Viking Studies Minor


In the early Middle Ages, Norse peoples (popularly called Vikings) surged out of Scandinavia and established themselves as settlers and rulers across Europe. Beyond their political and territorial gains, they raided and traded even more widely. These major achievements were commemorated and celebrated in an extensive corpus of historical and fictional texts, many available in English translation. With a Viking Studies Minor, students explore this history, language and literature, and archaeological record from an interdisciplinary perspective, and gain an appreciation for the period and its long-term consequences. The minor encourages combining coursework abroad and locally, allowing students to take advantage of Cornell’s unique resources, such as the Fiske Icelandic Collection.

Minor Requirements

  • Based on your interests, select and obtain the agreement of a faculty member who is willing to serve as your minor advisor. Please contact the Viking Studies Minor Director if you have questions about identifying a minor advisor.
  • Submit the Viking Studies Minor Application, preferably before the end of the junior year.
  • Complete four approved Viking Studies courses (see below).
  • Complete one capstone course (see below).
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • Before the end of the final semester of the degree, submit a brief 300-word exit statement that articulates the intellectual interests developed in work done for the minor.

Viking Studies Courses

Approved Viking Studies Courses

Students are required to take four from among the following courses eligible for Viking Studies credit. The list below includes the most routinely offered of these courses. This list is by its nature incomplete and subject to change. Courses may be added or changed when new offerings are introduced or when existing ones are modified; conversely, courses may be removed for similar reasons.

  • ANTHR 1200 “Ancient Peoples and Places: An Introduction to Archaeology”
  • HIST/NES 1660 “The Vikings & their World”
  • HIST/FGSS 2082 “Of Ice and Men: Masculinities in the Medieval North”
  • LING 2217 “History of the English Language to 1300”
  • ANTHR 2428 “Slavery and Human Trafficking”
  • NES 2661 “Ancient Ships and Seafaring”
  • HIST 2742 “Medieval Frontier Societies”
  • HIST/ENGL 2773 “Violence and Order in the North”
  • ANTHRO/ARKEO 3035 “Medieval Archaeology”
  • ENGL 3110 “Old English”
  • ENGL 3120 “Beowulf”
  • ANTHR 3245 “Across the Seas: Contacts between the Americas and the Old World before Columbus”
  • LING 3315 “Old Norse I”
  • LING 3316 “Old Norse II”
  • HIST 4761 “Anglo-Saxon England”
  • HIST/ENGL 4760 “A Usable Past”
  • LING 6623 “Old Irish I” [can be offered for undergraduate credit]
  • LING 6624 “Old Irish II” [can be offered for undergraduate credit]
  • LING 6625 “Middle Welsh” [can be offered for undergraduate credit]

Courses not listed above may also qualify for Viking Studies credit; for example, courses with rotating topics (e.g., MEDVL 2130, LING 4440), when these are devoted to relevant subject matter, or relevant courses taken as part of an international academic experience (e.g., in Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, or the UK). So can directed readings (e.g., HIST 2001). independent studies (e.g., HIST 3002, ENGL 4950), or Honors tutorials (e.g., ENGL 4930, ENGL 4940) on pertinent topics. To petition for a course to be counted towards the Viking Studies minor, students should present a syllabus, assignments, and any other relevant information to allow assessment of a course’s eligibility for credit. Eligibility is determined at the discretion of the Viking Studies minor director.

Capstone Viking Studies Courses

In addition, students are required to take at least one capstone course:

  • ENGL 3080 “Sagas and Eddas: Introduction to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature”
  • HIST 3200 “The Viking Age”
  • LING 3315 “Old Norse I” (if no Old Norse language courses have been taken among the four Viking Studies courses)
  • LING 3316 “Old Norse II” (if only LING 3315 has been taken among the four Viking Studies courses)

These courses offer in-depth surveys of the most sophisticated literary works and historical achievements that constitute the medieval Norse heritage. If students take both ENGL 3080 and HIST 3200, one of the two may count towards the four Viking Studies courses.

Submit Exit Statement