German

In general, an education in German not only encourages students to consider the profound effects of German-speaking thinkers, scientists, and artists on the modern world, but also provides a lens through which the particular contours of the present and past can be evaluated. Knowledge of the German language and an understanding of the cultures of the countries where German is spoken provide a valuable preparation for many careers and graduate programs. In addition, it opens the door to lifelong cultural enrichment. German is a primary language of scholarship and international communication in a diverse range of academic and scientific fields, including industry and commerce. The lower-division language classes give students the strong base in oral and written skills that will prepare them for a successful period of study abroad, completion of the German minor, or simply give them the fundamental tools for developing conversational fluency. The minor in German is an excellent complement to a number of different disciplines such as art history, business, international relations, mathematics, music, political science, literature, philosophy and religious studies. Upper-division courses are aimed at encouraging individual exploration of the country, its culture, its literature, its industry and commerce, while at the same time building and reinforcing language proficiency.

Students may elect to major in Interdisciplinary Humanities with a concentration in German in either the Humanities or European Studies track. Upper-division courses will be completed in disciplines such as history, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies. These courses are conducted in English. With the prior permission of the Director of Interdisciplinary Humanities, GERM 294, GERM 394, GERM 494, and GERM 499 may be counted toward the requirements of both programs.

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of our semester program in Freiburg, Germany or Vienna, Austria and/or our third-semester German in Europe intensive summer course. Information is available at the International Center, Serra Hall, Room 201, or at www.sandiego.edu/international/study-abroad/.  

The Minor

Two options are available:

  1. 18 units: at least 9 of the 18 units must be in upper-division courses.
  2. 12 units of upper-division courses. Prerequisites: Fourth-semester competency in German and approval of department chair.

A minimum of six upper-division units must be taken on the USD campus. The experience of living and studying in a German-speaking country is most highly recommended.

Recommended Program of Study for the German Minor

GERM 101 through GERM 202 courses must be taken in order, one course per semester. Once the 300 level is reached, two courses or more can be taken at the same time, but prerequisites must be observed. When planning the minor, the program director will help map out the best course for each student according to previous background, future career goals, or personal interest. 

Courses

GERM 101 | FIRST SEMESTER GERMAN

Units: 3-4

Prerequisites: Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Introductory course to German life, language, and essentials of basic grammar with stress upon pronunciation, reading, and oral comprehension.

GERM 102 | SECOND SEMESTER GERMAN

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 101 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

A continuation on the basis of GERM 101 with emphasis on reading, writing, grammar, pronunciation, and elementary conversation.

GERM 140 | TOPICS IN GERMAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in German literature and culture. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

GERM 141 | TOPICS IN GERMAN LITERATURE, FILM OR CULTURE-DOMESTIC FOCUS

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in German literature, film and/or culture with a Domestic Focus. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

GERM 142 | TOPICS IN GERMAN LITERATURE, FILM OR CULTURE-GLOBAL FOCUS

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in German literature, film and/or culture with a Global Focus. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

GERM 194 | SPECIAL TOPICS IN GERMAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Study at the lower-division level of a topic in German literature and culture. This course is taught in English and will not satisfy the Language Core requirement.

GERM 201 | THIRD SEMESTER GERMAN

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 102 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Completes the introduction of the basic structures of the language, with continuing emphasis on communicative proficiency. At this level students are encouraged to participate in community service-learning and/or cultural activities within the German-speaking community. This course is also offered in the summer in Europe (see below). Prerequisite: GERM 102 or equivalent or Placement Exam. Every Fall. Also offered as THIRD SEMESTER GERMAN IN EUROPE: Intensive summer course in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland conducted by a USD faculty member. Direct immersion in the life and culture of German-speaking people. See course description above. The university reserves the right to cancel this course if minimum enrollment is not met, or for any other reason. Prerequisite: GERM 102 or equivalent or Placement Exam. Every Fall.

