The German department offers both a Major and Minor in German as well as an Interdisciplinary Minor in German Studies. These programs give students an opportunity to learn the language, culture and history of Germany. Students may also choose to take Business German (GERM 1175) and German Business & Trends in Europe (GERM 3320) in order to learn that field as well.
Students who have performed well in German (minimum 3.3 GPA) may apply for the Honors program.
Formal learning outcome as established by the German Studies Department is as follows: (1) proficiency in the German language including the ability to speak with idiomatic fluency; to read a wide variety of texts; to understand spoken German reasonably well; and to write with acceptable control over vocabulary and grammar; (2) familiarity with a range of German cultural phenomena including literature, philosophy, business, music, film, and history.
The major in German is designed to give the student an active command of the German language, an insight into German literature and culture, and provide the background for graduate study in the field.
30 credits or 10 courses
- GERM 2201-2202 - Composition and Conversation (six credits)
- GERM 2210-2211 - History of German Literature (six credits)
- Six semester courses in German literature and culture (18 credits)
Note for majors with transfer credits
Of the 30 credits or 10 semester courses, a minimum of 12 credits or four courses beyond Composition and Conversation (i.e., at least four upper-level literature or culture courses) must be taken within the German Studies department at Boston College. Courses taken abroad must be conducted in German to be counted toward the German Studies major.
Information for all first-year majors
A prospective German major should select an initial language course (e.g., GERM 1001, GERM 1050, or GERM 2201) according to their high school language preparation. Prior to the start of fall semester, contact the Department for the exact date and location of the placement/proficiency exam. If you have earned a 600 on the SAT II or 4 on the AP test, you can sign up for GERM 2201 and do not have to take the proficiency exam.
Students can supplement this choice with an elective—German literature, culture, philosophy, history, art history, music, or a German course offered in English translation.
In all, 30 credits or 10 one-semester courses in German, numbered 1000 and above, are required to complete the major. Courses taken abroad, to be counted toward the German major, must be conducted in German. Students must have at least 27 credits in the major program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor. Interested students are asked to contact the faculty adviser for the German major, Professor Michael Resler, Lyons 201C, 617-552-3744, email@example.com.
The minor in German is for students seriously interested in learning German and in creating ties with the German-speaking world. The program allows students to combine an interest in German with other academic and professional goals, without the burden of a double major. The foremost goal of the program is to encourage more students to adopt an international focus, whatever their major may be, and to motivate more students to study abroad.
Students wishing to minor in German are required to complete 18 credits or six one-semester courses, including an introductory sequence,
- GERM 1051 Intermediate German II and
- GERM 2201-2202 German Conversation and Composition I and II
The remaining required course is
- GERM 2290 Advanced Reading in German.
- Two additional upper-level courses may include Business German GERM 1175, and one course may be conducted in English translation.
Planning and fulfilling the minor in German requires the final approval of the Director of the minor. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director concerning opportunities for study abroad during their junior year at a German or Austrian university. Students must have at least 15 credits in the minor program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor. Interested students are asked to contact the Director of the minor, Asst. Professor Daniel Bowles, Lyons Hall 201F, 617-552-3740, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The minor in German Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the language and cultures of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The foremost goal of the program is to provide participants with a broad, in-depth understanding of the various contributions German-speaking civilizations have made—from the early Middle Ages to the present—to the development of the Western world. Among the disciplines that may be studied are the literature, art, music, history, theology, and philosophy of the German world.
The interdisciplinary minor consists of 18 credits or six upper-division courses:
- Germany Divided and Reunited (GERM 2242),
- two additional upper-level courses, at least one of which must be conducted in German, from the Department of German Studies, and
- three courses or nine credits from other departments.
The three non-German courses may be chosen, in consultation with the Director of the minor, from the relevant offerings of at least two of the following departments: history, music, theology, fine arts, and philosophy. Such courses should focus upon subjects related to German culture. Students must have at least 15 credits in the minor program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor or a Core requirement. The following courses are examples of courses usually offered in the Spring semester:
- ARTH 2232 Northern Renaissance Art
- ARTH 3356 Art Since 1945
- GERM 1175 Business German
- GERM 2202 German Composition and Conversation II
- GERM 2211 History of German Literature II
- GERM 2214 Poetic Mind of Germany, GERM 2239 Knights, and Dragons
- GERM 2290 Advanced Reading in German
- HIST 4452 European War and Genocide
- MUSA 1175 Music of the Holocaust and Third Reich
- MUSA 2207 Music of the Romantic Era, MUSA 2270 Beethoven
- PHIL 3399 Heidegger Project II
- PHIL 4408 Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Philosophy
- PHIL 5595 Kant's Critique
- THEO 4449 Jewish Liturgy: History and Theology
- THEO 4495 Hitler, Pius X, and Vatican II
Students who are already pursuing a double major will not be accepted into the German Studies minor. Planning and fulfilling the minor in German Studies requires the final approval of the Director of the minor. Students are encouraged to consult with the Director concerning opportunities for study abroad during their junior year at a German or Austrian university. Interested students are asked to contact the Director of the minor, Daniel Bowles, Lyons 201F, 617-552-3740, email@example.com.
