German Studies

The major in German Studies provides students the opportunity to gain deep competence in the German language while learning to read great literature; to analyze distinctive artworks in a variety of media; to understand key thinkers and writers who laid the groundwork for modernity; and to explore the political, linguistic, and cultural history of Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and neighboring lands. Each student’s program is shaped by one of five areas of concentration: literature, media and media theory, history and politics, critical thought, or aesthetics and the arts.

The Germanic Languages and Literatures department encourages students to study abroad during junior year (a year or spring term in Hamburg or Berlin) or to take advantage of specially funded exchange fellowships in Baden-Württemberg during the summer. Students competent in German should consider summer internships with German companies. Selected German language courses can also be taken through Yale Summer Session in Berlin and New Haven.

Language Placement

The German placement examination is administered on line during the summer. A link to the placement exam will be posted on the departmental Web site and on the Center for Language Study Web site, and details can also be found in the Calendar for the Opening Days. Students who have not yet taken German at Yale are expected to take the departmental placement exam, with the exception of students who achieved a score of 5 on the AP test in German. These students may enroll directly in any advanced German class. Students starting German in the spring term should consult the director of undergraduate studies (DUS).

GMAN 110, Elementary German I, and GMAN 120, Elementary German II, comprise the first year of German language study. Beginning students with high aptitude and motivation may elect GMAN 125, Intensive German I, a double-credit course that covers GMAN 110 and GMAN 120 in one term.

GMAN 130, Intermediate German I, and GMAN 140, Intermediate German II, usually follow GMAN 120. They can be taken during the academic year or during the summer in an eight-week study abroad program. GMAN 145, Intensive German II, a double-credit, one-term course, is the equivalent of German 130 and 140. GMAN 150, Advanced German I, and GMAN 151, Exploring Contemporary German Culture, focus on contemporary German culture and the development of conversation and writing skills. Students entering Yale with advanced language skills may be eligible for these courses, which emphasize written and spoken language skills.

For additional information, visit the departmental Web site.