The Department of German offers an A.B. in German and a minor in German.

The German Department offers coursework in language, culture, literature, and linguistics. Entering students take a placement test during the summer before their arrival to determine where to begin the program. 

Major in German

Requirements for the A.B. in German

10 German courses (unless placement requires additional language study) consisting of:

  • GERM 2011 – Intensive Advanced German: Stories and Histories (Level III) or GERM 2002
  • GERM 3000 – Text in Context (Level IV) or GERM 3001 – Mitten in Europa
  • Recommended but optional: one additional Level IV course; GERM 3000-3999
  • Electives to make a total of 10 courses, preferably GERM 4000–GERM 4999. One of these courses may be substituted with a GERM course taught in English.

Major electives must be approved by faculty advisor.

Students with AP credit and an adequate placement exam score may need less than 10 courses to fulfill the requirements for the major. [See separate section on AP credit for more information.]

German majors are strongly encouraged to take a second language.

Integrated Writing

In the German Department’s Developing Multiple Literacies undergraduate curriculum, writing plays a pivotal role in fostering:

• language learning in all modalities (i.e., speaking and reading);
• development of advanced foreign language literacy understood as the ability to use language in a variety of private and public social settings, including academic, institutional, and professional contexts;
• development of substantial cultural studies knowledge through textual meaning making;
• emergence of individual voice and personal meaning in the context of expected community standards.

For more details, please visit:

Minor in German

Students majoring in other subjects are welcome to minor in German. Six courses taught in GERM are required (beginning with GERM 1502 or GERM 1511), at least three of which need to be at a level above 3000. At least one course should be a level V course. Students also have the option of taking one GERM course taught in English and counting it towards the minor.

To declare a German minor, please complete this form.

Certificate in European Studies

See the European Studies Certificate section in the Bulletin.

Five-Year Joint Bachelor/Master Degree Program

The German Department offers qualified undergraduate students the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees at an accelerated pace (five years total). Students are able to count two graduate courses taken during their undergraduate career for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and one course at the 4200+ level above and beyond the 120 credits required for the BA can also count toward the MA.

Interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Department Chair Peter C. Pfeiffer at by the end of the fall semester of their junior year. Additional Graduate School application information can be found on the German section of the Graduate School’s website.

For more information, please see the Accelerated Bachelor/Master’s Program section on this topic in the Bulletin.

Cultural Opportunities

Students are urged to participate in numerous cultural opportunities offered by the Department and the Washington, DC, area. For details, contact the German Department at

Study Abroad

The Department requires students to have a significant overseas study experience. Students interested in the University’s five-week summer study program at the University of Trier, Federal Republic of Germany, should contact the Department or the Office of Global Education. The University also conducts semester and full-year programs at the universities of Berlin, Freiburg, Munich, Tübingen, and Vienna. For students who spent a semester or year abroad during high school, this may fulfill the overseas study experience. In addition, students can, in consultation with their advisors, apply for internship in various German-speaking countries. (See the Global Education section of this Bulletin.)

Scholarship Support

The German Department provides generous support to enable student participation in the Trier summer program through the Heinz C. Prechter Fellowship (World Heritage Foundation), the Kurt Jankowsky Fellowship, and the Friends-of-the-Trier-Program fund. Competitions are announced on the Trier program website.

For course listings for German, please see the Schedule of Classes