German Major (B.A.)

German Major (B.A.)
German major students in class

What is German?

If you’re interested in the German language, literature or culture, intend to pursue a career where a background in foreign languages and culture would be useful, or are considering teaching German at the secondary-school level, the German degree program is for you. German is the most widely spoken language in Europe, and Germany plays a significant role in the global economy, making this degree program well suited to a variety of careers nationally and internationally.

Why study German at UNH?

You’ll gain a solid foundation in the German language while also studying aspects of the political, social and cultural life of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. You’ll have the opportunity to study abroad with your professors and classmates in our summer Berlin program, or join programs at universities such as Berlin, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Innsbruck, Marburg, Munich, Tübingen or Vienna. Internships with German firms or organizations may be taken for credit. Back on campus, students are strongly encouraged to attend the German conversation hour, or Stammtisch, and also have access to an extensive German-language video collection.

Potential careers

  • Diplomat
  • Foreign service officer
  • German teacher
  • International Business leader
  • Interpreter
  • Lawyer
  • Translator
  • Marissa Anderson in Germany
    German and Genetics: Genomics Majors | Graduate Student, Universität Würzburg
    What are you currently doing for work or further education? I am currently enrolled as a master’s student at the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg and am in the last 6 months of my studies; I plan to stay here for my Ph.D. as well.  I had always wanted to move to Germany after my undergraduate studies so I could pursue graduate degrees and settle permanently in…
    Learn More
  • headshot
    German and International Affairs Majors | Admissions Counselor, Higher Ed
    What you are currently doing for work and how did you get to this point? I work as a military undergraduate admission counselor for Southern New Hampshire University's online programs. We are now officially one of the top ten military friendly schools in the country! I work with active duty service members, veterans and military family members. I talk to many…
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  • headshot
    German and International Affairs Majors | Account Manager, Crosby Hop Farm
    What are you currently doing for work and how did you get there? I am the Northeast Account Manager for Crosby Hops, and have been since Aug. '18. I graduated UNH early in December of '13. From there I got a one-year master's in international business degree from Hult International Business School in Cambridge, Mass. I graduated froom that program in August of '15…
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  • headshot
    German Major | Admissions Counselor Higher Ed
    What are you are currently doing for work and how did you get to this point? I am a military admission counselor at Southern New Hampshire University. I have always loved education, and applied for the admission counselor position to help others further their own. I help students every…
    Learn More
  • Lyndsay Ulin '16
    German and International Affairs Major | Marketing Coordinator
    As a former ReVision Energy company event gate-crasher who was always made to feel welcome, Lyndsay jumped at the chance to join the ReVision team after graduating with a B.A. in German and international affairs and being unable to decide between pursuing a lucrative career as a veggie-farming, alpaca-herding, sweater-knitting, bee-keeping chicken wrangler or as wildly successful, world…
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Curriculum & Requirements

The German major is offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. This program is of interest to the following groups of students:

  • Those who have a special interest in the German language, literature and culture.
  • Those who intend to enter fields in which a background in foreign languages and cultures is desirable, such as business, engineering, the sciences, law, international affairs, government service and international service.
  • Those who plan to teach German in secondary schools. Since most secondary schools require their teachers to teach more than one subject, students planning to enter teaching at this level should plan their programs carefully. They should combine a major in one culture and language with a minor or at least a meaningful sequence of courses in another subject. Dual majors also are possible. For certification requirements, see the section coordinator.

All German majors are strongly encouraged to double major or include a relevant minor in their studies.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

All students must complete at least 10 classes (40 credits). All coursework required for German major must be completed with a grade C- or better. Specific course requirements are: 

Language Courses 1
Students entering major at a higher language level will replace the language courses with additional electives.
GERM 401
Elementary German I
GERM 402
Elementary German II
GERM 503
Intermediate German I
GERM 504
Intermediate German II
Advanced Communications Skills I
GERM 632
Advanced Communications Skills II
Electives 2
Select a minimum of three courses from the following Culture, Linguistics, and Literature category
GERM 521
Major German Authors in English
GERM 525
Introduction to German Culture and Civilization
GERM 586
Study in Berlin
GERM 728
Modern German Literature
GERM #732
Public Discourse and Current Affairs
GERM #795
Independent Study
GERM 797
Special Studies in German Language and Literature
GERM 798
Special Studies in German Language and Literature
LLC 535A
Professional Culture in European Union - - Case Study: Germany
LLC 540
Film History
LLC 552
Comparative Literature: Masterpieces of World Literature II
LLC 560
Divine Madness and Dangerous Minds! - Mental Health in Literature and Art
LLC 791
Methods of Foreign Language Teaching
Capstone 3
LLC 790
World Languages Capstone
Study Abroad
Study abroad is a requirement for the German major, although an approved equivalent high-impact experience may be substituted for study abroad with a compelling justification.

