Study with us
Delve into the study of Icelandic and gain a better understanding and appreciation of the indispensable role of the country's culture. Studying Icelandic prepares you for career opportunities in interpretation, translation, teaching, research, writing and communications.
The Icelandic department offers online, instructor-led credit courses, so students can take classes from anywhere in the world.
Students can also explore a three-week Icelandic field school travelling to Iceland for immersive study (when available).
The program actively promotes North American-Icelandic history and culture. It has served to highlight the cultural contribution of Icelandic-Canadians to North America, and the curriculum includes courses dealing exclusively with Icelandic-Canadian literature and the poetics of immigration.
Courses offer a glimpse into the mindset of those pre-Christian settlers, their mythology, society and worldview. Learn about the contributions Icelandic immigrants played in the establishment of Manitoba: the impact in politics, religion, in producing art and in international espionage.
What our students say
“Icelandic is a beautiful language that has remained relatively unchanged since the Viking age and is still a living language today. The department of Icelandic Language and Literature offers a fascinating cultural experience that broadens the mind and Icelandic literature contains some of the most timeless stories from the medieval world.”
- Noel Braucher, Icelandic student
Students studying Icelandic have a number of funding opportunities available to them, including:
- Scholarships from the Icelandic National League
- Bursaries from the Canadian Institute for Nordic Studies (CINS)
- Gimli Icelandic Canadian Society (GICS) Scholarship
- Canada Iceland Foundation Scholarships and grants
- Jon Sigurdsson Chapter of IODE Scholarships
The Department of Icelandic Language and Literature offers three and four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree options at both the major and minor levels.
BA degrees at a glance
BA General: 90 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all courses in the chosen major. This program is particularly suited to students who wish to seek employment or enter a professional academic program following graduation from Arts.
BA Advanced: 120 credit hours of study with a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all faculty-required courses. Students select a major and minor program of study or a double major in lieu of a minor.
BA Honours: 120 credit hours of study with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all courses. Students do not complete a major and a minor, but rather an honours subject, or two subjects for the double honours program. This is the preferred program for students looking to pursue graduate studies.
Bachelor of Arts (General)
Expected duration: 3 years
The general program offers general exposure to the humanities and social sciences and an opportunity to concentrate studies in at least two subject areas. This program is particularly suited to students who wish to seek employment or enter a professional academic program following graduation from Arts.
A student must complete 90 credit hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in all courses that comprise the major.
You can complete the BA General degree on a part-time basis.
Bachelor of Arts (Advanced)
Expected duration: 4 years
The advanced program offers a general education along with a reasonable degree of specialization in one area of study through the major.
Graduates of the advanced major program who demonstrate high academic performance may be eligible for entrance to graduate studies. The advanced degree is also well suited to students seeking to build an academic term or year of studies abroad into their undergraduate degree.
To earn a BA Advanced degree, a student must successfully complete 120 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all faculty-required courses. The program requires at least 48 credit hours in a major subject area, as well as a minor field of study that includes a minimum of 18 credit hours in a subject area. In lieu of a minor, students may complete a double advanced major program.
Students should apply to enter the advanced program only after successfully completing a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework.
You can complete this degree on a part-time basis.
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Expected duration: 4 years
The honours program offers a rigorous examination of a particular subject area for those who desire a more specialized undergraduate preparation. This is the preferred program for students who wish to continue their education at the graduate level.
Students normally enter the program after first year, although you may be eligible to enter the program later in your undergraduate studies.
To earn a BA Honours degree, a student must successfully complete 120 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 in all courses.
Students in the honours program do not complete a major and a minor, but rather an honours subject, or two subjects in the case of a double honours program. The program differs from the advanced program by requiring more courses in the honours field and by providing a greater intensity and depth of study.
Students should apply to enter the honours program only after successfully completing a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework.
You can complete the honours program on a part-time basis.
Earning a minor in Arts
A minor is comprised of 18 credit hours which are in a subject field that is different from a declared major. To earn a minor in a subject field as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree, a student must successfully complete 18 credit hours in a subject field approved by the Faculty of Arts as a minor.
Minors offered by the Faculty of Arts are listed under each area of study’s section of the Academic Calendar. Arts students may complete minor programs offered by other Faculties/Schools providing the minor program consists of a minimum of 18 credit hours and all other degree requirements are satisfied.
Degree requirements for all BA degrees
Students in the BA General, BA Advanced and BA Honours degree must complete the following requirements as part of their degree:
- 6 credit hours of humanities
- 6 credit hours of social sciences
- 6 credit hours of sciences
- 3 credit hours of written English (W)
- 3 credit hours of mathematics (M)
- 3 credit hours of Indigenous course content (students entering as of fall 2021)
- 6 credit hours in each of 5 different subject fields
The 3 credit hours of written English and 3 credit hours of mathematics are to satisfy the written English and mathematics requirement.
For full details on these requirements, refer to the Academic Calendar.
Sample course offerings
- ICEL 1200: Introduction to Icelandic (3 credit hours)
- ICEL 1210: Conversational Icelandic (3 credit hours)
- ICEL 1400: Introduction to Contemporary Culture in Iceland (3 credit hours)
- ICEL 2310: An Introduction to Old Icelandic Language and Literature (6 credit hours)
- ICEL 2400: Icelandic Folktales in a European Context (3 credit hours)
- ICEL 2410: Icelandic Music and its History (3 credit hours)
- ICEL 3320: Old Norse Mythology (3 credit hours)
- ICEL 3330: Icelandic Sagas in Translation (3 credit hours)
For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.
As in all language departments, students have access to the Faculty of Arts Language Centre with language laboratories that are well stocked with a variety of recorded material (to help with learning through listening), language practice software and programs designed specifically for certain courses that contain a lab component. Language tutors are also available.
The following are minimum requirements for entry into the Icelandic (BA) program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
Direct entry applicants are those who have not attended a post-secondary institution or have completed fewer than 24 credit hours at a recognized university or college.
Advanced entry applicants are those who have completed one year (24 credit hours) or more of studies in another faculty at the University of Manitoba or another recognized post-secondary institution.
How to apply
Domestic student application fee: $100
International student application fee: $120
Applications to the University of Manitoba are completed online.
The online application includes several parts, and you may be required to submit transcripts, proof of English Language proficiency, and other documents.
You apply to the Bachelor of Arts program without selecting your major and minor areas of study (e.g., anthropology, political science, etc.). You make these choices after you are in the BA program.
Admission and application inquiries
424 UMSU University Centre
University of Manitoba
66 Chancellors Circle
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada
Room 424 UMSU University Centre
65 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Department of Icelandic Language and Literature
357 University College, 220 Dysart Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2M8