Program of Study (CAS Bulletin)

The prerequisite for all majors in the department is the completion of German language training through the intermediate level (GERM-UA 4 or GERM-UA 20). Students who have received equivalent language training elsewhere may satisfy the prerequisite through the departmental placement examination. Students who wish to major or minor in German must register with the department and have their programs approved by the director of undergraduate studies or the director of language programs. Majors and minors will be assigned a departmental adviser, usually the director of undergraduate studies, with whom they should consult before registering each semester.

Major Program

German Literature and Culture

The major consists of eight 4-point courses (32 points) at the 100 level or higher, three of which may be in English and represent a coherent area of concentration (such as history, politics, or philosophy); courses in English outside of the department must have approval of the program adviser. No courses may be counted toward the requirements of another major or minor.

The eight courses are to be distributed as follows:

  • Two required courses at the 100 level:
    • German Conversation and Composition (GERM-UA 111)
    • Introduction to German Literature (GERM-UA 152)
  • One optional third course at the 100 level, chosen from the following:
    • Advanced Composition and Grammar (GERM-UA 114)
    • German Culture 1890-1989 (GERM-UA 133)
    • Techniques of Translation (GERM-UA 153)
  • Five or six courses above the 100 level (three of which may be in English)

Students are strongly encouraged to fulfill some of the program requirements through a semester of study abroad.

Students eligible for honors are required to pursue a two-semester, 8-point sequence, in which they take the Honors Seminar (GERM-UA 999) in the fall and the Honors Thesis (GERM-UA 500) in the spring of their senior year. (See "Honors Program," below, for details.) With the permission of the director of undergraduate studies, up to 4 points of independent study, work-study in Germany, or internship work may also be counted toward the major.

Major in German and Linguistics

This joint major requires a total of nine 4-point courses (36 points).

The German part of this major is satisfied by taking four 4-point courses (16 points) beyond the intermediate level:

  • An advanced conversation or composition course chosen from:
    • German Conversation and Composition (GERM-UA 111)
    • Advanced Composition and Grammar (GERM-UA 114)
  • One additional course at the 100 level in conversation, composition, or culture
  • Introduction to German Literature (GERM-UA 152)
  • An additional advanced literature course, in German, to be selected from among departmental offerings.

The linguistics part of this major is satisfied by taking the following five 4-point courses (20 points):

  • One introductory course: Language (LING-UA 1) or Language and Mind (LING-UA 28)
  • Sound and Language (LING-UA 11)
  • Grammatical Analysis (LING-UA 13)
  • And a total of two additional courses from two different fields of linguistics, chosen from the following (please see Linguistics in this Bulletin for course titles and descriptions):
    • Historical linguistics (LING-UA 14, LING-UA 17, LING-UA 76)
    • Sociolinguistics (LING-UA 15, LING-UA 18, LING-UA 30, LING-UA 38)
    • Phonology (LING-UA 12)
    • Syntax and semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Computational linguistics (LING-UA 3, LING-UA 24)
    • Psycholinguistics (LING-UA 5, LING-UA 43, LING-UA 54)
Minor Program

The minor program requires five 4-point courses (20 points) in German, including at least two courses at the 100 level or above. Courses taught in English and independent studies do not count toward the minor.

Combined B.A./M.A. Program in German

The B.A./M.A. program in German is designed to prepare undergraduate students for career choices requiring advanced knowledge of German language, literature, and culture or a sophisticated understanding of the German intellectual and critical traditions. The four-year undergraduate component of the program includes one semester of study abroad and leads to the B.A. degree. Students in this portion of the program develop their language skills and cultural awareness and examine significant works and authors of German literature.


