The German Studies Major is designed to lead from the acquisition of competence in written and spoken German through an understanding of the language’s structure and history. The program’s goal is to provide students with a critical understanding of past and contemporary German-speaking society and culture. Students are also trained in advanced study and independent research.

The department offers a variety of courses for the major. Listed below are the requirements for completing a German Studies Major, and a note about related courses outside of the major that may be taken in order to complete all of the requirements. The department’s policy is to maintain a balanced strength between language and literature.

All courses counted toward the major must be taken for a letter grade, and a major GPA of 2.0 must be maintained. Students must fulfill the following requirements.

Lower-Division Requirements

German 1, 2, 3, and 4 or equivalent. If the courses are taken at UC Berkeley, students have to complete each level before proceeding to the next one. Students who have prior knowledge of German but are uncertain as to the appropriate level of instruction they need to continue should contact German Language Program Coordinator Nikolaus Euba.

Upper-Division Requirements

A minimum of ten upper-division courses totaling at least 30 units, at least five courses and 15 units of which must be taken at UC Berkeley. Students must take courses dealing with at least two different centuries, and core course requirements must be satisfied.

The following courses are required:

  • German 100 (core course (3 units))
  • German 101 (core course (3 units))
  • German 103 (core course (3 units); only offered in the fall)
  • 3 additional upper-division courses (German 100 or German 101 are a prerequisite for these upper-division courses; must be taught in German)
  • 2 upper-division German courses
  • 2 additional upper-division courses offered by the German Department or 2 upper-division courses related to Germany or Europe offered by an affiliated department

If a student has completed at least 15 upper-division units with a grade average of no less than "B," the student has the option to enroll in German 198/199 to study in a group or independently (this course may not be counted toward the 30-unit total).

A major can be declared at any time, but this is usually done when a student is taking German 4. Students may also consider pursuing Honors, a double major, or a minor.

Please consult Nadia Samadi (Undergraduate Student Adviser) when there are questions or doubts about these requirements, or for further information. Please also contact them if you are transferring from another institution and wish to declare the German major.