The German Studies major provides a broad overview of the cultures of the German-speaking peoples. It prepares majors to think widely about the role of German material in the modern world as well as its impact on history and culture. Courses include expansive overviews such as Germany in 5 Words as well as focused courses on German language authors such as Nietzsche, Kafka, and Celan. All students are required to choose from a list of courses taught in German such as Fairy Tales and What is German Literature? as well as from some higher-level courses taught in both German and English such as Speaking Medieval and Technology and Culture. The major includes an emphasis on writing and concludes with a Capstone experience.
At the end of the major, students tend to reach an Advanced Low/C1 proficiency in their spoken German. To support this goal, all language courses count toward the major. In addition, courses taken at the Bing Overseas Studies Program Centerin Berlin count toward the 60-unit major. German Studies graduates are prepared, of course, to continue their study of German language and culture in graduate education. Some apply for fellowships in Germany or pursue Law School after completing their degree. Those who enter the workplace directly after completing their studies at Stanford report that the analytic skills they learn in the German Studies serve them well in careers in technology and finance.