Major in German Language and Literature (1133)
The major in German Language & Literature offers students the chance to become proficient in the German language and develop an in-depth critical understanding of German-language cultural life, past and present. Graduates are prepared to communicate effectively in German and English, to function well in cross-cultural contexts, and to contribute meaningfully to addressing today’s global challenges. This flexible 11-course program works well as a second major alongside a major such as history, IR, European Studies, or Engineering.
Like all WLL majors, German Language & Literature majors begin with XL100 Leaving Home: Explorations in World Literature, a team-taught course in which students meet the WLL faculty through guest lectures and get oriented in the rich diversity of the world’s literary traditions. They start German language study as early as possible and complete at least three language courses above the fourth semester. A course taught in English translation, Masterpieces of German Literature (LG250), introduces students to major texts and can be taken early on in the student’s program. Four additional courses in German language, literature, linguistics, and/or culture provide greater depth in areas of special interest to the student. One elective focused on a language, literature, or culture other than German helps regional, global and/or historical comparison. Students wishing to explore more of WLL’s course offerings beyond German may substitute an additional elective for one of their four courses in German language, literature, or culture. Finally, German majors reconvene with all WLL majors in the senior capstone seminar XL 479, where they share the expertise they have gained and work with a faculty mentor on a final project using German language materials.
Major in German Course Requirements
A total of 11 four-credit courses is required, all completed with a grade of C or higher.
- XL 100 Explorations in World Literature: Leaving Home
- LG 250 Masterpieces of German Literature (in English translation)
- LG 350 Introduction to German Literature (in German)
- 3 German language courses above LG 212:
- One course numbered LG 302–309
- One course numbered LG 302-345
- One course numbered LG 310-345 or LG 403-404
- 3 additional courses in German language, literature, linguistics and/or culture:
- One course numbered LG 450-470 (German literature in German)
- Two additional courses numbered LG 220-299, 351-399 or 400 or higher (German literature, film, linguistics, culture or advanced language).
- 1 WLL elective, chosen with approval of the advisor. Chosen from all courses in WLL. May also be satisfied by taking both CAS CC 101 and CAS CC 102, by LX250 Introduction to Linguistics or a higher-level linguistics course, or by a literature course in Romance Studies, English, or Classics. Students wishing to do more comparative work may count an additional WLL elective in place of one of the four courses in German literature, film, linguistics, culture or advanced language. Courses taken at BU Study Abroad Programs in Dresden can also count for the major.
- XL 479 Senior Seminar: Seniors majoring in WLL come back together in XL 479, the senior capstone Students use this course to produce a substantial project in their major and share their work with other WLL seniors working in other languages. The course provides students with structure and research guidance for developing and discussing their projects, while meetings with a faculty language mentor hone students’ advanced language skills as applied to the area of their research. Student presentations build oral communication skills and the ability to describe one’s work to others. Possible final projects could include a research paper on literature, film, or popular culture; an annotated translation or work of subtitling; a video essay; or an interactive map, timeline, or other digital humanities project. Students producing excellent capstone projects will be encouraged to develop them into senior honors work.
Major in German Learning Outcomes
- Advanced knowledge of major themes and genres in German literature and culture in their historical contexts, including links to other European and world literary traditions
- Critical thinking, communication, and writing skills within areas of content and cultural knowledge
- Proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension in German at or above a level (ACTFL intermediate-high) where these skills can be used for communication in everyday and academic situations
To graduate with honors, students will maintain a GPA in the major of at least 3.4 and will take two additional courses above the 11 required for the major:
- one additional focus or breadth course.
- either XL 540 (translation seminar) or LG 401 or 402 (continuation of the thesis begun in the capstone seminar).
Minor in German (1128)
Minor in German Course Requirements
SIX LG courses numbered 220 or above, all completed with a grade of C or higher, as follows:
- ONE course from LG 302-309
- ONE course from LG 310-345
- ONE LG 350
- ONE course numbered LG 400 or above
- One course numbered LG 220-299 or LG 351-399
- One elective from any course LG220 or above
With advisor’s approval, students may include up to three equivalent transfer courses from other colleges, universities, or non-Boston University study abroad programs. Minors must take a minimum of three courses (or a minimum of two, if they have four courses approved for credit toward the minor from Boston University’s program in Dresden) on the Charles River Campus. Internships taken on study abroad programs may not be credited toward minor concentrations in German. A grade of C or higher is required in all courses taken toward the minor.
Click here to view the German courses according to the BU Hub, color coded to fulfill the German minor requirements.