The German Major

The German major curriculum joins advanced language learning with analytical perspectives from literary studies, history, sociology, anthropology, and film and media studies that bring students to a sophisticated and critical understanding of the German-speaking world, present and past.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  1. linguistic competence, including language proficiency in listening, reading, writing and speaking at the ACTFL Intermediate-High level; and metalinguistic awareness of language as a system and of the ways in which language organizes thought processes and reflects culture.
  2. cultural knowledge, including the ability to interpret trends in contemporary German society informed by an understanding of German history.
  3. textual competence, including the ability to comprehend and analyze a wide range of texts, taking account of factors such as text type, audience, purpose, organization, discourse conventions, rhetorical elements, and linguistic features, as well as historical, geographical, cultural, and intellectual context.

Requirements for the German major

A student must complete eight courses above German 112:

  • Two 250-level courses, at least one taught by a St. Olaf instructor;
  • Two 270-level courses, at least one taught by a St. Olaf instructor;
  • One 300-level course taken at St. Olaf;
  • Three additional courses of student’s choosing; can include German 231, German 232, St. Olaf Interim abroad, German university exchange program;
  • Six courses with minimum grade of C;
  • Maximum of two courses from semester of study abroad / four courses from year study abroad. Courses taken during study abroad must be in German to count toward the major;
  • Maximum of one course in English. See German Studies Concentration page for list of pre-approved courses. (Note: a 1/4-credit German FLAC section does not count as a course taken in German, and some English-language courses must be taken with the German FLAC to count toward the major or concentration.)

German Major Planning Rubric

Students need not be German majors to take upper-division (250-level and above) German courses or study abroad. After completing German 232 or the equivalent, students may spend a semester or a year studying in Germany. Courses taken in German may satisfy general education requirements / Ole Core requirements as well as requirements for some other majors, with department chair approval.