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German & Scandinavian Studies, Deparment of Languages and Literatures

Programs

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General Information
Career Opportunities
Requirements
         Major
         Minor

Undergraduate Program Inquiries

Dolkar Gyaltsen
Program Office Manager
Herter Hall 511
(413) 545-2350
gyaltsen@german.umass.edu

Prof. Robert G. Sullivan,
Chief Undergraduate Advisor
Herter Hall 509
(413) 545-2350
sullivan@german.umass.edu

 

Undergraduate Program



General Information

German and Scandinavian Studies teaches languages as well as familiarizes students with the cultural achievements of Germany and Scandinavia and hones their critical thinking through historical, sociological, cultural, and, above all, interdisciplinary methods. We regularly offer Swedish, and Norwegian is available through the Five-College Center for the Study of World Languages. We offer many courses in German film, history, twentieth-century literature, and cultural, Jewish, and gender studies. Our courses are among the most popular at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Undergraduates can work on practical projects with faculty ranging from research assistantships to development of web-based language instruction and course website creation. A number of our undergraduates have participated in prestigious international internships. The program is structured to set the study of the Germanic languages and their literatures within the contexts of their respective cultures, including their historical, economic, political, philosophical, and cultural aspects. Strong interdisciplinary ties with other departments (music, drama, the visual arts, history, philosophy, political science, business) are encouraged. Members of different American and European faculties appear as speakers before the department or teach as visiting professors. Close cooperation with the Goethe Institute in Boston enriches the extracurricular program and acquaints students with many aspects of contemporary Germany, far beyond the strictly literary realm. German drama is occasionally performed and German film series are regularly offered, often in conjunction with the surrounding colleges. Lectures and performances which are sponsored by the German departments of Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges are open to all students and greatly diversify the cultural offerings in this field.

Career Opportunities

The German major prepares students for graduate school as well as employment in business, government, and education. The ability to read, write, and speak in a major world language other than English can greatly enhance an individual's career options. In the expanding global economy, most of the nations of eastern Europe and western Asia are using German as their common (second) language, and multinational corporations are seeking highly skilled translators and interpreters on an unprecedented scale. Graduates of the department are employed in many different fields, including law, international management, medicine, comparative literature, film studies, history, political science, book publishing, and organizations concerned with trade and commerce, technology and science, leisure and sports, the environment, and the arts.

Requirements



The Major

(The major in German and Scandinavian Studies has been updated and the requirements listed below might be subject to change as the University completes its approval process. For clarification, please see the undergraduate advisor.)

A total of thirteen courses is required for the German and Scandinavian Studies major, seven required courses from Group A, and one course each from six distribution areas (B through G). No course may satisfy more than one requirement. Courses satisfying major requirements must be 200-level or above.

The program's Undergraduate Advisor will serve as the general advisor for all undergraduate majors. At the end of their junior year majors will, however, choose an individual advisor from among the program faculty to guide them through their capstone project. The self-designed capstone project, usually carried out during the student's senior year, must be developed in consultation with and approved by the student's individual advisor and the academic unit's undergraduate advisor but is otherwise limited only by the student's imagination. It may take various forms, including a: thesis, portfolio, internship, video; webpage or computer program; creative writing exercise; curriculum designed for students learning German or a Scandinavian language at any level; semester-long student-taught colloquium; conference organized by the student; theatrical performance, musical composition or performance, artistic artifact; or other project of the student's devising. This requirement may be satisfied by an honors student's capstone experience in Commonwealth College, as long as it coincides with our general requirements.

In addition to courses offered through the German and Scandinavian Studies program, students are encouraged to take courses outside of the academic unit. These may fulfill some major requirements, with the permission of the undergraduate advisor (see below).

Four-College Courses: Courses in German Studies offered through the Five-College Consortium offer an excellent means for students to broaden exposure to the field, particularly in the areas of literature and film.

Component courses: Some requirements (as indicated below) may be satisfied by taking a “component course” that addresses a topic or region larger than Germany or Scandinavia alone. To qualify as a component course, however, it must include a significant emphasis on German or Scandinavian society and/or culture. In addition, the student's own work in the course must focus on aspects of German or Scandinavian culture in order for the course to qualify for major credit. Requires approval of the Undergraduate Advisor.

Courses in Germany and Scandinavia, or elsewhere: Some requirements may be satisfied by courses taken in Baden-W¸rttemberg, at other U.S. institutions, or elsewhere. Careful consideration will be given to the content and level of each course to determine which, if any major requirement it fulfills.

In addition to course work, majors are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of supplemental opportunities.

Max Kade German Suite at Thatcher
Live in the German Language Suite in Thatcher House dormitory while they are on campus. In addition to conducting day-to-day life in a German language environment, residents participate in a relaxed seminar together once a week.

