Our entire curriculum supports the study of the German language within its European and global cultural and historical contexts and is adapted to the individual student’s background, style, and pace of learning. To facilitate such learning, our department creatively employs the use of technology throughout its curriculum, from elementary courses to advanced seminars. Technology, moreover, serves several learning goals: students acquire marketable skills in learning how to create substantive multimedia projects; students with certain learning styles may improve their comprehension by specific types of media use, and accessibility is afforded other students who could otherwise not participate in classes. In addition, all our courses focus on developing critical reading, speaking, and writing skills. All courses are designed to contribute in various ways to the College's learning goals and the German Studies department's learning goals. For detailed information regarding credits or courses for the major and minor see the German Studies section of the course catalog

German Studies Major

A minimum of 32 credits beyond German 115, of which:

  • 12 must be courses offered in German at the 300 level. 
  • A maximum of 8 credits towards the major may include courses taught in English, such as German 230 and German 231, or other cross-listed topics’ courses at the 200 or 300 level with permission of the department.

Majors are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for learning abroad (internship, summer program, or study abroad for at least one semester in a German- speaking country). A student’s trajectory towards completing the requirements for the German major is based on their/her level of language proficiency when they enter Mount Holyoke. Individual course selection to be coordinated with the chair and the departmental advisor.

As culture is constructed and expressed through language, students are expected to conduct their work in the department and as much work as possible outside the department, in the German language. The major in German studies is intended to provide a focused concentration in the language and culture of the German-speaking countries within a larger transnational European and Eurasian context. Students achieve an advanced level of translingual and transcultural competence.

In conjunction with their advisors, students plan an individualized program of study suited to their interests and backgrounds.

  • To ensure breadth of background and context, we strongly encourage students to include at least one course each relating to the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries and to complement their German studies major with a second major, minor, Nexus, or Five College certificate.
  • To ensure depth, students may focus on a specific topic, period, or century. Courses focusing on German and/or European cultures in other departments or programs may be selected from such fields as anthropology, art, critical social thought, economics, environmental studies, film studies, gender studies, history, history of science, international relations, Jewish studies, music, politics, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, sociology, and theatre arts.

German Studies Minor

The minor in German studies is intended to provide a focused introduction to the language and culture of the German-speaking countries within a larger transnational context. It leads to a basic level of translingual and transcultural competence.

Global Business Nexus

Economic life is increasingly impacted by the forces of globalization. Becoming knowledgeable about the contemporary cooperate world, the role of global markets, and debates about appropriate regulation and long-term implications. Explore the tools of the corporate leadership, the sociology of organizations, and models of regulation through the Global Business Nexus. Pursue internships with national or international for-profit corporations.

Five College Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Certificate

This certificate program offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the significant multidisciplinary resources in the Five Colleges on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The certificate consists of a minimum of six courses. Courses applied to the certificate may also be used to fulfill major requirements. The list of courses fulfilling particular requirements is maintained and regularly updated by the Five College Committee for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Please see the Five College Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies website for more information.

Teacher Licensure in German Studies

(Grades 5-12)
Students interested in teaching German can combine a major in German studies with a minor in education. See the Department of Psychology and Education’s Teacher Licensure Program  and Prof. Lawrence in the Psych/Ed department for more information.

The teacher licensure programs at Mount Holyoke enable students to apply for a Massachusetts (and NASDTEC Interstate Contract) "initial" license.

Students interested in pursuing licensure in the field of German studies can combine their course work in German studies with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the major of German studies, please consult your advisor or Donna Van Handle, teacher licensure liaison, in the German studies department.

Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component. Copies of the test objectives for the MTEL are available in the German studies department and in the Department of Psychology and Education. Information and materials about the  Licensure application are available on the Teacher Licensure Program website.