Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh

Major

Undergraduate Program in German

majorThe department of German serves the university, the region, and the world by teaching German language, literature, and culture on the undergraduate level. The diverse academic interests and research strengths of our faculty are reflected in undergraduate courses on culture, intellectual history, literature, philosophy, film studies, and folklore.  Some courses are offered in German, others in English, while still others have readings in German for majors and discussion in English.  Instructors in the four-semester language program use a dynamic communicative approach, which allows students to build both confidence and functional skills that will serve them as a basis for upper-level study.

Our Two German Majors

 

Our majors have two options when determining their course of study.  Students enroll in either the German Language and Cultural Studies Major or the Interdisciplinary German Studies Major when they declare.  Both majors focus on culture of the German-speaking world and both are designed to prepare students not only for graduate studies, but also for careers in fields as varied as business, the arts, medicine, law, or government.  The department's offerings give students flexibility to pursue their own interests within German culture.  They help students gain new perspectives on their own cultural experience while developing a more complex appreciation of other cultural traditions. 

German Language and Cultural Studies Major

This major begins with Intermediate German and provides students with strong training in German language and culture.  Almost all courses in this major are taken in German from the German Department.

 

 

Major 1: German Language and Cultural Studies
Total Credits 33-35
Prerequisites for the Major Successful completion of GER 0001 and 0002 or equivalent
Required Language Courses GER 0003 and 0004 (higher-level language courses can be substituted for these - min. 2 courses /
6 credits)
Required Writing Course Writing (GER 1001) or German Business Writing / Professional Purposes I (GER 1003) (3 credits)

1000-level

Course Requirement

One course at the 1000-level (3 credits)

Literary Analysis Course Requirement Literary Analysis (GER 1105) (3 credits)

1100-level

Course Requirement

Two courses at the 1100-level (6 credits)

1200-1400-level Course Requirement One 1200-1400-level seminar (3 credits)

Two of the

Following Courses

One 1200-1400-level seminar or one 1500-level course in German Department (with trailer or some work in German) or one German studies course in other departments with 1-credit language trailer in German (6 credits)

Capstone Experience

One Capstone Seminar (GER 1399), taken fall semester of senior year (3 credits)

top of page

Interdisciplinary German Studies Major

This major emphasizes multidisciplinarity and begins with introductory German.  Although the language requirements are not as high as in the German Language and Cultural Studies Major, students in the Interdisciplinary German Studies Major should nonetheless acquire the language level required for the entrance exam to German universities.  Most courses are taken inside the department, but students can also take courses outside the German department on topics related to German and Germany.  See the Director of Undergraduate Studies for a list of approved courses outside the department.

 

 

Major 2: Interdisciplinary German Studies Major
Total Credits 43-47
Prerequisites for the Major None
Required Language Courses GER 0001-0004 (higher-level language courses can be substituted for these - min. 4 courses /
12-16 credits)
Required Writing Course Writing (GER 1001) or German Business Writing / Professional Purposes I (GER 1003) (3 credits)

1000-level

Course Requirement

One course at the 1000-level (3 credits)

Literary Analysis Course Requirement Literary Analysis (GER 1105) (3 credits)

Three additional courses at the 1100- through 1400-level

Three additional courses from GER 1100-1499
(9 credits)

Four 1500-level Courses

Four courses (12 credits):

  • 1500-level courses in the German department
  • Courses with significant German Studies content in other departments on
    pre-approved list
  • Courses with significant German Studies content (30%) offered in other departments and approved by German department curriculum committee

Capstone Experience

Independent Study Project (GER 1990 - 1 credit), supervised by member of German department and, if possible, member of another department

top of page

German Major (prior to Spring 2014)

To see the requirements for the German Major prior to Spring 2014, please click here.

For all German majors:

Senior Thesis

In the fall semester of the senior year, majors will enroll in a capstone course or independent study and, under the guidance of a faculty member, research a topic in detail and produce a senior thesis, which will be presented publicly. For more on options regarding the completion of the senior thesis, click here.

 

Outcomes Assessment

In the final semester of the senior year, majors will be advised about formal language proficiency evaluation through the ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) or the Deutsch als Fremdsprache (DaF) certification program.

 

Grade Requirements

A minimum QPA of 2.0 is required in each course that counts toward the major.

Satisfactory/Audit Option

No course that counts toward the major can be taken on an S/NC basis unless the student receives special permission from the major advisor.

Writing (W) Requirement

Students must complete at least one (1) W-course in the major (GER 1001 and GER 1003 fulfill this requirement).

Related Area

A minimum of 12 credits is required in any one (1) A&S department chosen in consultation with the major advisor. The completion of an official A&S minor or an A&S/UCIS certificate also satisfies this requirement.

More Information

For further information about the majors, email the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Sabine von Dirke, vondirke@pitt.edu. Undergraduate applicants are encouraged to apply online through the University of Pittsburgh Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.