University of Wisconsin–Madison

Nordic Philology MA and PhD

Philology MA and PhD

The purpose of this line of study is to give students a thorough knowledge of the history of the Nordic languages (Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish), Old Norse-Icelandic language and literature, as well as Scandinavian paleography, and to enhance the students’ competence in their primary Nordic language(s). 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).

See also the Graduate Resources Page and The Graduate School home page for more information on applying.

MA in Philology:

The following are departmental guidelines for a philology specialization, though ultimately everything must be approved by the graduate advisor:

1. 30 graduate credits, 16 in residence;
2. Advanced competency in a modern Scandinavian Language; if the modern Scandinavian Language is Icelandic, a working knowledge of Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish is required;
3. Minimal competency (e.g. ETS score of 525) in German or another research language approved by the department;
4. A comprehensive written and oral examination;
5. Scand. St. 401: Contemporary Scandinavian Languages
6. Scand St: 407: Old Norse and Scand St. 408: Old Norse II,
7. Scand St. 410: Introduction to Scandinavian Linguistics;
8. Scand St. 414: History of the Scandinavian Languages I: Proto- to Common
Scandinavian, or Scand St. 415: History of the Scandinavian Languages II: 
Standard Languages, or Scand St. 510: Topics in Scandinavian Linguistics;
9. Scand St. 511: Old Norse Paleography and Philology, or Scand St. 409 Survey 
of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature;
10. A course that includes research methods and bibliography.

PhD in Philology:

1. A minimum of 21 credits beyond the M.A. degree (16 in residence), including at least two seminars. In ordinary circumstances, graduate students entering the program with a B.A. will be required to take the M.A. before they can proceed to the Ph.D.;
2. A Ph.D. minor of 10-12 credits in another field;
3. Scand St. 407 and Scand St. 408: Old Norse I and II;
4. Scand St. 511: Old Norse Paleography and Philology;
5. Scand St. 414 or Scand St. 415: History of the Scandinvian Languages I and II;
6. Scand St. 409: Survey of Old Norce-Icelandic Literature;
7. Either minimal satisfactory competence (e.g., an ETS score of 525) in German and another research language approved by the department,
OR advanced competency (e.g., an ETS score of 675) in German or another research language approved by the department;
8. A written preliminary examination taken no later than one year before the student expects to receive the degree: A 20-25 page written dissertation prospectus, completed, presented, and approved by the candidate’s chair and committee as a component of the preliminary examination;
9. A dissertation.