General Information and FAQs
New curriculum for majors and minors, Fall 2013
In Fall 2013, the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures will implement a new undergraduate curriculum that was approved by GLL in September 2012 and by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in December 2012.
NOTE: Students who have already declared a German major or minor will have the option of completing the requirements in effect prior to Fall 2013. These students will need to meet with an Undergraduate Advisor to ensure that all outstanding requirements will be met. Students who declare a major or minor starting in Fall 2013 must complete the new degree requirements.
KU Core: Many courses in the new curriculum have been nominated for inclusion in the KU Core. Courses that have been approved are indicated in the course listing at the end of this document. Other courses are pending approval; we will add those approvals as they become available. Please speak with an Undergraduate Advisor if you have any questions about the KU Core.
Full details about the new major and minor are available in this document.
Is German for me?
To find out, ask yourself: Am I interested in the peoples and cultures of Central Europe? Do I want to develop my skills in speaking, reading, and writing German? Am I interested in a career in international business or education? Would I like to study in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or Eastern Europe? Do I want to learn more about English and language in general? Do I enjoy learning foreign languages?
What degree is offered?
The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in German. The department offers courses but no degree in Dutch, Hungarian, Yiddish, and Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish). The department also offers Master of Arts and doctoral degrees for students who want to continue their studies.
What is the faculty like?
All members of the Germanic languages and literatures faculty have international reputations in their specialties as linguists or literary scholars. Several teach first- and second-year classes. Several faculty members develop, write, and edit textbooks and train teaching assistants.
How do I get into the department?
The program has no entrance requirements. As an incoming student, you will be enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You can begin taking courses that satisfy your major your first year. You become a major when you fill out a major declaration form in the department office.
It is helpful if you have studied some German before you come to KU. In order to complete the major in four years, students with no background in German should begin taking elementary German courses in their first year.
Can I get a scholarship?
The department does administer some scholarships and awards for its majors, especially for students studying abroad, either at a Summer Language Institute in Germany or at a university in a German-speaking country. These scholarships typically range from $500 to $5,000. Some smaller awards are set aside to recognize students for classroom excellence. Contact the department if you want more information. For information about scholarships based on academic merit, diversity, major, and residence, write or call the University of Kansas, Office of Admissions and Scholarships, KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa St., Lawrence, KS 66045-7576, (785) 864-3911, www.admissions.ku.edu.
For information about grants, loans, and need-based financial aid, write or call KU's Office of Student Financial Aid, Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 50, Lawrence, KS 66045-7535, (785) 864-4700.
What courses will I be taking?
If you are beginning your study of German, you will begin with GERM 104 (Elementary German I). If you have studied German before, you should take the German placement examination to determine which German course you should enroll in first at KU.
Students with one year of high school German enroll in GERM 104 or GERM 108 (Elementary German II). Students with two years of high school German enroll in GERM 108 or GERM 212 (Intermediate German I). If you have three years of high school German, probably you will be placed in either GERM 212 or GERM 216 (Intermediate German II). And if you have had four or more years of high school German or have studied in Germany as a high school exchange student, you probably should enroll in GERM 344 (Intermediate Composition with Conversation I). Contact the department for information on retroactive credit for German courses taken in high school.
You must take the basic language courses, GERM 104, GERM 108, GERM 212, and GERM 216, in sequence. First-year students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences take English composition, math, and courses that fulfill general education requirements. The CLAS chapter of the Undergraduate Catalog gives more detailed information.
If you are earning the B.A. degree in German, your first year's schedule may look something like this:
- First Semester
- GERM 104 Elementary German I (5)
ENGL 101 Composition (3)
MATH 101 Algebra (3)
H A 150 Art History I: Ancient and Medieval Art (3)
Total hours: 14
- Second Semester
- GERM 108 Elementary German II (5)
ENGL 102 Composition and Literature (3)
MATH 105 Introduction to Topics in Mathematics (3)
POLS 170 Introduction to International Politics (3)
Principal course (3)
Total hours: 17
What will my student workload in German be like?
During your first two years, you probably will take only one German course each semester; your course load in German will increase in subsequent semesters. You will need a minimum of 30 credit hours in German courses beyond GERM 216 (Intermediate German II) to earn your degree. Included in those 30 hours must be a core curriculum of two courses in composition with grammar review (selected from GERM 340, GERM 344, and GERM 348) and two introductory literature courses (selected from GERM 400, GERM 408, and GERM 416). You must take these courses before you can take courses at the 500 level or higher, where you must earn at least 15 credit hours, including 6 credit hours (two courses) in literary studies. The remaining hours of credit in the major may be taken in any elective course at the 300 level or higher, including GERM 352 (Business German) and GERM 444 (German Conversation). Although it is not required, the department strongly recommends that you study for a summer session, semester, or academic year in a German-speaking country.
What can I do with a degree in German?
With a B.A. in German, you will have an excellent foundation for graduate study that could lead you to a teaching career. However, your career choices will be limited only by your interests.Your knowledge of German will give you a competitive edge in the travel industry, government service, international business, and in other careers. If you double major in German and another field such as business, journalism, or political science, you will be especially attractive to employers in those fields.
What if my interests change after I come to KU?
During your first two years in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, you will take courses in many subjects; one of them will lead you toward a major.
With so many German programs in the country, why should I choose KU?
- German Library Collections
- KU's special German libraries include the Rainer Maria Rilke Collection of 1,200 first-edition volumes; the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies in the renovated Sudler House, a landmark structure built in 1929 for the first dean of the KU School of Medicine; and the Engel Library, an endowed collection of books, periodicals, magazines, newspapers, and computer materials.
- Study Abroad Opportunities
- Each year, KU's Summer Language Institute offers an eight-week program in Eutin in northern Germany and an eight-week advanced study program at Holzkirchen, near Munich in southern Germany. If you participate, you will live with a host family and be taught by KU and local instructors.
- Academic Year Abroad
- In addition to the KU Summer Language Institute, the department encourages students to study abroad during the academic year, for which the Office of Study Abroad offers several options. Some financial aid is available to students who want to study abroad, and graduating seniors may compete for direct exchange scholarships to study in Germany or Switzerland. The University of Kansas Office of Study Abroad, Lippincott Hall, 1410 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 108, Lawrence, KS 66045-7515, (785) 864-3742, www.ku.edu/~osa, can give you further information.
- German Conversation Opportunities
- KU's German Club provides a chance for you to meet other students in the department and to improve your language skills outside the classroom. The club's weekly meetings and social events such as Oktoberfest, Feuerzangenbowle, and Maifest complement the classroom experience. KU also offers a weekly Stammtisch, which provides a forum for German students of all levels to interact and practice speaking in a casual setting.
- Your Overall Education
- The overall quality and breadth of your education is one great reason for coming to KU. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers hundreds of courses and has excellent teachers. You will meet many international students and teachers who bring a cultural richness to campus and who will introduce you to the diverse viewpoints and customs so important to your undergraduate education.
- KU Enrichment
- KU's faculty and variety of courses have attracted national attention. You will choose from hundreds of lectures, plays, concerts, and activities to make your undergraduate years more rewarding. In your department and across campus, you will meet people whose diverse traditions and cultures will broaden your experiences. Concerts and shows in KU's Lied Center Series bring many of the finest national and international performers to campus each year.