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Graduate Certificate in European Studies

We offer a European Studies Certificate at the Graduate and Undergraduate level which reflects our efforts to expanding curriculum innovations and providing students with an opportunity to gain further specialization. The European Studies Certificate is entering its third year on campus, and has led many students to combine their study abroad, language, internship, and capstone papers into a focus on European Studies. Registration for the certificate is through your academic advisor during your first year as a graduate student and during your freshman and sophomore year as an undergraduate. The certificate is open, by application, to all students, upon registration and the certificate if completed is awarded upon graduation. A list of accepted courses is also available here.


A European studies certificate provides an opportunity for students at the graduate and undergraduate level to coordinate their courses around themes or regional expertise related to Europe. This certificate is open to students in all majors and disciplines provided that they register and complete the academic requirements. Offering a wide range of academic and professional courses on the region, the certificate is designed so that students can demonstrate substantive knowledge about specific aspects of European culture, history, politics, economics and society, as well as demonstrate language competency and complete an experiential learning experience such as an internship or study abroad that directly relates to Europe. American University has over 35 faculty members engaged in research and teaching on Eastern and Western Europe across all schools and departments. A European studies certificate builds on our existing strength in the AU Abroad programs in Europe, as well as other AU special courses and programs offered overseas that are supervised by AU faculty. All students completing the requirements will receive university recognition in the form of a European studies certificate.

A certificate awarded by American University's School of International Service is a symbol of professional achievement widely recognized by international organizations, non-profit agencies, corporate and government employers.

Classes are offered every spring, summer, and fall. The certificate program requires 15 hours of approved graduate level course work. Up to 12 of the certificate credits are transferable to a master's degree program for which you will have laid a strong foundation.


Open only to students enrolled in an SIS MA program. Applicants must submit their official transcripts along with a one page statement of purpose. International students whose native language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Languate (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless they hold a degree from a U.S.-accredited institution (before enrollment at SIS).  The minimum TOEFL score for full admissions consideration is 100 on the Internet-based test (IBT), 250 on the computer-based test, or 600 on the paper-based test.  The minimum IELTS score is 7.0.

Certificate Requirements

  • 18 credit hours of approved course work with at least 9 credit hours at the 600-level or above with grades of B or better. 
  • Grades of C or D in certificate program courses are not accepted toward the fulfillment of certificate requirements, although these grades will be included in the calculation of the GPA. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in certificate courses in order to be awarded a certificate. Students in certificate programs must take a minimum of 6 credit hours during each 12-month period and complete the certificate in four years. International students must enroll in 9 credit hours each semester (except for summer). A maximum of 3 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university may be applied toward the certificate as transfer credit.
  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language: Research competence in English and another language relevant to the student’s career objectives must be certified.
  • Study abroad or approved internship with a European focus 
  • Capstone: successful completion of a 3 credit-hour European studies research project conducted under the supervision of a faculty member associated with the European studies certificate program. A Substantial Research Paper (SRP) or graduate independent study may be used to fulfill this requirement. 

Course Requirements

  • 18 credit hours of approved European studies related graduate course work including study abroad or approved internship with a European focus, and a 3 credit hour capstone. Students should take at least one course outside of their main area, discipline, or concentration.