|Your higher education can influence your choices and options for the rest of your life. In order to get the most out of this education, choose a school that you feel will provide a strong foundation for your future. Finding the right school can be daunting, but thinking about your interests and potential career goals can help start this process.
Many schools in the U.S. hold strong ties to Norway. These schools are likely to have Norwegian foreign exchange students as well as connections to study abroad opportunities throughout Scandinavia. The following colleges and universities offer Norwegian and/or Scandinavian studies programs for those interested in learning more about the history, language, and culture of Norway.
Colleges Offering Norwegian/Nordic Studies
With a student body of over 4,000, Augsburg College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors in the liberal arts and sciences as well as graduate degrees in business, education, leadership, nursing, physician assistant studies, and social work. Augsburg emphasizes direct, personal experience as a crucial part of education. Augsburg students are encouraged to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Augsburg welcomes students from all faith backgrounds. In order to provide undergraduate education opportunities to students with diverse lifestyles, Augsburg offers traditional weekday classes as well as evening and weekend classes.
Recognized as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, St. Olaf College offers an academically rigorous education with a vibrant faith tradition as a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. St. Olaf prepares students to become responsible citizens of the world by fostering the development of mind, body, and spirit. Widely known for its programs in mathematics, natural sciences, and music, St. Olaf also provides dynamic opportunities for interdisciplinary study. Committed to global education, more than two-thirds of its students participate in study abroad programs. Over the years, St. Olaf College has been a national leader among liberal arts colleges in producing Rhodes Scholars, Fulbright Fellows, and Peace Corps volunteers.
Located in Grand Forks in the heart of the Red River Valley, the University of North Dakota is one of the region’s largest and most diversified institutions of higher learning. UND has been the top U.S. destination for Norwegian college students for more than a decade. Students number about 15,000 including more than 2,500 graduate students, 250 law students, and 240 medical students and come from every state in the union and more than 50 nations. With more than 200 fields of study, including internationally recognized programs in aviation, aerospace, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, UND has a vast array of educational choices. UND has several longstanding exchanges with universities in Norway for undergraduates and medical and law students. Between 75 and 100 Norwegian students study at UND each year.
Schools Offering Scandinavian Studies
Students at Concordia are inspired to change and be changed by the world. They benefit from an academically challenging, yet welcoming and supportive learning environment. The college has an enrollment of about 2,700 students and offers 61 majors and 12 preprofessional programs. The college has program distinctions in global education, music and the sciences, especially premed and other health professions. The new Offutt School of Business enhances several majors with a curriculum that emphasizes ethical leadership and entrepreneurship. The college ranks in the top 12 percent of colleges for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates. The medical school acceptance rate for Concordia graduates is 88 percent; law school acceptance rate is above 90 percent.
Since the establishment of Concordia College in 1891 by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants, the Nordic culture and lifestyle have become an integral part of the college identity. Today, Concordia’s Norwegian and Scandinavian studies program features a wonderful balance of history, culture, and modern-day issues facing Scandinavia taught by faculty with a passion for both the languages and the cultures of the Nordic region. The program offers a major in Scandinavian Studies and minors in Norwegian or Scandinavian Studies. In addition, students can major in International Business or Global Studies and choose to concentrate in Scandinavian Studies. Education students interested in teaching language can earn a teaching license in Norwegian, grades K-12. Along with offering a diverse array of majors and minors, Concordia’s Scandinavian Studies program also boasts a lively Scandinavian Club that holds at least one event a month and has traveled across the Midwest to participate in festivals, concerts, and other gatherings. In addition, the program offers a variety of study abroad opportunities to Norway and Scandinavia. Abroad experiences can be tailored to a student’s interests and needs in language, academics, and length of stay. Whether on campus in Moorhead or 240 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the world’s most northernmost university in Tromsø, Norway, Concordia’s Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies program can take you where you want to go.
PLU’s Scandinavian Area Studies Program
Pacific Lutheran University offers more than 3,500 students a unique blend of academically rigorous liberal arts and professional programs that prepare them for a lifetime of success both in careers and in service to others. A full range of liberal arts academic programs are offered such as psychology, history and the natural sciences with professional study in business, education and movement studies, nursing and social work. Master’s degrees are offered six fields. PLU is committed to developing in all students an understanding of the intercultural and intellectual richness of the world. More than 40 percent of students spend time studying abroad.
Founded in 1868, the UC Berkeley is the world’s premier public university, boasting a distinguished faculty (with 21 Nobel laureates to date), stellar research libraries, and more than 350 academic programs. At the heart of Berkeley’s excellence are its 2,000 faculty members, dispersed among 130 academic units and more than 80 interdisciplinary research units. Berkeley is home to more than 25,000 undergraduates and more than 10,000 graduate students and produces more PhDs annually than any other American university. It ranks at or near the top in fields ranging from engineering and the core sciences to the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Its Department of Scandinavian teaches language and literature classes in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Finnish, offering majors in all four areas.
Founded in 1919, UCLA is a world-renowned public research university offering more than 120 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate programs. With 39,000 students, UCLA offers a wide variety of academic programs including humanities, arts, and social and physical sciences. UCLA is known for its research projects and the UCLA Health System. The UCLA Extension provides continuing education for adult professionals, both on-campus and through an online distance-learning program. The Scandinavian Section, started in 1972, collaborates with a sister department at UC Berkeley to provide education about the culture, history, and language of Nordic countries.
With almost 53,000 enrolled students, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities offers more than 135 undergraduate majors and 150 graduate degree programs. Among these majors and programs are many opportunities to work in an interdisciplinary setting. As a leading public research university, UMTC devotes over two million square feet to research facilities and laboratories. UMTC has ties to hundreds of study abroad opportunities, allowing students to experience the world and learn in a global setting. The Department of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch provides instruction in six languages including Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish.
The University of Oregon, founded in 1876, is the state’s flagship institution for higher learning. UO students learn to see the world differently, earning credit while traveling across the globe and attending classes alongside students from all fifty states and dozens of countries. With small class sizes, it’s easy to connect with faculty members and peers, and with a vast array of opportunities, students can take advantage of the resources from nearly 300 comprehensive academic programs and hundreds of student organizations. At the UO, students belong to a community dedicated to making a difference in the world.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has long been recognized as one of America’s top universities. A public, land-grant institution, UW-Madison offers a complete spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs and student activities. Spanning 933 acres along Lake Mendota, the university has about 42,000 students. UW-Madison ranks as one of the world’s most prolific research universities, placing third among American public universities for research expenditures. Driven by a desire to explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems, research at UW-Madison isn’t conducted only by faculty, staff and graduate students. Undergraduate research opportunities in the sciences, arts and humanities also are fostered, making research a campus-wide enterprise.
Schools Offering Both Norwegian and Scandinavian Studies
Norwegian immigrants founded Luther College in 1861 in the northeast Iowa town of Decorah, and the college has become an undergraduate liberal arts institution of 2,500 students. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Luther welcomes students of all backgrounds. Its signature Paideia program, an interdisciplinary course series, integrates learning and builds community through shared academic experience. The commitment and quality of the 178 full-time faculty (90 percent with a terminal degree) and Luther’s 12:1 student-faculty ratio consistently produce nationally competitive award winners. More than 75% of students study abroad. Luther’s mission statement emphasizes faith, leadership, and community service.
The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast and is one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The UW’s Department of Scandinavian Studies, established in 1909 by the state Legislature, offers courses in the languages, history, politics and folklore of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and is the home of the Baltic Studies Program.