Jul 16, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [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.

Note(s) on Requirements

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major

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.

Note: AP/IB transfer credit received for GERM 300 may count toward the German major.

Course of Study

Initial Placement

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

Honors in German

Qualified German majors may be invited to participate in the Honors Program in German. 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 chair 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 major GPA of 3.50 and an overall GPA of 3.00. Potential candidates 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 Honors Program in German.


The Honors Program in German consists of three components:

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

Detailed Major Requirements

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.