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The German program affords students the opportunity to begin or to continue their study of German and/or Dutch.

Knowledge of German provides access to a culture that for more than a millennium has been central to the history, economy, arts, and sciences not just of Europe but of Western civilization as a whole. In the contemporary world, German-speaking countries have Europe's strongest economies and are playing an increasingly important role in world affairs. More Americans claim German ethnicity than any other, and German-speaking immigrants and their descendants have had an enduring impact on the history and culture of the United States. The UW–Madison has been a leader in the field of German studies for more than a century. The university's libraries are remarkable for the depth and breadth of their German-language holdings. 

Knowledge of Dutch provides access to a culture that has been an important force in world history since the Middle Ages. The language of more than 20 million inhabitants of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch-speaking Belgium), Dutch is also spoken in Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. It is also an important second language in Indonesia. As major economic powers, Belgium and the Netherlands play a leading role in shaping the European Union. World-class research in the sciences and humanities is conducted at Dutch and Belgian universities, and both countries can boast of a cultural life in which art, music, and theater are all flourishing.

STUDY ABROAD

The German program works closely with International Academic Programs to provide a range of opportunities for study in Germany and the Netherlands, for majors and nonmajors alike. The program also cooperates with the School of Business, which maintains study abroad programs in Germany and Austria open to all qualified undergraduates, not just business majors. Finally, the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offer study abroad programs in Germany for qualified students in these colleges.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR GERMAN STUDENTS

UW–Madison students interested in international internships should visit the website of the International Internship Program.

The German-language immersion dormitory, Stockwerk Deutsch, is located in Richardson House in Adams Hall, one of the Lakeshore dorms. Undergraduate students live and speak German together with a resident native speaker of German. Contact the German program for applications and details.

Other regular student activities include film screenings and lectures as well as informal, conversation-oriented Kaffeestunde, Stammtisch, Dutch Table, and the German Club. For additional information, contact the German program.

OFFERINGS IN DUTCH STUDIES

Course offerings in Dutch include five semesters of language instruction as well as courses in the literature and culture of the Low Countries. Courses in Dutch language satisfy the L&S foreign language requirement, while courses in Dutch literature and culture carry literature and humanities credits, respectively. Dutch literature is also offered under Literature in Translation.

A major in Dutch studies is not yet established at UW–Madison, but interested students are encouraged to pursue an individual major in the field. In addition to the study of language, literature, and culture, this could entail coursework in art history, geography, history, sociology, and so on. Courses taken in the study abroad program in Utrecht can also be applied to an individual major in Dutch studies.

Declaring the Major in German

A student may declare the major in German at any time by consulting with the German program’s undergraduate advisor.

Prerequisites for the Major in German

A total of 9 credits of language coursework at the third-year (post-204, “2xx”) level is required for the German major. 

Select one of the following options:

Option 1:
GERMAN 249 Intermediate German - Speaking and Listening3
GERMAN 262 Intermediate German-Writing 13
Option 2:
GERMAN 249 Intermediate German - Speaking and Listening3
GERMAN 285 Intermediate Intensive (Honors) German: Language, Culture, Texts6
Total Credits9

Third-year German language courses (GERMAN 249, GERMAN 258, GERMAN 262, GERMAN 285) are not sequenced; they may be taken in any order and/or simultaneously.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.

Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Mathematics Fulfilled with completion of University General Education requirements Quantitative Reasoning a (QR A) and Quantitative Reasoning b (QR B) coursework. Please note that some majors may require students to complete additional math coursework beyond the B.A. mathematics requirement.
Foreign Language
  • Complete the fourth unit of a foreign language; OR
  • Complete the third unit of a foreign language and the second unit of an additional foreign language

Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
L&S Breadth
  • Humanities, 12 credits: 6 of the 12 credits must be in literature
  • Social Sciences, 12 credits
  • Natural Sciences, 12 credits: must include one 3+ credit course in the biological sciences; must include one 3+ credit course in the physical sciences
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework 108 credits
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work 60 intermediate or advanced credits
Major Declare and complete at least one (1) major
Total Credits 120 credits
UW-Madison Experience 30 credits in residence, overall
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
Minimum GPAs 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison

