The study of German not only provides the broadening of linguistic and cultural awareness that will accompany the learning of any foreign language, but also exposes students to the cultural contributions of the German-speaking countries to Western and world civilization. German ranks first in Western Europe in the number of native speakers, primarily in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and among the top 10 languages spoken worldwide. Our majors have entered fields as diverse as teaching, law, business and medicine and have used their mastery of the language to work in those countries, while students from other disciplines have taken courses in German for personal enrichment, for graduate school qualification, or so that they can conduct research or study in a German-speaking country.
The introductory courses in the German language at the 100- and 200-level, as well as the GER 301 – 302 sequence, develop the skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and cultural competency that will allow students to study German texts, films and other media in the original language. The GER 341, 342, 343 sequence provides an overview of German cultural history from the Middle Ages to the present day. The 400-level advanced seminars allow students to study intensively major periods, authors and themes of the German cultural tradition. German majors complete their coursework exclusively in German, while German Studies majors who have not yet completed GER 301 and 302 can enroll in English language sections of the courses above GER 341 or include into their major program courses in other departments that treat topics from the cultural history of the German-speaking countries.
A major in German consists of nine courses, with the option to pursue one of two tracks: a major in German Studies; or in German Language and Literature. (In the list of requirements below, “E” indicates that readings and lectures/discussion are in the English language; “G” indicates that readings and designated lecture/discussion are in the German language. Majors in German Studies will have the option to pursue the “E” track, while majors in German Language and Literature are required to pursue the “G” track.)
Required courses are GER 301, 302 and the 341 – 342 – 343 series. Students choosing the German Studies track take two additional courses from the following: GER 401/2, 340, 370 – 379 (E or G); and two from the 400-level (E or G). Students choosing the Language and Literature track take GER 340 and three courses from the 400G series; one of these will be an Independent Study project, usually undertaken in the senior year.
A minor in German Literature and Culture consists of six courses: two courses from GER 202, 301 and 302; one course from the 341– 342 – 343 series; and three courses from GER 340, 401/2 and 470 – 489.
A minor in German Language and Culture consists of six course credits in German from the point of placement.
Prospective minors should consult with the department chair regarding either minor, including the choice of the “G” or “E” versions of some electives.
The writing requirement in the German major is met by completion of GER 301 and one 400-level seminar.
Majors in the Department of German have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: Heidelberg College program in Heidelberg, Germany; IES Berlin; Middlebury College program, Johannes-Gutenberg Universität, Mainz; German Millersville University program, Philipps Universität, Marburg, Germany. See International and Off-Campus Study section of the “Catalog” for further information.