Certificate in European Cultural Studies

Only students in the Class of 2025 should still apply to the European Cultural Studies Certificate. Students in the Class of 2026 and above will earn the Minor in European Studies.

Plan of Study

There are no formal pre-requisites for enrollment in any European Cultural Studies course or for admission to the certificate program. The coursework for the ECS certificate comprises a core requirement and an electives requirement.

Apply for the ECS Certificate at this link.

Core Course Requirement: The core requirement can be fulfilled by completing one of the following courses or sequences of courses:

  • ECS 301/EPS 301
  • EPS 302/ECS 302
  • HUM sequence (HUM 216-219)

Elective Course Requirements: Students fulfill the electives requirement by completing two additional courses in ECS at the 300- and/or 400-level.  Students who plan to study abroad should consult with the director for approval to count a non-Princeton course towards the fulfillment of the ECS requirements.

All courses to be counted towards fulfillment of the requirements for the ECS certificate must be taken for a grade. Any or all of those courses may also be counted towards distribution requirements and/or requirements for a departmental concentration or another certificate, as long as doing so does not conflict with the rules of the other departments or programs involved.

Fall 2024 ECS courses can be found here.


Additional Requirements

Additional requirements for the ECS certificate are participation in three other intellectually stimulating elements of the Program:

  • ECS Excursion to a cultural event in New York (offered annually and typically completed during the junior year)
  • Faber Lecture and Colloquium, a lecture followed by a colloquium conducted over a meal with a distinguished scholar visiting Princeton to deliver the Program’s most prestigious public lecture (offered annually and typically completed during the junior year)
  • Senior Thesis Colloquium

Maximize your course benefits: Students interested in earning multiple certificates in combination with European Cultural Studies, such as Medieval Studies or Humanistic Studies, can partially fulfill course requirements in multiple certificates by taking the HUM sequence (HUM 216-219).


Once you have completed the online application, please make an appointment to speak with Effie Rentzou, Director, during office hours to begin planning your individual program of study within ECS.

Professor Rentzou’s office hours will be held in 329 East Pyne by appointment only.


For students who wish to deepen their understanding of European civilization and strengthen their command of cultural interpretation through interdisciplinary investigation, the Program in European Cultural Studies offers innovative seminars, excursions, and a senior thesis colloquium.

ECS welcomes students with a concentration in any department and does not place any restrictions on independent work. Our current students and recent graduates have concentrated in engineering, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. We encourage our certificate students to pursue significant international experiences over the summers and for a semester or more of an academic year. Many ECS students study abroad and receive credit towards the certificate for courses taken during their time away from Princeton.

Students wishing to join the program in the fall semester of the senior year should contact the director before the end of that semester’s add/drop period.

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