Courses and Curriculum

Courses and Curriculum

A. Core or: Language Courses

GER  103-104 Elementary German      6 credits
Reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Introduction to German culture. Almost exclusive use of German in class.  Prerequisite for GER 104: C or better in GER 103 or permission of instructor.  GER 103 Fall; GER 104 Spring

GER  215-216 Intermediate German      6 credits
This course is designed as a thorough review of grammatical structures. Also emphasized is the building of vocabulary, increasing competence in the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and gaining an overview of German culture. Exclusive use of German in class. Prerequisites for GER 215: C or better in GER 104 or two years of high school German. Prerequisite for GER 216: C or better in GER 215 or permission of instructor.  GER 215 Fall; GER 216 Spring. 

GER  323 Topics in Conversation I      3 credits
Contemporary communication skills emphasized in general exploration of contemporary culture of the German-speaking world. Exclusive use of German in class. Phonetics may be included. Prerequisite:  C or better in GER 216 or three or four years of high school German. Fall

GER  324 Topics in Conversation II      3 credits
A continuation of GER 323. Exclusive use of German in class. Prerequisite:  C or better in GER 323 or permission of instructor. Spring

GER  331 Substance and Style: Effective Writing in German I      3 credits
Distinguishing and producing effective writing of different types: essay, correspondence, description, report. Exclusive use of German in class. Prerequisite:  C or better in GER 216 or three or four years of high school German.  Fall

GER  332 Substance and Style: Effective Writing in German II      3 credits
A continuation of GER 331. Exclusive use of German in class.  Prerequisite:  C or better in GER 331 or permission of instructor.  Spring

GER  341-342  German for Business I & II      6 credits
Advanced aural/oral and writing skills needed for working in a German-speaking environment. Practical situations, technical vocabulary, and correspondence highlighted. Preparation for Wirtschaftsdeutsch International Examination. Exclusive use of German in class. Prerequisite for GER 341: C or better in GER 324 and 332 or permission of chair. Prerequisite for GER 342:  C or better in GER 341 or permission of instructor. GER 341 Fall; GER 342 Spring

GER 400  German Internship    3 credits
Qualified students are placed in jobs or service programs where they will use and perfect language skills. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

B. Electives or: Content Courses

Prerequisite for all Elective or: Content Courses: C or better in GER 324, GER 332 or GER 342 or permission of instructor.

1. Culture

GER 441  The Young Generation and Civil Courage - 1848 to today    3 credits
A deatiled look at Germany's young generation between revolutionary and nationalistic attitudes, between resistance to and acceptance of the body politic: 1848 - 1871 - 1914 - 1939 - 1945 - 1957 - 1968 - 1989

GER 443  Pioneers, Paragons, and Visionaries    3 credits 
A close look at 50 Germans of importance whose significance is barely known but without whose impact on the world our lives today and our future lives would be less rich. 
GER 445  German Customs and Traditions    3 credits
A close look at the customs and traditions which are still relevant in a modern Germany and continue to serve as the undeniable foundation of the national fabric of Germany in the age of migration and multiculturalism. 

2. Literature

GER 451  Nobel Laureates for Literature   3 credits
A thorough study of German Nobel Laureates for Literature, their writing style, topics of immediate and distant concern. Authors studied include Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Elias Canetti, Günter Grass, and Heinrich Böll. 

GER 453  German Literature after 1945   3 credits
A thorough inquiry into aspects of literary life in both parts of Germany before and after 1990. Reflection on the attempts by East and West German authors to distance themselves from and cope with the experience of the literature of the NAZI era. 

GER 455  The Weimar Republic: Culture and Literature      3 credits
A close look at „roaring twenties“ in Weimar Berlin and Germany, their cultural significance and place in the history of Germany between World War I and the „3rd Reich“. All aspects of the cultural progression are studied – from architecture to film, from literature to music. 

GER 457  German Theater - From its Beginnings to Today    3 credits 
A thorough study of German Theatre between the 16th and the 21st centuries - between religious drama and bourgeois theatre, between "nation" and "self", between seach for and loss of one's identity.

3. History and Politics

GER 462  Germany Today      3 credits
The ‘new’ political system in post-1989 unified Germany, the country’s cultural development, her economic structure, as well as her particular styles (!) of life. Voices from West-German and East-German authors are heard as well as assessments of foreign critics and supporters of Germany’s re-unification. 

GER 463  1989 - The Fall of the Berlin Wall in the European Context      3 credits
An examination of the events which led to the demise of communism in Eastern Central Europe during the late 1980's, culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.  Movements in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic will be studied.

GER 465  1968 in the European Context    3 credits
A comparison between the two major student movements in Europe, France and Germany, and their enduring impact during the late 1980s, culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. Movements in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the German Democratic Republic will be studied, as well. 

GER 467  Germany since 1871 - Political System and Form of Government    
3 credits
A close look at the seven forms of government Germany experienced since her first unification: Monarchy (1871-1918), Weimar democracy (1918-1933), national socialism (1933-1945), under occupation (1945-1949), Western democracy (1949-1989), communism (1949-1989), and federation (1990-today).

4. Film 

GER 472  Contemporary German Film      3 credits                                     Concentration on most recent and highly rated film productions for the big screen and for television. Special attention is given to female film makers and those with a multi-cultural background.

GER 473  German Literature and Film    3 credits
Study of six literary epochs through literature and film, stretching from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Comparison and critical analysis of prose and its adaptation in (German and foreign) film. 

GER 475  The History of German Film since Weimar    3 credits
A close look at the cinema of Weimar (UFA), cinema as propaganda machine under Hitler, West-Germany's cinema of restoration and the manifesto of Oberhausen; East-Germany's multi-faceted DEFA film-making, and the trends of post-unification cinema within Europe.

