German Studies

Brandenburg Gate

German Studies is a small student-focused program, providing courses in German language, culture, business, and history from the Middle Ages to the present. All students are encouraged to study abroad in a German-speaking country, with most choosing to do so in a semester of their Junior year or during a summer session.

German Studies is known for its "students first" attitude as the faculty members provide personal attention to students needs and foster a positive learning experience within the classroom. We offer a major, a minor, an interdisciplinary minor, and an honors program in addition to other activities for learning about German culture. These include the Stammtisch, a weekly meeting where students can speak German with others, and the German Club, a student-run organization that provides activities for students throughout the year.

Finally, German Studies is well known for the impressive success rate of its students who have applied for Fulbright post-graduate scholarships in Germany. In fact 13 students were accepted in 2007, which is believed to be the highest number of Fulbrights ever awarded to a single university in one country.”

Major in German

The major in German is designed to help students achieve linguistic, literary, and cultural competence and to foster and develop transferable skills of critical thinking, textual analysis, effective writing and communication, and international, cultural discernment. Training in German Studies includes advanced language courses combined with upper-level seminars on topical areas of literature, film, history, music, and culture. Majors complete the program with strong German-language proficiency, expertise in the analysis of texts and cultural artifacts in their historical and cultural context, the ability to produce texts of various genres in German, and the intellectual background for graduate study in German and many other fields, including business, law, political science, international studies, and medicine. German majors are eligible to apply for popular internships, which place Boston College students with companies in Germany or Austria every summer.

The German major requires ten three-credit courses (30 credits):

  • GERM2001–2002 German Composition and Conversation I and II (6 credits)
  • An upper-level topics course numbered GERM2003 or between GERM2010 and 2020 (3 credits)
  • GERM3000 History of German Literature (3 credits)
  • Six additional courses in German Studies, at or above the 1051 level, two of which may be taught in English (18 credits)

Students with a minimum 3.5 GPA may apply for the Honors program.

Students are encouraged to consult with the German Studies Director of undergraduate studies concerning opportunities for study abroad during their junior year at a German, Austrian, or Swiss university, in which case up to 12 credits (four three-credit courses) may be applied to the major. Only one course for the major program may be “double counted” toward another major, minor, or Core requirement. To declare your major in German Studies, contact the director of the major, Professor Michael Resler, Lyons Hall 201C, resler@bc.edu.

Minor in German

The minor in German is one of two minors offered by the German Studies program. The minor in German is for students interested in learning the German language and creating ties with the German-speaking world while combining their interest in German with other academic and professional goals. The foremost goal of the program is to foster among students an international focus and the accompanying skills, whatever their major may be. Minors are strongly encouraged to study or work abroad. German minors are eligible to apply for popular internships, which place Boston College students with companies in Germany or Austria every summer.

The German minor requires six three-credit courses (18 credits):

  • GERM2001–2002 German Conversation and Composition I and II (6 credits)
  • An upper-level topics course numbered GERM2003 or between GERM2010 and 2020 (3 credits)
  • Three additional courses in German Studies, at or above the 1051 level, one of which may be taught in English (9 credits)

Students are encouraged to consult with the German Studies Director of undergraduate studies concerning opportunities for study abroad at a German, Austrian, or Swiss university, in which case up to 6 credits (two three-credit courses) may be applied to the minor. Only one course for the minor program may be “double counted” toward another major, minor, or Core requirement. To declare your minor in German Studies, contact the director of the minor, Professor Daniel Bowles, Lyons Hall 201F, bowlesd@bc.edu.

Interdisciplinary Minor in German Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in German Studies (aka the “German Studies Minor”) aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of German-speaking civilization and its place in today's world. Students choose the interdisciplinary minor for its flexibility in taking courses tailored to their interests across departments and may complete the entire minor with courses taught in English. German Studies minors are eligible to apply for popular internships, which place Boston College students with companies in Germany or Austria every summer.

Requirements: Six three-credit courses (18 credits)

  • GERM2242/HIST2270 Germany Divided and Reunited (3 credits, next offered Spring 2021 and biennially)
  • Two additional courses in German Studies at or above the 1051 level (6 credits)
  • Three courses from at least two other departments in the Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences (9 credits, see suggestions below)

Consult the German Studies website for a list of courses from across the campus suited to the interdisciplinary minor in German Studies. The Director of the Interdisciplinary Minor updates this list for each semester’s available courses. Students are encouraged to consult with the director concerning opportunities for study abroad at a German, Austrian, or Swiss university, in which case up to 6 credits may be applied to the minor. Only one course for the minor program may be “double counted” toward another major, minor, or a Core requirement.

To declare your German Studies minor and plan your course of study, contact the director of the interdisciplinary minor, Professor Nick Block, Lyons 201A, blockni@bc.edu.

Interdisciplinary Minor Courses: Fall 2021

A non-exhaustive list of courses in English suitable for the German Studies minor.