Study Abroad
Live and study in Germany or Scandinavia as part of their undergraduate experience. Students may take advantage of the Baden-W¸rttemberg Program administered here at UMass Amherst, or apply for study abroad programs elsewhere in the German-speaking world or Scandinavia. Please contact the Chief Undergraduate Advisor for more information.

Courses in Germany and Scandinavia, or elsewhere
Some requirements may be satisfied by courses taken in Baden-W¸rttemberg, at other U.S. institutions, or elsewhere. Careful consideration will be given to the content and level of each course to determine which, if any major requirement it fulfills.

Zertifikat Deutsch Exam
Take the Zertifikat Deutsch exam when you are a graduating senior. This internationally recognized certification of competency in German is particularly useful for those considering graduate school or a career in business.


Course Work

Prerequisites

For the concentration in German Studies: German 110, 120, 230, 240 or the equivalent

For the concentration in Scandinavian Studies: Swedish 110, 120, 230, 240 or the equivalent

To apply for the major or the minor, meet with the Chief Undergraduate Advisor. Because of the language sequences, a major in German and Scandinavian Studies (GSS) should be declared as soon as possible. In general, four years of high school German or Swedish should guarantee proficiency through the 240-level. Students uncertain of their language level should contact the Chief Undergraduate Advisor about placement.

Requirements for the Major = 13 courses, including Junior Year Writing Requirement (39 credits)

A. Six Required Courses (incl. Junior Year Writing requirement / JYW)
German Concentration
Scandinavian Concentration
German 310: Advanced German ISwedish 310: Advanced Swedish I
German 311: Reading German CultureSwedish 320: Advanced Swedish II
German 320: Advanced German IIScandin 376: Vikings and Their Stories
German 341: Early German CultureScandin 265: Scandinavian Mythology
German 391G: German Studies JYWGerman 391G: German Studies JYW
German 425: Advanced Conv. & Comp.Scandin 387H: Viking Revival

 

B. Six Elective German/Scandinavian Studies Courses, one in each of the following areas:

1. History
2. German/Scandinavian Society
3. Comparative Requirement
4. Literature
5. Film
6. One additional Cultural Studies course

C. Capstone Project: (German 491)

In the second semester of their junior year, majors will choose an individual advisor from among the program faculty to guide them through their Capstone Project. The self-designed capstone project, carried out during the student’s senior year, must be developed in consultation with and approved by the student’s individual advisor and committee, but is otherwise limited only by the student’s imagination. It may take various forms; some examples are a: thesis, portfolio, internship, video; webpage or computer program; creative writing exercise; curriculum designed for students learning German or a Scandinavian language at any level; student-taught colloquium; conference organized by the student; theatrical performance, musical composition or performance, or an artistic artifact. This requirement may be satisfied by the Commonwealth College’s “capstone experience,” as long as it coincides with our general requirements.

 

Five-College and Component Courses
Require approval of Chief Undergraduate Advisor

Courses in German Studies offered through the Five-College Consortium offer an excellent means for students to broaden exposure to the field, particularly in the areas of literature and film.

Some elective requirements may be satisfied by taking a “component course” that addresses a topic or region larger than Germany or Scandinavia alone. To qualify as a component course, however, it must include a significant emphasis on German or Scandinavian society and/or culture. In addition, the student’s own work in the course must focus on aspects of German or Scandinavian studies in order for the course to qualify for major credit.

General Education Courses
The University allows ONE general education (Gen. Ed.) course to simultaneously fulfill a major requirement. The following courses, which are all taught in English, may be counted toward program, as well as general education requirements:

GERMAN 270 (AL) From Grimms to Disney
SCANDIN 276 (AL) Vikings & their Stories
GERMAN 304 (AT) Film: From Berlin to Hollywood
GERMAN 341 (HS) Early German Culture
GERMAN 363 (IG) Witches: Myth & Reality
SCANDIN 365 (AL) Scandinavian Mythology
GERMAN 370 (I) Nineteenth-Century German Thought
GERMAN 379 (I) Contemporary Germany
SCANDIN 387H (AL) Viking Revival (honors)

Also of interest for the major are: LINGUIST 201 (R2) and HISTORY 140, 141 (HS)

Areas for Elective Courses

1. History Requirement

One course in the History of Germany or Scandinavia.
May be satisfied by:
HISTORY 323 Modern German History

Or, with advisor’s approval:
GERMAN 380 Weimar Republic Society and Culture
GERMAN 497A Nazi Germany
GERMAN 370 The Holocaust.

2. German or Scandinavian Society Requirement

One course addressing the economics, government, politics, society, and/or culture of contemporary Germany or Scandinavia.