5. Philosophy 

GER 478  Jewish Philosophers of German Ancestry   3 credits
An In-depth look at thoughts and ideas of some of the most prominent Jewish philosophers in Germany from Moses Mendelssohn to Hans Jonas. Questions of interest include “religion and reason”, an “ethics for the future”, questions on “evil and redemption”, etc. This course is for the philosophically trained student.

GER 480  The Life of the Mind    3 credits
A cap-stone course for German majors, "The Life of the Mind" investigates questions of diversity, ethics, and justice, as well as courage, choice, and national identity.

C. The Curriculum

Qualifications for the Major:

All language courses applied to a language major or minor must be completed with a grade of C or better.  Students must maintain a 2.00 G.P.A. in their Major courses to be eligible to graduate with a degree in German.  Students in language-education and dual-major programs are governed by the same requirements. 

German Curriculum:

1. Core Curriculum Requirements: 
View the Core Curriculum requirements.  All students complete these requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.

2. Major Requirements (10 courses) 

GER 215 Intermediate German I 3 credits
GER 216 Intermediate German II 3 credits
GER 323 Topics in Conversation I 3 credits
GER 324 Topics in Conversation II 3 credits
GER 331 Substance and Style I  OR GER 341 German for Business I 3 credits
GER 332 Substance and Style II OR GER 342 German for Business II 3 credits
Major Electives (three 400-level content courses) 9 credits
GER Capstone or 400-level content course 3 credits

3.  Additional Requirements:  
Study Abroad Requirement and Cultural Requirement (see descriptions below)

4.  Additional Requirements:  Second-language proficiency is required ONLY for graduate-track majors. It is, however, strongly advised for language-eduacation majors, as well.

5.  Free electives
Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Study Abroad Requirement: 

German majors are required to study abroad for a minimum of four consecutive weeks in a formal pre-approved program at one of Canisius' partner institutions in Germany - at the Technische Universität Dortmund (TUD); the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR); or the Katholische Universität Eichstätt (KUE). Education majors with a concentration in German are also and strongly encouraged to advance their language skills and their cultural understanding, attending one of Canisius' study abroad programs in Germany.

Students who choose to spend an entire semester in Germany may count up to three courses taken at at TUD, HWR, or KUE  towards their German major. It is imperative, however, that interested students seek prior approval (to get their courses to count towards their major) from the chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Students who spend a whole academic year at TUD, HWR, or KUE may count an additional two courses as fulfilling requirements of their German major.

Credits for short academic programs in Germany are determined by the number of contact hours in these programs.

Exceptions to above rules will require special permission from the chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. 
Generally, students will have completed at least one 300-level course at Canisius College prior to their semester or academic year abroad. Four- to six-week summer courses can be taken at any time, without any pre-requisite in place.  

Students must complete at least one course in their German major upon having returned to Canisius College from Germany.

Students are also encouraged to participate in one or more of Canisius' non-academic summer internships in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.

Cultural Requirement:

During the course of every semester, each student enrolled in courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures will participate in or attend two cultural events outside their regular class time. One of hese events must be related to the culture of the language under study. The second must be of a multicultural nature. 

An updated list of acceptable and suitable events will be posted electronically by DMLLC, every week. Suggestions by students are welcome.

Dual Major: 

The study of German lends itself uniquely to the concept of the dual major. Students may combine their German major with any other major offered at Canisius. Of particular interest are major combinations with International Business, International Relations, Political Science, Communication, Economics, Marketing and Management, Art History, and manny other fields of study. 

Dual German majors must complete the following course sequences: GER 215-216, 323-324, 331-332 (or GER 341-342) plus four German electives. Dual majors in two languages must complete the three course sequences 215-216, 323-324 and 331-332 in German, as well as the following five courses in their second language: ML 215-217, ML 323-324, and ML 331. Dual language majors will also have to take four electives in their primary language (GER) and three electives in their secondary language (ML). 

Education Majors with Language Concentration:

Education majors fall into two separate tracks:  Students with a concentration in a German and preparing to teach at the K-6 levels (Early Childhood and Childhood) take a total of ten German courses beginning at the 215-216 level. Students, who study to teach at the secondary level (Adolescence Education) take a total of twelve language courses beginning with the GER 215-216 course sequence. 

Placement into Courses:

Foreign language placement is determined by how many years student was successfully enrolled in high school language courses between grades 9 and 12. Initial language placements may be changed during the first week of classes.

  • 0-1 HS years studied = GER 103 (Novice-low level). 
  • 2 HS years studied = GER 215 (Intermediate-low and mid level).  
  • 3-4 HS years studied = GER 323, GER 331, or GER 341 (Intermediate-high level or higher). However, if the last year of language learning occurred during the junior year in high school, and the year ended with a C+ or lower,initial placement will be GER 215. 
  • AP score of 3 = Fulfills a two-semester language sequence at the 103-104 level
  • AP score of 4 = Fulfills a two-semester language sequence at the 104-215 level
  • AP score of 5 = Fulfills a two-semester language sequence at the 215-216 level
  • College Credit Programs refer to admission guidelines. 
  • CLEP credits = refer to admission guidelines. 
  • Transfer students = see appropriate associate dean.

If advisors and students have concerns about the placement guidelines, they are encouraged to consult with DMLLC faculty.

Native Speakers:

Native speakers of languages other than English receive a language requirement waiver if they are able to provide documentation of their native speaker status. Examples of documents include, but are not limited to, school diplomas received in a country where the language of instruction is not English; an internationally recognized examination which certifies language abilities is equally acceptable.

Native speakers of German may be allowed to replace one or more of the required major courses with major elective courses. This, however, can only occur upon consultation with a departmental advisor.