Course Name Course Number Semester Offered/Credits
Modern Architecture ARTH2251 Timothy Orwig
Modernism and the Avant-Garde, 1900-1945 ARTH2258 Kevin Lotery
Critical Theory COMM3378 Ernesto Livon-Grosman
Representing the Holocaust GERM2203
FILM2253
Nick Block
Goethe and Schiller GERM3003 Michael Resler
German Fairy Tales Old and New GERM3008 Dept
Holocaust Literature: History, Memory, Legacy HIST4294 Maxim Shrayer
Music of the Classic Period MUSA2205 Jeremiah McGrann
J. S. Bach MUSA3260 Peter Watchorn
The Schumanns MUSA3277 Sandra Hebert
The Music Industry MUSA2410 Donald James
Chromatic Harmony MUSA3100 Ralf Gawlick,
Lee Thomas
True Fiction: From Philosophy to Literature PHIL4380 Kevin Newmark
Freud and Philosophy PHIL4429 Vanessa Rumble
Immigration in Contemporary Europe POLI2440 Elitsa Molles

Courses

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule section in Agora for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

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Professional Concentration in German Studies

At Boston College, many students double-major in another discipline. The professional concentration (or "professional track") allows those German majors or minors who are also studying fields related to business, STEM, political science, or economics, among others, to take advantage of the thriving German economy that makes Europe a potential career destination.

The professional concentration requires two three-credit courses (6 credits), taught in German, counting simultaneously toward the German major or minors:

  • GERM2004 German for Professional Purposes (3 credits)
  • GERM2005 Germany in Europe Today (3 credits)

Students majoring or minoring in German Studies can apply in the fall semester for popular internships, which place Boston College students with companies in Germany or Austria every summer. Past students have even had two internships in different summers. Inquire about the internship, for which you may receive one course credit, by contacting Ursula Mangoubi in Lyons 201G, mangoubi@bc.edu.

  • GERM5501 German Studies Internship (1 credit)

Internships can be arranged to precede or follow a year or a semester of study abroad without the need to leave Europe. Business students are encouraged to attend the Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business) or the Ingolstadt School of Management affiliated with our partner university the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. Students in other fields should consult with faculty members about the best academic options for their study goals.

Honors Program in German Studies

Students with a minimum 3.5 GPA in German Studies courses are encouraged to apply for the Honors program in German. Honors students take an additional 6 credits in German Studies (either one additional 3-credit upper-level course and one semester of GERM6699, or two semesters of GERM6699). As part of GERM6699, students complete a bachelor’s thesis on a topic chosen in consultation with their proposed thesis advisor. To apply for the Honors program, please contact the director of undergraduate studies, Professor Daniel Bowles, Lyons 201F, bowlesd@bc.edu.

Internships

Contact: Ursula Mangoubi, German Studies

German majors or German minors can apply for an internship in Germany to learn first-hand about daily life and business practices. The application process starts at the beginning of the Fall semester, but it is never too late to inquire about last-minute opportunities.

Since 2004, BC students have interned in various cities and towns in Germany, among them: Frankfurt, Berlin, Wiesbaden, Karlsruhe, Kassel and Hannover. Internships are available in a wide area of fields from Finance, Administration, and Science to Politics.

Education and more. No matter what major or minor you chose, consider applying for a summer internship in Germany.

USA-Interns Program in Frankfurt. The majority of the internships, 32 so far, have been obtained via this program. Our partnership began in 2005 when Vladmir Ilic (CSOM ’06) did a paid internship at the Frankfurt office of Cerberus, a private equity firm. More recently, USA-Interns place four Boston College students.

  • Shan Rizwan (MCAS ’21 interned at the Mayor’s Office/Treasurer of the City of Frankfurt.

  • Yanlin Zi (MCAS ’21) did research at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) on the Wiesbaden Campus. (Read about her experience).

  • Thomas Schloo (MCAS ’20) interned for Regional Rhein Main Economic Development Frankfurt (Read about his experience).

  • Shao Yuan Liao (MCAS ‘20) did a marketing internship at 4YourBooking in Hannover.

  • Sabrina Black (MCAS ’19) interned at the International Summer University in Kassel. (Read about her experience).

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, a highly competitive year-long study and internship program for those interested in politics was awarded to Maria Nero (’15) and Alex Hawley (’16).

The RISE summer internship program for biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and engineering majors is provided through the DAAD. Combine DAAD summer course grant which pays part of your transportation costs, with a summer internship in Germany.

Take a 10-minute tour of what life in an internship is like with Shan Rizwan (’21), who interned at the Frankfurt Mayor’s office & Treasurer!

Fulbright Fellowships

The Fulbright Fellowship provides a full stipend for one academic year after graduation from Boston College to pursue research or teach. Perhaps more importantly, it represents a prestigious life-long distinction of inestimable value later in life.

