International Certificate Programs

A wall that says "Your wall will not divide us" found in cypress

Undergraduates can complement their studies within each concentration by pursuing a minor or a certificate. Minors and certificates can be an excellent way of developing your knowledge in a field outside your concentration or exploring exciting junctions between multiple disciplines. The requirements for certificates vary widely, so consult the Undergraduate Announcement, program websites and program directors for specifics. Some programs ask that you apply for the minor/certificate soon after you have declared your concentration, and, in addition to coursework, you may be required to write the junior paper for your concentration on a topic relevant to the minor or certificate. Admission to other minors or certificate programs can sometimes take place later in your junior or senior years. You may choose from among the many international certificate programs shown below. A full list of all minors and certificates can be found here

African Studies program logo

Princeton’s minor in African Studies provides opportunities to all Princeton students, regardless of major, to learn about the continent. The program offers classes in Africa’s political, economic, and social history; built environments and urban geographies; ecology, genetic diversity, and epidemiological concerns. The program also offers classes in Africa’s vibrant art scenes, past and present, where literature, music, and art have come to define a new post-colonial African cosmopolitanism. Minors can also learn Swahili and Twi in preparation for either a PIIRS global seminar or summer internship in Africa.

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Logo for the Contemporary European Politics and Society program

Undergraduate students can take advantage of the many Europeanists on campus and the many courses available that focus on aspects of the region’s culture, history, politics and society by participating in the undergraduate certificate program. The interdisciplinary Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society (EPS) aims to show how some of these varied aspects fit together, and how a long history and variety of cultural traditions still shape many European responses to modern predicaments.

For a student to earn a certificate from the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, he or she must successfully complete only one of the following gateway courses: EPS 301, EPS 302, or HIS 212/EPS 212.

Along with the required gateway course, an additional four courses which cover contemporary topics in Europe must be completed. A comprehensive list of courses which count towards the certificate can be found here.

Please note: of the four course electives needed, only one may be taken as P/D/F.

Courses taken abroad may also count towards the certificate, please contact Nikki Woolward for pre-approval.

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The Program in East Asian Studies is an interdepartmental plan of study directed by representatives of the cooperating departments — anthropology, art and archaeology, comparative literature, East Asian studies, economics, history, politics, religion, and sociology — as well as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. It provides an opportunity for students who plan to major in the humanities, social sciences, or other disciplines to simultaneously pursue the study of East Asian language and culture. The program's purpose is to educate internationally minded men and women with basic competence in an Asian area as well as to enhance the student's understanding of Western civilization through perspectives gained from the study of the non-Western world. The student's work is supervised by the appropriate representative of a cooperating department in consultation with the East Asian studies program director. For the purposes of this program, East Asia is defined as those areas where Chinese, Korean, or Japanese is the dominant language.

Students pursuing the program certificate are encouraged to take advantage of intensive summer language programs and of the numerous opportunities for study or travel in Asia, including an intervening year abroad. A limited amount of scholarship aid is available for this purpose. Applications for summer funding and a list of approved centers in East Asia can be found on the program's website; deadlines usually fall in late December or January. Students contemplating an intervening year of study should aim to complete at least two years' study of the relevant language before junior year or earlier and should consult with the program director.

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European Cultural Studies

The Program in European Cultural Studies (ECS) was established in 1975 on the joint initiative of faculty members in history, comparative literature, romance languages and literatures, politics, and architecture, under the leadership of the eminent cultural historian Carl E. Schorske (1915–2015). Its first certificate class graduated in 1979. Now housed on the second floor of Scheide Caldwell House within the Andlinger Center for the Humanities, ECS enjoys the administrative support of the Council of the Humanities. Committed since its founding to encouraging students' engagement at an international level, ECS now also endeavors to situate the study of Europe in broader global contexts.

Since its inception, the Program in European Cultural Studies has maintained two central aims: to deepen students’ understanding of European civilization, and to strengthen their command of cultural interpretation through interdisciplinary investigation. ECS brings together students and faculty from a wide range of departments in a common inquiry. Our focus is, broadly stated, the ways in which European societies, past and present, order reality, make sense of life, and communicate meaning across a range of disciplines and in a variety of media. In order to frame these wide-ranging intellectual problems in precise, productive, and engaging ways, ECS offers innovative, interdisciplinary seminars on topics in European history, literature, art, architecture, music, cinema, theater, politics, and philosophy.

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The interdepartmental Program in Global Health and Health Policy enables undergraduates to study the determinants, consequences, and patterns of disease across societies; the role of medical technologies and interventions in health improvements; and the economic, political, and social factors that shape domestic and global public health policy.

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The Program in Hellenic Studies, under the general direction of the Council of the Humanities and with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies, is designed for students interested in the interdisciplinary study of the Greek world during one or more periods (ancient, late antique, Byzantine, Renaissance, early modern (Ottoman), modern, or contemporary), as well as for students focusing on the reception of the classical tradition across cultures, time, or space.

The program offers language courses in modern Greek and postclassical Greek (Hellenistic koine to Byzantine Greek); freshman seminars in Hellenic studies; introductory courses in Byzantine and modern Greek studies; upperclass seminars in classical, Byzantine, and modern Greek studies; global seminars and a senior thesis colloquium for those who are concentrating in the program. These are complemented by cognate courses offered in several cooperating University departments.

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The Program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy offers undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue concentrated interdisciplinary study of history and diplomacy in concert with internships in the practice of diplomacy and related professions. Successful completion of the program leads to the award of a certificate.

