German and German Studies Major and Minor

We offer a broadly conceived German studies program which encourages a comparative study of the German language and culture through its linguistic and literary history, systems of thought, institutions, political configurations, and arts and sciences.

Curriculum & Courses

Course offerings serve students with particular interests in German literature, literary theory and criticism as well as those interested in studying German and German-speaking cultures from the perspective of communication arts, film, history, history of ideas, history of art and architecture, history of religion, institutions, linguistics, mass media, philosophy, politics, urban anthropology, and folklore. Majors choose between a literature concentration or a German studies concentration, and thorough knowledge of German is a common goal for both. The objective of our language instruction is to teach students communicative skills that would enable them to function effectively in authentic conditions of language use, and to speak and write in idiomatic German. Major components of all German courses are the examination of issues that underline the cosmopolitanism as well as the specificity and complexity of contemporary German culture. We encourage many German majors to take courses in interdisciplinary areas, such as comparative literature, history, political science, philosophy, music, and feminist and gender studies, where they read works of criticism in these areas in the original German.

  • Major

    After the completion of the GERM H101-GERM H102 sequence (or its equivalent) the German language and literature concentration normally follows the sequence GERM H201 and/or GERM H202 (or equivalents at Bryn Mawr); GERM B209 or GERM B212, or GERM B213; plus additional courses to complete the 10 units, two of them at the 300 level; and finally one semester of Senior Conference or either an additional 300-level seminar in German or GERM B403 (Supervised Work) for double majors. 

    A German Studies major normally includes GERM H201 or H202; GERM H223 or GERM B245; one 200- and one 300-level course in German literature; three courses (at least one at the 300 level) in subjects central to aspects of German culture, history, or politics; and one semester of GERM H321 (Advanced Topics in German Cultural Studies). Bryn Mawr equivalents may be substituted. Within each concentration, courses need to be selected so as to achieve a reasonable breadth, but also a degree of disciplinary coherence.  

    No more than four credits will be awarded for work done beyond the Tri-College Consortium and UPenn, whether abroad or in the U.S.

  • Minor

    A minor in German and German Studies consists of six units of work. To earn a minor, students are normally required to take GERM H201 or GERM H202, and five additional units covering a reasonable range of study topics, of which at least one unit is at the 300 level. One upper-level course may be chosen with the approval of the department from the recommended electives for German Studies majors. Bryn Mawr equivalents may be substituted.

    No more than four credits will be awarded for work done beyond the Tri-College Consortium and UPenn, whether abroad or in the U.S.

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After Graduation

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