The German Studies department offers a major and a minor in German language, an interdisciplinary minor in German Studies, and a German business track within these majors and minors. These programs give students an opportunity to learn the language, literature, culture, and history of Germany.
Students who have performed well in German (minimum 3.3 GPA) may apply for the Honors program.
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. Majors are strongly encouraged to study or work abroad, if possible.
The German major requires 30 credits or ten courses:
- GERM 2001-2002 - German Composition and Conversation I and II
- GERM 3001-3002 - History of German Literature I and II
- Six additional courses in German Studies, at or above the 2000 level, two of which may be in English translation
Courses taken abroad must be conducted in German to count toward the German major.
Of the 30 credits or ten courses, a minimum of 12 credits or four upper-level courses (above GERM1051) must be taken within the German Studies Department at Boston College.
Planning and fulfilling the major in German requires the final approval of the Director of the major. 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 27 credits in the major program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor and must earn at least half of those credits at Boston College. Interested students are asked to contact the Director of the major, Professor Michael Resler , Lyons 201C, 617-552-3744, email@example.com.
Minor in German
The minor in German is for students seriously interested in learning German and in 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 amoing students an international focus and the accompanying skills, whatever their major may be. Minors are strongly encouraged to study or work abroad, if possible.
The German minor requires 18 credits or six courses:
- GERM2001-2002 German Conversation and Composition I and II
- GERM2003 Special Topics in German Literature and Culture
- Three additional courses in German Studies, at or above the 2000 level, one of which may be 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 and must earn at leat half of those credits at Boston College. Interested students are asked to contact the Director of the minor, Asst. Professor Daniel Bowles, Lyons Hall 201F, 617-552-1594, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interdisciplinary Minor in German Studies
The Interdisciplinary Minor in German Studies promotes the study of German culture across disciplines and departments. Students who complete the minor in German Studies will have developed a deep understanding of the history and place of German culture in today’s world.
The German Studies minor requires 18 credits or six courses:
- GERM2242/HIST2270 Germany Divided and Reunited (next offered Spring 2021 and biennially)
- Two courses in German Studies, at or above the 2000 level
- Three electives or 9 credits from at least two other departments (see suggestions below for Spring 2020)
The three non-German departmental courses may be chosen, in consultation with the Director of the minor, from the relevant offerings of at least two other departments. 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.
Students who are already pursuing a double major will not be accepted to the German Studies minor. Planning and fulfilling the interdisciplinary 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, Professor Nick Block, Lyons Hall 201 A; email@example.com.
The business track concentration allows German majors or minors to combine a dual interest in business and German in a program of study that prepares the student for an international career. 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.
The German business track requires 6 credits or two courses, counting simultaneously toward the German major or minor:
- GERM2004 Business German
- GERM2005 Germany in Europe Today
Students can also apply for the one-credit summer German Studies Internship (GERM5501) at the beginning of the previous fall semester. Contact Ursula Mangoubi in Lyons 201G, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students are 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 Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics & Business).
Director of the business track, Professor Daniel Bowles, Lyons Hall 201F, email@example.com.
Honors Program in German Studies
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.
Language Proficiency Requirements
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, you have fulfilled the MCAS foreign language proficiency requirement and should 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.
Information for Study Abroad
Students are encouraged to study in a German-speaking country, for a year or a semester, with recommended programs in Eichstätt, Berlin, Heidelberg, and Vienna. It is preferable that students study abroad during their junior year. There are also options for summer study abroad. Students should consult German Studies faculty in addition to the Office of International Programs to learn about the requirements for each specific program.
Prior to study abroad, German majors must complete Intermediate German II (GERM1051) or its equivalent. Non-German majors must fulfill the language proficiency level required by their study abroad program.
Nearly all courses taken abroad in German will be accorded major (or minor) credit; however, of the ten courses (30 credits) needed for the German major, at least half of those courses (15 credits) must be taken with the German Studies Department at Boston College.
Lauren Blodgett (2011) who majored in Political Science and German and now works as an attorney representing refugee and immigrants writes in a letter to Prof. Resler, chair of the German department, about German Studies and Fulbright:
"I really owe you a huge thank you to you. I cannot emphasize enough how German, and the Fulbright program in particular, has opened every door and opportunity for me since graduating from Boston College. Meeting you my freshman year at BC and having you as a professor for multiple classes caused a ripple effect that has impacted every juncture of my life since then. My parents and I talk about this a lot, but I don't know if I've ever adequately expressed my true gratitude to you. Because of my experience with the Fulbright program, I became so engrossed (obsessed even?) in international affairs and international law. Fulbright is what then set me apart in my application to Harvard Law, where I was able to then continue to literally travel the world (on Harvard's dime) working on human rights issues - from Jordan, to Thailand, to Switzerland and Morocco. Law school is where I discovered that working in immigration (with child refugees in particular) is my life's calling. I am so drawn to this mission with every ounce of my being - to the point where I don't even let this ridiculous administration bother me. I feel so lucky that I get to go to "work" every morning and spend time with and fight for these incredible people. I speak Spanish now as well, which of course was made so much more accessible to me because of the crazy experience of already learning the most difficult language possible... German! I truly don't know where I would be right now if you didn't see something in me ("fresh blood" were the exact words, I believe), take a chance on me, and encourage me to apply for Fulbright (or kindly tell me that I didn't have a choice in the matter).
So thank you for changing my life and for impacting the hundreds of other students you have taught over the years. "