May be satisfied by:
GERMAN 377 Politics and Culture
GERMAN 379 Contemporary Germany
POL SCI 332 Gov’t and Politics of Scandinavia
GERMAN 380 Weimar Republic Society and Culture
SCANDIN 397H Viking Revival: Creation of a Nordic Ideal

Or, with advisor’s approval, Five College and component courses in the Departments of Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, etc. Component courses might include:

ANTHRO 262 Intro to the Cultures of Europe
ECON 361 European Economic History
POL SCI 239 Gov’t and Politics of Western Europe

 

3. Comparative Requirement

One course that examines German and/or Scandinavian culture in comparison to some other culture.

May be satisfied by:
GERMAN 297A Crusades and the Images of Islam
GERMAN 363 Witches: Myth and Reality
SCANDIN 397S Viking Revival: The Creation of a Nordic Ideal

Or, with advisor’s approval, Five College and component courses. Component courses might include:
HISTORY 302 Early Middle Ages
HISTORY 303 Later Middle Ages
HISTORY 304 Late Middle Ages/Early Renaissance 1300-1494
HISTORY 305 Late Renaissance and Protestant Reformation 1494-1600
HISTORY 307 The Enlightenment
HISTORY 310 European Political Diplomacy, 1870-1914
HISTORY 311 European Political Diplomacy
HISTORY 313 European Intellectual History - 19th Century
HISTORY 314 European Intellectual History - 20th Century
HISTORY 325 Military History of Modern Europe: WWI
HISTORY 386 A Survey of World War II
HISTORY 387 History of the Holocaust
JUDAIC 335 Jewish Experience of Europe
ANTHRO 262 Introduction to the Cultures of Europe
ECON 361 European Economic History
POL SCI 239 Gov’t and Politics of Western Europe

4. Literature/Linguistics Requirement

One German or Scandinavian literature course at UMass or, with advisor’s approval, one of the other four colleges.

5. Film Requirement

One German or Scandinavian film course.

May be satisfied by:
GERMAN 304 Berlin to Hollywood
GERMAN 597A East German Film
SCANDIN 397F Scandinavian Cinema
GERMAN 597C Film and Fascism
GERMAN 597F History of Film

Or, with advisor’s approval, Five College and component courses, which may include:
COMP LIT 381 Self-Reflective Avant-Garde Film
COMP LIT 382 Cinema and Psyche
COMP LIT 383 Narrative Avant-Garde Film

6. Additional Cultural Studies Course

One more course in the German and Scandinavian Studies program, which may include a course on:
A supplementary Scandinavian language
Literature (see above)
Popular culture (eg, GERMAN 270 From Grimms to Disney)
Linguistics (eg, GERMAN 585 Structure of the German Language)
Mythology (eg, SCANDIN 265 Scandinavian Mythology)
History (eg, GERMAN 370 Nineteenth-Century German Thought)
Music (eg, GERMAN 592C The German Poem—Lied)
Art History (eg, GERMAN 372 Vienna 1890-1914)
Society, politics and art (eg, GERMAN 276 Viking and their Stories)
GERMAN 377 Politics and Culture
GERMAN 380 Weimar Republic Society and Culture
SCANDIN 397H Viking Revival: The Creation of a Nordic Ideal

Or, with advisor’s approval, Five College and component courses, such as:
ART HIST 305 Early Medieval Art
ART HIST 307 Romanesque and Gothic Art
ART HIST 308 Medieval Painting
ART HIST 323 European Art 1780-1990
JUDAIC ST 333 Jewish Philosophers in the Twentieth Century
MUSIC 501 Seventeenth Century
MUSIC 502 Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven
MUSIC 503 The Nineteenth Century
Music 504 Music of the Twentieth Century
MUSIC 505 History of the Opera
MUSIC 506 Music of the Renaissance
MUSIC 507 The Age of Bach and Handel
PHILOS 329 Medieval Philosophy
PHILOS 330 Continental Rationalism
PHILOS 332 Kant

The Minor

Students considering a minor in German and Scandinavian Studies are encouraged to contact the Chief Undergraduate Advisor for advising on courses best suited to their interests.
Five departmental courses (15 credits) are required.

German Concentration
310 Advanced German I
311 Reading German Culture
320 Advanced German II
341 Early German Culture
One related upper-level course

Scandinavian Concentration
Swedish 310 Advanced Swedish I
Swedish 320 Advanced Swedish II
Scandin 376 Vikings and Their Stories
Scandin 265 Scandinavian Mythology
One related upper-level course

With the permission of the undergraduate advisor, a course focused on Germany or Scandinavia taken in another department at the University of Massachusetts or in a German-speaking or Nordic country may be substituted for this additional fifth course in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the German Minor.

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