The Certificate in Irish Studies is open to all undergraduate students at Catholic University who have declared a major. Students can sign up for the certificate at any time after consultation with the director of Irish studies and their academic adviser.

Progress and Advising

Students are required to meet with the director of Irish studies once each semester to discuss course selection as well as their progress towards fulfilling the language and study abroad requirements of the certificate.

Course of Study

To successfully complete the certificate program in Irish studies, each student must pass a total of 8 courses. Of these courses, 4 are required and 4 are electives.

Required Courses

  • Irish Language (2)

    This requirement is fulfilled by the successful completion of two courses: IRSH 101 and IRSH 102. Students may, if they desire, take two additional language courses, IRSH 103 and 104, and use these among their four electives.

    Transfer credit from comparable language courses taken abroad in Ireland may meet the language requirement for the certificate as well. However, in such cases, the credit must receive formal approval from both the director and the assistant director of Irish studies.

  • Gateway Classes (2)

    Two gateway classes in Irish studies must be completed at Catholic University. These are:

    • IRSH 360/ENG 360: Modern Irish Literature, 1798–1998
    • One of the following classes offered by the History department:
      • IRSH 225A/HIST 225A: Medieval Ireland to 1607
      • IRSH 225B/HIST 225B: Modern Irish History

    Descriptions of these courses can be found on this website and on Cardinal Station. All courses in the certificate program must be taken for a letter grade.

Elective Courses (4)

The elective courses for Irish studies must originate from at least 2 different cooperating departments (Drama, English, History, Modern Languages, Music, and Politics), and they should be cross-listed with the Irish studies designation, IRSH. A minimum of two electives must also be from departments outside the student’s major. If a student wishes to receive credit for courses that do not have the IRSH designation, he must petition the director of Irish studies for formal approval. See the list of current courses with the Irish studies designation, IRSH.

Study Abroad and Internships

Participation in a study abroad program in Ireland is a requirement for the certificate in Irish studies. Students should consult with the director or assistant director of Irish studies in planning this aspect of their study. In special circumstances students may petition to complete this requirement through an internship with a distinctively Irish focus, either in the US or elsewhere abroad. Students who complete a study abroad program and also complete an internship, may use the internship as credit for one of their four elective courses in the certificate.

Academic Distinction

Certificate students are encouraged, though not required, to choose a topic related to Irish studies for their senior capstone project, a project which they complete for their major concentration. Students who complete a senior project for their major in a topic related to Irish studies and who graduate with at least a 3.2 GPA average in certificate courses, will be awarded a Certificate in Irish Studies with Distinction.