Certificate of Proficiency

To be eligible for admission to the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society a student must successfully complete EPS 300, European Politics and Society in the 20th Century. Typically this is done by the end of sophomore year. A student who meets the requirements of the program and of his or her home department and has maintained satisfactory standing will receive a Certificate of Proficiency in addition to the A.B. or B.S.E. degree.

Certificate applicant worksheet

A student choosing to pursue a Certificate of Proficiency in Contemporary European Politics and Society must complete the normal requirements in their department as well as the following requirements of the program. The proposed course of study must be approved each term by the director.

  • EPS 300, 301 or 302.

  • Core Courses: Four other courses from the list of core courses that have an emphasis on European politics and society. Of these, one must be from among the offerings in history and one must be in the social sciences. Other courses may be approved by the director.

  • Language:  Successful completion of a 200- or 300- level course in a European language or demonstrated fluency in a European language (test administered by the program). Any national language used in a European country may be used to satisfy the requirement.

  • Colloquium: Participation in a senior thesis colloquium sponsored by the program.

  • Independent Work: Senior thesis in the student’s home department related to contemporary European politics and society. Students majoring in departments where a senior thesis on modern Europe is not possible may petition the director to have another piece of independent research meet this requirement. 

Independent Work

When feasible, students will submit senior theses on a contemporary European politics and society topic within their departmental concentration using foreign language materials. Students majoring in departments where a senior thesis on modern Europe is not possible may petition the director to have another piece of independent research meet this requirement.

Language Requirements

Expertise in a national language used in any European country is an important component of this program. Students are expected to have sufficient linguistic competence to use research materials in the foreign language for their senior thesis research. Native speakers and students with previous training in any of the languages of Europe can fulfill the language requirement by passing a placement test.

Study Abroad

Study abroad at a European university is very strongly encouraged by the program. Living overseas is a critical part of gaining a perspective on a foreign society and in developing language fluency. Princeton participates in the Berlin Consortium, has linkages with the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques-Institut d'études (Sciences Po) and Oxford University, and also allows students to study at many other European universities.

The program allows students to count up to two of the courses they take at a European university toward the certificate requirement if those courses pertain to modern European politics, economics, sociology, or twentieth century history.

For more information on study abroad and internship abroad programs contact the Office of International Programs.

Academic Year Programs in Europe
Summer Programs in Europe
Global Seminars

Certificate Courses

The undergraduate courses of interest to EPS certificate students are offered by an array of departments. Some courses, not listed below, may also qualify for the certificate. Please contact Program Manager Kathleen Allen with any questions.

Course descriptions are available in the current Undergraduate Announcement, which can be found online at the Office of the Registrar.

Course Offerings

Fall 2014

EPS 302/ECS 302 (HA) View Syllabus
Landmarks of European Identity  (Gateway course for the Certificate in Contemporary European Politics and Society)
ANT 425 (SA)     
Post-War French Social Theory
CHV 350 / HIS 357 / POL 469 (HA)
The Age of Rights: Nature, Enlightenment, and Revolution

COM 362/CHW 32/ECS 362 (EM)
Stolen Years:  Youth under the Nazis in World War II

ECO 372/EPS 342 (SA)    
Topics in Country and Region Economics:  Economics of the European Union and Economies in Europe

FRE 215 (LA)      
France Today: Culture, Politics, and Society

GER 207 (LA)     
Studies in German Language and Style:  Society, Politics, and Culture in Germany, 1890-1945
HIS 365 (HA)     
Europe in the 20th Century

ITA 209 (LA)       
Italy on Film:  Political and Cultural Landscape
POL 403 (SA)     
Architecture and Democracy

Spring 2014

ECS 327/GER 329/HUM 327  
Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
ECS 380/MUS 380/JDS 380  
Music and European Jewry

ECS 391/COM 391/JDS 391  
Holocaust Testimony

EPS 300/POL 384  
European Politics & Society in 20th Century
FRE 215  
 France Today: Culture, Politics, and Society
FRE 527  
Seminar in French Civilization: The Heroism of Modern Life

GER 208 
German Lang: Society, Politics & Culture

GER 210 
Introduction to German Philosophy
GER 306 
German Intellectual History: Cultural Theory of the Frankfurt School

GER 307 
Topics in German Culture and Society: Was ist deutsch?

GER 324 
Topics in Germanic Literatures: 1914: Masks, Violence, and Spectatorship in the Shadow of WWI
HIS 341   
Between Resistance & Collaboration: The Second World War in Europe
HIS 366  
Germany since 1806
ITA 319   
The Literature of Gastronomy

ITA 401/COM 431
Seminar in Italian Literature & Culture: Economic Politics and Organized Crime

POL 305/SOC 302/GER 312  
Radical Political Thought


List of Certificate Courses

Below is a list of courses that fulfill certificate requirement and reflect the breadth of disciplines that correspond with the study of contemporary European politics and society. Not every course is offered every year; some may be one-time-only offerings.

French and Italian
FRE 222 The Making of Modern France: French Literature, Culture, and Society from 1789 to the Present
FRE 330 Topics in French Culture and History
FRE 357 Literature, Culture, and Politics
FRE 367 Topics in 19th- and 20th-Century French Literature and Culture
ITA 309 Topics in Contemporary Italian Civilization

207 Studies in German Language and Style: Society, Politics, and Culture in Germany, 1890–1945
208 Studies in German Language and Style: Contemporary Society, Politics, and Culture
307 Topics in Modern German Culture and Society
309 Literature, Philosophy, and Politics in the Weimar Republic

212 Europe since 1700
281 Approaches to European History
341 Between Resistance and Collaboration: The Second World War in Europe
351 France, 1815 to the Present
354 Intellectual History of Europe since 1880
357 Eastern Europe since 1815
362 The Soviet Empire
363 Mediterranean Europe: 16th to 20th Century
364 International Economic History in the 20th Century
365 Europe in the 20th Century
366 Germany since 1806
370 Britain 1815–1945: Dominance, Democracy, and Decline
*452 Communism and Dissent in Eastern Europe

Courses satisfying the social science requirement:

371 Democracy in Europe
372 Political Economy of Western Europe
373 Central and East European Politics
375 Politics after Communism
389 Theory and Practice of International Diplomacy


*One-time-only topic

Library Collections
European Union Documents

Related Princeton Programs
European Union Program
Program in European Cultural Studies

European Central Bank
European University Institute



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