Program Information

German Studies (GS) is an interdisciplinary program that offers both a major and a minor for students with broad academic interests in the German-speaking world. In consultation with a GS faculty adviser, students design individual plans of study from the many core courses offered by departments in the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences. Further courses, including study abroad and transfer courses, may be incorporated into the student’s program, if they bear directly on German studies. Students considering a major or minor should consult a member of the German Studies faculty as early as possible.

Students need to attain competence in German (two years of university-level language courses or the equivalent) before they can take certain required upper-division courses. It is recommended that students attain this level of competence early in the program.

Senior Honors Thesis

At the beginning of his or her senior year, a student major in German Studies may elect to write a Senior Honor's Thesis. To be eligible, the student must have a GPA of 3.5 in the German Studies major at the beginning of the senior year.

To begin work, the student forms a committee of three appropriate faculty members, including a committee chair, who is chosen from among the German Studies core faculty. The chair supervises the student in a two-quarter program of independent study to research and write an Honor's Thesis of approximately thirty to fifty pages (GMST 196A/B; the two courses count among the required twelve for the major). The student defends the thesis in a one-hour oral exam with the full committee, which is charged with recommending the degree of honors that will appear on the student's transcript and diploma.

Study Abroad

All German Studies students are strongly encouraged to make overseas study an integral part of their program. The UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) conducts formal programs of study in Berlin, Potsdam, and Göttingen (Graduate Students only), ranging from one-quarter, intensive beginning language programs to a full year of study at a German university. Students may petition to use up to five courses completed while studying abroad in their major, and three in their minor.

Learning Objects [PDF]

Program Director Contact Information

Todd Kontje, Professor of Literature

Literature Building, Room 327

Office hours:

Mon. 12:00pm-2:00pm or by appointment
Wed. 1:30-2:30pm or by appointment


CAESAR Programs Coordinator


Andrianna Martinez

Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Room 1105

Walk-in Advising:
10:00-11:00 AM and 2:00-3:00 PM
and by appointment