European Studies BA
European Studies is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on Europe's rich cultural legacies and its ongoing contributions to the modern world. Designed for students who are particularly drawn to European history, culture, politics, and languages, this highly flexible degree allows students to complete classes in everything from medieval art and literature to EU-era politics and economics. By receiving training in a range of disciplines, students develop a strong understanding of European history, culture, and current affairs, and marketable skills as clear writers, careful thinkers, perceptive readers, and global citizens.
Demonstrate advanced factual knowledge of European geography, history, politics, and cultures.
Show proficiency in analyzing and interpreting specific European topics at an in-depth level using major theories, concepts, and ideas from the core European Studies disciplines (history, political science, and the humanities).
Develop the intellectual curiosity and habits of thought that will lead to life-long learning and continued investment in European history, literature, culture, languages, and current affairs.
Acquire advanced international and intercultural competency through coursework in international studies, habitual reading of European and global news, regular attendance at Kennedy Center lectures, and meaningful study abroad and international internship experiences.
Demonstrate the ability to read and communicate, both orally and in writing, in a European language besides English.
Evidence of Learning
- Compare scores of new and graduating majors on a 40-question exam testing their knowledge of European geography, history, politics, and culture. [Learning Outcome #1]
- Analyze formal faculty surveys measuring European Studies majors' analytical, writing, research, and theoretical skills. [Learning Outcomes #1 and #2]
- Hold biennial assessment retreats in which a faculty committee analyzes papers and exams from EUROP 200, EUROP 490R, and other frequently taken courses for evidence of developing competence and knowledge over the course of the major. [Learning Outcomes #1 and #2]
- Collect and analyze students' grades in upper-division language classes and their performance on oral proficiency exams. [Learning Outcome #3]
- Survey pre-2002 alumni about their ongoing engagement with European cultures and issues and their utilization of their degree. [Learning Outcome #4]
- Track graduating students' participation rates in study abroad and internship programs and their non-curricular (missions, etc.) experiences in European countries. [Learning Outcome #5]
- Exit interviews and focus groups for graduating seniors.
- Alumni surveys.
- Reports from international internship providers, direct enrollment programs, and employers about our students' language preparation.
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
The European Studies program is coordinated by a faculty member from the College of Humanities, who works with an Executive Committee of 8-10 Europeanists from across campus to review curriculum, assessment, and other initiatives. Most of the assessment of individual courses occurs at the department level since the program has no faculty and few courses of its own. Program-level assessment is largely the responsibility of the faculty coordinator.