Skip directly to main navigation | secondary navigation | main content

German Studies, Cornell University

Cornell University Department of German Studies Cornell Univeristy


Undergraduate Studies

Majors in German Studies

The department offers two options for the major:  German Literature and Culture, and German Area Studies.  The latter is a more broadly defined sequence that includes work in related disciplines.  The course of study in either major is designed to give students proficiency in reading, speaking, and writing in German, to acquaint them with German culture, and to help them develop skills in reading, analyzing, and discussing German texts in relevant disciplines with those goals in mind.  The department also encourages study abroad.  For both majors, there is a wide variety of courses co-sponsored with other departments (Comparative Literature; Government; History; Music; Theater, Film and Dance; Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies).

The department encourages double majors and makes every effort to accommodate prospective majors with a late start in German.  Students interested in a major should consult the director of undergraduate studies, Gunhild Lischke, G75 Goldwin Smith Hall.

German (Literature and Culture):

Although the emphasis of this track is on literature, majors can also pursue individual
interests in courses on film and visual culture, theater and performing arts, music,
intellectual and political history, and women's studies that have a substantial German
component. Please consult with the director of undergraduate studies.

German Area Studies:

This track involves a more broadly defined sequence that includes work in related disciplines.  Students select courses from the Department of German Studies as well as courses with a substantial German component from other departments.

To complete the major, a student must take 8 courses to fulfill both categories below:

  • Demonstrate competence in the German language by successful completion of two 3000-level courses with intensive language work (GERST 3000-3200) or the equivalent.
  • Complete six courses at the 3000-level or above.  One of these must be the Senior Seminar (GERST 4100). No more than one course per semester taken as part of a study-abroad program may be counted toward the major.
Interested students in the German Major should consult with the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, Elke Siegel, 178 Goldwin Smith Hall.