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. 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.


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.


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.


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

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 Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Students pursuing a bachelor of science 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.


Mathematics Two (2) 3+ credits of intermediate/advanced level MATH, COMP SCI, STAT
Limit one each: COMP SCI, STAT
Foreign Language Complete the third unit of a 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 6 credits in biological science; and must include 6 credits in physical science
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 86th credit
Minimum GPAs 2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison


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:

Required Courses6
Advanced Composition & Conversation
Advanced Seminar in German Studies 1
Seminar in German Culture Studies
Electives 1,221
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
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

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 other undergraduate concerns, please contact the undergraduate advisor:

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

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.

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)

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.


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