Celtic Studies Degree: What to expect?

Celtic studies programs are all about the six Celtic nations, which are Ireland, Scotland, England, Cornwall, Brittany, and the Isle of Man. This degree looks at their languages, culture, history, and literature.


Like a Chicano studies or German degree, this area of study gives you a strong grounding in a variety of subjects. You’ll spend time in classes that teach you the history of the area, critique the literature, and analyze the culture. Typical classes include Celtic Christianity, medieval literature, and peasant societies.

Most Celtic studies degrees require that you take classes and become fluent in one of the Celtic languages. Expect to spend at least your first two years dissecting Celtic sentences and learning basic Gaelic (or Welsh or Breton) vocabulary.

For some schools, this area study is offered as a minor or certificate to an anthropology degree. Getting a minor in this area of study will allow you to spend time learning another subject and helping to strengthen your resume for your job search.

The option to study abroad is highly recommended. Spend time walking the streets of the cities you’ve studied, and talk with people who live the heritage. It will give you valuable insight into this field.

Next Step

When you complete your four-year bachelor’s degree in Celtic studies, you might need to be a little creative in your job search. Continuing your education to get an advanced degree in business, law, or teaching will probably be your best chance of finding a job. If you hope to continue your Celtic studies, you have one option: Harvard University offers a Ph.D. program, the only one of its kind in North America. You can continue your studies elsewhere, though you’ll have to move abroad to do so.

The few entry-level positions available will be with museums, cultural centers, and galleries. Be aware that competition for these jobs is fierce, as you’ll be up against people with other majors, like museum studies and anthropology.

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