European Studies

Find out what you'll learn in a European studies degree program. Explore career options related to this field, and get outlook and salary info for some of the many jobs you could pursue.

Are European Studies for Me?

Career Overview

European studies programs are interdisciplinary, drawing on the social sciences and humanities and focusing on the history, art, literature, politics, law, business, economics and languages of the countries of Europe from their beginnings to the present time, from the study of ancient Rome to the formation of the European Union. According to the College Board, these programs are vast in scope, but generally allow you to plan your own major according to your individual interests and career goals (www.collegeboard.com).

With a bachelor's degree in European studies, you may pursue a graduate degree in international law, international relations, broadcast journalism, government administration, cultural anthropology or teaching. You may also get to work in a marketing or public relations job. Other possibilities include working as an exporter/importer, international marketing representative, foreign correspondent, translator or interpreter. Mastery of a second language may give you an advantage over other job seekers.

Career Information

The employment outlook and earning potential varies by career field. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2012, the median annual wage for reporters, broadcast news analysts and correspondents was $37,090 (www.bls.gov); jobs in this field are expected to decline 13% from 2012-2022. Interpreters and translators earned a median annual wage of $45,430 in 2012, per the BLS. Jobs in this field are projected to increase 46% from 2012-2022, which is much faster than average.

The number of jobs for post-secondary area, ethnic and cultural studies teachers is projected to grow by 16% during the 2012-2022 decade, according to the BLS. The median pay for this career was $67,360 in 2012.

How Can I Work in European Studies?

Education

A bachelor's degree in European studies may be a springboard to an advanced degree in a number of fields. European studies programs include courses such as the politics of the European Union, history of medieval Europe, ancient Rome, Russian history and culture, French cultural studies, European film studies and European-focused literature. You'll take classes in areas such as architecture, international relations, political economy, anthropology, and philosophy. These degree programs typically include a foreign language proficiency requirement, in addition to time spent studying abroad in the European country of your choice.

As a graduate student, you may also choose to focus your studies on a particular time period, such as the 18th century. You'll generally be required to complete a thesis to graduate from most master's degree programs in European studies. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs and Ph.D. minors in European studies are also available and have similar requirements, but also can require passing a series of doctoral level exams and the writing of a dissertation. There are Ph.D. programs that also require proficiency in other languages, such as French or German.

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