The Business Track concentration allows students to combine a dual interest in business and German in a program of study that prepares the student for an international career. Business German (GERM 1175) can be taken as part of a German major or minor or as an individual course. The prerequisite for Business German is four college level semester courses of German or the equivalent.
Business German is an outgrowth of the overall globalization of business, in particular between Germany and the United States. The thriving German economy makes Central and Eastern Europe a strong market for American products and has enabled German companies to open branches in the United States. The Business Track has been developed in conjunction with the Boston College Carroll School of Management.
Business German (GERM 1175) will usually be offered in the Fall semester to enable students to take German Business & Trends in Europe (GERM 3320) in the Spring semester and to spend the following summer in a one-credit internship program in a German-speaking country (GERM 5501*). Students are also encouraged to spend a year or a semester at the Ingolstadt School of Management affiliated with our partner university, the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, or at the WU (Vienna University of Economics & Business).
Students can attain a Certificate in Business German by completing 16 credits:
- GERM 1175 Business German,
- GERM 2290 Advanced Reading in German,
- GERM 2242 Germany Divided & Reunited,
- GERM 3320 German Business & Trends in Europe,
- and one additional upper-level German course
- as well as GERM 5501 German Studies Internship:*
These courses may count simultaneously toward the German major or either of the German minors.
*Application process starts at the beginning of the Fall semester. Please consult with Ursula Mangoubi in Lyons 201G or via email with a satisfactory report from the internship provider.
Subject to departmental approval, the Honors program in German Studies is offered to interested students who maintain a cumulative average of at least 3.3 in German. Under the direction of a member of the department these students are advised to begin in the second semester of their junior year, a research project that will lead to an honors thesis.
For information please contact Martha Kraft, Administrative Assistant, German Studies, Lyons Hall - E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-552-3740.
For questions during the summer (June–August) please contact Professor Michael Resler, German Studies, Lyons Hall 201C - E-mail email@example.com or 617-552-3744.
- If you scored four or five on the German Language AP exam or over 600 on the SAT subject test, consult with Professor Daniel Bowles.
- If you scored three or less on the German Language AP exam or less than 600 on the SAT subject test, or if you have not taken either exam, you must take the German Placement Test.
- You must take the German Placement test prior to the beginning of the Fall semester.
- If you place into Intermediate I, you should register for GERM 1050. Please write down your score if you would like to discuss your placement with an adviser.
- If you have never studied German, take GERM 1001: Elementary German I.
- If you have never studied German but learned it from family members (heritage speakers), you must take the German Placement Test. Sign up for the course suggested upon finishing the exam.
- Please note: The Department of German Studies welcomes native speakers of German into our English-language courses on German literature and culture, but restricts their enrollment in higher-level literature and culture courses conducted in German. In such cases, the express permission of the instructor is required for enrollment. Students with this level of German-language ability may not enroll in German language classes designed for students still learning the language.
Majors in German Studies will have acquired the following set of skills and knowledge by the time they graduate from Boston College:
- Advanced proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing
- Capacity to articulate discussions, arguments, and analyses with clear, structured, and in-depth critical-thinking processes and communicate them effectively to others
- Familiarity with the principal works, authors, genres, and movements in German-language literature and culture from 800 C.E. to the present
- Ability to employ disciplinary terminology appropriately and to perform critical disciplinary practices like close reading; historical research; formal, expository and creative writing; and the analysis of grammar, form, and film sequences
- Ability to analyze and interpret texts and other cultural media from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland within their social, historical, and political contexts
- Capacity to adopt an international perspective and to relate the knowledge and practices of German Studies appropriately to other cultures, disciplines, fields, and interests
Minors in German or in German Studies will have acquired the following set of skills and knowledge by the time they graduate from Boston College:
- Strong proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing
- Familiarity with major cultural highpoints of the German-language world
- Broad, in-depth understanding of the contributions German-speaking civilizations have made to the development of the Western world
- Capacity to adopt an international perspective and to relate the knowledge and practices of German Studies appropriately to other cultures, disciplines, fields, and interests, especially the student’s primary major
Students who have taken German-department courses that satisfy the Core Curriculum Literature Requirement will have:
- Gained deeper insight into the ways in which Western cultures, especially German-speaking ones, have framed and challenged different mechanisms of self-understanding, be it through the concept of justice, modernity, madness, or other
- Engaged in critical inquiry and reflected meaningfully on alternative ways of looking at the world through literature, together with their peers and course instructor
- Been introduced to (or further developed) the disciplinary practices of literary study, including close reading, textual analysis, critical thought, and the practice of writing
- Been afforded the opportunity to identify the linguistic and formal satisfactions of literary art, especially of German-language literature since 1800
The courage to try something new
Nathan Staudinger '08 says his BC education gave him the confidence he needed to move across the country and start a job at Fox International Channels in LA. The German Studies major is currently an MBA student at Wharton School of Business and is building towards a career in the entertainment industry.