Guide for New Students

German (GERM) 

Chair:  Professor Laura Goering

In our changing global environment, communication is the key to understanding other peoples and cultures. Studying German at any level will prepare a student to be a more informed and more engaged global citizen.  In addition, Germany is the largest economy in Europe, a leading political force not only in the European Union but also in International Politics, and, according to a 2013 poll, the most positively viewed nation in the world.

Learning German begins with basic and intermediate language study.  The beginning and intermediate sequence consists of four semesters: German 101, 102, 103, and 204.  Students beginning at Carleton take a placement test to determine the appropriate level German course for them.  Students may fulfill the Carleton language requirement by completing the beginning and intermediate sequence or through the placement test. After completing this sequence, students will have the oral proficiency to live and study in a German-speaking country, and will also be prepared to take higher-level courses in German.

After this sequence, students may enhance their German skills and verify their level of accomplishment by earning either a Certificate of Advanced Study  or a German major.  A certificate of Advanced Study requires six courses (36 credits) in German language, literature, and/or culture beyond German 103, at least three of which must be in German.  These may include courses with significant German content from other departments (i.e. History, Philosophy, Music, Art History, Politics, etc.)

Students who desire a higher level of linguistic proficiency and who want to deepen their knowledge of German culture can pursue a German major.  The major requires 66 credits beyond German 103, at least 24 of which must be in German.  A number of courses for the major may be German courses in English (i.e. fairy tales, film, etc.) or courses in related departments (i.e. History, Philosophy, Political Science, etc.) with a significant German component.  Students may pair a German major with a wide range of other majors (STEM fields, social sciences, humanities) and can receive credit for some courses in other departments.

A German major prepares students for graduate study in fields such as German, comparative literature, history, art history, political science, and philosophy; for study in multiple fields at German universities, and for a wide variety of careers in which German skills and cultural knowledge are essential, including global finance, tourism, teaching, health care, and international affairs.  In addition, with a strong foundation in German, students can pursue job opportunities in Germany, including in high-demand fields such as computer science, medicine, engineering and other STEM fields.

To get a quick overview of the requirements (and some additional information), view the PDF at the top-right of this page.


For more information, please contact Prof. Schicker (section head), Prof. Tang.