We generally offer five kinds of courses:
The language program offers a comprehensive preparation in German language, literature and culture. Numerous course-options allow students to begin where they are most comfortable and proceed at their own speed. Some will choose to begin from L1 in the first semester of their first year. Students may, however, begin their program in either fall or spring semesters. Our summer L3-L4 program makes it possible for students to attain an advanced level in a single calendar year. On the intensive track, students achieve an advanced level by their second year. In L5 courses (GMAN 150-200) students deepen their background and proficiency in specific areas.
In the language sequence after the intermediate level, students take seminars on major texts from the German literary tradition by genre: poetry, drama, and prose. In the German Studies program, the “German Modernities” sequence, GMST 181-189, introduce students to the major milestones of German arts, letters and culture. These courses are typically conceived in the context of wider trends and concerns of European and intellectual history, such as the Enlightenment and Romanticism. In addition to literature, the “German Modernities” sequence features other genres, such as philosophy, opera, film and the visual arts.
Typically taught in English, with readings available in translation and frequently listed jointly with other departments (especially Humanities and Literature), these courses allow students and faculty to explore the full range of their interests in literature, philosophy, and the history of European thought. The primary department for such courses is usually German Studies (GMST), although many seminars are listed in both GMAN and GMST.
Often open to both graduate students and undergraduates, these seminars typically focus on a narrower or more complex topic related to the specific research-interests of individual faculty members. These courses do not always have higher course numbers and only sometimes have specific prerequisites, but students should expect a higher level of conversation and a more freeform style in such seminars.
Graduate courses are open to undergraduates with the permission of the instructor. Advanced students and majors regularly petition to take graduate courses in German and thrive in an environment where they can extend their thinking and their communication skills at once. Our graduate level courses are not necessarily “harder” than undergraduate courses, but students should not expect the same kinds of pedagogical consideration typical of an undergraduate seminar. Undergraduates in graduate seminars should expect an acclimation period and should stay in close contact the professor about questions and difficulties that may arise. At the same time, students should be self-motivated and ready to work independently.