Jun 29, 2022  
Course Catalog 2020-2021 
Course Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

German Major

The major consists of a minimum of 9.5 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the German Language and Literatures department.  

The German major emphasizes superior language learning at all levels. In support of this goal, the German program provides an array of study-abroad opportunities and scholarships. The German major enables students to:

  1. develop idiomatic and grammatical mastery of the German language, emphasizing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in all courses; and
  2. acquire skills that will enhance students’ capacity for analyzing and appreciating a wide variety of literary, cinematic and other cultural artifacts. These include literary and social movements, genres, themes, individual authors and social perspectives.

arrow View initial placement and course sequence suggestions.

Initial Placement and Course Sequence Suggestions

Students entering Oberlin with previous knowledge of German should take the placement exam to determine their appropriate entry level.

Transfer of Credit

Students transferring credits in german from courses taken at other institutions may apply a maximum of four courses toward the major with the approval of the department chair.


Qualified German majors may be invited to participate in the Honors Program. The Honors Program allows honors candidates to extend their competence by adding breadth and depth to the regular German curriculum. The Honors Program also serves as excellent preparation for graduate study in German. Students interested in pursuing Honors should consult the department chairperson by the beginning of the second semester of their junior year.

Qualifications for admittance:  Participation in the Honors Program is competitive. Except under unusual circumstances only two students will be admitted each year. Admittance to the program requires a minimum GPA within the major of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.0. Potential students will be asked to submit a rationale in German describing the intended substance of the two required papers and explaining also their motivation for pursuing the honors projects. The ability to speak and write German at an advanced level (as manifested in both the rationale and in previous course work) is a firm prerequisite for admission to the German Honors Program.

Requirements:  The Honors Program consists of three components:

1.  Two honors papers written within the context of two 300-level or 400 level courses.

2.  Completion of the Honors Reading List.

3.  A two-part, written and oral honors examination conducted by a committee comprised of members of the German Department and at least one outside evaluator. 

German Major Course Lists

German Courses

Six German courses are required. Five courses must be taught in German. These may include courses from the elementary and intermediate language sequence as well as 300- and 400-level courses on literary and cultural topics. One German course taught in English may count toward this requirement. German courses in the Ohio-5 Shared Languages Program may also count toward this requirement.