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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jul 25, 2024
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Central European Studies Certificate

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Central European Studies is dedicated to exploring one of Europe’s most diverse and dynamic regions since 1800. Close to twenty nations exist today between the rivers Rhine and Dnepr, and between the Baltic and the Adriatic Seas. It is the place where all European language groups and religions intersect with each other. The region made its mark on European and global history through its enormous cultural and intellectual creativity in the past 200 years, but also as the focal point of two world wars and ethnic violence of an unprecedented scale. It is the place the Cold War divided into east and west and where the two halves of Europe are growing together again ever since.

The Central European Studies Certificate serves students who are interested in exploring the specific experiences of Central European societies. This includes the formation and transformation of regional identifications, migration and its effects on societies, national mythmaking and collective memory in the context of national and ethnic diversity and a history of exceptional violence, as well as processes of European integration in the region most affected by Europe’s Cold War division. Given that these processes play out in a great variety of forms - be it in politics, social movements, literature, art, architecture, or in music - the interdisciplinary nature of the certificate provides an appropriate intellectual and academic framework.

Language Courses:

Two years (four semesters), or equivalent, of any language relevant to the Central Europe, including Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Bulgarian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Slovak, and Ukrainian.

Central European Studies Content Courses:

Five Central European Studies content courses (15 credits) are required. One of them must be the core course for the program, HIST 0200 - Between Kafka and Hitler: How Central Europe Shaped the Modern World.

Two of the courses may overlap with the student’s major or other credentials. Two of the courses must be at the 1000 level and students must earn a C or better in classes counting toward the certificate.

To reflect an engagement with Central Europe’s diversity, the required courses beyond the core course must address topics related to at least two Central European ethnic, national or linguistic cultures.

Electronic Portfolio:

Additionally, for purposes of assessment, students will be required to produce an electronic portfolio upon completion of the certificate. Building on a narrative that explains the connection between the classes used to complete the requirements, students may include papers or projects developed as class assignments, observations from study abroad, and insights gained from pre-professional experiences such as internships and informational interviews. The portfolio can also serve as part of an online resumé, highlighting a student’s experiences, skills and interests.

These requirements match those of numerous other certificate programs offered in UCIS, including the West European Studies, Asian Studies, Transatlantic, and Russian and East European Studies Certificate programs.

The new core course, HIST 0200 - Between Kafka and Hitler: How Central Europe Shaped the Modern World, is being offered for the first time in the Fall of 2021. Dr. Gregor Thum has designed it so students will explore the following themes related to Central Europe:
Empire, borderland and diversity
Migration and the transformation of society
Nationalism, mass violence and collective memory
Democracy, authoritarianism and contested culture in Central Europe
Central Europe’s reintegration after the cold war
“Central Europa”, “Mitteleuropa”, “East Central Europe”: The politics of geographic labels

These themes are also intended to help students consider how they may choose courses and organize their studies in the certificate program.


Total Credits: 15

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