German Major (B.A.)

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The German major is offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. This program is of interest to the following groups of students:

  • Those who have a special interest in the German language, literature, and culture.
  • Those who intend to enter fields in which a background in foreign languages and literatures is desirable, such as international business and law, trade, journalism, science, library science, government service, and international service organizations.
  • Those who plan to teach German in secondary schools. Since most secondary schools require their teachers to teach more than one subject, students planning to enter teaching at this level should plan their programs carefully. They should combine a major in one language and its literature with a minor or at least a meaningful sequence of courses in another subject. Dual majors also are possible. For certification requirements, see the section coordinator.

All German majors are strongly encouraged to double major or include a relevant minor in their studies.

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A major consists of 10 courses in German beyond GERM 402 Elementary German II. Courses required for the major (or their equivalents):

GERM 503Intermediate German I4
GERM 504Intermediate German II4
GERM 525Introduction to German Culture and Civilization4
GERM 631WAdvanced Communications Skills I4
GERM 632Advanced Communications Skills II4
Select four courses, taken at the 600 or 700 levels 116
Capstone: Select one course at the 700 level 24
Total Credits40

A successful IROP or SURF application may count as one of the 700-level courses.


Including GERM 797 Special Studies in German Language and Literature and GERM 798 Special Studies in German Language and Literature

A grade of C- or better is required in all major coursework. Majors are required to spend a minimum of one semester in an approved German-speaking study abroad program, or at least eight weeks in a summer study program. For students spending one semester abroad, two or three of the five upper-level courses are normally taken in Durham. For students spending an academic year abroad, three or four of the five upper-level courses are normally taken in Durham. LLC 791 Methods of Foreign Language Teaching does not count for major credit; LLC 791 Methods of Foreign Language Teaching is recommended as an elective and required for teacher certification. 

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second or dual major. However, majors may use the required study abroad experience to satisfy the World Cultures Discovery category requirement.