Over the past 30 years, German Studies at Boston College has enjoyed unusual success in promoting its graduating seniors (most particularly its majors and minors) for Fulbright Fellowships to Germany and Austria. Cumulatively, Boston College has sent more students to Germany and Austria as Fulbright scholars than any other university in the United States. In 2006-2007 we achieved an all-time record of thirteen, the most in the 70-year history of the Fulbright Program.

Students are strongly encouraged to begin planning for the Fulbright application as early as possible in their careers at Boston College. All who are interested should e-mail Professor Michael Resler.

General information is provided by The Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

German Studies major Solina Jean-Louis (’18) with Christiane Amanpour and Chancellor Angela Merkel on Fulbright exchange, Jan. 2019

German Studies major Solina Jean-Louis (’18) with Christiane Amanpour and Chancellor Angela Merkel on Fulbright exchange, Jan. 2019

Graduate Teaching Assistant Program at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

The Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, KU) offers a graduate teaching assistant position for the academic year 2020-21, either one semester or whole academic year. The KU is a top-ranked university in the middle of Bavaria, about 60 miles outside of Munich, Germany. The teaching period is October to February and April to July. Since the summer program will begin in April, it is ideal for graduate students who are finishing an interim study or research semester.

Brief Program Description

The Graduate Teaching Assistant Program offers the opportunity to live, teach and conduct research in one of the most beautiful areas of Germany. Current seniors and graduate students are eligible to apply. The TA will teach three to four courses, each with one 90-minute session per week for a total of six to eight contact hours per week. The TA will be paid EUR 25 per hour (45 minutes) and granted a scholarship (about EUR 1250,-). Remuneration per semester: approximately EUR 3200-3800, depending on the number of courses. In addition to teaching, the assistant is a regular full-time student and may attend seminars and classes in all faculties and departments. Applicants must have a good — though not necessarily fluent — command of German (at least B2 level). The KU will offer the TA the opportunity to take additional German classes to improve their German skills.

Graduate Teaching Assistants from BC have taught, among others, the following courses: "US Current Events," "Debating and Discussion", "Oral and Aural Competences", "Current US Media", “TOEFL preparation course”, "English Conversation for students" and “English conversation for administration staff” (Courses can vary from semester to semester). Accommodation the International Office will reserve adequate accommodation, if requested by sending the housing form, either for an academic year or one semester. Costs depend on kind of accommodation.

Application

Students interested in the program must be nominated by Prof. Michael Resler. Once the nomination has been confirmed with KU-Eichstätt, the application process can begin. The deadline to apply for the program is usually in May. For more information about the program, the application requirements and process, please contact Michael Resler.

German Studies Conversation Hours

Beginner/Intermediate

Runde im Rat. In the Rat/ Welsh Dining, look for the table with the German Flag! This hour is very casual and intended to be comfortable for anyone to practice their German in an informal setting with tutors and other students. 

Intermediate/Advanced

Stammtisch. Come to the German Studies in Lyons 201E to get to know other students, play board games, and enjoy good German conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. Current events are discussed as well as Alltagsgespräche. Snacks are always served!

For information on times this semester, e-mail german.studies@bc.edu.

Conversation Table

German Club

The German Club is Boston College's student-run organization for the promotion of German language and culture. The primary purpose of the German Club is to act as a forum to keep people involved in the German language and German Studies connected to each other. Thus the German Club serves undergraduate students at BC, graduate students, and international students—even faculty and staff participate in Club activities. Anyone can join.

The Club organizes social functions such as an Oktoberfest, a Christmas party, and a weekly German Table. Each year we celebrate the beginning of the Fall semester with a picnic at Hovey House to welcome our students. For more information visit the Club's Facebook site or contact the club's officers.

President: Linda (Yanlin) Zi

Vice President: Yuezhen (Cecelia) Chen

Treasurer: Yuqian (Helen) Zhang

Grman Club in the Snow

Every year students from the German Studies department have the opportunity to join the annual ski trip. The activity may be snowshoeing, snow boarding, alpine skiing, or just to enjoy the winter day outside. The day is topped off with a gathering at Professor Resler's place at the "Hexenhäuschen". There everyone enjoys conversations and good food before heading home from the day trip. Seen here in this picture are Alice and Jane getting ready for snowshoeing.

Resources

In addition to its offering German courses German Studies offers other activities that help provide students with a broader knowledge of German culture.

The German Club offers students activities throughout the year and promotes the German Table, or Stammtisch, which is a place where students can practice their German-speaking skills. The Heinz Bluhm Memorial Library is located in German Studies - Lyons 201 E - and is open to the entire Boston College community during the regular office hours M-F 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Luther Index Verborum is an ongoing major scholarly project housed in the Department with an online database of Martin Luther's Writings.

Finally, German Studies has been successful with its students applying for the Fulbright Scholarship. In 2006-2007 we actually produced 13 Fulbright scholars for post-graduate work in Germany, which was the most that year of any university in the United States. Boston Globe

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