German Studies, B.A.

The German studies major provides students with the opportunity to become proficient in the German language while also becoming knowledgeable about social, historical, and political factors that shape and define German-speaking cultures. The German studies major in particular is interdisciplinary, and it creates connections among a number of disciplines that are cornerstones of the liberal arts tradition. The combination of these courses under a cohesive curriculum allows students to gain proficiency in the German language while also learning to think and reason across disciplinary boundaries. Additionally, the current trend toward globalization means that students must become not only informed citizens and leaders within their own community and country but also in the world at large. By becoming knowledgeable in global political and social processes through German, students will learn to understand complex international relationships and gain an appreciation for different cultures. The German studies major supports students in their developing roles as leaders in their communities and the world.

Students pursuing the German track must complete 27 upper-division credit hours of German courses. All students pursuing the German studies track must complete 18 upper-division credit hours of German courses and 9 upper-division credit hours from at least two of the following disciplines: philosophy, history, political science and global affairs, fine arts, and theology. Students pursuing a German major (either track) are also required to spend at least six weeks studying German in a German-speaking country. Should a student be unable to study abroad, the department chair, in consultation with the German faculty, may approve a substitute language immersion experience such as a local internship. Options for study abroad include the University’s year-long program in Salzburg, Austria; German-immersion courses in Salzburg during a summer session; an intensive summer language class with the DAAD; and IES German-immersion programs in Freiburg, Vienna, and Berlin.

Both tracks of the German studies major require at least six weeks of study abroad in a German-speaking country or participation in the University's programs in Salzburg.

Students graduating from the University of Portland with a B.A. in German or German studies are required to take the computerized STAMP 4S language proficiency assessment for graduation. Majors will be contacted to take the exam during the spring semester in two separate sessions. The testing of the students’ four language skills will give the students national certification of their actual skill levels; such certification should provide students and employers with an accurate comparative indicator of a student’s competency in the language.

See statement on learning outcomes for language majors for further details on the Avant STAMP 4S.

University Requirements - 39 credit hours

See Core Curriculum

College Requirements - 21-33 credit hours

See College Requirements BA

Major Requirements — 27 credit hours (including 6 credit hours study abroad)

German Track

27 upper-division credit hours in German (GRM 301 and above). Students are required to take at least 6 of the 27 upper-division German credit hours at the 400-level, excluding GRM 497.

German Studies Track

18 upper-division credit hours in German (GRM 301 and above). Students are required to take at least 6 of the 18 upper-division German credit hours at the 400-level, excluding GRM 497.

Students must also take three courses (9 credit hours) outside the German program from at least two different disciplines, chosen from the following list:

FA 304Development of the Fine Arts In Europe


HST 335Europe in the Age of Religious Wars


HST 342Europe in the Age of Nationalism


HST 343Europe in the Age of Dictatorship


HST 346Modern Germany


HST 358Disease and Medicine in World History


HST 370Early Modern Europe


POL 372Politics of the EU and Modern Europe


THE 433/THE 333Theological Implications of the Holocaust


FA 304: Salzburg only

GEO 373: Salzburg only

HST 358: Salzburg only

THE 333: Salzburg only

Students may also take courses containing significant content relating to German- speaking countries offered on a one-time basis or subsequently added to permanent course offerings. Students must seek the approval of the German studies advisor before counting such courses toward the German studies major.

Any additional credit hours required to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours