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With a focus on cultivating future leaders who possess an awareness and appreciation of cultural differences and the ability to negotiate those differences in productive ways, the German Area Studies Program trains learners to reflect on the world and themselves through the lens of another language and culture.

Students who study German develop functional language abilities, critical language awareness, interpretation and translation, historical and political consciousness, social sensibiity and aesthetic perception.

The program offers both a disciplinary and interdisciplinary minor. Students who are interested in studying German primarily may choose to design an individual major in German Area Studies.


If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in German Area Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

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Requirements for the Minor

interdisciplinary, 6 courses

The interdisciplinary minor in German area studies is made up of six courses: three required courses and three electives. The required courses would originate from the German curriculum. Students choosing an interdisciplinary minor in German area studies must take at least two semesters of German language beyond GERM 102. Moreover, students are required to take GERM 301, Introduction to German Area Studies I. Beyond these courses, students are expected to take three electives. These electives should reflect the three areas of inquiry, namely cultural legacies, historical heritages, and intellectual traditions. Students can take a GERE course to satisfy the cultural legacy requirement. When choosing electives, students must select at least one course from each area. The electives should be chosen from the cross-listed courses.

disciplinary, 6 courses

Associate Professor Eric Klaus (far right), Assistant
Professor Mihaela Petrescu (fourth from right),
and first-year German students on the Syracuse
University campus before a German hip-hop concert.

The disciplinary minor in German Area Studies is comprised of six courses originating from the German curriculum. Students wishing to complete a disciplinary minor in German area studies must take three semesters of German language beyond GERM 102, GERM 301, and two further courses in German literature and culture. One of these culture courses may be a GERE course (German culture taught in English), while the other culture course must be upper-level German course.


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to immerse students in German language, literature and culture.

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making German studies a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

GERM 101 Beginning German I


By infusing historical knowledge, cultural artifacts and social structures, this course enables students to develop intercultural understanding and communicative competence. Learn more about German history by enrolling in HIST 269 Modern Germany 1764-1996.

GERM 301 Intro to German Area Studies I


In addition to stimulating your ability to express your thoughts in spoken and written German, this course explores core issues such as canonical texts and figures, film, music, politics and pop-culture. Discover more about how European politics and culture and enroll in POL 245 Politics of New Europe.

GERM 340 Intro to German Literature and Culture I


A study of the social, religious and economic influences, as seen in the literature and other historical documents of Germany, this course introduces you to the rich and varied background of the nation. Study more German literature and theology by enrolling in REL 401 Literary and Theological Responses to the Holocaust.



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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