Nordic Graduate Program

Housed in GNS, the Scandinavian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers students the opportunity to explore the languages, literatures, cultures, societies, and arts of the Scandinavian countries. This interdisciplinary approach helps students to develop a wide range of abilities, from language fluency to critical thinking and analytical skills to effective communication skills. Our particular strengths lie in Old Norse and Medieval Studies, Folklore and Public Humanities, Film Studies, and Literary and Cultural Studies related to all the Nordic countries. Graduate students and faculty work closely together to craft a program of study that best suits our students’ professional goals. We have an excellent record of supporting our graduate students and are able to provide support for graduate student participation in national and international conferences.

For any questions regarding our graduate program please contact our Graduate Coordinator Mark Mears at

The GNS Nordic Graduate Program offers both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies.

We are currently accepting applications for admittance into the Program.

M.A. in Scandinavian Studies:

We offer an M.A. degree specializing in one of the following three fields:
(1) Literary and Cultural Studies
(2) Philology
(3) Area Studies

For admission and curricular requirements go to the UW Graduate Guide for M.A. in Scandinavian Studies.

Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies:

We offer at Ph.D. degree specializing in one of the following three fields:
(1) Literary and Cultural Studies
(2) Philology
(3) Folklore

For admission and curricular requirements go to the UW Graduate Guide for Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies.

Beginning M.A. and Ph.D. students should work out their program with the graduate coordinator, who will assist them in their choice of a major professor.  The basic requirements for all students entering the program correspond to the requirements for the MA degree in Scandinavian Studies with concentration in literature, area studies, or philology, as appropriate.

In addition to the general requirements, there are special course requirements for degree candidates in each of the areas of specialization. Undergraduate work may count in fulfillment of these requirements (and the requirements can sometimes be adjusted to take into consideration the preparation and needs of individual students).

The graduate coordinator, in consultation with the Nordic Program, will advise students applying to our Ph.D. program from outside as to the necessity of taking a qualifying examination. Students will be informed one way or another at the time of their admission. The qualifying exam is normally a one- to two-hour oral exam, and is normally administered during the second semester of the student’s residence; it will test the student broadly on matters of Scandinavian literature and culture.

Ph.D. Minor in Scandinavian Studies:

A prospective minor in the Scandinavian Studies Program must have a program approved in advance by the graduate advisor and is urged to discuss the entire doctoral program with this adviser at the earliest possible opportunity.

The following are departmental guidelines for a Ph.D. minor, though ultimately everything must be approved by the graduate advisor:
1. A minimum of 12 credits in Scandinavian Studies on the graduate level (including at least one seminar).
2. A reading proficiency in one Scandinavian language (including Old or Modern Icelandic) or in Finnish.

Deadline for financial funding consideration is January 2nd if you are applying for Fall admission.

Applicants for admission to this program are expected to have preparation roughly equivalent to an undergraduate major in Scandinavian Studies at UW-Madison and should preferably have taken three years of a Scandinavian language or be able to demonstrate (by examination) equivalent competence in one Scandinavian language (or Finnish). A GPA of 3.25 is required for admission; students with a GPA of 3.0 or above may be considered for admission on probation. Currently the Director of Graduate Studies is Dean Krouk.

Deadline for financial funding consideration is January 2nd if you are applying for Fall admission

Step 1: Submit your application online. When specifying “Intended Field Study,” select Scandinavian Studies.

Step 2: Materials required for the application include:

  1. Upload “Statement of Purpose” , also called “Reasons for Graduate Study” This should be approximately 1-3 pages in length explaining your scholarly interests in Scandinavian Studies. (Please follow the instructions found with the electronic application regarding uploads.)
  2. Upload copies of unofficial transcripts.
  3. Three recommendations from people who can speak to the candidate’s academic abilities and preparation for graduate school.
  4. Academic writing sample in English (a Nordic language would also be acceptable).
  5. Optional: GRE
    GRE scores are sent electronically from ETS – use institution code 1846.
  6. English proficiency requirements for international degree-seeking students:

Step 3: We will review your application and documents.

