University of California, Berkeley


The languages, literature, and cultures of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) are the focus of teaching and research in the department. The interdisciplinary curriculum ranges from topics in Viking and Medieval Scandinavian history and literature to the influential cultural contributions of the successful Nordic societies of more contemporary times. Instructors regularly teach beginning and intermediate classes in all five modern Nordic languages as well as reading and grammar classes in Old Norse at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students in the undergraduate major choose a concentration in medieval studies or in one of the modern language areas while also working in comparative and interdisciplinary ways with other cultural materials from the region. Graduate students pursuing the Ph.D. train to become comparative Scandinavianists while also developing depth and expertise in a more specific scholarly field.

The faculty in the department pursue research in a variety of fields including literary studies, philology, folklore, media and film studies, theater history, art history, archaeology, and architectural history. The interdisciplinary curiosity of the faculty sets the tone for our students, who are encouraged to explore widely and creatively within the intellectual field of Scandinavian Studies.


Doe Library, the main research library on campus, has extensive holdings in the several areas of research that make up the field of Scandinavian Studies (literature, linguistics, history, folklore, film history, the social sciences, etc.). For more information about this collection, see the Doe Library website for the Berkeley Scandinavian Collection.

A smaller departmental collection, the Olof Lundberg Memorial Library, is located in 6337B Dwinelle Hall, adjacent to the current faculty offices. It is open to the public at certain times during the day that are determined at the beginning of each semester, but is not a lending library; its books must be used on-site. The Lundberg Library houses an extensive collection of over 13,000 volumes, ranging from medieval to modern history and literature. There is no online list of holdings, but there is a card catalog in the library itself. The department also receives a daily or weekly newspaper from all three of the mainland Scandinavian countries. The librarian can be reached at 510-643-2932, and the library schedule is posted on the library door (varies by semester).

The Barbro Osher Film and Video Collection is a research collection of over 250 Scandinavian film titles. The 35mm and 16mm films in the collection are housed at the Pacific Film Archive. Access to the PFA Library and Film Study Center is free for BAM/PFA members and to students and faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. There is a low usage fee for the general public. The films stored at PFA can be searched by title in the OSKICAT on-line library catalog. The remaining titles of the Osher Collection come in a variety of formats (DVD, laser disc, VHS and PAL video, 3/4″ video) and are stored in the Lundberg Library. These may only be used on-site. All holdings are listed by title in a departmental database available at the librarian’s desk.

Undergraduate Programs

Scandinavian: BA (with concentrations in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Old Norse, and Swedish), Minor

Graduate Program

Scandinavian Languages and Literatures: PhD

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Literature and Culture:




DANISH 1ABeginning Danish4
DANISH 1BBeginning Danish4
SCANDIN 100AIntermediate Nordic Languages4
SCANDIN 100BIntermediate Nordic Languages4



Old Norse

SCANDIN 101AIntroduction to Old Norse I4
SCANDIN 101BIntroduction to Old Norse II4


NORWEGN 1ABeginning Norwegian4
NORWEGN 1BBeginning Norwegian4
SCANDIN 100AIntermediate Nordic Languages4
SCANDIN 100BIntermediate Nordic Languages4


SWEDISH 1ABeginning Swedish4
SWEDISH 1BBeginning Swedish4
SCANDIN 100AIntermediate Nordic Languages4
SCANDIN 100BIntermediate Nordic Languages4

Contact Information

Department of Scandinavian

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2979

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Department Chair

Kate Heslop

6411 Dwinelle Hall

Undergraduate Student Services Advisor

Amanda Minafo

6303A Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4661

Graduate Student Services Advisor

Seth Arnopole

Phone: 510-642-9051

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