Non–L&S students pursuing an L&S major

Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above.  Please note that the following special degree programs are not considered majors so are not available to non–L&S degree-seeking candidates:  

  • Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics (Bachelor of Science–Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics)
  • Journalism (Bachelor of Arts–Journalism; Bachelor of Science–Journalism)
  • Music (Bachelor of Music)
  • Social Work (Bachelor of Social Work)

Requirements for the Major

27 credits in the major, as follows:

GERMAN 337 Advanced Composition & Conversation3
GERMAN 676 Advanced Seminar in German Studies 13
or GERMAN 677 Seminar in German Culture Studies
Electives 121
Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts
Literatur des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts
Business German Internship Seminar
Introduction to German Linguistics
Topics in German Linguistics
Topics in German Literature
Study Abroad in German Literature
Study Abroad in German Culture
Study Abroad in German Linguistics
Topics in German Culture
Honors Seminar in German Literature
Kultur 1648-1918
Kultur des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts
German-Jewish Culture Since the 18th Century
Topics in German Studies
Survey of German Literature to 1700
German Literary Movements Since 1750
Letterkunde der Lage Landen
A Theme in German Literature
Theory and Practice of German Drama
Cultuurkunde der Lage Landen
History of the German Language
Introduction to Middle High German
German Film
Seminar in German Culture Studies
Senior Honors Thesis-First Semester
Senior Honors Thesis-Second Semester
Senior Honors Seminar in German Literature
Directed Study
Directed Study
Up to 9 credits of Electives may be in Cognate courses 2
Total Credits27

Residence and Quality of Work

2.000 GPA in all GERMAN courses and courses counting toward the major

2.000 GPA on 15 upper-level major credits, taken in residence 3

15 credits in GERMAN, taken on campus

Senior Thesis

A student who wishes to write a senior thesis may do so under the direction of a Professor in German.  Students should begin planning with the major advisor or the directing professor in the student's junior year.


Honors in the Major

Students may declare Honors in the German Major in consultation with the German undergraduate advisor.

Honors in the German Major Requirements

To earn Honors in the Major in German, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:

  • Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
  • Earn a 3.300 in all advanced-level GERMAN courses
  • Complete 29 total advanced-level credits in German, 20 of which must be taken for Honors, to include:
GERMAN 337 Advanced Composition & Conversation (for honors credit)3
GERMAN 676 Advanced Seminar in German Studies (for honors credit)3
GERMAN 677 Seminar in German Culture Studies3
GERMAN 681
GERMAN 682
Senior Honors Thesis-First Semester
and Senior Honors Thesis-Second Semester
6

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.
 

Any questions regarding advising or placement in German or Dutch may be directed to the undergraduate advisors for these programs:

Jeanne M. Schueller, Undergraduate German Advisor
jmschuel@wisc.edu
806 Van Hise Hall

Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor, Undergraduate Dutch Advisor
jvtaylor@wisc.edu
608-262-5790
808 Van Hise Hall

For other undergraduate concerns, please contact the undergraduate coordinator:

Bridget Sutton, Undergraduate Coordinator
undergrad@gns.wisc.edu
608-262-2090
1306 Van Hise Hall

For advising on careers related to German, Dutch, and other languages, contact the Language Institute.

For additional career advising, contact:

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science
711 State Street, Suite 300 (University Book Store Building)
SuccessWorks@ls.wisc.edu
608-262-3921

L&S career resources

SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers).

SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career. 

Professors Hans Adler, Monika Chavez, Sabine Gross, Rob Howell, Mark Louden, B. Venkat Mani, Pamela Potter, Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

Associate Professors Salvatore Calomino, Sonja Klocke, Sabine Moedersheim

Assistant Professors Hannah V. Eldridge, Philip Hollander, Weijia Li, Sunny Yudkoff

Faculty Associate Jeanne Schueller