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 as 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 contact the undergraduate adviser Nadia Samadi at germanic@berkeley.edu

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 advisor 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 Nadia Samadi at germanic@berkeley.edu

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

Dutch Majors and Double Majors are required to take the following courses:

  • Prerequisites: Elementary Dutch 1 and Intermediate Dutch 2 or equivalent
  • A minimum of 30 upper division units.
    • Required course: Advanced Dutch 110
  • Additional courses are to be selected from the following courses:
    • Conversation and composition Dutch 125
    • The Structure of Modern Dutch 107
    • Dutch for Reading and Translation Knowledge 100
    • Topics in Dutch Literature Dutch 140
    • Travel/Study Course Dutch 177
    • Senior Thesis Dutch 190
    • Capstone course Dutch 195
    • 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)
    • A maximum of two related upper-division courses outside of the Department (with approval by the Program Director)
 
  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 for 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 a major in Dutch Studies to apply to the UC Berkeley Study Abroad Program.  Furthermore, students who study abroad at a Dutch or Belgian university can apply for equivalents to be counted to the Dutch Studies Major, depending on approval by the Program Director."

Lower Division Prerequisites

DUTCH 1Elementary Dutch5
DUTCH 2Intermediate 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.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared before the first day of classes in your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). For summer graduates, minors must be declared prior to the first day of Summer Session A. 

  2. All upper-division courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

  3. A minimum of three of the upper-division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required in the upper-division courses to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.

  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.

  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Requirements

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.   Furthermore, students who study abroad at a Dutch or Belgian university can apply for equivalents to be counted to the Dutch Studies Minor, depending on approval by the Program Director."

Lower Division Prerequisites
DUTCH 1Elementary Dutch5
DUTCH 2Intermediate 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 a detailed lists of L&S requirements, please see Overview tab to the right in this guide or visit the L&S Degree Requirements webpage. 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 and must be taken for a letter grade. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and American Institutions requirements are based on the principle that all U.S. residents who have 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 campus requirement 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 are plentiful and 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/data science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course taken for a letter grade.

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 taken for a letter grade.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College of Letters and Science requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses in sequential order by the end of their fourth semester for a letter grade.

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 at Cal for four years, or two years for transfer students. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you graduate early, 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 L&S College 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 B.A. 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

Student Learning Goals

Mission

The Dutch Studies Program offers four levels of Dutch language acquisition in combination with a rich variety of English-taught courses dedicated to Dutch culture, history, literature, and politics. Our courses pay great attention to the global legacy of Dutch colonialism. 

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Dutch History is World History
    • Through a broad curriculum, Dutch Studies offers a critical reflection on the past and present of the Netherlands, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (Flanders), as well as Suriname and the Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Few European countries have as profound a colonial legacy as the Netherlands. Today, a large percentage of the Dutch population has roots in former Dutch colonies. Some of the most interesting 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 the roots of present-day New York City go back to the former Dutch colony of New Netherland.
  2. Dutch Politics are World Politics
    • Dutch Studies offers a critical reflection on the political past and present of the Netherlands, including the long-term effects of the Dutch involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, the impact of Dutch colonialism in the Americas, Africas, and Asia, or the history of the Jewish minority in the Netherlands, from Sephardic Jewish immigrants in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic to the tragic fate of Anne Frank in World War II. We also pay attention to Belgium and the important role of its bilingual (French and Dutch) capital Brussels, also the capital of the European Union.
  3. Dutch Economy is a World Economy
    • Dutch Studies pays attention to the economic importance of the Netherlands and the BENELUX area, historically known as the Low Countries. Located at the estuary of some of Europe’s most important rivers,  which allowed the Netherlands to become the world's first modern economy in the 17th century. Still today, the Low Countries represent a vital economic artery of the European continent and are among the largest foreign investors in the United States. Europe’s two largest seaports are located in the Low Countries (Rotterdam and Antwerp).
  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 course on Dutch for Reading Knowledge. While Dutch is the mother tongue of approximately 24 million people in Europe (some 17.5 million people in the Netherlands and 6.5 million people in Flanders), it is also spoken by approximately half a million people in the Caribbean and, although in a creolized variant known as Afrikaans, 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- and Southeast Asia, South Africa, the Caribbean, and New York.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Dutch Studies Major Map PDF.

Advising

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. 

Undergraduate Adviser contact: Nadia Samadi; email:  germanic@berkeley.edu 

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 six Dutch universities.

Grants and Scholarships for Research in Dutch Studies

For general information on scholarship and grants in: the Netherlands and Flanders.

 
Grants opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the Dutch Studies Program:
 
Grant opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the Institute of European Studies:
 
Foreign Language & Area Studies awards:

Courses

Dutch Studies

Contact Information

Dutch Studies Program

5319 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-643-2004

Visit Program Website

Director of Dutch Studies

Jeroen Dewulf

5329 Dwinelle Hall

jdewulf@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor

Nadia Samadi

5311 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-7445

germanic@berkeley.edu

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