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The Program in Language and Culture, administered through the individual language and literature departments, allows concentrators in any discipline to earn a certificate in language and culture. Certificates can be earned in the Departments of ClassicsEast Asian StudiesFrench and ItalianGermanNear Eastern StudiesSlavic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish and Portuguese.

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The Program in Latin American Studies promotes interdisciplinary study and seeks to foster knowledge of and experience in Latin America.

Courses are offered by the Departments of African American Studies, Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Comparative Literature, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Economics, English, French and Italian (appropriate French courses only), History, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, the Program in Latino Studies, and the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS). Through various approaches in the humanities and the social and natural sciences, the program seeks to guide students toward an understanding of Latin American arts, cultures, histories, socioeconomic conditions, politics, and natural environments. The student's work is supervised by a departmental adviser and is combined with a departmental program in a regular field of concentration.

Experience abroad is not required, but PLAS strongly encourages students to travel to and explore Latin America. Funds are available to support student travel to Latin America for research purposes. First- and second-year students are eligible for exploratory research grants, and juniors and seniors can apply for senior thesis research funding. Seniors are encouraged to apply to Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) for postgraduate opportunities.

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Silhouettes of domed buildings

The Program in Near Eastern Studies provides students in any department of the University the opportunity to study the languages, history, and culture and institutions of the Near East and the broader Islamicate world. Its purpose is to enhance a liberal education and to offer additional training for students who plan a career in those areas.

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A graphic logo for the Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program

The Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, an affiliate of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, draws on a core faculty in the humanities, history, and social sciences to support and maintain a diverse undergraduate curriculum. The program offers a certificate of proficiency to undergraduates who combine study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia with any other departmental concentration from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences and engineering.

The program's purpose is to provide undergraduates with expertise in a core language of Eurasia—for most students that would be Russian—and a scholarly grounding in the study of the region. Other languages applicable toward the certificate include Polish, Czech, the languages of Southeastern Europe (Romanian, Bulgarian, and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian), and Turkish, the last being related to most Central Asian languages as well as some in the Caucasus and in Russia.

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies offers preparation for government service, international business and finance, law, media, science, teaching, nongovernmental organizations, and other aspects of global affairs. As such, courses from many departments count toward the certificate. The program is compatible with all concentrations.

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The minor requires students to have a minimum of one year in any or the applicable languages offered at Princeton (such as Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian) or to demonstrate a comparable level of language proficiency (typically intermediate low). Students who seek more advanced level of language competence are encouraged to contact the Slavic Department and choose Slavic as a minor, or major. To fulfill the language requirement students must pass the proficiency test administered by the Slavic Department (or in case of the languages other than Slavic by a language specialist in that language), or complete appropriate 102 (for non-heritage) / 103 (for heritage speakers) language course.

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The Program in South Asian Studies, under the auspices of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, offers students the methodological and theoretical tools to study the political, economic, social, religious, literary, and cultural institutions of the region with particular focus on the modern history of India and Pakistan.

Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. The Program in South Asian Studies offers a four-term sequence of language instruction in Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. Completion of all four terms of a language will satisfy the University language requirement. All language instruction is offered with an emphasis on gaining knowledge of the cultural context of South Asia, with Hindi and Urdu instruction focusing on speaking, reading, and writing, and Sanskrit instruction focusing on reading and interpreting a variety of traditional literary genres. The program encourages students to take advantage of intensive summer language programs and of the numerous opportunities to study or travel in South Asia, including a semester or year abroad. For more information, contact the Office of International Programs.

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Logo for the program in translation

Issues of translation and intercultural communication arise everywhere in the contemporary world.  What makes a good translation?  Are there different kinds of "good translations" for different circumstances?  How do multilingual speakers navigate among their languages, and how do translators and interpreters deal with the challenges presented by multilingual tests and contexts?  How does machine translation work?  What are the challenges for Sign Language interpretation?  How does one translate the language of a poem or a play?

The Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication (PTIC) takes linguistic translation as its base and offers a diverse set of undergraduate courses that allow students to develop an understanding of translation from varied perspectives. Most courses are taught by faculty in humanities departments, but we also consider the ways translation functions in the social sciences, the arts, and engineering.  Students from all backgrounds with a range of interests and passions are welcome.

PTIC's programs include regular lunchtime talks, conferences, and winter session translation workshops. Each semester the program hosts a visiting Translator in Residence, who shares their real-world experiences of life and work as a translator. The program also supports student translation projects with summer funding. 

The program offers a minor undergraduates who develop skills in language use and an understanding of the complexity of communicating across cultures, nations, and linguistic borders. Before entering the minor program, students must have completed two courses at the 200 level or above in a language other than English, or have tested out of the University's language requirement. To earn the minor, students are required to successfully complete two core courses in translation, four TRA cross-listed courses, or other courses in which translation plays a major role, study or internship abroad, and independent work that incorporates issues of translation.

Among PTIC's goals are connecting translators with one another and encouraging them to use their talents and energies in the service of the wider community. To this end, the program supports the Princeton University Language Project (PULP), a student-led initiative that offers free translation services to nonprofits. Beyond campus, PTIC supports activities that seek to link the academic community with voluntary and professional groups serving a wide variety of organizations with translation needs, including the New Jersey judiciary, the United Nations, and literary publishing. 

(Note: The Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication does not offer translator training.) 

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