M.A. in Scandinavian

Thank you for your interest in the UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies graduate program in Scandinavian. Applications are accepted for Fall quarter only and the deadline is December 15. Admitted students are not permitted to defer their offers of admission. 

We invite you to browse our website and learn more about the range of activities and wealth of accomplishments that characterize our extraordinary students and faculty in the graduate program.


Application Components

  • A statement of purpose – Uploaded directly into the online application system, where you will find detailed prompts. There is no minimum or maximum length, although the suggested length is 500 words. Be sure to include the reasons why you wish to pursue graduate studies, your goals, your academic interests, your preparation in the field you propose to study and anything else you think will offer an accurate picture of yourself for the Committee. Family background and personal information may be included if you think it is relevant but should not take the place of the discussion of your academic and professional goals. Care should be taken with the statement of purpose and the writing sample (below), as the quality of thought and argument these exhibit, as well as their style, weigh significantly in admissions decisions. 
  • A personal statement – Uploaded directly into the online application system, where you will find detailed prompts. The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. The suggested length is 500 words. 
  • A writing sample – Uploaded directly into the online application system. The sample should be no more than 10 pages, in English. Please do not submit your entire thesis. Please do not submit more than one paper. Extra papers are not considered during the faculty’s review. The writing sample must be an academic paper (or portion of an academic paper), preferably a paper written for a course, and should demonstrate the applicant’s interest, competence, and experience in the chosen field of specialization. A writing sample has become increasingly important in the evaluation process and you should choose something you are proud of and consider representative of what you can do. 
  • Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation from scholars who can address the applicant’s intellectual qualifications. Recommenders will receive an email request with instructions for submitting their letters. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online by the December 15th application deadline. No more than three letters will be considered. 
  • Transcripts – Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be uploaded into the online application system. (To read more about the parameters that define an acceptable unofficial transcript for the purposes of application review, click here). Admitted students will be required to provide official, sealed transcripts directly to the department (see address below) at a later date. NOTE: Transcripts from community colleges and short-term study abroad programs are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on your undergraduate transcript.
  • GRE general test scores – In order for your application to be complete, the Department must receive score reports for the GRE general test taken within the last five years. Applicants must request score reports using department code 2699 and institution code 4837 (UCLA).  If you do not provide ETS with both a department code and institution code, your application may not be processed. There is no minimum acceptable score for the GRE. Applicants submitting their GRE score should plan to take the GRE no later than October or November. Applicants who live outside of the United States can  find test center and date information on the ETS website.  Scores are valid for five years following your test date. 

Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life and the medium of instruction are REQUIRED to submit valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores to verify their English language proficiency. 

You are encouraged to earn a minimum TOEFL score of 87 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 560 on the paper and pencil test. Applicants who elect to take the IELTS must earn an overall band score of at least 7.0 to qualify for admission. 

The GRE institution code is 4837; the Department/Major Field code is 2699/TOEFL iBT code is 10. All admitted applicants are automatically considered for recruitment fellowships and teaching assistantships. These awards are usually made in mid-March. Questions about need-based aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at (310) 206-0400. 

Please visit the UCLA Graduate Division website at https://grad.ucla.edu/ for information regarding funding, application procedures, and general graduate information. 

The mailing address for transcripts is: 
Graduate Admission 
UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies/Scandinavian 
212 Royce Hall 
Box 951539 
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1539 

If your institution supports electronic transmission of transcripts, these should be sent directly to ELTS Student Affairs Officer, Kerry Allen.

If you should have further questions about the admissions process or the status of your application, please contact Kerry Allen, Student Affairs Officer, either by e-mail or telephone, (310) 825-1147. More academic issues may be addressed to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies

For the most complete and up-to-date information on application procedures, as well as program requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D., please consult the Grad Division website

Deadline for all applications: December 15

For more information contact Ms. Kerry Allen, Student Affairs Officer.

Program Requirements

Course Requirements
A total of 12 courses is required for the M.A. degree. These courses include a minimum of nine upper division and graduate courses in Scandinavian languages, at least five of which must be graduate courses. Three courses on the upper division or graduate level may be taken in a related field of linguistic or literary study to be determined in consultation with the graduate adviser; at least one of these must be at the graduate level. Comparative Literature 200 or an equivalent course in methodology is required as one of the 12 courses.

Three 596 courses (12 units) may be applied toward the total course requirement, but only one (four units) may be applied toward the minimum graduate course requirement.

For a complete listing of department courses visit the UCLA General Catalog.

Foreign Language Requirements
Students are required to demonstrate knowledge of three Scandinavian languages: fluency in one Scandinavian language (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) and reading knowledge of the other two Scandinavian languages. Fluency of a language may be established by: (1) passing a departmental examination or (2) successfully completing one graduate-level course in the original language. Reading knowledge of a language may be established by: (1) passing a departmental examination or (2) successfully completing one upper-division literature course in the original language.

a. Competence in a Nordic language
b. BA in Scandinavian or a related discipline.

Areas of Study

There are no specific major fields or subdisciplines in the M.A. program, but students emphasize one modern language and literature area in Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

A comprehensive examination, based on the required coursework and a reading list, is required of all candidates for the M.A. degree. The examination is given whenever the student has completed the course requirements and feels prepared to be examined on both the coursework and the reading list. The comprehensive examination is both written and oral; students who fail may be reexamined once without petitioning.


Full-time students with no deficiencies upon admission to graduate status, completion of coursework and examinations for the M.A. degree in Scandinavian usually requires six quarters of standard course load.