Major in German (B.A. or B.S.)


A major or minor in German language, literature, and culture familiarizes students with the rich cultural traditions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland through intensive language training and work with literary and cultural texts. Students learn to comprehend, read, speak, and write the language at an advanced level in classes that focus on practical aspects of usage (such as speaking or grammar). Students also strengthen their cultural knowledge and critical reasoning in classes that help them to understand and develop interpretive arguments about literature and film. They enhance their awareness of diversity in courses that teach them about significant minorities (religious, cultural, racial, or otherwise) in different periods of German history since the Reformation. This major focus provides an excellent background for careers in international affairs, law, publishing, teaching, journalism, international business, and tourism, as well as for artistic fields and graduate study. Majors and minors choosing this focus are encouraged to spend time studying abroad on our exchange program with universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

4 students sitting enjoying a picnic and smiling at the camera.

Requirements for the Major in German (B.A. or B.S.)

A. Students intending to major with a focus in German language, literature, and culture must first acquire proficiency in the German language, typically demonstrated by satisfactory completion of the third term of Second-Year German (GER 203) or a placement exam. Thereafter, students may begin to take upper-division courses taught in German. The department does not accept a grade of C- or lower in any course used to fulfill requirements for a major in German.

B. Twelve upper-division level courses (numbered between 300 and 499) as listed below:      

  • Four upper-division German language courses (16 credits)
  • Eight upper-division German literature and culture courses (32 credits)

Of the requirements listed above, the following rules apply:

  • Six courses must be taken in the UO Department of German and Scandinavian
  • At least two courses must be 400-level courses with the GER subject code, and must be taken at the University of Oregon; one of two must be in literature, culture, or theory
  • One course may be taken pass/no pass
  • Up to two courses taught in English may count toward the major

C. The following courses may not be used to satisfy major requirements:

  • GER 199         Special Studies
  • GER 405         Reading and Conference
  • GER 406         Special Problems
  • GER 408         Workshop
  • GER 409         Practicum*

* Exception: GER 409 Practicum Teaching Internship (4 credits) will satisfy a requirement for the major or minor.

D. Since all courses are not offered every year, plans should be made well in advance so that students can take prerequisites for 400-level courses. Specific questions should be addressed to departmental undergraduate German advisors.

To declare a major or minor, or ask any questions about our programs, go to our Advising page.