German is a major world language spoken in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as in some communities in the United States. Whether you are interested in literature, music, theater, film or art, German culture is a rich and exciting tradition. Temple's German program provides broad linguistic, cultural, and practical experiences to prepare students to participate meaningfully in the German-speaking world.

The Department of French, German, Italian and Slavic offers two different programs of study in German:

  • a traditional German Language and Cultural Studies major (and minor), and
  • an Interdisciplinary German Studies major (and minor).

The traditional Bachelor of Arts in German Language and Cultural Studies focuses on the acquisition of German language and develops that skill through courses taught completely in German from the intermediate level onward. The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary German Studies includes introductory and intermediate level German, but allows up to two electives on German culture and history to be taken outside of German (allowing for the language of instruction to be English). This allows students more flexibility in course selection and although language acquisition is important, the study of German culture is emphasized. Either program of study will help students achieve their learning goals, whether they want to go on to use German to communicate with friends in Germany, Austria or Switzerland; to engage in business with German partners; to work in government or in the media; or to participate in German culture. They develop skills in reading, writing, and oral communication while acquiring a rich understanding of the literature, cinema, history and culture of the German-speaking world.

Students who study German at Temple find that the program prepares them to do well in whatever they choose upon graduation. The German major is a good preparation for a career that requires analytical thinking and communication skills in general, which includes the domains of education, business, government service, travel and tourism. It is a good major or second major for students planning to attend law school or medical school. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language helps raise scores on the LSAT, GRE and MCAT examinations. This course of study also proves valuable to anyone who plans to work for a multinational corporation.

The German courses are often small, allowing students to get to know one another and their professors well. The program helps prepare students enrolled in the Fox School of Business and Management to acquire a special language certificate including a special course on German in the business world. Outside of class, students can share conversations and activities informally or with the Temple University German Society.

Campus Location: Main

Program Code: BA-IGS-BA

Study Abroad

Students declaring a major or minor in the department are strongly encouraged to study abroad. Temple University has programs at the universities of Hamburg, Tübingen, and Leipzig in Germany. Courses completed in these programs may be credited toward the German major or minor and in partial satisfaction of the CLA Global Studies requirement.

Students interested in Study Abroad should discuss their plans with the faculty advisor in German early in their academic program.

Distinction in Major

To be considered for Distinction in the Interdisciplinary German Studies Major, students must:

  • Complete the requirements for the concentration in German with a GPA of at least 3.50;
  • Have an overall GPA of at least 3.25;
  • Be recommended to the chair of the department by the German faculty advisor after consultation with the German department faculty. 

Contact Information

Department Office
532 Mazur Hall

Patricia Melzer, Chair
527 Mazur Hall

Michelle Xu, Administrator
429 Mazur Hall

Stephen Walton, Academic Coordinator
539 Mazur Hall

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary German Studies.

These requirements are for students who matriculated in academic year 2023-2024. Students who matriculated prior to fall 2023 should refer to the Archives to view the requirements for their Bulletin year.

Summary of Degree Requirements

University Requirements

  • MATH 0701  (4 s.h.) and/or ENG 0701 (4 s.h.), if required by placement testing.
  • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses as part of the major. The specific courses required for this major are GER 3096  and GER 4296 .
  • Students must complete requirements of the General Education (GenEd) Program. See the General Education section of the Undergraduate Bulletin for more details.

