German Major (B.A.)

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 cultures is desirable, such as business, engineering, the sciences, law, international affairs, government service and international service.
  • 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 culture and language 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.

All students must complete at least 10 classes (40 credits). All coursework required for German major must be completed with a grade C- or better. Specific course requirements are: 

Language Courses 1
Students entering major at a higher language level will replace the language courses with additional electives.
Elementary German I
Elementary German II
Intermediate German I
Intermediate German II
Advanced Communications Skills I
Advanced Communications Skills II
Electives 2
Select a minimum of three courses from the following Culture, Linguistics, and Literature category
Major German Authors in English
Introduction to German Culture and Civilization
Study in Berlin
Modern German Literature
Public Discourse and Current Affairs
Independent Study
Special Studies in German Language and Literature
Special Studies in German Language and Literature
Professional Culture in European Union - - Case Study: Germany
Film History
Comparative Literature: Masterpieces of World Literature I
Comparative Literature: Masterpieces of World Literature II
Divine Madness and Dangerous Minds! - Mental Health in Literature and Art
Methods of Foreign Language Teaching
Capstone 3
World Languages Capstone
Study Abroad
Study abroad is a requirement for the German major, although an approved equivalent high-impact experience may be substituted for study abroad with a compelling justification.

While the major may start counting as early as the Elementary I level (GERM 401), those who enter the major at a higher level (GERM 503, GERM 504, GERM 631W or GERM 632) will replace the courses they skip from the elementary, intermediate and advanced language category with additional courses from the electives category. 


More electives required if fewer language credits were completed due to proficiency level and placement.

Students are encouraged to take as many of the culture, linguistics, and literature elective in the German language as possible, but there is no limit on the number of classes conducted in English from electives category. Students taking no classes in the target language in a given semester will be strongly encouraged to enroll in one credit of conversation hour to maintain their language skills, and many of the courses taught in English will allow students the option to (or even require students to) do some work in the target language. 


Or approved equivalent 700-level course taken at UNH, approved study abroad equivalent, or approved high-impact experience (such as internship with a robust target language/culture component). 

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.

German majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements.

Specific outcomes for Linguistic Competency The German Program applies the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to evaluate the linguistic competency of its graduates.

  • Speaking Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a speaking proficiency of Intermediate High to Advanced Mid, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Low. Students demonstrate an ability to speak clearly and with precision about personal, professional, and academic topics.
  • Writing Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a written proficiency of Intermediate High to Advanced Mid, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Low. Students demonstrate an ability to write clearly about professional or academic topics, including introductory research in the area of literature and culture studies.
  • Listening Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a listening proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced High, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Mid. Students demonstrate an ability to understand conventional as well as complex narratives that may use uncommon vocabulary or address difficult topics, such as theater plays in the target language.
  • Reading Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a reading proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced Mid. Students demonstrate an ability to read and interpret conventional quotidian texts as well as complicated narratives from the 18th-21st centuries, addressing a wide range of topics and genres, including literary, scientific, and cultural theory.

II. Specific outcomes for Integrative Knowledge Accompanying the acquisition of German language skills is the study of cultural phenomena, which provides German majors with a breadth of knowledge as found in a traditional liberal arts program. The acquired knowledge helps students engage with various additional fields of study across the UNH campus. Through transferable practice in abstract reasoning, critical examination, and constructive articulation, students extend their intellectual curiosity and learn to aspire to life-long learning.

  • Interpretive Reasoning Particularly in the advanced courses that analyze art in its various forms – literature, film, painting, performance art, et. al. -, we (students and faculty alike) wrestle with interpretation and contextualization. In these courses, we are invested in humanistic inquiry and address tough questions – those concerning value and meaning, realms of knowledge ungraspable by natural science alone. Patterns of narrative, traditions of rhetoric, and history all inform the analyses of the cultural artifacts under study. By fostering the skills of close reading and listening, German majors become more articulate (both in German and their native language) and more proficient in analyzing and synthesizing the various types of knowledge.
  • Critical-Constructive Thinking In the analysis of cultural artifacts, students learn to consider a multitude of perspectives. In addition to critical thinking skills, German majors become better versed at the constructive synthesis. Term papers and presentations in the target language are the culmination of linguistic comprehension and production as well as of interpretation and critique. In assembling such larger projects, German majors learn to construct well-informed arguments that are based on interpretation and scholarly critique.
  • Interdisciplinarity Language study entails a wide range of applications, both personal and professional. It opens up possibilities for travel, genuine encounter, and the fostering of diplomatic and business relationships. German is of particular interest for political, economic, historical, and cultural reasons. With strengths in engineering and heavy manufacturing, Germany is of vital political-economic importance. Our students are encouraged to explore the connections in various scientific fields, the business world, and the humanities at large.
  • Transformative Education Close mentoring of our German majors leads to relevant study-abroad opportunities in which our students make tangible use of their intellectual skillsets in the target culture. Of equal importance, however, is the notion that the actual application of the skillsets during the study abroad experience (but also in our classrooms) offers an opportunity for students to achieve meaningful personal growth by realizing their own cultural underpinnings. As a result of their study of German, some students choose to go to or to return to Germany for work or travel. Thus, the study of German can result in transformative moments in the lives of our students.