German Studies


The Concentration in German Studies offers students an interdisciplinary approach to German culture in a wide variety of areas.

Along with courses from the German Studies core program, students have the opportunity to take courses from other departments and programs that deal with topics from the German cultural tradition (including History, History of Art and Architecture, Judaic Studies, Modern Culture and Media, Music, Philosophy, Political Science). Many students elect to complete a double concentration, combining German Studies with one of the above areas, or with fields such as International Relations or Economics, Comparative Literature or History of Art and Architecture.

Area of Focus

Concentrators are expected to develop a course of study that will meet their particular needs and interests. In order to do this, students select an area of focus for their concentration, in consultation with the concentration advisor and other appropriate faculty. They should select at least three advanced courses in this area.

German Language

A knowledge of the German language is not required for declaring a concentration in German Studies. However, since language fluency is the basis for sophisticated understanding of German culture, students must meet a language requirement by the time they graduate.

Concentration Requirements

  • Nine courses beyond GRMN 0400
  • At least six of the nine courses must be at the 1000-level (or higher)
  • Two of the 1000-level courses must involve writing assignments in German, and students must obtain at least a grade of B in these courses
  • At least five of the nine courses must be taken in the Department of German Studies (or four if a student spends a whole year in Germany on Study Abroad)
  • Completion of a Senior Seminar during the senior year as part of these five courses within the Department of German Studies
  • If a student studies abroad for one semester, as many as four courses, in the case of two semesters, as many as five courses from study abroad may count toward the concentration.  Concentration credit will not be granted for internships


In many of our German Studies courses, we work closely with our individual students to improve their writing by requiring frequent short written assignments over the course of the semester, which we evaluate and return to them with corrections and suggestions for improvement. We also regularly require students to revise and resubmit writing assignments, in consultation with the instructors. Such practices allow students to become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses as writers, and to receive concrete feedback that assists them in improving current and future written work.

In addition, many of our courses are based on close textual analysis. Through this emphasis in our curriculum, students increase their awareness of rhetorical and stylistic strategies during class discussion in ways that train them to become more sensitive readers and writers.

Second WRIT Requirement

Students who opt to fulfill their second WRIT requirement by submitting work done within the German Studies concentration will be permitted to do so. These students should consult the instructor of the course for which this written work is to be completed early in the semester in which they take the course. The instructor of the course will perform the evaluation of the written work, both for the course itself and for the satisfaction of the WRIT requirement.


Candidates for honors will be expected to have a superior record in departmental courses and will have to be approved by the Department of German Studies. Honors candidates must take one additional course at the 1000-level from the German studies offerings and present an acceptable Senior Honors Thesis. The additional course may be used for preparation of the honors thesis. Students are encouraged to discuss their thesis topics with the concentration advisor no later than the third week of classes in Fall of their Senior year. 

Additional Information

Many of our current and former students have been awarded fellowships and other prizes recognizing their academic excellence.