Our German Undergraduate Program offers a wide selection of courses covering German-speaking culture from the Middle Ages to the present. The department provides classes in German and English on language, literature, linguistics, philosophy, history, and media.
Our students gain fluency as well as cultural competency in the German language; read major works by renowned authors such as Kafka, Freud, and Nietzsche; learn about Medieval society, German Romanticism, Weimar cinema, the Nazi past, and multicultural Germany; and explore a variety of topics including Medieval epics, Storm and Stress poetry, Gothic novels, modern mass culture, critical theory, modernity and migration.
In keeping with the department’s overall mission of providing a solid liberal arts education, German language courses at Berkeley go beyond the teaching of grammar and vocabulary. Learning a foreign language involves learning new forms of expression that are also new ways of thinking. Central goals for the study of German language at Berkeley include the acquisition of communicative competencies, tools for interpretation, and critical awareness of both students’ own native culture(s) and “things foreign.”
Our students have ample opportunities to immerse themselves in the language by attending departmental events such as the weekly Kaffeeklatsch, Stammtisch, or Film Club, and to study abroad.
Our program encourages students to achieve their individual goals, whether those include pursuing a minor, major, or double major. The German Undergraduate Program provides students with the language fluency, cultural knowledge, academic experience, and analytical skills necessary to attend graduate school, to enter the job market, and to be global citizens who are culturally aware and critical thinkers.