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Modern Languages

German Studies

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  • German major Sarah Lebo stands in front of a section of the Berlin Wall. German major Sarah Lebo stands in front of a section of the Berlin Wall.

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To major in German Studies students must have previously completed Intermediate German or its equivalent. The entry course for the German major is GRS 301/302 Advanced German Proficiency. All majors should complete this two-semester sequence before taking other courses. Students entering at the Novice Level (101) and wishing to pursue a major in German Studies have the option to test out of the Intermediate German (201, 202), thus gaining a year towards the requirements for the major. For this purpose, tutoring arrangements and/or arrangements for an intensive language course at a German university during the summer can be made. Students interested in pursuing this course should consult with a member of the German faculty and with the academic adviser.

A total of eight courses at the 300- or 400-level in the language are required to complete the major. Students are strongly encouraged, however, to continue to take courses in the language throughout the period up to graduation. All majors are required to complete a semester of overseas study in a German-speaking country. A summer program of appropriate length and content may be substituted. Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a full year.

German courses offered in English translation will also count toward the major if all written work is done in German. As they plan the course schedule each year, the departmental faculty welcome input from students about required or desired courses. If you have particular needs or interests, by all means feel free to communicate them to the faculty. GRS 304 (Introduction to German Literature) or permission of the instructor is required to enter any 400-level course.

All majors must complete a project during their senior year. Students have several options to fulfill this requirement. They may take comprehensive examinations, consisting of both written and oral sections. Those students with a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 or with permission of the departmental faculty may choose to do a thesis on a literary or cultural topic or a translation of a work into English with an introductory essay written in German. Performances or exhibits with appropriate written documentation, as well as pedagogical or computer-related projects may also be considered in consultation with the faculty.