The German Studies major offers an interdisciplinary approach to German language, literature, and culture, including such areas as film, art, music, history, philosophy, and critical theory. Many students successfully combine their German major with a second major or concentration in another field, and indeed the various tracks within the German major are designed to create space for students to explore connections between their studies in German and other majors, minors, and concentrations.  Most majors participate in Macalester’s 6-month study abroad program in Berlin and Vienna, usually in their junior year, where they take courses at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin and the University of Vienna and frequently complete an internship.


German Studies Major | German Studies Minor

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the German Studies department count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities, except for elementary and intermediate language courses.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and U.S identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Policy on German Language Grades

In order to be accepted into the next higher German language course in the sequence, a student must have received a grade of C- or higher in the previous course. For additional information regarding the language requirement, see the college requirements.

Honors Program

The German Studies department participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations for the department are available from either the department office or the Academic Programs and Advising Office.

Topics Courses

GERM 194, GERM 294, GERM 394, GERM 494 

Recent courses: Existentialism; Modernism/Postmodernism; Exile Literature; Literary Case Studies from Goethe to Kafka, Movies of the Third Reich, Film Theory: From Goebbels to Hollywood, and Critical Theory. Many of these courses fulfill the critical theory requirement. May be taught in English or in German. Offered every year. To be announced at registration. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

 

German Studies Major

Major Requirements

Students earn a major by choosing from among several tracks, listed below. Students should work closely with an advisor in German Studies to choose a track and list of courses that match their interests and goals. All tracks require 40-credits (typically 10-courses) above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include:

  1. Participation in the Macalester German Studies study abroad program or in another approved, semester-long study abroad program entailing at least 12-credits in German Studies courses taught in German above fourth-semester German;
  2. Completion of a capstone project in GERM 488 - Senior Seminar.

Language and Culture

A major with an emphasis in language and culture offers in-depth training in the core areas of German Studies. Students completing this track typically attain the highest level of proficiency in German language. Up to two of the 10-courses required for the major may be taken in English. Students are required to complete:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Away
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. Additional courses above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I with substantial German content as needed to complete a total of 40-credits of coursework. These courses may be chosen either from among the department's own course offerings or in another relevant field, provided they form a coherent plan of study designed in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. Up to eight of the 40-credits required for the major may be acquired in courses conducted in English. Possible courses include:

Art History

A major with an emphasis in art history offers students the opportunity to pursue their study of German while concentrating on the study of art history. Up to four of the 10 courses required for the major may be taken in English. Students are required to complete:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Abroad
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. A coherent set of four courses with an emphasis on art history, to be chosen in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. These will typically be taught in English, though courses taught in German (e.g. on study abroad) are also eligible. Not more than one of these may be taken at the 100-level. Eligible courses include:
  1. Other courses in German studies as needed to complete a total of 40 credits above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include at least 6 courses (24 credits) taught in German, such as:

Critical Theory

A major with an emphasis in critical theory offers students the opportunity to pursue their study of German while concentrating on critical theory. Up to four of the required 10 courses for the major may be taken in English. Students are required to complete:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Abroad
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. A coherent set of four courses in critical theory, to be chosen from among the department's own relevant course offerings or in another field in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. These courses may be taken in English or in German. Not more than one may be taken at the 100-level. Eligible courses include:
  1. Other courses in German studies as needed to complete a total of 40 credits above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include at least 6 courses (24 credits) taught in German, such as:

Film, Media, and Theater

A major with this emphasis offers students the opportunity to pursue their study of German while developing their knowledge of the theory and history of film, media, and/or theater. Up to four of the required 10 courses may be taken in English. Students are required to complete:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Abroad
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. A coherent set of four courses with an emphasis on film, media, and/or theater, to be chosen from among the department's own relevant course offerings or in another field in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. These courses may be taken in English or in German. Not more than one may be taken at the 100-level. Eligible courses include:
  1. Other courses in German studies as needed to complete a total of 40 credits above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include at least 6 courses (24 credits) taught in German, such as:

History

A major with an emphasis in history offers students the opportunity to pursue their study of German while concentrating on the study of history. Up to four of the required ten courses for the major may be taken in English. Students are required to complete:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Abroad
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. A coherent set of four courses with an emphasis on history, to be chosen from among the department's own relevant course offerings or in another field in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. These courses may be taken in English or in German. Not more than one may be taken at the 100-level. Courses must include:

i. At least two, and up to four courses involving study of the German-speaking lands and/or Europe. Eligible courses include:

ii. Up to two courses involving issues in global or transnational history or the study of historical methodology. Eligible courses include:

  1. Other courses in German studies as needed to complete a total of 40 credits above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include at least 6 courses (24 credits) taught in German, such as:

Literature

A major with an emphasis in literature allows students to pursue their study of German with a focus on the theory and history of literature, both in the German-speaking countries and globally. A maximum of four of the ten courses required for the major may be taught in English. Courses must include:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Abroad
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. A coherent set of at least four courses with an emphasis on the history and/or theory of literature, to be chosen from among the department's own relevant course offerings or in another field in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. These courses may be taken in any language. Not more than one may be taken at the 100-level. Eligible courses include:
  1. Other courses in German studies as needed to complete a total of 40 credits above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include at least 6 courses (24 credits) taught in German

Student Designed

A major with a student designed track allows students to pursue their study of German with a focus on a cognate field such as environmental studies, music, linguistics, international studies, religious studies, political science, or sociology. Students interested in this track should consult with their departmental advisor and the department chair. They must submit a proposal subject to approval by the department. At least six of the ten courses required for the major must be conducted in German. Courses must include:

  1. GERM 308 - German Cultural History I: Making Modern Germany or
    GERM 309 - German Cultural History II: Ruptures and Remakings of Modern Germany
  2. Study Abroad
  3. GERM 488 - Senior Seminar
  4. A coherent set of four courses with a clearly defined emphasis, to be chosen from among the department's own relevant course offerings or in another field in consultation with the student's departmental advisor. These courses may be taken in any language. Not more than one may be taken at the 100-level.
  5. Other courses in German studies as needed to complete a total of 40-credits above GERM 203 - Intermediate German I , to include at least 6-courses (24-credits) taught in German, such as

German Studies Minor

Minor Requirements

A minor in German Studies consists of five courses in the department beyond GERM 203 - Intermediate German I. They must include at least one course numbered GERM 363 or above, and no more than one course may be taught in English. Alternatively, successful completion of the Macalester German Studies Program and at least one more course in the department beyond GERM 203, would also constitute a minor.