Students must have completed 48 points of credit of undergraduate work, with at least 16 of these points completed at NYU, but not more than 96 points. They must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies for application to the combined degree program. Students must also meet the following minimum requirements for admission to the program:

  • Primary major in German
  • GPA of at least 3.5 overall and at least 3.6 in German
  • Satisfactory completion at NYU, by the start of the first semester in the program, of at least two 4-point courses in German at the advanced level
  • Evidence of overall language competency in German sufficient for successful advanced undergraduate and graduate study

Degree Requirements

Study abroad: Undergraduates accepted into the B.A./M.A. program are required to spend at least one semester studying abroad in one of the NYU exchange programs in a German-speaking country. The study abroad requirement may be waived by the department in consideration of special circumstances. Summer study in an approved program may be used to satisfy the study abroad requirement.

Master's Thesis

Students are required at the end of the fifth year of the program to submit a master's thesis, which should represent the culmination of a longer-term research effort.

General Information

Program Approval and Advising

Students who wish to major or minor in German must register with the department and have their programs approved by the director of undergraduate studies or the director of language programs. Majors and minors will be assigned a departmental adviser, with whom they should consult before registering each semester.

Study Abroad

Students pursuing the major in German are encouraged to complete some of the requirements by spending a semester abroad at one of the NYU exchange sites in Berlin (Freie or Humboldt University), Bonn, or Vienna. NYU financial aid can be applied to the costs of living and studying at any of these exchange institutions, and NYU academic credit is awarded directly for courses taken. Students may study abroad for one semester or a full year, usually in the junior year, with the approval of the major department(s). The minimum requirement for any of the exchange programs is successful completion of 64 points of undergraduate course work and a 3.0 GPA. Both programs in Berlin require proficiency in German; the programs in Bonn and Vienna offer some courses in English.

NYU in Berlin (Fall and Spring Semester Program)

NYU in Berlin is a semester- or year-long study abroad program affiliated with the prestigious Humboldt University, located in the heart of the city. Course offerings focus on the society, politics, history, and culture of Germany, as well as contemporary Western Europe. The program features NYU courses, taught by NYU faculty, members of the Humboldt faculty, and Berlin's wider academic community. The program is designed for students of German, as well as history and the social sciences. All content courses, taught in English, will count either for credit in the department in which they are listed or toward the three courses in English allowed as part of the German literature and culture major. At least one course must be taken in German.

NYU in Berlin (Summer Program)

The department offers a six-week summer program in Berlin. The program consists of language courses and culture courses (in English), which may be applied to the major or minor.

Deutsches Haus at NYU

Located directly across the street from the department at 42 Washington Mews, Deutsches Haus provides a broad program of cultural and intellectual enrichment for students of German through lectures, concerts, films, exhibitions, and readings. Deutsches Haus offers students many opportunities to meet, practice their German, and learn from prominent artistic, literary, business, and political figures of German-speaking countries.

German Club

This student-run group is open to interested undergraduates at all levels of German language ability. The German Club sponsors several activities each month during the academic year, including conversation hours, films, restaurant visits, and parties.

Departmental Awards

The Department of German sponsors a series of annual awards in recognition of excellence and achievement in the study of German: the Auguste Ulfers Memorial Prize, the Donald Parker Prize, and the Ernst Rose-G. C. L. Schuchard Anniversary Prize. For further information, see the Honors and Awards section of this bulletin.

Honors Program


The departmental honors program is open to students majoring in German. Students are admitted to the program on the basis of superior work after at least two semesters of study in German at the advanced level. The minimum eligibility requirements for the honors program are an overall GPA of 3.65 and an average of 3.65 in the major. Each student in the honors program should select an honors adviser from among the undergraduate teaching faculty of the department.

Requirements for Honors in German

In the senior year, students must register for Honors Seminar (GERM-UA 999) in the fall and Honors Thesis (GERM-UA 500) in the spring, and work under the guidance of a faculty member to produce a research paper of 40 to 60 pages. The thesis can be written in German or English. If it is written in English, the student must also write an abstract of five to seven pages in German. There will also be a one-hour oral defense of the senior thesis with two faculty members.