BA in German Language & Literature

In the Bachelor of Arts in German Language and Literature program, students examine everything from the age of Goethe and the fairy tale to business German and the Berlin Wall. While studying the German-speaking world, students gain important background on relevant political and cultural contexts from the early modern period to the present.

Many students in the German program double major or minor in international affairs with concentrations in Western European studies. In recent years, alumni of the German program have won Fulbright fellowships to teach and study in Germany, been accepted to top graduate programs, received the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals scholarship and worked at institutions including the State Department, the Goethe-Institut and the World Bank.

Core Components

In addition to the Columbian College’s general requirements, German majors must complete courses from five core areas:

  1. Language Proficiency: Students must demonstrate fourth-year proficiency in German. This can be accomplished by taking all the prerequisite and core courses listed under Course Requirements, placing into the advanced level on the placement exam or transferring credit from the Advanced Placement exam. Majors can also take the intensive track (GER 1005 and GER 1006), which covers GER 1001 through GER 1004 in only two semesters.
  2. Introductory German Literature and Culture (6 credit hours)
  3. German Literature and Culture in English (6 credit hours)
  4. German Literature and Culture in German (12 credit hours)
  5. Columbian College Requirements

See Course Requirements for details.

Honors in German

Departmental Honors

Students interested in earning special honors in German Language and Literature to be noted on their transcript must meet all requirements:

  • Meet GW’s general special honors requirements.
  • Graduate with a GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.5 in classes for the major.
  • Apply for honors candidacy no later than the end of the first semester of junior year.
  • Attain speaking proficiency at the advanced level, as measured by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview.
  • Successfully complete an honors thesis during the courses GER 4197: Senior Honors Thesis I and GER 4198 Senior Honors Thesis II.  

Delta Phi Alpha National German Honor Society

The National German Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha, seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. German majors and minors are nominated by GW faculty for induction.

German Program Awards

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

One of the following options:
Option A:
GER 1005
GER 1006
Intensive Beginning German I
and Intensive Beginning German II
Option B:
GER 1001
GER 1002
First-Year German I
and First-Year German II
GER 1003
GER 1004
Second-Year German I
and Second-Year German II
GER 2009
GER 2010
Intermediate German I
and Intermediate German II
GER 2109
GER 2110
Advanced Conversation and Composition
and Germany in the Age of Globalization
Two courses from the following:
GER 2091
GER 2092
Introduction to German Literature—in English I
and Introduction to German Literature—in English II
GER 2161
GER 2162
German Culture–in English I
and German Culture–in English II
Two courses from the following:
GER 2111Business German
GER 2161
GER 2162
German Culture–in English I
and German Culture–in English II (if not taken above)
GER 2165Twentieth-Century German Literature–in English
GER 3181History of German Cinema—in English
GER 3182The Fairy Tale from the Grimms to Disney
GER 3183Berlin Before and After the Wall (in English)
GER 3184German Thought—in English
GER 3185Literary Voices and the Fascist Experience—in English
GER 3186German Women Writers of the 19th and 20th Centuries (in English)
GER 3187German Cinema after 1945 (in English)
GER 3188The Lives of East Germans (in English)
Four courses from the following:
GER 3189Dealing with the Communist Past in Germany and Eastern Europe
GER 4171The Age of Goethe—in German (in German)
GER 4172From Romanticism to Realism (in German)
GER 4173Naturalism to Expressionism (in German)
GER 4174Inside/Outside the Third Reich (in German)
GER 4175Literature of two Germanies (in German)
GER 4176Contemporary German Literature (in German)