May 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalogue 
2020-2021 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

German Studies, B.A.

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Beth Ann Muellner, Chair
Mareike Herrmann


The German Studies Department offers a program of courses that help students to attain a high level of proficiency in German, to understand and appreciate the history, literature, and cultures of German-speaking countries, and to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Beyond the acquisition of speaking facility, language and culture courses can foster better understanding of how language both reflects and shapes consciousness of the world. In the best liberal arts tradition, language and culture study enhances our ability to deal with ambiguity and cultural pluralism.

The German Studies Department offers a major and minor in German Studies. A major in German can lead to careers in teaching, research or translation work, foreign service, international business, or work in international service organizations. A minor in German can enhance one’s preparation for professions in communications, journalism, the natural and social sciences, or any work involving trans-cultural communication. In recent years, graduates who have majored in German have entered graduate programs in German Studies or embarked on careers in international business, publishing, teaching, and the sciences. Many German majors and minors have earned Fulbright teaching awards abroad in the year after graduation.

In considering a major or minor in German Studies, students should consult early in the first year or sophomore year with a member of the department about how best to plan meaningful sequences of courses, ideally including at least a semester of study abroad.

The curriculum as described below is intended to expose students at the intermediate level to varieties of spoken and written styles; to encourage active development of one’s written and spoken facility with German in a broad range of topic areas; to exercise skills in intercultural thinking and communication; to introduce students to the methods and questions central to the study of German literature and cultural history, and to foster critical inquiry into a number of specific areas prior to Independent Study. The German Studies major encompasses inquiries into literary, artistic, historical, and everyday cultural aspects of German-speaking areas. It includes the study of periods, genres, major themes of German culture, including film and literature.

Major in German Studies

Consists of eleven courses:

Special Notes

  • Overseas Study: Majors in German Studies are highly encouraged to spend a minimum of a summer or a semester during the junior year in Germany, Austria, or German-speaking Switzerland to increase proficiency in the language and international perspective. (Consult the German Studies Department for information on the programs most suited to your interests and needs.)
  • If students place out of the intermediate-level courses (GRMN 20100 , GRMN 20200 ), they have to make up the remaining courses with other classes in the German Studies Department or with transfer credits from abroad.
  • One of the following courses with substantial German content may be counted towards the German Studies major: ARTD 22200 Modern Art; GRMN 31900 - Applied Linguistics ; HIST 10167 The Holocaust; HIST 20800 - Europe in the Era of Total War 1890-1945 ; HIST 20900 - Europe Since 1945: Film and History ; HIST 21000 Ideas that Shaped the Modern World: Intellectual History of Modern Europe.
  • Only one English language course may be counted towards the German Studies major.
  • Double Majors. The department supports double majors and will work closely with students to design an appropriate program of study. In recent years, students have double majored in German with History, Global and International Studies, Archeology, History, Chinese, Mathematics, Philosophy, BCMB, and Communications. 
  • GRMN 40100  will normally be taken during the Junior year. With approval, GRMN 40100  may be completed off-campus.
  • Since the major program should provide continuity in the study of German, at least one course in German should be taken each semester of the junior year and the senior year, in addition to the Independent Study.
  • Minor in International Business Economics: Students who are interested in a fundamental preparation in international business or finance with a focus on German language and economic issues may choose a major in German Studies and a prescribed core of complementary courses. Interested students should consult with the chair of German Studies and the chair of Business Economics.
  • The Zertifikat Deutsch Als Fremdsprache and the Mittelstufenprüfung, administered by the Goethe Institute Centers in Germany and the U.S., are internationally recognized as certification of advanced skills in German. Students are encouraged to take the tests, usually after GRMN 25000  or equivalent, offered annually at Hiram College.
  • Advanced Placement: Students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination may count this credit toward a major or minor in German Studies. Students who have taken the Advanced Placement Examination are still required, regardless of the score received, to take the departmental placement exam at the College to determine the next appropriate course.
  • German House: Students have the opportunity to apply for residence in the German House, a suite in Luce Hall that houses students along with a native Austrian assistant and serves as the focal point for most campus German language and cultural activities. Applications for residency in the German House can be obtained from the chair and are usually due early in the spring semester.
  • One S/NC course may be included in the major. Normally the minimum grade equivalent to “Satisfactory” is C. Students considering graduate work in German are advised not to include S/NC work in the major.
  • Only grades of C- or better are accepted for the major or minor.

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