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The German Major


German majors will gain an understanding and appreciation of German culture, past and present. They will understand spoken and written German to the level of understanding German prose, drama, poetry, periodicals, and other texts. They either will have reached or will be well on their way toward reaching the linguistic capacity and cultural competence for engaging in intellectual discourse in written and spoken German.

Only courses conducted in German count towards the major. Students who begin studying German in college may count 6 credits from the 200 level (GERMN 200-203) toward the major. Students who began German elsewhere should consult the chair regarding placement in the German major.

The major consists of 24 credits chosen from the following courses:
Advanced courses in language, level I: GERMN 301, 302, 310, 312
Advanced courses in literature, level I: GERMN 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 327, 328, 334, 335, 336, 339
Advanced courses in language, level II: GERMN 381, 382, 383, 385
Advanced courses in literature, level II: GERMN 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 353, 359
Special projects: GERMN 444, 491, 492, 493, 498

At least 12 credits must be earned by taking advanced classes in German literature and culture (numbered 320-359; also 444).  Three or more of these credits must be from level II literature courses (numbered 340-359; also 444).  Majors are permitted to substitute one level I literature course (numbered 320-339) with a level II language course (numbered 381-385).  Students are encouraged to consult a departmental adviser as early as possible to plan their course of studies in German.

Our majors say that they appreciate:

  • studying in a supportive and organized program that measures and tracks their linguistic progress
  • opportunities to travel affordably to Germany and use the language there
  • increased marketability for internationally oriented careers

They have gone on to graduate school in German, linguistics, law, international relations, public policy, art history, and art & design. They work in high schools, colleges, publishing houses, museums, and advocacy organizations. Our alumni are building careers in the major New York institutions where German is spoken, including the German American Chamber of Commerce, the German Consulate, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the Goethe-Institut New York.

To declare a German major, please visit 

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