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German Studies

German Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers both a major and a minor for students with broad academic interests in the German-speaking world.

In consultation with a faculty advisor in the program, students design individual plans of study from the many core courses offered in the Departments of History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, and Theatre and Dance. Further courses, including some offered by other departments, may be incorporated into the student's program, if they bear directly on German Studies. Students considering a major or minor should consult a member of the German Studies faculty as early as possible.

Students need to attain competence in German (two years of university-level language courses or the equivalent) before they can take certain upper-division courses. It is recommended that students attain this level of competence early in the program.

Questions regarding major or minor requirements may be directed toward the Program Coordinator at


Program Directors

Frank Biess, Co-Director
Professor, History

Ulrike Strasser, Co-Director
Professor, History

Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor

Jennifer Dieli
Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor
Ridge Walk Academic Complex - Arts and Humanities Building, 6th Floor, Room 655

Current UC San Diego undergraduate students, please use the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) for all advising questions. 


Frank Biess, History

Charles Curtis, Music

Harvey S. Goldman, Sociology

Eva Fischer Grunski, Literature

Michael Hardimon, Philosophy

Deborah Hertz, History

Lisa Lampert-Weissig, Literature

Karola Obermüller, Music

Patrick Patterson, History

Christina Schneider, Political Science

Ulrike Strasser, History

Clinton Tolley, Philosophy

Eric Watkins, Philosophy

Alena J. Williams, Visual Arts


German Studies Major

Students plan their major in consultation with their German Studies faculty advisor, and submit it to the Program Director for approval. All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade, and must be passed with a C- or better. The major in German Studies requires twelve upper-division courses chosen from among the core course list.



German Studies Minor

Students plan their minor in consultation with their German Studies faculty advisor, and submit it to the Program Director for approval. All courses taken for the minor must be taken for a letter grade and all courses must be passed with a C- or better. 

A minor in German Studies consists of completing 7 courses that focus on Germany with a European context from two different departments. At least 5 of the courses must be upper division. Two of these courses can be replaced with German language courses.



Course Offerings

Course Offerings

Refer to the official UC San Diego General Catalog for a complete list of approved courses that will count toward a major or minor in German Studies.

Course offerings are constantly changing. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date listing.

(*) Indicates course may be petitioned for credit. Instructions on How to Petition Courses.

Fall 2024

  • LTGM 2A. Intermediate German I
  • LIGM 1A/1AX. German Conversation/Analysis of German
  • LIGM 1D/1DX. German Conversation/Analysis of German
  • HIEU 154. Modern German History: From Bismarck to Hitler
  • PHIL 181. Existentialism
  • *POLI 120H. European Integration
  • *LTWL 172. Special Topics in Literature; Heroes and Villains
  • *LTWL 183. Film Studies and Literature: Director’s Work

Honors Program

German Studies Honors Program

At the beginning of senior year, a student major in German Studies may elect to write a senior honors thesis. To be eligible, the student must have a GPA of 3.5 in the German Studies major at the beginning of the senior year.

To begin work, the student forms a committee of 3 appropriate faculty members, including a committee chair, who is chosen from among the German Studies core faculty. The chair supervises the student in a 2-quarter program of independent study to research and write an honors of approximately 30-50 pages (GMST 196A/B; the 2 courses count among the required 12 for the major). The student defends the thesis in a 1-hour oral exam with the full committee, which is charged with recommending the degree of honors that will appear on the student's transcript and diploma.


Past Events

April 9, 2019
Fascism's Global Movements: New Perspectives on Entanglements and Tensions Between Facist Regimes in the 1930s and 1940s with Sven Reichardt (University of Konstanz)


Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for responses to commonly asked questions. If you have further questions, please contact the German Studies program through the Virtual Advising Center (VAC).

How many study abroad courses can I apply to my major or minor?

German Studies majors can petition up to 5 study abroad courses to count. 

German Studies minors can petition up to 3 study abroad courses to count.

What study abroad options are there?

Visit the UCEAP Study Abroad in Germany webpage for more information.

Students considering study abroad must meet with the German Studies Program Advisor before going abroad to discuss how study abroad coursework will fulfill requirements for their major or minor.

I found a UC San Diego course I want to use for my major/minor in German Studies. Can I take it?

You will need to petition the course to see if it will apply toward your German Studies major or minor. 

Instructions on How to Petition Courses