European Culture

Explore what you'd learn in a degree program in European cultural studies. Read about undergraduate and graduate degree options in this field, and get info on careers you could pursue with a background in European culture. Find info about employment outlook and salary potential.

Is the Study of European Culture for Me?

Overview of European Cultural Studies

European studies is a broad field that can include topics in history, language, literature and politics. Through a flexible degree program, you may also have the chance to focus on an area of special interest, such as European philosophy, the Medieval period or the unification of European countries. Or, you might focus on the cultural traditions and identity of a particular European nation.

Some schools offer study abroad options and the chance to experience European culture firsthand. Most programs encourage you to spend at least one semester in France, Germany, Italy, Spain or another nearby country. Undergraduate learning outcomes include the ability to conduct research, think critically and communicate your ideas to others in a clear and concise manner.

Career Options

As a graduate of a 4-year European studies program, you may be qualified for a position as a cultural communicator, public affairs specialist or international business associate. You could also continue your studies at the graduate level and pursue a degree in law, political science, business or international studies.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012, political scientists had a mean annual income of $104,600, while area, ethnic and cultural studies professors earned $77,690. As of May 2012, management analysts and lawyers earned an average of $88,070 and $130,880 a year, respectively. The BLS also reports that employment opportunities for management analysts, political scientists and postsecondary teachers are expected to grow by faster-than-average rates nationwide between 2012 and 2022. Average growth in employment opportunities is projected for lawyers during the same 10-year period (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in European Cultural Studies?

Undergraduate Programs

A Bachelor of Arts in European Cultural Studies could be the right place to begin your education. The curriculum will likely be interdisciplinary and include classes from many different departments. Studies of Western, Central, Eastern and Mediterranean Europe may play a major role in an undergraduate curriculum. Course topics can include the study of European explorations and global relations, economics and European viewpoints. You may also take foreign language courses in French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian.

Graduate Programs

As a graduate student, you'll focus on a unique aspect of European culture, such as the relationship between Europe and Islam or the state of Russian economics after communism. Advanced coursework may cover topics in political economies, international economics, Cold War studies and European security. Program requirements include a passing score on comprehensive written and oral exams, as well as proficiency in French, German or another popular European language. Master's degree programs usually culminate in a written thesis; as a doctoral student, you'll also have to write and defend a dissertation.

Doctoral programs in European culture or studies are not widely available. As an alternative, you could enter a related program, like anthropology, and focus on the European topic of your choice.

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