections in cinema, performance and spectatorship and reception, intertextuality and intermediality and translation, the politics and poetics of migration and globalization, urban imaginaries and mediations of place, theories of diversity and nationalism, comedy and community, modern rituals of regulating identity and authority and mobility.
Research Profile

Anton Kaes, Professor. Film studies, modern literature, literary and cultural theory, cinema, interdisciplinary and comparative aspects of Weimar culture, contemporary literature and film, literary theory, theory of cultural studies, film history, film theory, history of cinema.
Research Profile

Winfried Kudszus, Professor. Psychoanalysis, semiotics, culture, literature, philosophy, psychology.
Research Profile

Niklaus Largier, Professor. Religion, literature, German, history of medieval and early modern German literature, theology, mysticism, secularism, senses, sensuality, history of emotions, passions, asceticism, flagellation, sexuality.
Research Profile

Irmengard Rauch, Professor. Semiotics, Germanic linguistics, linguistic archeology, paralanguage, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, linguistic fieldwork, socio-cultural and cognitive approaches to language variation and language change, contrastive analysis and linguistic methodology, Gothic, Modern High German and its dialects, Old/Middle High/Early New High German.
Research Profile

Thomas F. Shannon, Professor. Linguistics, control, German, Dutch, syntax, phonology, naturalness, syllable structure, complementation, ergative phenomena, passivization, perfect auxiliary selection, word order, processing factors syntactic phenomena, cognitive, functional grammar, corpus.
Research Profile

Chenxi Tang, Associate Professor. European intellectual history, German literature from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, political and legal thought, cultural theory, early modern European literature, Europe and China.
Research Profile

Elaine C. Tennant, Professor. German, Habsburg court society in the early modern period, the development of the German language at the end of the middle ages, the Middle High German narrative tradition, literary and cultural traditions of the holy roman empire, European reactions.
Research Profile

Affiliated Faculty

Judith Butler, Professor. Critical theory, gender and sexuality studies, comparative literature, 19th and 20th century continental philosophy, social and political thought, philosophy and literature.
Research Profile

Pheng Cheah, Professor. Nationalism, rhetoric, legal philosophy, feminism, 18th-20th century continental philosophy and contemporary critical theory, postcolonial theory and anglophone postcolonial literatures, cosmopolitanism and globalization, social and political thought.
Research Profile

John Connelly, Professor.

John M. Efron, Professor. Cultural and social history of German Jewry.
Research Profile

Beate Fricke, Associate Professor. Medieval art and architecture, idolatry, iconoclasm, history of allegory, formation of communities, incest, anthropophagy, animation, emergence of life and procreation, theories and practices in use of images and relics, visual and material culture, Carolingian Art, Gothic Art, Ottonian Art.
Research Profile

Hannah Ginsborg, Professor. Philosophy, Kant and on Kantian themes in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of mind.
Research Profile

Mel Gordon, Professor.

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, Associate Professor. Modern German and European History, Conceptual History, Transnational History, urban studies.
Research Profile

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

Hans Sluga, Professor. Political philosophy, recent European philosophy, history of analytic philosophy, Frege, Wittgenstein, Foucault.
Research Profile

Gary B. Holland, Professor Emeritus. Historical linguistics, Indo-European linguistics, poetics, early Indo-European languages, linguistic typology, historical syntax, history of linguistics.
Research Profile


Yael Chaver, Lecturer.

Nikolaus Euba, Lecturer.

Harriett Virginia Ann Jernigan, Lecturer.

Esmee Van Der Hoeven, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Charlton Payne, Visiting Researcher.

Emeritus Faculty

Bluma Goldstein, Professor Emeritus.

Gerd Hillen, Professor Emeritus.

+ Claire Kramsch, Professor Emeritus. Language, culture, pragmatics, society, education, applied linguistics, aesthetics, literacy, second language acquisition, language pedagogy, language in discourse, hermeneutic approaches to language learning.
Research Profile

Joseph Mileck, Professor Emeritus.

Klaus Mueller, Professor Emeritus.

Hinrich C. Seeba, Professor Emeritus. 18th 20th century German literature and culture, intellectual and institutional, enlightenment, Napoleonic era, vormarz, concepts and images history, role language nationalism, contemporary trends German literature, representations urban space.
Research Profile

Johan P. Snapper, Professor Emeritus. Dutch studies.
Research Profile

Frederic C. Tubach, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Dutch Studies Program

5319 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-643-2004

Visit Program Website

Chair/Associate Professor

Jeroen Dewulf

5329 Dwinelle Hall


Undergraduate Adviser

Nadia Samadi

5311 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-7445


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