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Degree Requirements

Major in German

Students majoring in German demonstrate advanced proficiency in oral and written German, as well as detailed understanding of significant aspects of German-speaking cultures, histories, and societies. Students are required to complete a total of 30 credit hours of course work beyond GER 1102, including the following:

  • GER 2441 (3 credit hours)
  • German language in context: GER 2201, 2202, 3201, 3202W (12 credit hours)
  • Electives in German culture and history taught in German: at least 9 credit hours of any course taught in German between GER 4551 and GER 4558
  • Electives in German culture and history taught in English: at least 6 credit hours of any course taught in English  above GER 2441
  • Total credit hours: 30

Majors are expected to consult their advisers before registration each semester.

Students are permitted to count a maximum of 6 credit hours of instruction in courses outside the GER subject area toward the major, with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies in German; such course work will count toward the 6 credit hour total for elective courses in German culture and history taught in English. Up to 6 credit hours earned through AP exams or transferred from other institutions may count toward the major.

Click here to access the form required to declare a major.

Minor in German

A minor in German documents a student's basic competence in the German language as well as familiarity with German-speaking culture. The minor consists of a minimum of 18 hours of course work; specific requirements are as follows:

  • 3 credit hours from GER 2441 
  • 15 credit hours hours in the GER subject area (all language courses count toward the minor), of which 6 credit hours must be earned in courses taught in German  
  • Total hours: 18

Click here  to access the form required to declare a minor.

Honors Program

Candidates for honors in German who meet College of Arts and Science and departmental requirements must complete all requirements for the concentration in German. In addition, students

  • must study a minimum of one semester at a German-speaking university (or gain the equivalent experience);
  • complete 6 credit hours of beyond the basic course requirements; 3 of these credit hours are required to be taken in the form of a graduate course above GER 7000, 3 of these credit hours are required to be taken in the form of a course taught in German above GER 4550;
  • maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA in courses that count toward the German major and a 3.30 cumulative GPA;
  • write an honors thesis and pass an oral examination during their final semester.

Summer Program Berlin

The seven-week, 7 credit hour Vanderbilt in Berlin summer program offers students an opportunity to study German, improve German-language skills, and take courses in English and German. This program is also open to students with no prior knowledge of German. Students participate in a weeklong orientation course on the history and culture of Berlin (1 credit hour), then take two six-week courses (6 credit hours) or one intensive language course (6 credit hours). All courses include regular excursions to course-related locations. A limited number of scholarships are available.


It is not uncommon for Vanderbilt undergraduate students to receive prestigious fellowships and awards such as Fulbright, DAAD, Mellon, and Delta Phi Alpha scholarships, all of which have been received by our students in recent years.