Major in German

The German Studies Major leads from the acquisition of written and spoken German language skills to a critical understanding of past and contemporary German-speaking societies and cultures. Students are also trained in advanced study and independent research.

The department offers a variety of courses, both in German and English, that count toward the major. Listed below are the requirements for completing the German Studies Major and related courses outside of the department that may be taken to complete the requirements. 

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 should contact the German Language Program Coordinator Nikolaus Euba.

Upper-Division Requirements

A minimum of 32 units of upper-division courses, at least half of which must be taken at UC Berkeley. Students must take courses dealing with at least two different centuries. In addition, the following core course requirements must be satisfied:

  • German 100 (core course; 4 units)
  • German 101 (core course; 4 units)
  • 2 upper-division courses taught in German (German 100 or German 101 are a prerequisite for these upper-division courses; one course from the 102 series may count toward this requirement)
  • 6 upper-division elective courses taught either in German or English, offered by the department to reach 32 units (*H196 and German 113 (capstone) both count towards 32 units). 
  • 1 upper-division course related to German studies or Europe, offered by another department may be substituted for an upper-division German elective.

Students are encouraged to enroll in the German Department capstone project.  This 2 unit credit option allows students under faculty direction to revise a seminar paper from an earlier course.

If a student has completed at least 16 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 32-unit total). 

Students who study abroad are allowed to take up to 4 courses up to a max. of 16 units from abroad for the German major.

A major can be declared at any time, but students usually do so when taking German 4. Students may also consider pursuing an Honors, a double major, or a minor in German.  Minors are encourage to declare as early as German 2.

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