B.A. in German

The major in German places the artistic and intellectual traditions of German-speaking countries and their people in a revealing interdisciplinary context. Students investigate the language and cultures of these countries using approaches from linguistics, theater and performance studies, film and media studies, philosophy, Jewish studies, gender studies, queer theory, eco-criticism, environmental studies, and more. They build advanced proficiency in the German language through study abroad, internships, and a capstone intensive language course, with the option to pursue departmental honors. By drawing on these diverse fields, students investigate the two-way influence that German-speaking countries and the world have had on each other. Graduates use their skills in verbal interpretation and analysis, critical thinking, and solving complex problems to succeed in diverse roles in the public and private sectors.

As part of the degree, students gain advanced linguistic proficiency in German. Because German 101, 201, and 301 are available only in the fall, students should sign up to begin as early as possible. If you have previous experience studying German, see our information on placement tests. An accelerated first-year German course is available in the summer. For additional information, please contact the German Language Program Director Klaus Brandl.

Admissions, Advising & Student Resources

Please see our Undergraduate Programs section for information about applying to the program, career paths, scholarships, and other student resources.

If you have questions about German Studies programs or coursework, you can contact our Undergraduate Programs Coordinator, Kye Terrasi.

Degree Requirements

For students beginning in 2017-18 or later, the degree requirements for a B.A. in German are listed below.

51 credits in all

Required Courses (31 credits)

  • German 203 (or equivalent)
  • 2 courses from: German 301, 302, 303 (or equivalent)
  • German 401 (or equivalent)
  • German 311 (Introduction to Literary Studies)
  • 2 courses from 400-level literature offerings (411,421,422,423,497, etc)

Elective Courses (20 credits)

Choose from many offerings in:

  • Language
  • Literature
  • Culture
  • Linguistics

Every quarter we also offer English-language courses that count toward elective credit, such as:

  • Cultures of Extinction
  • The Otherworldly: Fairy Tales and the Environmental Imagination
  • Vienna 1900: The Naked Truth: Crisis and Renewal
  • The Layered City: Excavating Diversity in the Metropolis Berlin
  • The Human Animal
  • The Queerness of Love
  • Medieval Literature and Culture: Adapting Arthur
  • Sympathy for the Devil: The Rhetoric of Compassion
  • The Tele-Novel: Seriality and Visual Storytelling
  • Witchcraft. From History to Pop Culture

Degree Requirements Prior to 2017-18

51 credits as follows:

15 Credits: GERMAN 203, GERMAN 311, GERMAN 401

Two 400-level courses in literature and culture (10 credits): GERMAN 411, GERMAN 412, GERMAN 421, GERMAN 422, GERMAN 423, GERMAN 490, GERMAN 493, GERMAN 494, GER MAN 495, GERMAN 497

Two 300-level courses in language (6 credits): GERMAN 301, GERMAN 302, GERMAN 303

20 additional credits from any combination of the following courses, or additional courses from the list above. No more than 10 of these credits can be at the 200 level.
Language: GERMAN 304, GERMAN 307, GERMAN 333, GERMAN 334, GERMAN 498
Literature: GERMAN 210, GERMAN 243, GERMAN 293, GERMAN 295, GERMAN 300, GERMAN 312, GERMAN 313, GERMAN 340, GERMAN 341, GERMAN 342, GERMAN 345, GERMAN 346, GERMAN 349, GERMAN 350, GERMAN 351, GERMAN 352, GERMAN 353, GERMAN 360, GERMAN 390, GERMAN 397, GERMAN 490, GERMAN 494, GERMAN 497
Culture: GERMAN 322, GERMAN 323, GERMAN 355, GERMAN 370, GERMAN 371, GERMAN 399, GERMAN 499
Linguistics: GERMAN 220, GERMAN 451, GERMAN 452, GERMAN 479
Other: GERMAN 395/396 (4 credits max.), GERMAN 398, GERMAN 446 (5 credits max.), GERMAN 447 (5 credits max.)

When students test out of language courses (German 203, 301, 302, 303, 401) due to prior competency in German, these requirements become electives.

Study Abroad

We work individually with students to make study abroad opportunities count toward gaining credit toward their degrees at German, Austrian, and Swiss universities. Study Abroad is strongly encouraged, but not required for the degree.

The German Studies department directly sponsors two study abroad programs:

  • Spring in Vienna (a well-integrated program with a cohort of fellow UW students every spring quarter; application in November);
  • Summer in Berlin
  • Direct exchange with German universities in Tübingen and Heidelberg.

Many other study abroad opportunities are available through the Study Abroad Office.


You may graduate with departmental honors on your degree by completing ad-hoc honors projects in conjunction with four different courses.