The certificate in EU Studies is composed of five courses that total a minimum of 15 semester hours of academic credit. To earn the certificate, students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in program courses upon completion of the program. An official certificate is awarded by a student’s home institution for satisfactory fulfillment of the curriculum. Most institutions also recognize the accomplishment on the permanent transcripts of students participating in the academic track.


The student curriculum guide that outlines the program’s requirements can be downloaded by clicking here.

The curriculum has three mandatory components and one option:

A. Introduction to the EU. The first course that should be taken in the program.
B. Multidisciplinary Menu. Three courses selected from a menu of choices.
C. Capstone Seminar. The last course taken that unifies the program’s curriculum.
D. Areas of Distinction. Optional distinctions for a practicum experience (internship or study abroad) foreign language training, or honors thesis.


A: Introduction to the EU

This course constitutes the program’s core offering and can be taught at the level (1000-3000) appropriate to an institution’s status and discipline preference. The course is structured to accomplish five learning outcomes which are measured by students proving knowledge of:

  • the historical origins and development of the EU

  • the EU’s governing institutions

  • the EU’s policy-making processes

  • current EU policies and issues

  • EU-USA relations

Although counted only once toward satisfying the certificate’s requirements, a student taking the introductory course at the 1000 or 2000 level is not precluded from enrolling in the course at the 3000 level.


B. Multidisciplinary Menu

Each institution maintains an approved “menu” of courses that satisfy the certificate’s requirements. A student must complete three courses from this menu distributed among at least two different discipline areas: Social Sciences, Humanities & Fine Arts, Business & Economics, and Natural & Health Sciences. No more than one course can be taken at the 1000-2000 level. This requirement is waived for courses taken in a study abroad experience or EU on-line course. Students may substitute an internship or thesis for up to two multidisciplinary courses. A course qualifies for the multidisciplinary menu if it meets any of the following three criteria:

  • it deals substantially with a particular aspect of the EU or European integration;

  • it deals substantially with the impact or consequences of the EU or European integration;

  • it has a comparative scope, with at least twenty-five percent focused on the EU.

A course, even if relevant, cannot be included in the menu until approved according to the program’s guidelines.


C. Capstone Seminar

A 4000-level seminar serves as a capstone experience and should ideally be the last course taken in the certificate program. The course has three learning objectives:

(1) to update students on EU developments and reinforce their general knowledge of the EU;(2) to provide in-depth knowledge of important EU issues; and

(3) to allow students to conduct intensive research on EU-related topics.


D. Areas of Distinction

In addition to acknowledging competence in the European Union generally, the certificate also highlights special achievements by providing a notation of “distinction” in three areas:

  • practicum experience

  • foreign language proficiency (two courses at the 3000-4000 level);

  • composition of a thesis.

The practicum experience pertaining to the EU must be performed either in the form of an overseas visit or an internship. The overseas option is broadly defined and can be accommodated by a wide range of activities, including study or research abroad. The same flexibility applies to the internship, which can be served domestically or internationally. A student’s specific practicum experience must be approved by the program’s campus representative.

A distinction in foreign language must be earned in a European language approved by the program’s campus representative as appropriate to the certificate’s objectives. A student with prior language skills can earn a distinction by successful completion of an examination demonstrating competence equivalent to the 3000 level. The exam is administered at the student’s home institution.

The thesis can be written anytime during the final year of study. It is supervised by a committee composed of three faculty members who represent at least two different academic disciplines. Faculty from any institution participating in the program are eligible to serve on the committee. The student designates one member as thesis director.

The thesis topic must address the EU in some significant way and must be approved by the committee. The format and content of the thesis must adhere to the program’s style guidelines. The members of the thesis committee vote on whether to “pass” or “fail” the student at the conclusion of an oral defense. A “pass” vote must be unanimous. If one negative vote is recorded, the student is given an opportunity to revise the thesis; the course is failed if not obtaining a unanimous “pass” vote on the second oral exam.

The thesis course is automatically failed when a student receives two “fail” votes on the first oral exam. After a successful oral defense, the thesis director awards a letter grade. Credit is assigned in the manner determined by the student’s institution. This option can be used to fulfill an institution’s honors and/or departmental thesis requirements; modifications can occur in the thesis regulations with the consent of the program’s campus representative but only where the modification is needed to accommodate institutional or departmental requirements.

When concluded, the program’s curriculum ensures that the certificate contains sufficient rigor and depth to validate a student as qualified in the field of European Union studies.