Prior to 2016: Major and Minor Requirements

In collaboration with Columbia, the Barnard German Department is able to offer a rich and diverse curriculum that allows majors, concentrators and non-majors to study various areas of German language, literature, and culture. The program is designed to offer a regular and a combined major. The German Major and German Minor concentrations are offered in the field of German literature or German Studies as the two main methodological orientations within the program. A Combined Major or a major concentration in German Studies, allows a broader cultural focus and the incorporation of courses from cognate disciplines for students wishing to enhance their studies in related disciplines such as Africana studies, Art history, Film Studies, History, Human Rights, Music, Philosophy, Political Science or Women Studies. A major in Comparative Literature or European Studies gives Barnard students the opportunity to concentrate either on German literature (as one of the two literary traditions) or on aspects of Austrian, German and Swiss history, politics or society in a European context.


The Major In German Language And Literature

The courses comprising this program are taught in German and English, with the twofold objective of combining the study of significant works, literary trends, and cultural manifestations with advanced practice in the use of German as a medium of practical everyday communication and intellectually stimulating discussion or conversation. Courses in English include extra sessions for German speakers.

Requirements: 10 courses

GERM V 3001-3002 Advanced German (3 pts. each)

GERM W 3333x Introduction to German Literature

GERM BC 3061y Senior Seminar or equivalent tutorial with thesis supervisor.

Five one-term advanced literature courses chosen from GERM BC 3027-3050 or their Columbia equivalent GERM W 3443-3675.

A third advanced language course may be substituted for one advanced literature course.

GERM BC 3062y Senior Essay: Literature of German Studies

A half-hour oral exit examination is required.


The Major In German Studies

This major combines a study of literature with other aspects of German culture and civilization by choosing courses from the social sciences such as history, political science, and economics, and from other humanities dealing with German-speaking regions or communities.

The department will assist and advise students interested in studying in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. It should be noted that Barnard College is a member of the Berlin Consortium for German Studies and strongly encourages those students wishing to study abroad to do so through this program administered by Columbia University and conducted in association with the Freie Universitat Berlin.

Requirements: 14 courses

The following language courses or their equivalent:

GERM V 3001-3002 or GERM BC 3010: Current Issues: Media and Politics in Germany or Austria or GERM BC3012: In Love with Telenovelas

Four or five one-term Advanced Literature and Culture courses numbered:

GERM BC 3028-3061 (or their Columbia equivalent)

One GERM BC 3062x or y Senior Essay*

Six one-term courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities that relate to the German-speaking countries of Europe and define a special field of interest (to be chosen in consultation with the major adviser). Two courses dealing with German history are strongly recommended.

*The major adviser in the German department will work with a second reader in another field if the thesis topic should require it.


The Combined Major: German And Another Field

Requirements: 14 courses

Seven courses in each department, including a seminar in one of the departments and a senior essay on a topic bridging both fields.

A student who selects a combined major will establish her special program in consultation with the departments concerned.


The Minor In German

Requirements: 5 courses

Advanced language courses from GERM V 3001-02 and GERM W 3333.

A minimum of three additional advanced literature courses from GERM BC 3011-3061 or their Columbia equivalent.


The Senior Experience

Barnard College has a long-standing commitment to preparing students in the major so that they may undertake a capstone project. All Barnard seniors are required to complete a senior project or thesis. Senior projects or theses represent the culmination of academic work in the major. They allow students to develop records of individual research that include theoretical engagement in the major discipline, the development of creative projects or research, and original empirical and interpretative analysis. The form of the senior requirement may vary across majors, but the most common forms are the senior thesis (one or two semesters), supervised original research in a lab, a final creative project, and/or research that has been completed within a dedicated senior seminar.


If you have further questions regarding the majors or minor, please contact Erk Grimm, Department Chair.
For questions regarding language courses and placement exams, please contact Irene Motyl, Language Coordinator.