Courses

Photo by Stephanie Peltner
Photo by Stephanie Peltner

FAQ

Should I sign up during my Tele-BEARS appointment for all my language classes?
Yes, please, if at all possible. It would really help you to get the sections you want because some of them fill up fast. And you would help us determine where more sections are needed. So do yourself and us a favor and use your Tele-BEARS appointment!

What happens if I missed Tele-BEARS and want to register at the last minute for a German course?
Just go to the section on the first day of classes and see if it's full. If it is, talk to the instructor about what options you might have. If you get into the class, remember that it's your responsibility to add the course through the registrar by the deadline.

How do I find out where and when a language course is taught?
Well, you have three options: 1) you may check our fall, spring, or summer course pages, or go directly to the Online Schedule of Classes; 2) you may stop by the department (5th floor Dwinelle/level E) and check the listings posted outside of the office at Dwinelle 5311; or 3) call the department office at (510) 643-2004. You can also check the printed University Schedule of Classes, but be aware that there are occasionally last-minute location changes which are not reflected in the printed schedule, so options 1 and 2 are your best bet.

What if I can't find the class where I thought it was going to meet?
Sorry! Sometimes room assignments have to be changed at the last minute. You can get the latest info on the class location by checking the Online Schedule of Classes website, by stopping by the department (5th floor of Dwinelle Hall) and checking the listings posted outside of the office at Dwinelle 5311, or by calling the department office at (510) 643-2004.

Do I really have to go to every class during the first week?
Ja, du musst. (Yes, you must.) No exceptions. Otherwise you risk losing your spot in the class. And guess what? We expect you to go to every class during the semester unless you have a really good excuse.

Where do I go to practice my German?
You may consider taking one of the upper division courses offered in German. You could also enroll in our conversation class, German 40. For extracurricular fun, go to the weekly Stammtisch or Kaffeeklatsch, which meet every week during the semester. Check our Events listings for more information.

If my German final overlaps with another exam, what do I do?

Each semester we schedule an alternate final date for our German 1, 2, and 3 sections to accommodate students with exam conflicts. Please talk to your instructor for more information.

Can I retake German 4 because I forgot most of it?
You may only repeat German 4 for credit if you received a grade of D+, D, D-, F, NP, or U the first time. If you want to refresh your German, consider taking German 45: Intensive Grammar Review (3 units) and/or German 40: Conversation (2 units).

Can I study in Germany and still be done in four years?
Go study abroad for a semester or a year! You can study almost any subject in Germany and make normal progress toward your major. All your credits are transferable, and you save money overall thanks to scholarships and the low housing cost there. Currently it costs about $2,000 to 4,000 LESS for the twelve-month program in Göttingen than for the nine-month academic year at Berkeley (and that includes airfare)! There is now even an Education Abroad Program in Germany which requires no previous knowledge of German at all. Check our Study Abroad section to explore your options.

How can I use my BA in German?
If you don't want to attend graduate school, you can apply for jobs in international and global companies; you can work for a transatlantic organization, teach, do translations and much more. Have a look at the Career Center's web page about International Careers.

Why does the German Department offer courses in English?
The German Department is more than a language department—we offer courses that provide a solid liberal arts major. Several courses on German philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, contemporary history, and film do not require knowledge of German. Although our major requires six upper-division courses taught in German, we also count four courses in English on German topics, offered either in our department or in affiliated departments. PLEASE CONSULT THE UNDERGRADUATE ADVISER ABOUT COURSES THAT COUNT TOWARD YOUR MAJOR.

How large are classes in the German Department?
Our language classes have between twelve and twenty students each; our literature classes have about ten to fifteen students each, and our "big" courses are limited to no more than fifty students per course. And with the exception of language classes, all of our courses are taught by regular Berkeley faculty.

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Photo by Stephanie Peltner