European Union and Western European Studies


Program Overview

With their highly advanced industrial base and skilled workforce, the industrialized countries of Western Europe have long been major trading and strategic partners for the United States. But since the end of the Cold War, the European Union has received a massive transfusion of new energy and human capital: the inclusion of historic countries of Central and Eastern Europe like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Whatever the resolution of Europe’s current - and serious - financial and political crises, the countries of Europe will continue to play a major role in the world economy, international politics and world culture. Central Connecticut State University offers a B.A. and M.S. degrees in International Studies with regional specialization in European Union and West European Studies.

Students are invited to combine a wide range of methodological approaches to the area of Western Europe and the European Union. In consultation with their adviser, students design an interdisciplinary plan of study that best fits their interests in the area. Students write theses on a wide range of topics in politics and culture.

Lecture series offered by diplomats, corporate and non-profit executives, activists, and internationally recognized scholars enrich the program. Students can participate in overseas experiences, choose the country or countries they want to study, and select their favorite foreign language(s) among French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Graduates may be able to find work with international marketing firms, international organizations, international communications, multicultural institutions, European companies or U.S.-based companies with European operations.

NOTE: The Western and Eastern European Studies committees have merged ahead of a revision of the program curriculum to merge the two areas. For now, the two separate specializations are still officially on the record, but we will be moving toward having one common focus on European Studies to include any focus on northern, southern, western, or even eastern regions of Europe, including the Eurasian region of the current Russian and past Soviet dominated regions and peoples.


Coordinator (currently running a merged European Studies Committee, curricular merge in process)

Dr. Matthew Specter

Department of History

Central Connecticut State University

1615 Stanley Street

New Britain, CT 06050

Phone: (860) 832-2692



European Union and Western European Studies Committee (merged with Slavic Committee)

Matthew Specter, Ph.D., History - European Union and Western European Studies Program Coordinator (

Richard Benfield, Ph.D., Geography (

Mitch Charkiewicz, Economics (

Douglas Engwall, Ph.D., Psychology (

Paloma Lapuerta, Ph.D., Modern Languages (

Carlos Liard-Muriente, Ph.D., Economics (

Angela Morales, Ph.D., Modern Languages (

Maria Passaro, Ph.D., Modern Languages (

Carmela Pesca, Ph.D., Modern Languages (

Paul Petterson, Ph.D., Political Science (

Karen Ritzenhoff, Ph.D., Communication (

Ron Todd, M.F.A., Art (

Lilian Uribe, Ph.D., Modern Languages (

Louise Williams, Ph.D., History (


Minor in European Union and Western European Studies

We do not currently offer a minor in European Union and Western European Studies.



Study Abroad Opportunities

Students in the European Union and West European Studies program can apply to study abroad at any of the institutions listed below. For more information about studying abroad and for a full list of CCSU’s partner and affiliate universities worldwide, please visit the CIE's website.

Czech Republic

University of Economics (Prague)


Universite de Caen


Free University of Berlin (Berlin)

University of Freiburg (Freiburg)

University of Heidelburg (Heidelburg)

University of Hohenheim (Hohenheim)

University of Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe)

University of Konstanz (Konstanz)

University of Mannheim (Mannheim)

University of Stuttgart (Stuttgart)

University of Tubingen (Tubingen)

University of Ulm (Ulm)


American College of Thessaloniki


Dublin Institute of Technology (Dublin)

Institute of Technology - Carlow (Carlow)

Trinity College (Dublin)

University of Limerick (Limerick)


Universita Catolica del Sacro Cuore

Universita per Stranieri di Perugia


Leiden University (Leiden)


Nebrija University (Madrid)

Universidad Complutense (Madrid)

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona)

University of Barcelona (Barcelona)

University of Leon (Leon)

University of Salamanca (Salamanca)

University of Sevilla (Sevilla)


Linnaeus University (Vaxjo)

United Kingdom

Kingston University (London, England)

Lancaster University (Lancaster, England)

Queen Mary University of London (London, England)

University of Bolton (Bolton, England)

University of Central Lancashire (Preston, England)

University of Cumbria (Lancaster, England)

University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield, England)

University of Kent (Canterbury, England)

University of Manchester (Manchester, England)

Queen Margaret University (Musselburgh, Scotland)

University of Stirling (Stirling, Scotland)

University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland)