The German Studies Major 2012-13
German studies is a transnational major that deals with the various German-speaking regions of central Europe. Whether one thinks of philosophy, music, art, education, religion, or political and social history, German culture has exercised a profound and often decisive influence on Europe. Some of the most important ideological debates in Western culture have arisen in the German-speaking area, and changes in German culture and society have sometimes had devastating effects on world history. Events and political developments of recent years — such as the unification of East and West Germany and the emergence of the German-speaking region of Europe as a major player in world affairs — have had important impacts.
A German studies major provides students with an intellectually diverse program — covering history, history of art and visual culture, literature, and philosophy — in which students and faculty come together in exciting and demanding pursuits.
The German studies major is administered by the History Department.
Study and Research Opportunities
- Study abroad opportunities in Germany through the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP)
High School Preparation
High school students planning to major in German studies at UC Santa Cruz do not need any special preparation other than the high school courses necessary for UC admission. Previous study of the German language is valuable, but not required.
Students whose high schools do not offer German will be able to learn the language at UC Santa Cruz, where the German language program is of high quality.
Transfer students are advised to complete their campus’s general education requirements before coming to UC Santa Cruz. They should also take at least one—and preferably two—full years of college-level German language courses at their previous institution. Some background in history and in literary analysis and interpretation is desirable, but not essential. Since this is an interdisciplinary major, preparatory work in art history, philosophy, or politics, depending on the student’s interests, may also be useful. See the Major Requirements section for additional information.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.
- Foreign service
- International economics
- International law
- International relations
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Education Abroad Program (EAP)
UC EAP offers students an opportunity to study abroad in 36 countries with over 250 program options. Students receiving financial aid can apply their award to a program abroad.
All German studies majors are urged to consider participating in EAP, which has centers in Potsdam and Berlin. The cost of a year's study in Germany is equivalent to the cost of a year at UC Santa Cruz.
German language level 5 or the equivalent is a prerequisite for the German studies major and all upper-division courses taught in German. Students are encouraged to take German 1 through German 5 as early as possible in their academic program. All students are required to take a minimum of 11 courses, and must include the following:
- a minimum of five core courses in German literature and German history:
- one comprehensive senior seminar in German literature or German history (see below);
- two or three core courses in German literature
- one or two core courses in German history
- three additional core courses, including EAP courses
- three more core courses or courses from the Germany in a European or World Context list;
A minimum of five of the 11 required courses must be taught in German or principally through German-language texts.
A maximum of two lower-division courses may apply to the major.
Regular consultation with a program faculty adviser is required.
Comprehensive requirement. As fulfillment of the University Senior Comprehensive requirement in the major, German studies majors must complete an approved senior seminar in German literature or German history. The senior seminar is one of 11 courses required for the major. Consult the annual German studies course list for available seminar courses, published online at germanstudies.ucsc.edu.
It is strongly recommended that students spend a period of time in residence in Germany through the UC Education Abroad Program to further enrich the program of study and assure a command of the language. Students are allowed to transfer up to five courses taken at German universities toward the requirements for the major. However, the five core courses in German literature and history must be taken at UC Santa Cruz.