The Department of German Studies offers a program that promotes an understanding of the connections between language and its larger cultural contexts and prepares its students for diverse career paths by integrating curricular and experiential learning. We aim to lead our students to what is called ‘‘translingual and transcultural competence,’’ a proficiency that is essential in all fields in today’s globalized world. On advanced projects, we cooperate with colleagues at Mount Holyoke or the Five Colleges who are experts in, for example, film studies, economics, science, history, politics, art, music, philosophy, and literature. Finally, our graduates gain a much deeper grasp of their own languages and cultures, a much more substantive level of self-awareness of their own traditions and values. For detailed information regarding credits or courses for the major and minor see the German Studies section of the Course Bulletin and Catalogue. The most current description of the German studies major and minor are below.
The German Studies Major
A minimum of 32 credits beyond German 115, of which at least 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.
The 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.
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.