German Studies exposes students to the language, literature, and culture of the German speaking areas of Central Europe. Concentrators combine intensive study of the German language with interdisciplinary studies by complementing courses from the German Studies core program with courses from other departments that deal with topics from the German cultural tradition. The quest for national identity that dominated German history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been augmented by contemporary Germany's efforts to come to terms with its past and create new ways of dealing with diversity. Our curriculum therefore looks back at the German literary, cultural, and historical tradition, examining figures from Goethe or Christa Wolf to Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, alongside the “texts” of contemporary German media, including television, film, and music. Most concentrators study abroad for one or two semesters.
Students in this concentration will:
- Attain a nuanced understanding of histories, literatures, and politics of the German-speaking world
- Acquire advanced speaking and writing abilities in German
- Develop sophisticated analytical approaches to the study of German texts
- Produce a senior project focusing on one aspect of the German cultural tradition
Honors and CapstonesView Honors website
All concentrators must complete a capstone in the form of a Senior Seminar during the senior year as part of the five courses that must be taken within the Department of German Studies. 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. Candidates for Honors must have a superior record in departmental courses, be approved by the Department of German Studies, and produce an acceptable Thesis. Honors candidates must take one additional course at the 1000-level from the German Studies offerings. This course may be used for writing the Honors Thesis. Please consult the department’s website for a complete description of admission procedures and requirements.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
- Enhance your aesthetic sensibility
- Expand your reading skills
- Understand differences among cultures
- Embrace Diversity
- Engage with your community
- Develop a facility with symbolic languages
- Learn what it means to study the past
- Evaluate human behavior
- Work on your speaking and writing
German Studies alumni have pursued careers in media and entertainment, marketing and management consulting, and university teaching and research.
Dept. Undergraduate Group
- Jieran Cao