Overview

Why study Germanic languages and literatures?

Translingual and transcultural competence will help students participate actively and productively in our increasingly global world.

Undergraduate Programs

We offer students a diverse and challenging program in the language and cultural forms of German-speaking Europe, including literature, the arts, history, business, and politics. Our program is characterized by personalized advising, interdisciplinary flexibility, co-curricular activities, and opportunities to conduct independent research and to study and undertake internships abroad. Courses at the 100, 200, and 300 levels emphasize student involvement with the aim of developing students’ use of the German language, including the ability to comprehend, interpret, and produce spoken, written, and multimedia texts in different genres. Cultural topics are integrated into instruction starting in the first semester. At the 400 and 500 levels, survey courses provide students with a broader perspective on German cultural traditions, while other advanced courses often have a thematic focus.

All of our courses except GERM 315: German Literature and the Modern Era are taught in German. Majors have the option of taking two approved courses offered by other departments that are taught in English and include significant content related to German-speaking Europe; minors may take one such course. Courses taken in departments such as the history of art, philosophy, political science, Slavic languages & literatures, sociology, and theatre will enhance students’ study of the language and cultural forms of German-speaking Europe.

Both the German major and minor can be combined with majors and minors in other departments. Many students take advantage of this opportunity and combine their study of German with linguistics, business, philosophy, European studies, and history, for example.

The department on occasion offers a 4-semester proficiency sequence in a Scandinavian language (Swedish, Danish, or Norwegian) and in Dutch. The Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures offers a 4-semester Yiddish proficiency sequence. Courses for reading knowledge in German, Danish, and Dutch are also offered, subject to availability.

Placement

Students beginning the study of German at KU should take GERM 104. Students who have studied German before should take the online German placement examination and contact the department’s placement officer, Prof. Nina Vyatkina, vyatkina@ku.edu.

Retroactive Credit

Students with no prior college or university German course credit are eligible for retroactive credit as follows:

  • 3 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student with 2 or 3 years of high school German who initially enrolls at KU in the third-semester German course (GERM 201) and receives a grade of C or higher.
  • 6 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student with 3 or 4 years of high school German who initially enrolls at KU in the fourth-semester German course (GERM 202) and receives a grade of C or higher.
  • 9 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student with 4 years of high school German who initially enrolls at KU in a German course with GERM 202 as a prerequisite and receives a grade of C or higher.
  • Students must be actively enrolled at the university when they apply for retroactive credit. There is a flat-rate charge of $50; you will receive a bill from the Bursar’s Office after the credit has been applied to your transcript. To apply for retroactive credit, you must bring the following 3 items to the Undergraduate Advisor:

  • Copy of your high school transcript, available from the Office of Admissions at the Visitor Center
  • A copy of your DPR
  • A note stating that you wish to apply for retroactive credit for the German course(s) that you took in high school.

Advanced Placement

KU encourages students to take Advanced Placement Examinations in any of the areas under the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) program. KU gives credit only in certain courses with certain scores from the AP examinations.

The results of these examinations must be sent to KU directly from CEEB. Departments may grant advanced placement and/or credit on the basis of the test scores. No college grade is assigned when advanced placement credit is given. Instead, a credit is recorded on the student’s KU record. No fee, beyond that charged by CEEB, is assessed for such college credit or placement. For information on how Advanced Placement scores in English and mathematics affect graduation requirements and initial enrollment in all schools, see the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements page and the English and Mathematics department pages. Contact the Office of Admissions, adm@ku.edu, for further information.

Credit by Examination

KU offers its own program of examinations for advanced credit. Applications are available online. They must be approved by the Undergraduate Advisor and the chair of the department concerned and by the student’s dean or dean’s representative. A report of the examination taken, showing the hours of credit to be granted and the grade awarded, must be signed by the professor giving the examination, the chair, and the dean or dean’s representative.

At the discretion of each academic dean, grades of A, B, C, or D may be used to indicate degrees of achievement, or a grade of Credit may indicate satisfactory performance. No record is made of an unsatisfactory attempt. Credit by Examination grades are not included in the grade-point average that appears on the official transcript.

A fee is charged for each course. For current fee information, contact the Office of the University Registrar, kuregistrar@ku.edu.

Warning: Some medical schools do not accept credit by examination.

Native Speakers

Students who have completed secondary education in a German-speaking country are generally not eligible to enroll in German courses below the 400 level. The department reserves the right to disenroll such students.

Courses for Future Teachers

Candidates for the B.S. in Education majoring or minoring in German should consult the School of Education.

Why study Germanic languages and literatures?

Knowledge and appreciation of the language, literature, and culture of Central Europe will help us understand our own past, present, and future and will also provide students with translingual and transcultural competence that will help them participate actively and productively in our increasingly global world.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a full graduate program leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. In the Ph.D. program, a student may elect 1 of 4 specializations: German literature, Germanic philology, German applied linguistics, or Germanic linguistics.

Contact Info

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 2080
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
785-864-4803
german@ku.edu
http://www2.ku.edu/~germanic/
Marc L. Greenberg, Chair
785-864-2349

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 2080
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
785-864-4803
german@ku.edu
http://www2.ku.edu/~germanic/
James H. Brown, Undergraduate Advisor
785-864-9174
Lorie A. Vanchena, Undergraduate Advisor
785-864-9176

Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 2076
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594
785-864-4803
german@ku.edu
http://www2.ku.edu/~germanic/
Leonie Marx, Graduate Director
marx@ku.edu
Morgan Swartzlander, Graduate Program Coordinator
mswartz@ku.edu
Why KU
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  • 2nd in the nation for prestigious faculty Fulbright awards
  • 26 Rhodes scholars
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
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