Majors, Minors & Honors

The prerequisite for all majors in the department is the completion of German language training through the intermediate level (GERM-UA 04 or GERM-UA 20). Students who have received equivalent language training elsewhere may satisfy the prerequisite through the departmental placement examination. Students who wish to major or minor in German must register with the department and have their programs approved by the director of undergraduate studies or the director of language programs. Majors and minors will be assigned a departmental adviser, usually the DUGS, with whom they should consult before registering each semester.

Major Program

German Literature and Culture

The major consists of eight courses (32 points) at the 100 level or higher, three of which may be in English and represent a coherent area of concentration (such as history, politics, or philosophy); courses in English outside of the department must have approval of the program adviser. No courses may be counted towards the requirements of another major or minor.

The eight courses are to be distributed as follows:

  • Two required courses at the 100 level
    • German Conversation and Composition (GERM-UA 111)
    • Introduction to German Literature (GERM-UA 152)
  • One optional third course at the 100 level
    • Advanced Composition and Grammar (GERM-UA 114)
    • German for Business (GERM-UA 124)
    • Techniques of Translation (GERM-UA 153)
  • Five or six courses above the 100 level
    • Three of these may be taught in English

Note: Students are strongly encouraged to fulfill some of the program requirements through a semester of study abroad.

Students eligible for honors are required to pursue a two-semester, 8-point sequence, in which they take the Honors Seminar (GERM-UA 999) in the fall and the Honors Thesis (GERM-UA 500) in the spring of their senior year (see the Honors Program description). With the permission of the director of undergraduate studies, up to 4 points of independent study, work-study in Germany, or internship work may also be counted toward the major.

Minor Program

The minor program requires 20 points of course work in German, including at least two courses at the 100 level or above. Courses taught in English and independent studies do not count toward the minor.

Honors Program

Eligibility: The departmental honors program is open to German majors. Students are admitted to the program on the basis of superior work after at least two semesters of study in German at the advanced level. The minimum eligibility requirements for the honors program are an overall grade point average of 3.65 and an average of 3.65 in the major. Each student in the honors program should select an honors adviser from among the undergraduate teaching faculty of the department.

Requirements: Students must register for Honors Seminar (GERM-UA 999) in the fall, and Honors Thesis (GERM-UA 500) in the spring, and work under the guidance of a faculty member to produce a research paper of 40 to 60 pages. The thesis can be written in German or English. If it is written in English, the student must also write an abstract of 5 to 7 pages in German. There will also be a one-hour oral defense of the senior thesis with two faculty members.

B.A.-M.A. Program in German

The B.A.-M.A. program in German is designed to prepare undergraduate students for career choices requiring advanced knowledge of German language, literature, and culture, or a sophisticated understanding of the German intellectual and critical traditions. The four-year undergraduate component of the program includes one semester of study abroad and leads to the B.A. degree. Students in this portion of the program develop their language skills and cultural awareness and examine significant works and authors of German literature.

Eligibility: Students must have completed 48 credits of undergraduate work, with at least 16 of these points completed at NYU, and have been approved by the director of undergraduate studies for application to the combined degree program. Students must also meet the following minimum requirements for admission to the program:

  • Primary major in German
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Major GPA of 3.6 or higher
  • Satisfactory completion at NYU of at least two 4-point courses in German at the advanced level by the start of the first semester in the program
  • Evidence of overall language competency in German, sufficient for successful advanced undergraduate and graduate study

Degree Requirements:

Study Abroad: Undergraduates accepted into the program are required to spend at least one semester studying abroad in one of the NYU exchange programs in a German-speaking country. The study abroad requirement may be waived by the department in consideration of special circumstances. Summer study in an approved program may be used to satisfy the study abroad requirement.

Master’s Thesis: Students are required at the end of the fifth year of the program to submit a master’s thesis, which should represent the culmination of a longer-term research effort.