European Union Studies Certificate

  • Total Credit Hours: 15
  • Degree Format: Online, Traditional

About this field

The certificate in European Union Studies is operated under the supervision of the European Council of the University System of Georgia. The program is open to all institutions and students of the University System as well as to professionals with an undergraduate degree. The program’s purpose is to promote knowledge of the European Union (EU) and certify individuals as competent in the subject area of EU studies. Since the EU is the most important economic and political partner of the United States, this certification demonstrates valuable professional expertise to potential employers. For students in the academic track, the interdisciplinary certificate can be earned as a supplement to any conventional undergraduate degree. The certificate can be earned fully online or by taking approved traditional classroom courses, or with a combination of traditional and online courses.

What You'll Learn

To earn the EU Studies certificate, students must complete the certificate curriculum (15 hours). Students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in curriculum courses upon completion of the program. An official certificate is awarded upon graduation, and the certificate is noted on a student’s permanent transcripts.

The student curriculum guide that outlines the program's requirements can be downloaded by clicking here.

The curriculum has three mandatory components and three options:

  1. Introduction to the EU. The first course that should be taken in the program.
  2. Multidisciplinary Menu. Three courses selected from a menu of choices.
  3. Capstone Seminar. The last course taken that unifies the program's curriculum.
  4. Areas of Distinction. Optional distinctions for practicum experience (study abroad or internship), foreign language training, or honors thesis.

Online Courses

The EU Studies program has developed a curriculum of online courses that can be used to meet the certificate’s requirements. These courses, bearing the EURO prefix, are in different discipline areas that deal with various aspects of the EU and are taught jointly by University System institutions each semester. Students register for these courses, which are taught on GoView, at their home institution. A course schedule is available from the program’s campus representative and on the program’s web site: 

Areas of Distinction

In addition to acknowledging competence in the EU generally, the certificate also highlights special achievements by providing a notation of “distinction” in three areas:

  • a practicum experience
  • foreign language proficiency (6 semester hours at or above the 2000 level)
  • composition of a thesis

The practicum experience pertaining to the EU must be performed either in the form of an overseas visit or an internship. The overseas option is broadly defined and can be accommodated by a wide range of activities, including study or research abroad. The same flexibility applies to the internship, which can be served domestically or internationally. A student’s specific practicum experience must be approved by the program’s campus representative.

The foreign language distinction must be earned in a European language approved by the program’s campus representative as appropriate to the certificate’s objectives. A student with prior language skills can earn a distinction by successful completion of an examination demonstrating competence equivalent to the 2000 level. The exam is administered at the student’s home institution.

The thesis can be written anytime during the final year of study. It is supervised by a committee composed of three faculty members representing at least two different academic disciplines. The program’s campus representative maintains a more detailed description of thesis requirements.

Admissions Requirements

A certificate in European Union Studies can be earned in one of two ways. Under the academic track, a certificate is taken in tandem with an undergraduate degree program. Students from all academic majors are eligible to participate so long as they possess a minimum 2.75 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Under the professional track, non-degree students–such as business executives–are eligible to enroll in the program upon proof of a valid undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The minimum GPA requirement is waived.

Under either track, an application to the program cannot be made until successful completion of the following: (1) the introductory course on the European Union (EURO 3234 or POLS 4301) with a grade of “C” or better, (2) 30 semester hours of academic credit, and (3) a course in World or Western Civilization (HIST 1011, HIST 1012, or HIST 1013) or Global Issues (POLS 2401).

Exit Requirements

A student must complete 3 courses from an approved menu of courses dealing substantially with the EU. These courses must be distributed among at least two different discipline areas: Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, Business and Economics, and Natural and Health Sciences. The program’s campus representative decides which courses qualify for the certificate. No more than one course in this menu can be taken at the 1000-2000 level, with the exception of EU Studies online courses and study abroad courses. Students may substitute for up to two menu courses by performing an internship or composing a thesis.


More information about the EU Studies Certificate can be found on the EU Studies Program web site, or contact the VSU program coordinator: Dr. Michael Baun, Political Science, 229-258-5082,