Department of German Language and Literatures enables students
to explore the cultures of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
The program seeks to develop competence in the German language
and lay the groundwork for an appreciation of German literature
and other cultural expressions. Course work in literature,
both in the original and in translation, allows students to
investigate representative works and significant literary
genres of the major periods, while the film courses offer
insight into this twentieth-century medium and its language.
Students especially interested in the interconnections between
culture, history, and politics should consider the Department's
German Studies major.
101, 102, 203, 204, and 305 seek primarily to develop language
competence. All courses beyond the 100 series (except those
in translation) are conducted in German.
judicious selection from the regular 300 and 400 offerings
will yield a survey of German literature, culture, and cinema,
leading to a major or minor.
Placement Program. Students qualifying under this program
will be assigned advanced standing on the basis of results
in the qualifying examinations adminstered by the College
Board. Scores of 4 or 5 on the language exam will automatically
receive three hours of college credit as German 300, qualifying
students to work at the 300 level. German 300-level courses
count toward the total number of academic credits required
for the major.
students with previous training or experience who do not present
SAT II scores upon admission should take a placement test
to determine the appropriate level for further study.
All entering students who have acquired linguistic ability
in German elsewhere, or who wish to qualify for advanced courses,
must present evidence of having completed the SAT II in German
or arrange to be tested by the department in order that they
may be properly placed. New students considering a major should
include a German course in the freshman program. Opportunities
for undergraduate study abroad, such as the Exchange Scholar
Program, provide possibilities for acceleration to majors
and prospective majors who begin their study in college. Recommended
correlated courses distributed over four years include Art,
Classics, History, Music, Film Studies, and another foreign
language or literature.
Two majors are offered. A basic knowledge of the German language
is fundamental to both.
The German Major is concerned primarily with the study
of literature. Genres, literary movements, and individual
authors and themes are examined with the aim of expanding
the student's capacity for literary analysis and appreciation.
The German major consists of a minimum of 31 semester hours
which should be accumulated as follows: a) At least 22 hours
in German language and literature at the 300 and 400 level.
Of these, 311 and 312, two 400-level courses, including 433,
and at least one semester of 304 (Writer-in-Residence) are
required. b) At least nine hours of 300- or 400-level courses
in related literary fields, e.g., comparative literature,
literary theory, or other literature courses. c) No more than
9 hours in translation. A minimum of 12 semester hours in
German language and literature (above 204) must be completed
at Oberlin. Private reading courses do not normally count
toward the major.
Strongly recommended correlated fields include European History,
German History, History of Art, History of Music, and French.
The German Studies Major places more emphasis on cultural
expressions other than literature (e.g., music, art, film,
philosophy, history). It consists of a minimum of 32 semester
hours which may be accumulated as follows: a) At least 15
hours in German language and literature courses at the 300
and 400 level, but not including courses in translation; of
these, 311 and 312, two 400-level courses (including 433)
and at least one semester of 304 (Writer-in-Residence) are
required. b) At least nine hours to be selected from courses
with total or substantial (50% or more) German content in
two or more disciplines other than German language, literature,
and cinema. c) No more than six hours in German literature
in translation. A minimum of 16 hours toward the German Studies
major must be completed at Oberlin. Private reading courses
do not normally count toward the German Studies major. The
entire German staff will constitute a special committee to
administer the German Studies major.
Qualified German or German Studies majors should consider
the possibility of participating in the departmental Honors
Program. Admittance requires a minimum GPA within the major
of 3.5 and an overall GPA of 3.0. Students interested in pursuing
Honors should consult the department chairperson by the beginning
of the second semester of their junior year.
B.A.. in German or German Studies can lead to graduate work
in German, in comparative literature, or a variety of related
fields (e.g., library science, linguistics). Some German majors
have found careers in teaching at all levels, in government
work (e.g., State Department), journalism, medicine, law,
international business, or in music, both in this country
and in Europe.
A minor in German consists of 15 hours at the 300 and 400
levels, which may include one course in translation. One three-hour
course must be at the 400 level.
House. The Max Kade German House, a four-class coeducational
dormitory, serves as the focal point for German activities
on campus. It affords German students a unique opportunity
to develop their speaking skills in an informal setting. Native
speakers are regularly in residence. Students interested in
German are encouraged to live in the German House for at least
Abroad. Exchange Scholar Program. Competitive exchange
scholarships are offered for study at a German university
in the junior year. The program is open to all students with
sufficient preparation in German language and literature.
Credits earned in this program are subject to the Transfer
of Credit fee. Students on financial aid should consult the
Director of Financial Aid. The faculty will also advise students
about other opportunities for study in German-speaking countries
and assist with applications and enrollment.
Term. The department normally offers an intensive Winter
Term Beginning German course that covers the basic elements
of grammar and offers practice in simple conversation. This
course is not the equivalent of German 101 and does not automatically
qualify students to enter 102. Students who have progressed
exceptionally well in the Winter Term course, however, are
encouraged to consult with the German staff about the possibility
of advancement into German 102.
staff members are available during Winter Term to sponsor
individual and group projects, within their discipline or
areas of their interest.
Laboratory. The Paul & Edith Cooper International
Learning Center, located on the 3rd floor of the
recently renovated Peters Hall, is designed for both class
and individual use at all levels of language learning. Audio,
video, and computer materials are available for student use.
Laboratory practice is encouraged for all students so that
they can further develop their speaking and listening skills.
further information, consult the German web pages: www.oberlin.edu/~german.