Interdisciplinary in nature, the academic field known as German studies combines the close study of texts and media with broad humanistic inquiry into the foundations and structures of culture and society. As the world faces growing political uncertainty, socio-economic polarization, and ecological crisis, the ability to think historically and interpret critically has become increasingly important; students can hone this ability by studying the German-speaking countries’ specific historical experiences and the cultural manifestations of those experiences. The German Studies department’s courses in the areas of literature, the other arts, and critical thought often introduce historical and transnational perspectives, encouraging students to make comparisons across eras and cultures. The German studies curriculum focuses on three major periods and offers courses in German and English on a wide variety of topics.

The department offers German language courses at all levels of proficiency. These courses stress the complementary skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking and aim to enhance students’ sensitivity to language and its particular relationship to culture.

German Studies majors frequently choose to broaden their studies by double-majoring in other fields such as Art History, Film Studies, History, Mathematics, Neurosciences, the COL, or CSS.