Celtic Studies

University of California, Berkeley


The Celtic Studies Program is a degree program within the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley. Its purpose is to bring together faculty and students with interests in the cultures, languages, literature, and history of the Celtic regions.

The undergraduate major in Celtic Studies allows for interdisciplinary exploration; students may choose relevant electives from courses taught in the Departments of Scandinavian, Comparative Literature, English, Anthropology, History, and History of Art. Irish and Welsh language and literature (in all their historical phases), and the history, mythology, and cultures of the Celtic world are emphasized. The program has an innovative linkage of language and literature-in-translation courses intended to allow students maximum flexibility in pursuing their studies.

Breton is occasionally offered; courses in the history and structure of the older Celtic languages (Old and Middle Irish, Medieval Welsh) are regularly offered. Students may complete an undergraduate major or minor in Celtic Studies; for information on major and minor requirements, see Celtic Studies under Undergraduate Program.

The Celtic Studies Program accepts entrants to its major from both freshman and transfer students. Our major is not impacted and welcomes applications from Celtic Studies enthusiasts.

UC Berkeley has no organized graduate program in Celtic Studies. (Harvard has the only such program in the U.S.) However, the Berkeley campus has a varied and high-quality set of resources in the area of Celtic Studies, centered around our undergraduate Celtic Studies Program. Many graduate students take advantage of these resources while earning graduate degrees in departments such as English, Linguistics, History, Comparative Literature, or Anthropology (our Anthropology Department has a Folklore Program). For example, you could do a Comparative Literature degree with one or more Celtic Languages among your chosen language areas; you could pursue an anthropology or a linguistics degree with your chosen area being a Celtic culture or language(s); and so on. You would naturally have access to our Celtic language and culture courses in making up your curriculum in one of these departments. Members of the Celtic Studies faculty could serve on your doctoral dissertation committee in one of these departments. It is also possible to combine a PhD program in any of these departments with Medieval Studies to obtain a joint degree.

It is also possible to have a personally tailored Ph.D. program at Berkeley; that is, you can set up your own program, independent of specific departments. However, one must first be admitted to some extant graduate program at Berkeley before proposing an independent program. Further, it is quite difficult to get such a program approved (in other words, you cannot come here counting on this option being available to you.) So on all counts, it is important to apply to an appropriate department or program, one which offers you the kinds of training you actually want to acquire. The Program in Celtic Studies will then be able to offer you its resources as you work in that home program.

Undergraduate Program

Celtic Studies: BA, Minor

Graduate Program

There is no graduate program in Celtic Studies. (See above for options for pursuing Celtic Studies at the graduate level.)

Visit Program Website


Celtic Studies

Contact Information

Celtic Studies Program

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2979


Visit Program Website

Program Director

Eric Falci

323 Wheeler Hall


Undergraduate Student Services Advisor

Amanda Minafo

6303A Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4661


Back to Top