College of Liberal Arts Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 123 credits, including:
    • 90 credits in CLA/CST courses;
    • 45 credits of which must be at the upper level (numbered 2000-4999).
      • Distribution Requirement for Humanities majors: Six upper level credits must be earned in the Social Science, Science, and/or interdisciplinary subject areas. Select from the following CLA departments and programs: Africology & African American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, Environmental Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Geography and Urban Studies, Global Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, Liberal Arts, Neuroscience (CLA), Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology, or any department in the College of Science and Technology.
    • A minimum GPA of 2.0, cumulatively, in all CLA/CST coursework, and in the major department.
    • Only courses in which a student receives a grade of at least C- can satisfy GenEd, major, minor, or CLA Foreign Language and Global Studies requirements.
    • Professional Development Requirement
      • All students in the College of Liberal Arts are required to take a 1 credit seminar in professional development. CLA 1002 Professional Development for Liberal Arts Majors is the appropriate course option for this major. Other courses that fulfill this requirement may be found on the CLA College Requirements page. Only one course in this category may count towards graduation.
    • Foreign Language/Global Studies Requirements:
      • The language requirements of the German major exceed the minimum College of Liberal Arts requirements; no additional coursework is necessary for this requirement.
    • Notes on Foreign Language Study
      • The third level of language is numbered 1003 in French, Spanish, and Portuguese and numbered 2001 in all other foreign language subjects.
      • Students are strongly encouraged to take the third level of a foreign language as it is the minimum required for election to the prestigious honor society Phi Beta Kappa. (Taking the course does not guarantee admission but not taking it guarantees exclusion.)
      • See the College of Liberal Arts Policies section of this Bulletin for more information on the Foreign Language Placement, Regression in Coursework, and guidelines for students' other experiences with language.

General Electives are typically one-third of a student's program of study and can be focused on a second major, a minor, or towards some other personal enrichment or professional goals. See an academic advisor for assistance in developing an academic plan for these courses.

Major Requirements: Ten courses in German (30 credits/10 Courses)

Prerequisites: GER 1001 and GER 1002 , with a minimum grade of C- or equivalent placement.

Course levels are incremental in skills and content. Courses must be taken sequentially or in some instances may be taken concurrently. Students who initially place beyond GER 2001 may begin with GER 2001  or speak to a faculty advisor about placement.

GER 2001Intermediate I3
GER 2002Intermediate II3
GER 3096Composition I3
GER 4296Composition II3
Two elective courses numbered 2000 or higher must be taken in the German Department (German must be the language of instruction).6
Four elective courses numbered 2000 or higher. English may be the language of instruction in all four of these electives; at least two of these must be taken in the German Department. Two courses may be taken in other disciplines with written approval of the German faculty advisor.12
Total Credit Hours30

Suggested Academic Plan

Please note that this is a suggested academic plan. Depending on your situation, your academic plan may look different.

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary German Studies

Suggested Plan for New Students Starting in the 2023-2024 Academic Year

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallCredit Hours
GER 1001 Introduction to German I 4
ENG 0802
Analytical Reading and Writing
or Analytical Reading and Writing: ESL
or Honors Writing About Literature
GenEd Quantitative Literacy Course GQ 4
GenEd Breadth Course 3
 Credit Hours15
GER 1002 Introduction to German II 4
IH 0851
Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life
or Honors Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life
GenEd Breadth Courses 9
 Credit Hours16
Year 2
GER 2001 Intermediate I 3
IH 0852
Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good
or Honors Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good
GenEd Breadth Courses 6
CLA/CST Elective numbered 0800-4999 2
Free Elective in any school or college 2
CLA 1002 Professional Development for Liberal Arts Majors 1
 Credit Hours17
GER 2002 Intermediate II 3
GenEd Breadth Course 3
Free Elective in any school or college 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Courses 6
 Credit Hours15
Year 3
GER 3096 Composition I 3
German 2000+ Elective (German must be the language of instruction) 3
German 2000+ Elective (may be taught in English) 3
2000+ Distribution in CLA Social Sciences or CST 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
German 2000+ Elective (German must be the language of instruction) 3
German 2000+ Elective (may be taught in English) 3
Elective in German or, with advisor approval, a German-related discipline numbered 2000-4999 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 3
2000+ Distribution in CLA Social Sciences or CST 3
 Credit Hours15
Year 4
Elective in German or, with advisor approval, a German-related discipline numbered 2000-4999 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Electives 6
CLA/CST 2000+ Course 6
 Credit Hours15
GER 4296 Composition II 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 9
Elective(s) in any school or college - any level 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours123