Major and Minor Requirements

​Note: The information provided below is specific to German Studies. Please refer to the Language and Culture Studies major and minor requirements page for a complete overview.

The major in German studies offers an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental approach to the study of the German-speaking world. Its goal is to develop students' German language skills, to explore German literature both in original German and in translation, and to foster the study of a broad array of subjects in which the influences and contributions of German-speaking peoples are evident, including philosophy, history, religion, art history, performing arts, music, politics, and economics. A background in German studies provides preparation for the exploration of many fields. Knowledge of the German language may also be helpful for graduate study in a number of disciplines of the humanities, the sciences, music, and art history.

Students are encouraged to design programs of study that are coherent and meaningful, as well as diverse and innovative.  They have to work closely with the adviser in planning their program.
Major Requirements:
  • Students are required to take a total of eleven credits, seven of which must be earned within the German Studies section of the Department of Language and Culture Studies.  Students counting both introductory German language courses (101 and 102) toward the major must earn a total of twelve credits, eight of which in the German Studies section;

  • Required courses are GRMN 201, 202, at least one 200-level course taught in English, two 300-level GRMN courses, and 401, which serves as the senior exercise; students may enroll in a second course, GRMN 200-level course taught in English, or LACS 299 in lieu of one 300-level GRMN course.

  • German 200 level course taught in English may be applied toward the major if a substantial proportion of the assignments are completed in German and the student meets regularly with the instructor;

  • The remaining credits shall be earned in other departments with the major adviser’s approval and with no more than two credits chosen from the same department.

  • As an alternative to the credits taken in other departments, students are encouraged to enroll in the Trinity-approved program with Baden-Württemberg (Heidelberg, Tübingen, Freiburg, Konstanz, and other universities), Trinity-in-Vienna or Trinity-in-Berlin summer. Courses taken in Baden-Württemberg or Vienna count toward the major with the condition that their content be relevant to German studies and approved in advance by the major adviser. For courses to be approved, they must require a substantial amount of reading and writing in German.

  • The Writing Intensive Part II requirement in the German Studies major is fulfilled by GRMN 401 Senior Seminar: Special Topics.


Study away: To maximize exposure to German language and culture, students are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester at the Trinity-approved program of study in Baden-Württemberg or at Trinity's Global Learning Site in Vienna. Both study-abroad programs provide opportunities for language immersion at a major German university, as well as the chance to pursue independent study or community service while residing in a culturally and historically rich Germanic setting.  Also, our new Trinity-in-Berlin Summer Program was launched in 2012 and is open to students with no or little German language background. It offers a window on one of Europe's most exciting cities, comprises two 1.0 credit courses, and features many excursions.

For more information, visit the Baden-Württemberg Web site at,  Trinity-in-Vienna at or  Trinity-in-Berlin Summer Program at

Honors: Students qualifying for honors in the German studies major must attain a cumulative average of A- or better in all courses required for the major, including GRMN 401. The topic for the final project for GRMN 401 will be agreed upon in consultation with the adviser.

Eligible Courses from other Departments.

  • Acceptable courses for the German Studies major that are taught in other departments or programs may be substituted with the approval of the German Studies adviser;

  • Typically, no more than two courses may be chosen from the same department or program;

  • Students are encouraged to integrate German reading materials into their courses of choice. Monthly meetings with the German Studies adviser will be scheduled to discuss German readings and facilitate student interaction within the major.

Language Across the Curriculum—German Studies majors are encouraged to take advantage of the Language across the Curriculum opportunity and earn an additional 0.5 credit toward the major. In collaboration with a member of the department, students may select supplementary readings in German that complement one or more courses taught in other departments related to the German Studies Major. Enrollment in Language across the Curriculum follows the guidelines for Independent Study registration.
N.B.: Regular consultation with the German Studies adviser is necessary with regard to the sequence and cohesion of courses and the amount of work required in German.
Minor in German.  For students who wish to minor in German, this is a sequence of six German courses designed to develop linguistic skills and to give an appreciation of the culture and civilization of German-speaking countries.  In addition, the minor will include either a .5 credit Language Across the Curriculum unit or a .5 credit integrating paper, typically written in conjunction with the last course taken for the minor.  Courses that count toward the German minor are GRMN 101, 102, 201, 202, any course 200 level GRMN taught in English, any 300-level GRMN course. No more than one transfer credit may be applied to the minor. 
To declare a minor in German, contact Prof. Johannes Evelein.  Students interested in cross-disciplinary approaches to the study of German culture are referred to the German Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.
In the major, and in the Language Concentration in German, students must demonstrate oral and written proficiency by earning the minimum grade of “B” in German 301.