Watch your application status page through My UW for missing checklist items or additional information.  Activate your NetID in My UW to ensure continued processing of your application. Contact if you do not receive the email with instructions within two days of final submission of your application.

Please contact Mark Mears, the Graduate Coordinator, at or ph: (608)262-6764 if you have any questions about the application process.

The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) offers fellowships up to $23,000 (for a full year) and grants up to $5,000 (for one to three months) for proposed research projects in the Scandinavian countries. This scholarship is available to graduate students.

The Birgit Baldwin Fellowship in Scandinavian Studies is a grant to encourage the research and writing of dissertations for the PhD in topics concerned with Scandinavian (Nordic) literature or film that can most effectively be pursued in the archives and libraries of the Nordic countries. The stipend is $24,000 (payable in two installments) for travel and living expenses in the Nordic region for one academic year. The application deadline is December 1.

The Boren Scholarship is an NSEP grant for study of less commonly taught languages. The scholarship totals $8,000 for summer programs, $10,000 for single semester programs, and $20,000 for a full academic year. Applications are typically due in February. This scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

The Brittingham Viking Organization offers three full scholarships to American students studying in Scandinavia: the Madison-Ehrnrooth scholarship to Finland, the Madison Middelboe-Kellner Scholarship to Denmark, and the Madison Oslo Scholarship to Norway.

The Cultural Agreements program, funded by the Danish government, offers tuition (and room & board) scholarships for summer language courses in Danish. The application deadline is typically in March. This scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

The Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) offers a number of various scholarships ranging in value from $250 to $10,000. These scholarships are available for the summer, fall, and spring semesters and operate on a rolling deadline.

Diversity Abroad & the Institute of International Education Benjamin both offer the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for non-traditional study abroad students and projects. This scholarship is available to undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding.

The Foundation for Global Scholars offers scholarships of approximately $1,000 to $3,000 for general study abroad programs, either summer or academic year programs.

The Department of Education offers Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS)scholarships through UW-Madison. This scholarship is for study of less commonly taught languages. For a full academic year, the scholarship includes $10,000 towards tuition (with an additional $5,000 stipend) for undergraduate students and a $15,000 stipend for graduate students. Participants in summer programs receive $5,000 towards tuition and a $2,500 stipend. Applications are typically due in mid-February.

The Fulbright Foundation offers grants of approximately $25,000 for full-year research projects abroad. The online application is typically open until mid-October. These grants are available to graduate students and recent graduates.

The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) awards scholarships of up to $10,000 ($5,000 per semester, $1,250 for summer programs) to students from traditionally underrepresented groups. FEA also offers dedicated scholarships for specific demographics. The application deadline is typically in mid-January. These scholarships are available to undergraduate students.

The Gudrun Gytel Fund offers support for students studying in Denmark for the fall or spring semester or for a full academic year. Applications are considered year-round, though applications for spring semester study are due October 1 and applications for fall semester and yearlong study are due April 1.

The Leifur Eríksson Foundation offers a scholarship of up to $25,000 to students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who wish to study and/or conduct research in Iceland and to students who are Icelandic citizens or permanent residents who wish to study and/or conduct research in the U.S. Applications are often due in mid-December. This scholarship is available to graduate students.

The ScanDesign Foundation offers scholarships to UW-Madison students studying abroad in Denmark for a semester, academic year, or summer term through any UW-approved study abroad program in Denmark, as well as to Danish student on exchange at UW-Madison. UW-Madison student applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applicants from Denmark must be Danish citizens.

The Nordic Program offers Travel Grants of varying amounts each year to its undergraduate and graduate students.

The Upper Midwest Rebild Scholarship Corporation offers scholarships from $1,000 to $3,000 for students studying in Denmark.

The Barbara Morgridge Distinguished Fellowship is available for graduate students at the dissertation stage.

