Program of Study (CAS Bulletin)

German (2016 - 2018)

Major in German

The prerequisite for all majors in the department is completion of German language training through the full intermediate level (GERM-UA 4 or GERM-UA 20). Students who have equivalent language training or proficiency may satisfy the prerequisite with the CAS 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.

The major in German literature and culture 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. All courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.

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 or year of study away.

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 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) completed with a grade of C or better. The German part of this major is satisfied by taking four 4-point courses (16 points) beyond the intermediate level:

  • One 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)
  • One 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 3, formerly 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)
    • Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Computational linguistics (LING-UA 3, LING-UA 24)
    • Psycholinguistics (LING-UA 5, LING-UA 43, LING-UA 54)

Minor in German

The minor program requires five 4-point courses (20 points) in German, including at least two courses at the 100 level or above. All must be completed with a grade of C or better. Courses taught in English and independent study do not count toward the minor.

Honors Program in German

Majors in German can be 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 are a cumulative and major GPA of 3.65. Both the director of undergraduate studies and the director of the honors program review all applications, which are due no later than spring of junior year and must include an unmarked copy of a paper submitted for a German major course.

In the senior year, students accepted to the honors program complete a two-course, 8-credit sequence, consisting of Senior Honors Seminar (GERM-UA 999) in the fall semester and Honors Thesis (GERM-UA 500) in the spring semester.

The Senior Honors Seminar is a small workshop with a primary focus on research, methodology, and academic writing. Students also learn strategies for grant writing and presentation. Honors majors define a thesis topic, develop a bibliography, read broadly in their area, and begin their research and writing. A substantial portion of the research, usually including a rough draft of one-third to one-half of the thesis, should be completed by semester’s end.

During the spring semester of the senior year, students enroll in Honors Thesis (GERM-UA 500). In close consultation with the thesis advisor, students work on completing research, a final draft, and revisions of the thesis. Students also choose a second reader, typically another faculty member from the department. In cases of an interdisciplinary thesis, the second reader may be from another department.

The finished thesis must be a work of scholarship and/or criticism in the field of German studies and should be from 40 to 60 double-spaced pages in length. If it is written in English, the student must also write an abstract of approximately five pages in German. There will also be a presentation and oral defense of the senior thesis with a minimum of the student’s two readers. In consultation with the second reader, the student’s advisor determines whether or not to recommend him or her for honors. A grade of at least A-minus is required for the award of honors in German. Students receiving a lower grade will simply be awarded 8 credits of coursework towards the major.

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.

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

The B.A./M.A. program in German is designed to prepare 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 away.

Students majoring in German may apply after completion of 48 points 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 meet the following minimum requirements for admission: a 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; and evidence of overall language competency in German sufficient for successful advanced undergraduate and graduate study

Undergraduates accepted into the B.A./M.A. program are required to spend at least one semester studying away in one of the NYU exchange programs in a German-speaking country. The study away 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 away requirement. 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.

Facilities and Activities

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

Study Away

Students pursuing the major in German are strongly encouraged to complete some of the requirements by spending a semester or year away.

NYU Berlin: This semester- or year-long study away program is 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. Several advanced content courses taught in German are offered each year and are applicable toward the major. At least one course must be taken in German.

Exchange programs: NYU students can participate in exchanges with universities 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 away 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.

Arts and Science Summer in Berlin: 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.