While the major may start counting as early as the Elementary I level (GERM 401), those who enter the major at a higher level (GERM 503, GERM 504, GERM 631W or GERM 632) will replace the courses they skip from the elementary, intermediate and advanced language category with additional courses from the electives category. 


More electives required if fewer language credits were completed due to proficiency level and placement.

Students are encouraged to take as many of the culture, linguistics, and literature elective in the German language as possible, but there is no limit on the number of classes conducted in English from electives category. Students taking no classes in the target language in a given semester will be strongly encouraged to enroll in one credit of conversation hour to maintain their language skills, and many of the courses taught in English will allow students the option to (or even require students to) do some work in the target language. 


Or approved equivalent 700-level course taken at UNH, approved study abroad equivalent, or approved high-impact experience (such as internship with a robust target language/culture component). 

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

German majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements.

Specific outcomes for Linguistic Competency The German Program applies the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to evaluate the linguistic competency of its graduates.

  • Speaking Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a speaking proficiency of Intermediate High to Advanced Mid, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Low. Students demonstrate an ability to speak clearly and with precision about personal, professional, and academic topics.
  • Writing Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a written proficiency of Intermediate High to Advanced Mid, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Low. Students demonstrate an ability to write clearly about professional or academic topics, including introductory research in the area of literature and culture studies.
  • Listening Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a listening proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced High, with the majority of students achieving the level of Advanced Mid. Students demonstrate an ability to understand conventional as well as complex narratives that may use uncommon vocabulary or address difficult topics, such as theater plays in the target language.
  • Reading Proficiency: Graduates of the program achieve a reading proficiency of Advanced Low to Advanced Mid. Students demonstrate an ability to read and interpret conventional quotidian texts as well as complicated narratives from the 18th-21st centuries, addressing a wide range of topics and genres, including literary, scientific, and cultural theory.

II. Specific outcomes for Integrative Knowledge Accompanying the acquisition of German language skills is the study of cultural phenomena, which provides German majors with a breadth of knowledge as found in a traditional liberal arts program. The acquired knowledge helps students engage with various additional fields of study across the UNH campus. Through transferable practice in abstract reasoning, critical examination, and constructive articulation, students extend their intellectual curiosity and learn to aspire to life-long learning.

  • Interpretive Reasoning Particularly in the advanced courses that analyze art in its various forms – literature, film, painting, performance art, et. al. -, we (students and faculty alike) wrestle with interpretation and contextualization. In these courses, we are invested in humanistic inquiry and address tough questions – those concerning value and meaning, realms of knowledge ungraspable by natural science alone. Patterns of narrative, traditions of rhetoric, and history all inform the analyses of the cultural artifacts under study. By fostering the skills of close reading and listening, German majors become more articulate (both in German and their native language) and more proficient in analyzing and synthesizing the various types of knowledge.
  • Critical-Constructive Thinking In the analysis of cultural artifacts, students learn to consider a multitude of perspectives. In addition to critical thinking skills, German majors become better versed at the constructive synthesis. Term papers and presentations in the target language are the culmination of linguistic comprehension and production as well as of interpretation and critique. In assembling such larger projects, German majors learn to construct well-informed arguments that are based on interpretation and scholarly critique.
  • Interdisciplinarity Language study entails a wide range of applications, both personal and professional. It opens up possibilities for travel, genuine encounter, and the fostering of diplomatic and business relationships. German is of particular interest for political, economic, historical, and cultural reasons. With strengths in engineering and heavy manufacturing, Germany is of vital political-economic importance. Our students are encouraged to explore the connections in various scientific fields, the business world, and the humanities at large.
  • Transformative Education Close mentoring of our German majors leads to relevant study-abroad opportunities in which our students make tangible use of their intellectual skillsets in the target culture. Of equal importance, however, is the notion that the actual application of the skillsets during the study abroad experience (but also in our classrooms) offers an opportunity for students to achieve meaningful personal growth by realizing their own cultural underpinnings. As a result of their study of German, some students choose to go to or to return to Germany for work or travel. Thus, the study of German can result in transformative moments in the lives of our students.

Explore Program Details

The Department sponsors an intensive 5-week course in Berlin, Germany, that can be tailored to an individual's language proficiency level. No prior German language study is required. Learn more about the program at the College's Center for Study Abroad.

COLA Study Abroad

The University allows both German majors and minors and other students at levels beyond GERM 504 to attend approved Study Abroad programs for UNH credit.

Students may attend accredited semester or year programs at universities such as Berlin, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Innsbruck, Marburg, Munich, Tübingen, or Vienna. Most Study Abroad programs require a minimum of two years of college German.

For intensive language study at any level, students may attend Goethe-Institut centers in Germany for one or more four or eight-week courses. Students beyond the 504 level may also do an internship in a German firm or organization (see GERM 595). Financial aid applies to all approved programs.

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