Germanic Languages and Literatures Major

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 25


Students interested in studying German may declare German as their major or second major. Majors and second majors are required to complete 25 units of course work (German 202D and above), at least 12 of which must be at the 400 level, with a grade of C- or higher. If students begin German at Washington University and follow the regular sequence of courses (German 101D Basic German: Core Course IGerman 102D Basic German: Core Course IIGerman 201D Intermediate German: Core Course III), they will be ready to begin the German major after three semesters. With the exception of German 3400 and its 1-unit discussion section, only courses taught in German will count toward the major. All majors and second majors are required to participate in the senior assessment interview in the final semester of their senior year.

Applications for admission to the honors program must be submitted by the first week of classes in the student's final year of study.

Note: For both majors and minors, at least half of the courses at the 300 level and above must have been acquired either in residence at Washington University or in overseas programs affiliated with Washington University.

Additional Information

Study Abroad

German majors or minors are encouraged to participate in one of our overseas study programs. The German department sponsors a semester and a year abroad at the University of Tübingen, Germany. To participate in the Tübingen program, students must complete German 202D (for the semester program), German 301D (for the year program), or their equivalent by the time the program begins. Upon returning to campus, German majors are required to take at least one 400-level course (other than German 497German 498) during their senior year.

Washington University sponsors a summer program in Berlin, Germany. Students who have taken at least one semester of German may be eligible for this intensive language program. Students studying business or engineering/computer science are also encouraged to consider the study abroad programs in Germany offered by Olin Business School and the McKelvey School of Engineering.

Departmental Distinction in German and Latin Honors in German

Students who wish to be eligible for distinction in German must undertake a project in German during their final year at Washington University. There are three ways to achieve honors in German: (1) honors by course work and portfolio; (2) honors by creative project; or (3) honors by thesis. Students receiving distinction in German may additionally qualify for Latin honors in German. By May 15 of the junior year, these students choose a project or portfolio with the help of a faculty advisor from the department, enroll in the appropriate course work during the senior year, and submit completed projects immediately following spring break of the senior year.

Contact Info