Polish Major

Requirements | Honors | Advanced Placement | ScholarshipsWawel Castle, Krakow

The UW-Madison Slavic Department was created as a Polish Department. The Polish program at UW-Madison is the oldest Polish program in the United States. Join us for an exciting adventure in a rigorous academic program: explore a fascinating and paradoxical culture with a turbulent history and vibrant literary tradition.

  • Requirements for the Polish Major

1) Language: 9 credits in the Polish language beyond Slavic 208, "Fourth Semester Polish," to be taken from among the following courses: Slavic 277/278, 331/332. Each of these courses is a 3-credit course. Credit for these courses (and toward the major) may be earned during study abroad in Poland.

2) Literature taught in Polish: 3 credits in Polish literature as taught in Polish in Slavic 302. Credit for this course may be earned during study abroad in Poland.

3) Literature in Translation: 6 credits in literature as follows: a) One of either LT 215 or LT 471 (both offered for 3 credits each, both on Polish literature since the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century); AND b) One of either LT 216 or LT 473 (both offered for 3 credits each, both on Polish literature of the late 19th and 20th centuries).

4) Culture and Area Studies: 6 credits in Polish and East European Culture and Area Studies from among the following courses: Slavic 254, 370, 444; LT 229, 241, 242, 247 (only with approval of the Polish advisor), 265; History 425; and other courses related to Poland on the approval of the advisor, including courses taken on study abroad on Polish history, society, politics, economy, and so forth.

Note that courses taken abroad on Polish literature do not count toward the Polish major, except for an equivalent of Slavic 302.

For more information on the Polish Language and Culture program, please contact the Slavic Department or the advisor for the Polish program, Dr. Ewa Miernowska.

  • Honors in the Major in Polish

Admission to Honors in the Polish Major

Admission to the honors program requires a 3.5 GPA in Slavic 111/112, 207/208 or the equivalent and the recommendation of at least one instructor from these courses.

Requirements for Honors in the Polish Major

Students in the honors in the major program are required to take three of the following four courses Slavic 277/278 331/332 for honors credit except if they take some of these courses in Poland on the UW-Madison study abroad program, in which case they may get an exemption for the honors credit requirement for those courses. In addition, students completing the Polish major with honors MUST write an honors senior thesis (see below), registering for both Slavic 681 and 682.

The Honors Senior Thesis

Students majoring in Polish with honors in the major write a senior thesis on the topic of Polish literature working under the supervision of Professor Filipowicz. The honors senior thesis is a year-long project for which students sign up for Slavic 681 for 3 credits for thesis research in semester I and Slavic 682 for 3 credits for writing up the thesis in semester 2.

  • Advanced Placement

Our elementary courses in Polish are designed to meet your needs, whether you will be studying Polish for the first time in college, or have already begun your study of the language.

If you have studied Polish in high school or have acquired knowledge of Polish in a non-academic setting, you may qualify to "skip" some courses with the consent of the department. In some cases, you may be able to "pass out" of courses by earning retro-credits (credit by course examination) or test-credits (credit by departmental examination).

For more specific advice regarding your options, please contact our Polish language placement advisor. Note that one unit (year) of high school work is generally equivalent to 4 credits (one semester) of college work.

By far, the majority of students who study Polish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have not previously studied the language.

Polish Major in the Undergraduate Catalog

  • Scholarships

Michael and Emily Lapinski Scholarship