Declaring the Major

Students who have completed the prerequisite coursework may declare the German major 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. 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.

Complete one of the following two groups of prerequisite courses:

Group 1:
Intermediate German - Speaking and Listening
and Intermediate German-Reading
and Intermediate German-Writing
Group 2:
Intermediate German - Speaking and Listening
and Intermediate Intensive (Honors) German: Language, Culture, Texts

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 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.

Bachelor of Arts degree requirements

Mathematics Complete the University General Education Requirements for Quantitative Reasoning A (QR-A) and Quantitative Reasoning B (QR-B) coursework.
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.
L&S Breadth
  • 12 credits of Humanities, which must include 6 credits of literature; and
  • 12 credits of Social Science; and
  • 12 credits of Natural Science, which must include one 3+ credit Biological Science course and one 3+ credit Physical Science course.
Liberal Arts and Science Coursework Complete at least 108 credits.
Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work Complete at least 60 credits at the intermediate or advanced level.
Major Declare and complete at least one major.
Total Credits Complete at least 120 credits.
UW-Madison Experience
  • 30 credits in residence, overall; and
  • 30 credits in residence after the 86th credit.
Quality of Work
  • 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
  • 2.000 in Intermediate/Advanced level 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. They do not need to complete the L&S Degree Requirements above.

Requirements for the Major

27 credits in the major, as follows:

Required Courses6
Advanced Composition & Conversation
Advanced Seminar in German Studies 1
Seminar in German Culture Studies
Electives 1,221
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 des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts
German-Jewish Culture Since the 18th Century
Topics in German Studies
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
Total Credits27

Residence and Quality of Work

  • 2.000 GPA in all GERMAN courses and all major courses
  • 2.000 GPA on 15 upper-level major credits, taken in residence 3
  • 15 credits in GERMAN, taken on campus

Honors in the Major

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


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

  • Earn a 3.300 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
Senior Honors Thesis-First Semester
and Senior Honors Thesis-Second Semester


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.

Sample Four-Year Plan

This Sample Four-Year Plan is a tool to assist students and their advisor(s). Students should use it—along with their DARS report, the Degree Planner, and Course Search & Enroll tools—to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests. As students become involved in athletics, honors, research, student organizations, study abroad, volunteer experiences, and/or work, they might adjust the order of their courses to accommodate these experiences. Students will likely revise their own four-year plan several times during college.

Students considering a major in German should consult with the undergraduate advisor for German early to discuss how to complete their degree in four academic years. 

Communication A3GERMAN/​JEWISH/​LITTRANS  279 (meets Ethnic Studies Requirement)3
Quantitative Reasoning A3Biological Science Breadth3
Social Science Breadth4Social Science Breadth4
 14 14
Quantitative Reasoning B3-4GERMAN/​JEWISH  267 (enroll in Communication B Section)4
INTER-LS 2101Social Science Breadth4
 15 15
GERMAN 2493GERMAN 3373-4
GERMAN 2583300+ Level GERMAN Elective3
GERMAN 2623Science Breadth3
Physical Science Breadth3Electives7
 16 16
300+ Level GERMAN Elective3GERMAN 6763
300+ Level GERMAN Elective3300+ Level GERMAN Elective3
Science Breadth3Electives9
 15 15
Total Credits 120

For advising questions related to the German major, contact the GNS+ Undergraduate Advisor: 

Joanna Schuth, Undergraduate Advisor
836 Van Hise
Make an appointment through Starfish

Language placement tests are advised for any student with previous knowledge or experience with German or Dutch. The German test is proctored through the University Placement Test program; more information is available here: 

If you have questions about your placement test score, please contact the Undergraduate Advisor or the Placement Advisor: 

Jeanne M. Schueller, German Language Program Coordinator and Placement Advisor
806 Van Hise

The placement test for Dutch is a one-on-one appointment with a professor, with written, oral, and reading comprehension components. The Placement Advisor for Dutch is Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor. Please contact the undergraduate advisor to request placement.

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

Jeanne M. Schueller, Undergraduate German Placement Advisor
806 Van Hise Hall

Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor, Undergraduate Dutch Placement Advisor
808 Van Hise Hall

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

For advising on careers related to German, Dutch, and other languages, refer to:
Languages at UW–Madison
Language Institute

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). In short, SuccessWorks helps students in the College of Letters & Science discover themselves, find opportunities, and develop the skills they need for success after graduation.

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. 

Students should set up their profiles in Handshake to take care of everything they need to explore career events, manage their campus interviews, and apply to jobs and internships from 200,000+ employers around the country.


Monika Chavez, Sabine Gross, Mark Louden, B. Venkat Mani, Pamela Potter, Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

Associate Professors

Salvatore Calomino, Sonja Klocke, Sabine Möedersheim

Assistant Professors

Hannah V. Eldridge, Weijia Li, Katerina Somers, Adam Stern, Sunny Yudkoff

Faculty Associate

Julie Larson-Guenette, Jeanne Schueller


Melissa Sheedy