GERM 202 | FOURTH SEMESTER GERMAN

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 201 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Oral and written practice of idiomatic expression and syntax. Emphasis on accuracy and fluency reinforced through readings of short stories and essay writing, as well as conversations dealing with German life and culture.

GERM 230 | INTERMEDIATE CONVERSATION

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 201 or GERM 202

Intensive drill in spoken German based on assigned topics. This course does not count toward the German minor, but does count as elective lower-division units toward graduation.

GERM 293 | LANGUAGE TUTORING OR FIELD EXPERIENCE IN GERMAN

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Supervised participation in the department’s Tutoring Program or placement in a community organization in which the student’s skills in German are developed.

GERM 294 | TOPICS IN LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, OR CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Prerequisites: GERM 202

Study at the lower-division level of a special topic in language, literature, or culture. When offered, selected subjects will be announced on the MySanDiego portal. If taught in English, this course will not fulfill the Core Curriculum language requirement. Consult with instructor or the department chair.

GERM 301 | ADVANCED COMPOSITION

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 202 or Passing the appropriate departmental placement test within the previous year

Further development of oral and writing abilities. Continued study of the grammatical structure of German with emphasis on idiomatic expressions and syntax. Reading of modern authors and work through various films in order to consolidate the learning of idiomatic expressions and prepare for literature classes and further studies through interpretation of prose and films as well as techniques for plot and character analysis.

GERM 302 | READINGS IN GERMAN LITERATURE

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 301

Assigned readings in modern literature; class reports and essays on literary topics of prose and poetry.

GERM 303 | CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS OF GERMAN CIVILIZATION

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 202

Survey of the historical, social, cultural, and artistic evolution of German from the origins to the present. Survey of modern life and geography in Germany.

GERM 304 | COMMERCIAL CORRESPONDENCE AND ADVANCED BUSINESS GERMAN

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 202

Oral and written Geschäftsdeutsch with special attention to accurate and idiomatic expressions used in economics, business, professional, and technical fields with an insight into Germany’s place in the European Union and the world market.

GERM 312 | GERMAN LITERATURE FROM 1900 TO THE PRESENT

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 301

A survey of German literature from 1900 to the present. Important movements, authors, and works in German literature since the turn of the century.

GERM 315 | L2 TEACHING METHODOLOGIES AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS

Units: 3

Prerequisites: GERM 301

An introduction to the history of second language teaching methods, applied linguistics, and the fundamentals of second language teaching. Initial training in the skills needed to be a second language teacher.

GERM 394 | TOPICS IN LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, OR CULTURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Prerequisites: GERM 202

Study at the third-year level of a special topic in language, literature, or culture. When offered, selected subjects will be announced on the MySanDiego portal. If taught in English, this course will not fulfill the Core Curriculum language requirement. Consult with instructor or the department chair.

GERM 493 | LANGUAGE TUTORING OR FIELD EXPERIENCE IN GERMAN

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Supervised participation in the department’s Tutoring Program or placement in a community organization in which the student’s skills in German are developed.

GERM 494 | TOPICS IN GERMAN LITERATURE

Units: 3 Repeatability: Yes (Repeatable if topic differs)

Prerequisites: GERM 302

Study at an advanced level of major topics of German literature, such as Medieval authors, Renaissance and Baroque masterworks, masterpieces of the Age of Enlightenment, the period of Storm and Stress, Classic and Romantic, Realism, Naturalism, and Modern works of the 20th century; themes, authors, genres. When offered, selected subjects will be announced on the MySanDiego portal. Prerequisite: GERM 302 or equivalent. May be taken for credit each time topic changes.

GERM 499 | INDEPENDENT STUDY

Units: 1-3 Repeatability: Yes (Can be repeated for Credit)

A program arranged between the advanced student and the instructor to provide intensive study in a particular area of interest. Extensive reading and consultation are required, as well as preparation of reports to be assigned by the instructor. A maximum of three units may be applied toward the minor.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Christiane P. Staninger, PhD