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The Major

Advisers: Jocelyne Kolb, Joseph McVeigh, Judith Keyler-Mayer, Joel Westerdale

Students who plan to major in German Studies or who wish to spend the junior year in Hamburg should take German in the first two years. Students enrolled in 250 (220), 300 (222) or higher-level courses should consider taking the Zertifikat Deutsch examination administered by the Goethe Institute and offered each spring on campus. The Zertifikat Deutsch is highly regarded by private and public sector employers in all German-speaking countries as proof of well-developed communicative skills in basic German. Students are also recommended to take courses in other departments that treat a German topic.

Students who enter with previous preparation in German will be assigned to appropriate courses on the basis of a placement examination. Students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement test may not apply that credit toward the degree if they complete for credit 110Y, 144 (115), 200 or 250 (220).


Ten courses or 40 credits beyond the basis of GER 200

Required Courses:



Five further courses, of which at least two must be in German*

*Any cross-listed course may also count toward the major with the approval of the Department of German Studies.

Period Requirements

Students must take at least one course representing each of the following periods: before 1832, 1832-1933, 1933-present.

A ten-page paper may serve as fulfillment of the period requirement for any of the three periods.  If the course is outside of the department, the paper must deal with a specifically German topic.


Courses outside the Departmet of German Studies may be counted toward the major, with prior departmental approval.