Vera Cronor Grants. Money is available to support travel to conferences for graduate students in the Nordic unit. A call for applications goes out annually in the early fall.

Students interested in learning more about graduate program funding can go to the UW Graduate School website or contact the GNS graduate coordinator.


Grievance Procedures

If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the University offers several avenues for resolving the grievance.

Procedures for proper accounting of student grievances:

  1. The student is encouraged to speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed to see if a situation can be resolved at this level.
  2. Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact their unit’s Director of Graduate Studies to discuss the grievance, who will facilitate problem resolution through informal channels and facilitate any complaints or issues of students. The first attempt is to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. If students are reluctant to approach their Director of Graduate Studies, they may consult with the unit head or the Department Chair. Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. University resources for sexual harassment, discrimination, disability accommodations, and other related concerns can be found on the UW Office of Equity and Diversity website:
  3. Other campus resources include
  4. If an issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student can submit the grievance to the Director of Graduate Studies and the Department Chair in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.
  5. On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Department Chair to manage the grievance. The program faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance.
  6. The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Department Chair will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received.
  7. At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is not satisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the Graduate School or College of Letters and Science.
  8. Documentation of the grievance will be stored for at least 7 years. Significant grievances that set a precedent will be stored indefinitely.

The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the school/college level. These policies are described in the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures:

Reporting Misconduct And Crime

The campus has established policies governing student conduct, academic dishonesty, discrimination, and harassment/abuse as well as specific reporting requirements in certain cases. If you have a grievance regarding unfair treatment toward yourself, please refer to the procedures and resources identified above. If you learn about, observe, or witness misconduct or other wrongdoing you may be required to report that misconduct or abuse. Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to consult with your advisor, Director of Graduate Studies, or other campus resources.

Research Misconduct Reporting

The University of Wisconsin–Madison strives to foster the highest scholarly and ethical standards among its students, faculty, and staff. Graduate students and research associates are among the most vulnerable groups when reporting misconduct because their source of financial support and their progress in their careers may be at risk by raising questions of wrongdoing. They are also often the closest witnesses to wrongdoing when it occurs and therefore must be appropriately protected from the consequences of reporting wrongdoing and be informed of their rights. Please find full details at

Academic Misconduct Reporting

If you know that a fellow student is cheating on an exam or other academic exercise, notify your professor, teaching assistant, or proctor of the exam. As a part of the university community, you are expected to uphold the standards of the university. Also, consider how your classmate’s dishonesty may affect the overall grading curve and integrity of the program.

Sexual Assault Reporting

UW–Madison prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. These offenses violate UW–Madison policies and are subject to disciplinary action. Sanctions can range from reprimand to expulsion from UWMadison. In many cases, these offenses also violate Wisconsin criminal law and could lead to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Students who experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking have many options and services available to them on and off campus, including mental health counseling, victim advocacy, and access to the criminal and campus disciplinary systems. For a list a confidential support and reporting options, please visit

Faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and others who work directly with students at UW–Madison are required by law to report firsthand knowledge or disclosures of sexual assault to university officials for statistical purposes. In addition, disclosures made to certain university employees, such as academic advisors or university administrators, may be forwarded to the campus Title IX coordinator for a response. For more information, please visit

Child Abuse Reporting

As a UW–Madison employee (under Wisconsin Executive Order #54), you are required to immediately report child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement if, in the course of employment, the employee observes an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, or learns of an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, and the employee has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur. Volunteers working for UW–Madison sponsored programs or activities are also expected to report suspected abuse or neglect. Please find full details at (midway down, right hand side)

Reporting and Response to Incidents of Bias/Hate

The University of Wisconsin–Madison values a diverse community where all members are able to participate fully in the Wisconsin Experience. Incidents of bias/hate affecting a person or group create a hostile climate and negatively impact the quality of the Wisconsin Experience for community members. UW–Madison takes such incidents seriously and will investigate and respond to reported or observed incidents of bias/hate. Please find full details at