Minor Requirements


The curriculum for the Minor in European Studies is divided into three components: 

Completion of the curriculum will involve a minimum of 15.0 credit hours of study and research (typically, but not always, fulfilled in five separate 3.0 credit hour segments). The parts of the curriculum can be completed in any sequence, except for the European Studies essay, which should be written during the student’s senior year. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is available to help students plan their completion of the program, but students should monitor their own progress by periodically running a Degree Audit.

Tools and Forms

Requirement 1: Elective Courses in European Studies

(Total Credit Hours = 9.0)

MES students must complete and pass at least three upper-level courses from two different subjects/departments. For a course to qualify as an MES elective it must clearly be related to European Studies, count for at least 3.0 credit hours, be graded with the normal grading system, be an upper-level course (though some exceptions apply), and be from an accepted subject/department. These courses can be taken either at Notre Dame’s main campus or at any European campus offered in arrangement with Study Abroad at Notre Dame International.

Courses taken as MES electives may not count toward any other major or minor. However, one MES course is allowed to double-count as a university or college requirement, but MES students should keep in mind that only one university or college requirement can double-count during their entire university career. Students who double-count a university or college requirement toward another minor may not double-count a different university or college requirement toward their MES curriculum.

Prior to registration for each term, students should consult the list of upcoming courses found on insideND or by using Class Search, looking for courses that carry the European Studies attribute (MESE). Students may also meet with the student coordinator regarding eligible courses.

If students have courses that they believe should qualify, but that do not carry the European Studies course attribute (MESE), they should first consult the MES Elective Criteria. If the course appears to meet all criteria, students should then contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Nanovic Institute with a course description and syllabus that demonstrate qualification. The DUS will then review the course material, and if the course is deemed acceptable, will take the appropriate steps with the Office of the Registrar to get the course added to the MES program.

Requirement 2: Additional Study of a European Language

(Total Credit Hours = 3.0)

MES students must take and pass at least one semester of a modern European language course at the Intermediate II level or above. Currently, acceptable languages for fulfilling this MES requirement include French, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Depending on a student's College or School affiliation, the required amount of language study for their majors will differ. For example, beginning in Fall 2018, freshmen who are enrolled in the College of Arts & Letters, must already take four courses to fulfill their Arts & Letters requirements and will therefore not need to complete any additional semesters of the same language to earn a minor in European Studies, assuming the language is European. Students from other colleges who wish to complete the MES curriculum should plan their schedules carefully in order to complete all the language study necessary to reach the four-semester mark.

Some students complete their European language requirement through participation in a summer language acquisition program sponsored by a unit at the University of Notre Dame. Examples include the Summer Language Abroad Grant Program coordinated by the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and the Language Study Grants offered to students through the Nanovic Institute. Students interested in completing their language requirement in this way should first discuss their idea with the MES student coordinator.

For more details on the college language requirements, see the degree requirements section of the College of Arts & Letters or contact the Arts & Letters Office for Undergraduate Studies.

Requirement 3: Capstone Essay on Europe Studies

(Total Credit Hours = 3.0)

MES students must complete a supervised essay in some subject area of European Studies. Students receive a standard letter grade for this essay, assigned by the same faculty member who supervises its completion. All essay grades are collected by Nanovic Institute and reviewed by the institute’s director, who then submits them to the Office of the Registrar for inclusion on the students’ transcripts.

For their essay, students may choose any topic of interest to them within the field of European Studies. Students are also free to choose any member of the Notre Dame faculty to direct their essay, though the Nanovic Institute recommends choosing an advisor from the institute’s List of Nanovic Fellows because of their established interest in European Studies. Both the chosen topic and faculty advisor must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies before permission for credit hour registration will be granted. Seniors must have their capstone topic decided and be registered for the course by the end of the third week of their capstone semester, at the latest.  MES students are also encouraged to apply for Nanovic Institute undergraduate grants to help with the research and travel costs associated with the writing of their essay.

Once their essay topics and advisors have been approved, the Nanovic Institute will grant MES seniors permission to register for the credit hours. Approved students must register for these directed essay credits when they register for their other senior classes. The current semester’s CRN for this “course” (EURO 48001—MES Research Capstone) can be found in the Hours of Instruction Booklet published by the Registrar’s Office or via Class Search.

Essay requirements—including due date, required length, and formatting specifications—and advice on researching and writing are available in the Capstone Essay Guidelines section. All students preparing the essay are strongly encouraged to review these guidelines with their essay director.