Speaking German and understanding German culture opens doors to many of Europe’s cultural centers. German is the first language of about 120 million people in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. It is also spoken by minorities in France, Italy, Luxemburg, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Russia.

Germany's strong economic position has also led to the use of German as the preferred language of commerce in a number of Eastern European countries.

Here at Rochester, our students immerse themselves in the German language and culture through coursework, film screenings, literature, Plauderstunden, study abroad, and more. Our program prepares students for careers that stress critical thinking and cross-cultural communication.

German makes a great double major. Combinations have included:

  • Linguistics
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Art history
  • Film
  • Music
  • History
  • Political science
  • Optics
  • Psychology
  • Comparative literature
  • International Relations
  • Biomedical Engineering

Our students have gone on to work in international business, and continue their education in medical school, graduate programs and law school.

Below is information on:


German Major Requirements

The German major has a total of 11 required courses.

FOUNDATION COURSES (fulfill upper level writing):

CLTR 200 Topics in Critical Thinking
CLTR 389 MLC Research Seminar


GRMN 151: Intermediate German I
GRMN 152: Intermediate German II
GRMN 200: Advanced Conversation and Composition
GRMN 202: Introduction to German Cultural Studies
GRMN 203: Introduction to German Literature
GRMN 256: Advanced Topics in German Studies


Three upper-level elective courses in German literature and culture

Complete list of German courses >

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Minor Requirements

The German minor has a total of 5 required courses.

  • GRMN 151: Intermediate German I
  • GRMN 152: Intermediate German II
  • GRMN 200: Composition and Conversation
  • GRMN 202: Introduction to German Cultural Studies
  • GRMN 203: Introduction to German Literature

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German Clusters 

Germany before Nazism (H1GRMN003)
This sequence provides a historically structured overview of the most important developments in German culture and society during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.

Introduction to German Language and Culture (H1GRMN004)
This cluster introduces students to basic language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) as well as the cultural context of German. The third element is a related course in English which will open up the study of this linguistic-cultural area by looking at the evolution of its civilization or the dynamics of contemporary life.

Intermediate German Language and Culture (H1GRMN005)
This cluster includes two intermediate courses in German, which will address all skills but will do more reading of cultural materials than GRMN 101-102. It is followed by a third course which provides an in-depth view of a particular cultural topic.

Advanced German Language and Culture (H1GRMN006)
In this cluster, the more advanced student will be able to pursue linguistic and cultural studies concerning both broad and specific topics. Each course is taught exclusively in German.

Fantasy, Horror & Magic (H1GRMN008)
The genres of horror, magic and fantasy fiction are some of the most popular. In this cluster students will be introduced to the elements of literary, film, and cultural studies as they analyze moments of horror, magic and fantasy from their German roots to contemporary American forms.

Divided Germany (H1GRMN013)
In this cluster students will be introduced to the cinema and culture of divided Germany and Eastern Europe (1945-89), while also engaging the larger historical developments of Eastern and Western Europe in general, and divided Germany in particular.

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Study Abroad

Study abroad gives you invaluable insight into another culture. With German, you can study in a variety of cultural settings in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and more. The German program encourages all majors and minors to participate in study abroad as part of their academic career.

There are a number of internship programs that student can take in German speaking countries. You can tailor internships to your own interests with placements ranging from positions in:

  • Banks and the business world
  • Scientific and industrial research
  • Prestigious positions at the German and European parliaments

The University of Rochester offers a study abroad program in Cologne through a yearly competition. One student is awarded the opportunity to study at the University of Cologne free of tuition. Contact Lisa Cerami at to find out how and when to apply. 

Student can also study abroad through the Summer Program in Berlin, Germany. In this program students receive six credits of language and culture in one of the most exciting cities in Europe.

There are several scholarships and fellowships that students can apply for in order to help fund study abroad. See the scholarship and loan page of the study abroad site for more information.

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Language Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) scores or International Baccalaureate (IB) rankings assist departmental advisors in finding the right course level for you. Information on how you learned the language or languages you know will also help us advise you on the most appropriate courses for you in MLC.

For students with previous experience with the German language, the first step is to take the online placement exam. You will receive a score that will be used along with the other information you provide to help determine your placement. For instructions for how to login, see our online placement exam instructions page. Students who have not studied German previously and who are not heritage speakers of German may register for GRMN 101 without taking a placement exam.

The placement you receive with your online numerical test scores is not necessarily how you will be placed by MLC.

Students will receive a “Course planning, placement, and recommendations” sheet with their language placement information from Academic Advising during Orientation and via email.

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Contact information


Lisa Cerami, Visiting Professor of German

Susan E. Gustafson, Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor of German Studies, Head for the German Program, Undergraduate Advisor

June J. Hwang, Associate Professor of German

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